murder mystery, crime, & detective fiction

Crime Digest


by Zeta Rothschild

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Complete Detective Cases | Nov. 1940 | Vol. 2 | No. 6

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

A short collection of crime oddities ...


A burglar leaving with a load of copper wire under his arm was suddenly dazzled by the flash of an exploding bulb. Quickly he wrecked the photographic apparatus attached to the bulb, only to learn to his chagrin that this had been a “dummy” and that his photograph had been taken by a concealed camera.


This country doesn’t hold that, though two men have been convicted as equally guilty of the murder of a third, both should die. The “anfora reos,” (criminal vase) contains several balls, one black. And when Francisco Mamani drew this black ball, he alone atoned with his life for the murder of Domingo Quispe, while his confederate in the murder, Julio Zagarra, escaped the death sentence.


A jail background did not lessen the prestige or make him less desirable as a guardian of the peace, decided fellow citizens of John Arthur Dunn. And though he had fifteen rivals, Mr. Dunn, in jail serving out a fine of $25 and costs imposed when he pleaded guilty to petit larceny, was elected a constable of Marietta township.


Caricaturists usually depict criminals with flat heads, shifty eyes and low-slung ears. But scientists protest there is no generally accepted type so easily recognize . Yet recently Police Councillor Max Tisza of Miskolc, Hungary, after making an extensive study of convicts has decided that one group rarely, if ever, goes in for law breaking of any kind. People with dimples are immune from such impulses.

Dimples show a high standard of morality, says this criminologist, based on his contact with a variety of burglars, embezzlers, defrauders and murderers. Dimples are a trademark of honesty. Usually.


Sheriff Carl Roth of this community will henceforth have a kind word to say for the men in his care. Last winter while taking three prisoners from the jail to the courthouse the sheriff slipped on the ice, broke a leg, lay helpless. His prisoners might have made a break. What did they do? Instead they toted the sheriff to the courthouse and helped rush him to a hospital.


Anyway, it is some consolation to Tavern Keeper John Girard to know that the burglars who stole 84 bottles from his display were headed for a great disappointment. For the bottles, instead of containing beer as their labels promised, were filled with tea-tinted water!


Even London, with its blackout and bombs, is a more cheerful place than Dartmouth Prison, complain warders transferred from the city to the prison house isolated on the moors. They have no “bright life,” complain twenty-five of the warders who have organized to agitate for brighter prisons.


Hold-up men were responsible for more than one half the jaw fractures treated at Hines Memorial Hospital during the past seven and a half years, says Dr. C. M. Logson in an article in the March issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. Automobiles come second on this list as jaw-breakers.


Overweight is seldom an asset. But a defendant in a local court on a lottery charge came up before a judge who, deciding the 520 pounds of flesh carried by Preseton Taylor, a negro, a guarantee he would not try to run away, released him without bail.

“I know you can’t run fast enough to get away,” commented the Judge.


The number thirteen, held unlucky by the superstitious, turned out to be Just that for one Paul Fazekas, who specialized in poisoning his relatives by putting arsenic in the flour used by the women folks. He was born on a 13th, the three murders he committed were each carried out on a 13th, he was arrested on a 13th, sentenced on a 13th and was hanged-on last July 13th.


Even bandits have principles and prejudices. Recently Arthur West, owner of a service station, was held up.

“Is this station one of a chain system?” asked the bandit, as he ordered West to open the till.

“It’s mine,” answered West.

The bandit put his revolver away.

“I need the money bad,” he told the astonished man, “but I wouldn’t rob a private owner.”

And walked out.