Monday, November 25, 2013

132. "triple play"

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by konrad kraus

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

for previous chapter, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

click here for synopsis of all chapters so far

jewel thief, 2 other desperadoes nabbed in "triple play" by rookie detective

by florence flanagan, exclusive to the new york federal-democrat

escaped international jewel thief stanley slade did not end up breathing the sweet air of liberty for even forty-eight hours as his flight to freedom was abruptly cancelled early this morning by a sharp eyed rookie detective from the downtown 33rd precinct.

detective daniel dooley, only five days removed from his promotion to detective, was in the right place at the right time when he dropped off "an unidentified informant" at the all night automat on bedford st near washington square.

on entering the automat dooley was alerted to the presence of slade by another customer at the automat, elizabeth bronson. miss bronson , known as "bowery betty", a familiar figure in the neighborhood with her cat , gave her address as the hotel central on chrystie st.

miss bronson was quite emphatic in declaring to this reporter that she would aggressively pursue her claims to the various reward moneys offered for slade's capture.

"i've been pushed around and stepped on all my life," she asserted. "now my time has come. my light is going to shine or i will know the reason why, as the good lord is my witness."

police officials were noncommittal. "her claims will be assessed by those who offered the rewards. we have no other statement at this time," according to a statement released after slade was booked.

dooley admitted to this reporter that he might not have spotted slade, who had dyed his blonde hair black and otherwise altered his appearance, without miss bronson's identification. asked whether she should get the reward, he replied, "that is not for me to decide. i just work here."

but all this is only the beginning of the story. if dooley had help in spotting slade, he can take full credit for spotting the woman seated with slade in the automat as a fugitive from justice wanted by police "just about everywhere."

booked as "angela jones" because that is the name she was wanted on by the new york police for a burglary on park avenue in 1947, miss jones is also wanted under more than two dozen other names, such as "angelique st auberge" and "abby devereaux", on numerous fraud and theft charges. police identified her as a former protege of albert gordon, who is currently serving a forty year sentence in sing sing for the park avenue burglary and other crimes.

according to dooley, it was the sheer number of her aliases that caught his attention. "i go through the books of mug shots and wanted posters all the time when things are slow. most of the characters in them have aliases, but she was in a class by herself. still, i was just lucky to spot her. if she had not been with slade, i probably would not have."

the modest dooley was not yet done with his night's work. also in the automat, at another table, was a man identified as gilbert gray, wanted in connection with a botched bank robbery in fayetteville, north carolina, in which two bank employees were seriously wounded. and dooley got him too.

"i just got lucky there also," insisted dooley. "the mug books are filled with shifty looking perpetrators, but he might have been the shiftiest looking of them all. there was just something about him."

though not charged with a crime, gray's companion in the automat, louis lombardo, is being held as a material witness. lombardo was identified by police as having a long rap sheet of weapons, drugs, and morals charges.

none of the three malefactors resisted arrest, and went quietly when uniformed police quickly arrived after dooley's call from the automat. "none of them happened to be armed," dooley shrugged. "they know how fast new york police can get there. i guess they just didn't have their running shoes on."

this reporter asked what might have happened if the suspects had been armed.

"i don't know," he answered. "they weren't, and that is all that matters."

(note: police later confirmed that slade was, in fact, armed.)

this reporter asked dooley if he expected a promotion as a result of his exploits. "are you kidding me ?" he answered. "i have only been on the job less than a week. what i can expect is a lot of razzing from the guys at the station." he was quick to add that the "razzing" would all be good clean fun. "they are a great bunch of guys."

there were several witnesses to the arrests. one was miss polly powell, the attendant at the automat, who did not appear unduly alarmed or excited by the proceedings. "i have been on the night shift here for a few years now," she said. "if something like this happened in my first week -". she shrugged. "now it is all in a night's work," she added, with the cool demeanor of the philadelphia main line debutante she formerly was.

also present were two employees of the next door hotel st crispian, enjoying a cup of java after getting off work. jacob jaspers, a bellhop, seemed to find the events amusing. "that's new york for you," he said. "who needs to go the movies when you got the big city all around you? just keep your eyes open - you will get all the excitement you need."

cosette st coeur, a chambermaid at the hotel, was less enthusiastic. miss st coeur, a native of haiti with a lovely melodious voice, declared, " i do not need any excitement. i just want to go home and get some sleep."

133. "time to wrap things up"

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