Annals of Crime #44

Original Caption:

Held On Kidnapping Charges.

Omaha -- A fifteen-year-old girl and four sixteen-year-old boys, all from Chicago, are being held in Omaha for Federal Grand Jury action. They are accused of kidnapping a Chicago salesman and transporting a stolen car across state lines. Left to right: Edward Neerose, Anthony Medino, Pauline Barrett, Tom Murphy, and Robert Campbell. As juveniles, they face confinement in a correctional institution until they reach 21, or possible life imprisonment under the kidnap charge. (1944)


J.C. Loophole said...

Any idea what happened to this bunch and why they kidnapped the guy?

Neil Sarver said...

They are all remarkably attractive. One could make a movie of this filled with young attractive almost stars and not be out of the realm of correctness.

Kyle said...

I've found a Chicago Tribune article through proquest. It gives a few more details, but not much else. And unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any follow-up to such an interesting story.
The article explains that he was "kidnapped in his own car Friday afternoon... and compelled to drive to Fremont, Neb. En route, he said, they threatened him with knives and a blackjack and compelled him to buy gasoline without coupons at filling stations. In Fremont Saturday afternoon, he said, he slipped a note to a filling station attendant" who summoned the county sheriff. After the teens were arrested, they were turned over to the US marshal in Omaha (where I suppose the picture was taken).

I doubt the final destination was Fremont, since they were getting more gas. They were just driving steadily westward it seems.

Though I found nothing else on the kidnappers, there was plenty on the man with the car, John K Crippen. In the 50s and 60s he wrote a few letters to the newspaper against commies, and apparently was a member of the John Birch Society and the executive secretary of the Anti-Communist League of America.

Cinebeats said...

They all look so proud of themselves and content. And as Neil, mentioned, this is a cute group of criminals. Odd picture and it makes me want to know more about their crime.

Vanwall said...

The lighting is surely deliberate - not the usual perp walk shot.

Tommy O'C said...

I agree that they all seem so attractive, especially the girl. And by their jovial attitudes, you'd think they were auditioning for a movie starring the Dead End Kids or something like that. I, too, found very little, except this one item by United Press. In this version, Crippen up two sailors and a girl. There is no mention of the other two boys. There's something awfully strange about this. Here's the UP piece:

Chicagoan Accuses
Sailors of Kidnapping
CHICAGO — (U.R) — John A.
Crippen, 39, real estate dealer, reported to police Monday that he
had been kidnapped by two sailors
and a girl and forced to drive 600
miles to Fremont, Neb.
Crippen, who returned to Chicago
Monday, said he was on a
tour of manufacturing sites at
South Chicago when he picked up
two sailors and girl and gave them
a lift to Joliet, Illinois.
"When I stopped the car to let
them out, the sailor called Tony
put a knife in my back and told
me to continue on," Crippen said.
In Fremont, however, the trio
was arrested by the sheriff, and
now are being investigated by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Julie said...

vanwall, I'm with you. This looks like a still from a film noir about the crime. Interesting.

Fred said...

It is interesting how criminal jurisprudence has changed over the years. Today, with all the defendants 16 and under, it would be illegal to release the names of the defendants to the press.

swac said...

Geez, they look like an indie rock band.

Julie said...

swac! Too funny!

Tommy O'C said...

What's curious is that United Press reported that the man claimed he picked up two sailors and a "girl" and that none of those boys is wearing a sailor suit or is even of enlistment age and that there are six of them altogether and two varying accounts of what happened. And it wasn't unusual to see perps smiling affably at the cameras in those days. John Dillinger memorably posed with a big smile resting on the shoulder of the D.A. who was going to prosecute him. It ended the D.A.'s career. There's a photo on this blog of the "Honeymoon Killers," who both were facing the chair (and went to the chair) smiling with their lawyer during a break. You'd never imagine the severity of the charges against them.

The alleged victim was almost certainly being less than truthful about what happened.

Tom Sutpen said...

You're probably correct. I'll confess I know absolutely nothing about this crime (in fact, I'm a little surprised it got this much comment action), but in the case of Ray and Big Martha (aka The Lonely Hearts Killers) there was a very good reason for their demeanor in that photo: Both of them were stone-cold psychos.