Chief Desmond Creates Own Mystery

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     St. Louis Chief of Detectives William Desmond created a bit of a mystery in January 1903, when he attempted to sneak off and get married on vacation.  It was to be the 45-year-old Desmond’s first marriage.  Chief Desmond was to marry Hannah McLaughlin, the daughter of a local builder.  The couple was to honeymoon in Southern California before returning

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Chief Desmond Gets a New Assistant

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     On Monday, December 15, 1902, St. Louis Police Assistant Chief of Detectives James H. Smith retired from the police department to take a position in the coal industry.  Chief of Detectives William Desmond attempted to convince Smith to stay but he decided to retire from the force as his fortieth birthday approached.      Smith compiled a commendable record as

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St. Louis Police Catch Indiana Escapee

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     St. Louis Police Chief of Detectives William Desmond made many tough criminals talk over his career.  John Huey, an Indiana murderer, was not one of these cases.  Huey freely spoke with Desmond about his criminal past.  Huey escaped from Indiana after serving 13 years for a murder in 1874.      John Huey came to Lyon, Indiana in 1874 as

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St. Louis Police Catch Robber of Policeman

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     On Monday, March 5, 1900, St. Louis Police Officers Thomas Meagher and Thomas Degnan apprehended men who robbed an East St. Louis Officer of his gun.  Ed Sullivan, a 22 year-old transient, robbed an East St. Louis Police Officer of his gun, jewelry and possessions in late February 1900.      Officer Thomas Meagher observed Sullivan and Harry Davis walking

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St. Louis Police Protect 1904 World’s Fair

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     The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition or 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair as it is more popularly known is the most significant event in St. Louis, Missouri history.  While St. Louis was the largest city west of the Mississippi River, the World’s Fair put it on the international map.  While the fair would bring notoriety, tourists and increased revenue to the

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Robber Helps Catch Killer

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     H. H. Holmes was America’s first known serial killer in the modern definition of the word.  Holmes operated “the Murder Castle”, a Chicago hotel during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.      Holmes would eventually be convicted of sixteen murders but may have murdered more than 100 people during his operation of the hotel.  What is less well known is

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St. Louis Police Catch Wild Bunch Members

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     On Tuesday, November 5, 1901, St. Louis Police captured Ben Kilpatrick and Laura Bullion for their part in the Great Northern train robbery in Montana on July 2, 1901.  Before the case was settled, Kilpatrick would serve 10 years and Laura Bullion would serve three and a half years in the Missouri Penitentiary but it would take several weeks

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Chief of Detectives Desmond Solves Cooper Killing

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     On Thursday, January 23, 1902, St. Louis awakened to the news millionaire A. Deane Cooper was found murdered in the Vista Bathhouse at Franklin Avenue and North Grand Boulevard.  Cooper owned residential real estate and other assets valued at 2 million dollars.  Cooper aspired to be the biggest property owner in St. Louis.  He may have accomplished the feat

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