Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Scandal of 1922: Part VIII

When testimony in the hearing resumed on Saturday, the first witness was Acting Chief of Police Thomas Connors, accompanied by "many police blotters and ledgers" which one by one were offered and received as evidence. That done, the testimony of the detectives who had investigated "the situation" in Hudson resumed. The first to take the stand was Jas. H. Cunningham. The following account is from the Columbia Republican for May 9, 1922.
Jas. H. Cunningham, of Brooklyn, a private investigator employed by Mr. Leigh, said he came to Hudson on January 28, 1922 and left February 11th; during the time was familiar with premises known as 330 Warren St., opposite police headquarters, visited that place from time to time; was there on January 28th at 7:10, was introduced to a man named Hogan by a man named Walsh; we purchased a few rounds of whiskey. Walsh, Lawson and himself were there; observed about 6 men in front of the place and proprietor was in the back room; that other men were drinking "a dark brown liquid with foam, plenty of it, on top; that he was with them about 35 minutes; could see from there and look into police headquarters; saw an officer behind the desk; said Hogan went into the back room and brought out a flask, got under the bar, filled the glasses and handed them to them.
Said he was in the place about 7 times and as long "as Hogan knew me I could get a drink of whiskey anytime." The witness's characterization of "home brew" was objected to, and he said, "well, we'll call it beer then." He told of observing a rifle in the place, and of an offer of being treated to another whiskey. The price was 50 cents; saw on other occasions, others drinking the liquid he had called whiskey; said there was a crowd there on the other nights he went there.
At 22 Ferry St. he visited on Jan. 28th, met Mr Lawson after getting off the train and came up to the Worth and had a little dinner. Said at Ferry St. they drank some beer later and complained of gas; was informed "of some good stuff" and a liquid like whiskey was served. He took one drink and his ears became deaf; that was enough for him. When asked if it was hard to get in the place he said that "the wind could blow you in there, it was so open." He said they served the stuff "like in the old days, a bottle, and the glasses right on top of the bar." While in there he said he saw others drinking there.
At 26 Ferry St,, he was familiar also. Visited there with Mr Lawson and Mr Kennison. Had whiskey too there; served on bar right out of a soda water bottle. Thought that this was the only time he was in that place.
At 323 Diamond St., he was familiar with the place. Said with Lawson went there before the second of February; went there and "Ray" had some friends in back and told them to wait; when friend went away asked for whiskey and she served them. Went there on a Sunday afternoon and had 4 whiskeys and was treated to some port wine.
At 48 South Front St. he made a visit with Mr Lawson and Mr Walsh. "That place does quite a business."
Plenty of people at the bar. McCue called Walsh into side room. Was told they were a couple of boiler makers of the Northeastern Construction Co. Was told they were "all right." Said the place was easy of access and they could get whiskey at any time. Saw other people served with a drink like whiskey. Said McCue served them from a small flask under the bar. Was in there several times and once Mr. Kennison was with him. Served them with whiskey, paid for it. Were in there one night and had a party in back room. Woman there named "Virginia Dare." He said she was under influence of liquor when he left.
Mr Cunningham on cross-examination said he spent last night in town but "had no lady friends in town." When counsel asked about a Race Place party with some women, the witness quickly cut-short the cross-examination of this point by his answer. He could not tell dates of visits and time. He was sharply questioned about the first night in town, an auto ride, the first and second places visited; a dance at K[nights] of C[olumbus] Hall where he bought with his own money four Eskimo pies for young ladies; he had his own money and did not charge these to the city. He denied he was ever drunk and said he was not a drunkard and did not drink except when business called for it; he said he had never been drunk in his life. He was asked about an auto-ride and when asked what was the name of the lady he was with, he refused to answer, and would not tell her name. . . . 
As to the minstrel show he said that if Mr Lawson charged up to expenses the cost of the theater party, it was taken out of his salary.
A recess was taken until 8:30 o'clock.
When the hearing was reconvened in the evening, Edmund Leigh, who ran the detective agency that employed Kennison, Lawson, and Cunningham, gave his testimony. He was asked about his experience and qualifications, and he was also asked by the prosecution to comment on the police records presented as evidence. "He was asked if a Chief of Police was justified in taking the word of his officers as to suspected places. He said he was not."

In the next part of Gossips' coverage of the trial, we will recount the testimony of Henry Walsh, the chauffeur so often mentioned in the detectives' testimony. 

No comments:

Post a Comment