Charles
"Chick"
Hunt


 

CHARLES "CHICK" HUNT was born on March 29, 1900.

Chick Hunt registered for the draft on September 12, 1918. He was then living with his mother, Mrs. Amelia Smith, at the foot of Jackson Street near Ferry Avenue in Camden's Eighth Ward, and working as a wharf builder. When the Census was taken in January of 1920, he had married and was living with his wife Lavina in one of the many houses at the foot of Jasper Street, the area known as Liney Ditch. He was still working as a wharf builder, but around this time was also doing some professional boxing. Chick Hunt's younger brother George, then 14, was living with him, as was a boarder, Thomas Reed, who worked as a ship's cook. 

By 1924 Chick and Livina Hunt seem to have parted company. The City Directory for that year and for 1927 show him working as a machinist and living at 1901 Broadway. Accounts of the day state that he was somewhat of a ladies man, and it is possible that his activities led to the shooting of Joseph Cimini at the Sixth Ward Republican Club on Broadway in January of 1928. Things apparently got a bit to "hot" in Camden for Chick Hunt after this, and he appears to have left Camden for awhile. He is not listed in the 1929 City Directory or the 1930 Census in Camden.

By December of 1945 Chick Hunt had returned to Camden. He was still engaged in some extra-curricular activity, which led to his arrest in November of 1945 and indictment on December 1st of that year in Gloucester County. 

Chick Hunt died in April of 1970. According to the Social Security Death Index he was still living in Camden at that time. 


World War I Draft Card

Camden Courier-Post * January 14, 1928

GANGSTER SHOT
DURING MELEE
IN SIXTH WARD

Joseph Deven Held On Murder Charge After Death
Boxer’s Brother; ‘Mose’ Flannery
and 4 Others Held as Witnesses;
Was Craps Game Says County Police
HOLDUP ATTEMPTED CITY COPS DECLARE

Victim of a shot fired in a melee, the exact cause of which remain undetermined, Joseph Cimini, 31 years old, was killed in the Sixth Ward Republican Club, 908 Broadway.

Headquarters of the Sixth Ward Republican Club on Broadway below Spruce Street is shown in the picture. The entrance is to the left, the first floor front being occupied by a barber shop. The arrow indicates the room where the shooting occurred

Cimini, declared by police to be a Philadelphia gangster, was killed before the eyes of two district detectives, Clarence Arthur and Clarence Bunker, who had been summoned to the club by warning that a fight was in progress.

Joseph Deven, 28 years old, known to his associates as “Polack Joe” and a colorful figure in 

Slayer and Slain

Top: Joseph Deven - Bottom: Joseph Cimini

Third Ward politics, fired the shot that killed Cimini.

Declaring that he had fired in self-defense, after Cimini struck him with the butt of a revolver, Deven was locked up without bail on a charge of murder.

Joseph 'Mose’ Flannery, 26 years old, picturesque Eighth ward political worker, was held as a material witness. Detectives had seized Flannery who was to have precipitated the battle by brandishing a revolver just before Cimini was shot. The officers say that Flannery fled –after the shooting and was captured afterward at Broadway and Federal Street.

The name of the dead man was given as Joseph Gannon, but shortly before one o’clock this afternoon, he was identified as Joseph Cimini, 1301 Ellsworth Street, Philadelphia. The identification was made by a brother, William Cimini, a pugilist who has boxed in this city several times under the name of “Billy” Gannon.

Six Others Quizzed

Six other men who were present at the time of the shooting, or when the argument began, were questioned by city and county detectives.

They are Newton Blanchard, 30, 923 St. John Street, former Camden boxing referee and declared by some of the witnesses as the man who conducted the crap game at the club; Michael Dandrea, 26, 1067 Norris Street; Russell Sage, 26 years old, of 1102 Marion Street a taxicab driver who is said to have driven Gannon and Flannery to the club in his car; Maurice O’Brien, 27 years old, of 1429 Bradley Avenue, a former New Jersey State Trooper, Harry 

Waterhouse, 28 years old, whose address was given as the same as Sage’s; and Charles “Chick” Hunt, 27 years old, of 1218 Broadway, a former Camden boxer.

Blanchard and Dandrea were released after questioning and after each had made a statement to Chief of County Detective Lawrence T. Doran. The others were held with Flannery as material witness.

Differences of opinion between county and city detectives investigating the shooting were heightened during the afternoon.  The county sleuths insisted upon the theory that the shooting had resulted from a feud between Flannery and Hunt, with Cimini taking the former's side and Deven the latter and said that the heat of the argument had possibly been heightened by disagreement over a crap came.

The city police, on the other hand, declared that the entire affair was the result of an attempt by Flannery to hold up the other men. Deven’s statement to Chief Doran made no mention of a hold-up.

Building up a case against Flannery, the officers this afternoon lodged charges of attempted hold-up, carrying concealed deadly weapons, atrocious assault and battery and assault to kill against him. The two latter charges were made as the result of identification of Flannery as a participant in two recent robbery attempts. J.E. Feinstein, café proprietor of 508 Kaighn Avenue, declared that Flannery, Cimini, and Sage were thereof four men who held him up on New Year’s Day. He defied them and they left when he said, “Go ahead and shoot,” he asserted. Flannery was also identified, according to police, as the man who had beaten and attempted to rob Henry Mehrer, an Audubon policeman, and his two companions outside the Ringside Inn, on the Black Horse Pike, a fortnight ago. Mehrer and Feinstein were taken to police headquarters by County Detective Howard Smith, who is authority for the statement that they identified Flannery.

Cimini was shot shortly after 3:00 this morning and died almost instantly. Doctors at Cooper Hospital pronounced him dead on arrival. He had been shot just above the heart by a bullet from Deven’s gun.

Events preceding the shooting remain, to some extent clouded today. Chief Doran said he learned of an enmity existing between Flannery and Hunt. Deven appeared to have attempted to quiet “Mose”, the county detectives said. Cimini struck Deven and Deven fired.

Chief John Golden of the Camden city detective bureau stated, on the other hand, that the shooting had apparently followed an attempt to hold up the other men in the room. Golden based his view on the statements of Clarence Arthur, a city sleuth. According to Arthur, when he and Bunker appeared at the door of the room, Flannery and Cimini held revolvers and the other men in the room were standing with their hands upraised.

According to the story pieced together by county detectives from the statements of witnesses, a group of men had apparently gathered at the club for a crap game. Blanchard, it was stated, acts as the “stick man,” the term used in gambling parlance to designate the man who conducts a crap game.

City and County agree that Flannery and Cimini arrived together in Sage’s taxicab. Whether there was an argument, the result of an enmity between Flannery and Hunt, or whether the attempted hold-up theory is correct, remains to be learned by additional official investigation.

Chief Doran stated the witnesses had told him that words passed between Flannery and Hunt and that the former had gone downstairs. Returning he brandished a revolver.

Two Flee Place

It was at this point that Blanchard and Dandrea left the room and fled down the stairs. On the street, they encountered Detectives Arthur and Bunker, who were patrolling Broadway in a police automobile.

In describing the subsequent events today, Arthur declared that Blanchard had informed him that “two Philadelphia gunmen are up in the Sixth Ward Club holding up a bunch of fellows”.

The detectives did not immediately go to the club, but found Patrolman Frank Del Rossi and followed him up the stairs of the building.

“There were about fifteen men in the room,” Arthur asserted. “When we got to the door Flannery and Cimini had their guns out and apparently were about to search the others. The other men had their hands in the air.

“When they saw us Flannery and Cimini threw their guns down and the others lowered their hands. I went up to Flannery and started to frisk him. Bunker went to another man, whom I don’t know, and started to frisk him”.

It was then he said that he heard the shot. Believing that it was Bunker who was shot, he released his hold on Flannery and swung around. As he did Flannery turned and fled downstairs, Arthur declared.

Bunker said he believed that it was Arthur who had been shot and he too released his grasp on the man he had been searching. The detectives turned in time to see Cimini fall.

“I did it! I shot him!” Deven is declared to have shouted, throwing his revolver on the table.

According to the story told by witnesses to the county detectives, however, Deven had stepped up to Flannery just before the shot was fired and had said” “Mose, you can’t get away with this here.”

Flannery is said to have had a gun in his hand at the time.

As Deven spoke, the witnesses say, Cimini stepped behind him and struck him with the butt of a revolver. Just then detectives entered. Deven whirled and, drawing his gun, fired.

Cimini was placed in a police ambulance and taken to the hospital. After he had been pronounced dead his body was taken to the morgue, where it was awaiting identification today. Neatly dressed, Cimini is of Italian extraction. He has coal-black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. Coroner Charles T. Murray will perform a post-mortem examination, he said.

Flannery Captured

When he fled from the club, according to Arthur, Flannery jumped on a Public Service bus driven by David Smith, of 423 Haddon Avenue, which was passing at the time.

“Faster! Faster” he is declared to have urged Smith as the latter drove along Broadway in the direction of Federal Street.

At Federal Street and Broadway, Arthur and Bunker caught up to the bus and arrested Flannery as he descended from the vehicle.

“Why don’t you give me a chance to get to Philadelphia?” Arthur declares Flannery asked him. “I can get bail over there.”

Seek Written Statement

Chief Doran stated this afternoon that he was attempting to obtain a written statement from Flannery and would also seek to have Deven sign a statement regarding the shooting. During the morning, Flannery refused to talk while Deven, although admitting that he fired the shot, declared that he shot in self-defense. He made no reference to the hold-up attempt, according to the county detectives.

Cimini has a Philadelphia police record but, according to his pugilist brother, “was not bad but just wild.” He was recently arrested in Philadelphia after a fight with policemen.

“But he never held up or robbed anybody,” his brother declared this afternoon after identifying the body. “He got into a jam now and then. Yes, I know that he knew 'Mose' Flannery, but I never mixed with that crowd.”

It was reported at City Hall this afternoon that Samuel Orlando had been retained as attorney for Flannery and that Walter Keown, Camden county solicitor, would represent all the other men. The presence of Keown at detective headquarters, during which he had a conference with Captain Golden, seemed to lend credence to the latter report but neither rumor could be confirmed.

Flannery for years has figured in police cases and in political warfare in the Eighth Ward, where he was sometimes a lieutenant and sometimes an opponent of “Mikey” Brown, the Republican leader of the ward. Last March he was arrested and indicted on charges of atrocious assault and battery on is wife and her mother. At one time he was held as a suspect is a Philadelphia shooting but later was released.

The accused man, Deven, is a short, slim little man with an air of meek complaisance. He has been a taxicab driver and was last arrested on a charge of drunken driving. In May of 1926 he attempted suicide by shooting himself after he had failed to effect a reconciliation with his estranged wife. At that time, he shot himself but the bullet only grazed his chest.

Joe Deven, long a political power in the Third Ward, first flashed into citywide prominence in 1925, when he was employed by federal authorities as a deputy U.S. Marshal to guard the padlocked Poth brewery at Bulson Street, just off Broadway. At the time Deven was thus maintaining the sanctity of the Eighteenth Amendment, he was also operating a bootlegging establishment downtown and had been arrested once or twice for violating the Volstead Act.

The Courtier at that time exposed this paradoxical situation, with the result that the U.S. Marshal summarily dismissed Deven. He keenly resented the political chicanery that had been used to put Deven in office. In explaining how Deven was appointed, the Marshal said that he had been recommended by “prominent Republican leaders” in Camden, chief among whom was William D. Sayrs, no a city commissioner but then a field agent in the office of the Internal Revenue Department.

Sought City Job

Not long after Deven’s dismissal as brewery guard, Sayrs and other Republican leaders made strenuous efforts to secure a city job for him under the Non-Partisan administration. They sought to exact a promise from The Courier that this newspaper would remain silent in the event Deven was appointed to a city position. No such promise was made and Deven remained jobless, politically at least.

Then came a humorous twist to the situation. Sayrs disagreed with some of the Organization leaders and, for a time, walked his own political footpath. Some of the leaders, fearful of what Sayrs might attempt politically, killed two birds with one stone by hiring Joe Deven to shadow Sayrs and to report to them the number of times he conferred with Non-Partisans. Thus, Joe had a job and Billy was watched.

Sayrs knew he was being shadowed by his old friend, and apparently he knew who had hired Deven to do the work, but he refused to take the situation seriously and chortled, frequently, when he would see his “Shadow” trailing about town.

In the last year, however, Deven has again been the particular political protégé of Commissioner Sayrs and also has won the friendship of many other political leaders. Nevertheless, he has not been, so far as can be determined, the recipient of any particular political patronage, though his political influence in the Third and Fifth Wards is said to have expanded rapidly under the new administration.


Camden Evening Courier - January 16, 1928

MURDER MOTIVE AT G.O.P. CLUB SPLITS SLEUTHS 
County Detectives Contend Philadelphia Gangster
Was Slain in Quarrel Over Woman
POLICE CLAIM HOLD-UP ATTEMPT CAUSED FIGHT
Deven Charged With Crime, Flannery and Taxi Driver Held Without Bail

With city and county authorities definitely divided on the motive and circumstance if the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying, Joseph "Polack Joe" Deven was arraigned in Camden police court today and held without bail on a murder charge.

Through County Solicitor Walter Keown, retained as his attorney, Deven waived a police court hearing and was held to await grand jury action in the slaying of Joseph Cimini, Philadelphia gangster, at the political club early Saturday morning.

At the same time County Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott announced his operatives had abandoned the theory Cimini was killed as the aftermath of an attempted hold-up, and were concentrating their investigation in the case on an effort to "find the woman'.

Statements of witnesses to the fatal shooting, the prosecutor added, made no mention of a hold-up, but contained the declaration that Cimini had been shot as a result of a feud with Charles "Chick" Hunt, former South Camden pugilist, concerning the affection of "Chick's girl". 

Police Claim Holdup

On the other hand, Captain John Golden, chief of the city detective bureau, declared he was unable to recall any mention of a girl in the statements obtained from witnesses, and added emphatically that his department still held the shooting had followed an attempted holdup of the club by Cimini and Joseph 'Mose’ Flannery.

Flannery and Hunt were both witnesses to the shooting by Deven, picturesque figure in Third Ward politics, which occurred at the Sixth Ward Club's headquarters, 908 Broadway..

After Deven had appeared in Police Court today, Flannery was arraigned as a material witness and as an accessory to the crime, with an additional charge accusing him of carrying concealed deadly weapons. Similar charges were made against Russell Sage, a taxicab driver, who arrived at the club with Flannery and Cimini early Saturday morning. These two were committed to the county jail without any bail by Judge Bernard Bertman

Hunt, however, was released under $1,000 bail as was Martin O'Brien, 27 years old, a former New Jersey State Trooper, and Harry Waterhouse, 28 years old, 1102 Marion street.

Three Others Arrested

During the day the police continued to build up their case against Flannery by arraigning him on the charges made by Milton Feinstein and Henry Mehrer. The also arrested Joseph Genther, 29 years old, 414 Atlantic Avenue; Robert Wolfe, 21 years old, 1106 Mechanic Street, and Eli Conaghy, 27 years old, 814 South 6th Street. Wolfe, who is Flannery's brother-in-law, and Genther were held "on suspicion" of having been with "Mose" at the time the latter is declared to have attacked and attempted to rob Mehrer, an Audubon policeman, outside the Ringside Inn, on the Black Horse Pike.

Conaghy, Flannery and Sage were arraigned and held without bail on charges of threatening to kill Feinstein and of carrying concealed deadly weapons. Feinstein declares these three with Cimini, the slain man, entered his cafe on January 2 and attempted to hold him up, threatening to kill him if he refused to “come across”. When he defied them by telling them to “go ahead and shoot”, Feinstein says, they departed.

Wolfe, Genther, and Conaghy were arrested by City Detectives George Ward and Thomas Cheeseman. It was Cheeseman who lodged the formal complaint of murder against Deven.

Two Others Released

Two other men who were questioned in connection with the murder case were in court this man but neither was held. They are Newton Blanchard, 923 St. John Street, a former boxing referee and alleged “stick man” at the crap game declared to have been in progress at the club before the shooting, and Michael Dandrea, 26 years old, of 1657 Norris Street. Both men had been released after questioning on Saturday. Police say they are the men who told police that trouble was imminent at the club and that “Flannery and another fellow are trying to stick up a bunch of other fellows.”

The city police hold-up theory was further attacked today by Francis J. McCarthy, a Philadelphian, who arrived before noon at the county prosecutor’s office and said he would co-operate with the authorities. He wishes to clear the dead man, he said, of the stigma of suspicion that he was slain while engaged in an attempted robbery.

Hearing in Police Court was brief. There was no testimony and Keown merely announced Deven would waive a hearing. Appearing also as attorney for Hunt, O’Brien, and Waterhouse, he said the other three men were “present at the unfortunate shooting” and thus should be held as material witnesses. He added the prosecutor’s office had permitted the release of the three under $1,000 bail each and requested Judge Bertman follow suit. The court acceded to this request but stipulated that new bail must be provided. The three men were freed shortly afterward when the bond was furnished by James Louis, 603 Kaighn Avenue, who had provided the bail yesterday in the prosecutor’s office.

Despite the declaration by two Camden district detectives who were present at the time and who said there was no evidence that gambling was in progress at the club, county detectives disclosed today that statements of the shooting contained the assertion that the men had gathered for a crap game.

These witnesses also declared the fatal shooting resulted from an argument over a woman for whose attention Cimini and Hunt were rivals.

In circles where the leading figures in the shooting move, it was freely predicted things would be fixed up for Deven and that Flannery, political worker and supposed gangster, was to be "made the goat".

Flannery is blamed by the city police for precipitating the battle. he has also been identified, according to County Detective Howard Smith, as one of the men who beat and robbed Henry Mehrer, an Audubon policeman, outside the Ringside Inn on the Black Horse Pike a fortnight ago. In addition, he is charges with attempting to hold up Milton Feinstein, cafe proprietor, 508 Kaighn Avenue. Cimini and Sage were also identified by Feinstein, according to Detective Smith.

According to the version of Cimini's death given in statements by witnesses to county detectives, "Chick" Hunt might have been the victim of the slaying had it not been for Deven's interference.

Gamble Over Affections

Like actors in a carefully-rehearsed drama, the various witnesses to the shooting made their statements nearly twelve hours after the shooting and, both city and county detectives say they agreed in all important aspects. Prosecutor Wescott declared, however, that no mention of an attempted hold-up was made despite the fact that City Detectives Clarence Arthur and Clarence Bunker- before whose eyes Cimini was shot down- stated Flannery and Cimini were holding the other men at bay when the detectives entered the room.

Instead, the statements of the witnesses described the scene as a dramatic gamble, with death as the stake, over the affections of a woman beloved by both Cimini and Hunt. This woman, who is married and estranged from her husband, is being sought today, Prosecutor Wescott said. According to detectives, Hunt was severely beaten last Wednesday night in a downtown gambling place by members of Cimini’s gang. Cimini, known also as Joseph Gannon, was a brother of William Cimini, a pugilist known in the ring as Billy Gannon.

The stories told by the witnesses place Hunt as one of the players in the crap game which was in progress at the club on Saturday morning. Deven was at the window, looking out, according to the witnesses, when he saw a taxicab draw up in front of the building. Flannery, Cimini and Sage descended and entered the club, it was declared.

“Here comes Mose, Chick, with that guy what’s gunnin’ for you” Deven is declared to have shouted.

A dozen gamesters fled from the room. “Chick” and a few of his friends held their ground and were waiting when the trio entered. Cimini, it is stated, walked over to Hunt.

“I told you,” he said with a sneer, “to stay away from that dame. She’s my girl. You were warned and sow you gotta take your medicine..”

Hunt said nothing.

Flannery drew from his pockets two automatics and flung them on the green-topped table, the stories go.

“C’mon, Chick,” he said. Don’t be yella. He toldja about the broad and he toldja what he’d do. Take your gun and shoot it out.”

“Chick” demurred.

“I don’t want none of that stuff, Mose,” he pleaded. He eyed Cimini carefully as the latter held one hand on the butt of a pistol which protruded from his belt.

Deven Interferes

Hunt made no careless movements toward the pistols on the table. Then Deven is declared to have interfered.

“None of that stuff, Mose” he said warningly. “Who’s this guy to come here making trouble? He’s no member, is he?”

Cimini moved quickly, the witnesses say. With an upward flip of his hand he brought the barrel of the automatic sharply against Deven’s chin. The latter lurched forward snatching one of the pistol from the table.

The weapon was discharged, the bullet tearing through Cimini’s heart. He died instantly.

The next moment, Arthur and Bunker, district detectives summoned by one of the players who had fled, burst through the door and lined up the men against the wall.

A short time later police arrested Blanchard and Dandrea. Blanchard, police say, was the man who gave them warning of the impending battle. Both men were released after questioning.

Released from Lakeland

The detectives found Deven cringing with fear under the table, the weapon still in his hand. Four other pistols were picked up in different parts of the room.

Deven was identified as a lovesick husband who appeared in the prosecutor’s office several month’s ago and asked to be “put away”. His wife had left him, he said, and he was afraid he might harm someone.

He was committed to the asylum at Lakeland. When or how he was released is a mystery. Lakeland officials said they had no record of him. Deven once shot himself in a suicide attempt police say, in grief over estrangement from his wife.

Gangdom’s prevailing opinion is that Flannery is “in” for it. Attempts and threats against the blond gangster’s life have furnished many lurid tales for the habitués of downtown hangouts.

Further, Flannery has made many bitter enemies through his political activities. In the last election he worked as a Democrat against “Mikey” Brown in the Eighth Ward. His overbearing tactics and bravado among the other downtown characters has increased the feeling against him, it is said.

Thus far, he has succeeded in keeping out of the toils for any length of time. His police record includes arrests for rum-sunning, carrying concealed weapons, alleged ballot frauds and attempted murder. His most recent arrest came in Philadelphia when he figured in a pistol battle in which a man was slain.


Camden Evening Courier - January 17, 1928

LOVE PLOT FADES AS MOTIVE BEHIND CLUBHOUSE KILLING
Mrs.
Katherine Rosalie Denies She is “Chick’s Girl” or “Anybody’s Girl,” But Thinks Flannery and Cimini May Have Used Her as Excuse For Starting Fatal Fight

The suspected “love motive” in the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying broke down today under the glaring light of investigation. It was the he second time within two that the investigation behind the killing of Joseph Cimini, otherwise Joseph Gannon, had been seemingly explained only to have the explanation rejected.

First, Camden city detectives had affirmed their belief that the fatal shooting was the aftermath of a hold-up attempt by Joseph "Mose" Flannery and Cimini. This theory went by the boards when the statements of witnesses, taken by Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott disclosed no hint that any such hold-tip had been attempted.

Then came the confident introduction by authorities of the “love motive”. Charles “Chic” Hunt, former South Camden pugilist and one of those present at the time of the slaying. Mr. Hunt argued with Cimini over a girl the detectives hinted, and this had precipitated the battle.

Woman Reverses Story

But today, from the Cupid’s bow lips at pretty Katherine Rosalie there issued a statement which wrecked the suspected love triangle in the case, so prominently put forward yesterday as “the real solution.”

"I never knew this Cimini,” declared Mrs. Rosalie.

‘‘I’m not Chick Hunt’s girl’’ added the 22-year-old brunette who, up until that moment, had been called “Chick’s sweetie” by investigators.

“I’m not anybody’s girl,” she asserted positively, her dark eyes flashing in a manner that proved to interview­ers she certainly would encounter no difficulty in attaining the status she so decisively denied.

It was yesterday, shortly after Joseph Deven had been committed to jail without bail on a murder charge, that Rosalie went to the County Courthouse and told her story to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow.

Search for Husband

Immediately thereafter, County Solicitor Walter Keown, attorney for Deven, Hunt and two of the other witnesses who are ranged on the side of “Polack Joe” in the case, declared his belief “the shooting came as a result of a plot between Cimini and Rosalie, because Rosalie was jealous of Hunt”.

Accepting this version, Varbalow announced that a search would be made for John Rosalie, husband of the young woman who was called “Chick’s girl”. The inferential theory, according to Varbalow, was that Cimini was a friend of Rosalie, and that he had taken up his friend’s cause by calling Hunt to “shoot it out” A melee had ensued, according to this theory in which Deven had taken Hunt’s side. Then, to continue this line of deduction, Cimini had struck Deven with the butt of a gun and Deven had fired another gun. killing Cimini.

Some of this may have been true, according to Mrs. Rosalie’s assertion. But she does not believe that her husband’s jealousy, linked to his pos­sible acquaintance with Cimini, was the real cause of the shooting. She has heard, she says, that Flannery and Cimini used a previous argument with her husband as “an excuse” to precipitate the argument which resulted in Cimini’s death. But she believes that it was only an excuse.

Denies Knowing Pair

Thus the picture changes and, according to the latest theory, Flannery and Cimini entered the Sixth Ward Republican Club on Saturday and picked a fight with Hunt— ostensibly because of the latter’s acquaintance with Mrs. Rosalie, but actually be­cause of previous ill-feeling between “Mose” and “Chick.”

“I did not know either Flannery or Cimini,” Mr. Rosalie told the Evening Courier in an exclusive interview today, “In fact, I have never seen either of them and did not know who they were. It’s true that my husband and my brother-in-law, had an argument with Chick Hunt. I have known Hunt for only a short time. Since meeting him I have regarded him a. a personal friend, but I certainly do not like the imputation that I’m ‘Chick’s girl.’ I am not anybody’s girl.”

“When I read in the newspapers that they were looking for Chick Hunt’s girl, however, I remembered the argument my husband and my brother-in-law had with Hunt. I did not see how this could have any bearing on the shooting, but I decided to go to the prosecutor’s office and tell them what I knew in the event that it might be some help to them.”

Heard of Old Feud

“I have read that, when Cimini and Flannery went into the club on Saturday morning, they started the trouble by claiming that Chick was crossing up a friend of theirs. I have heard it said they started the argument by recalling an argument between Chick and my husband.”

‘‘If they did this, it was without foundation, as far as I know. I believe that, if this Is what they did, they were merely using the argument between my husband and Chick as an excuse to get into a new argument with Hunt. In fact, I have heard that there had been ill feeling between Flannery and Chick long before I ever met Hunt.”

Varbalow said Mrs. Rosalie, who lives at 311 Cooper Street, told him of the jealousy which her husband bore toward Hunt. She and her husband have been estranged for eight months, Varbalow says she told him. For a little more than two months, she has known Hunt. Some weeks ago, she underwent a blood transfusion operation and, when her husband came to the hospital to visit her, he found Hunt there. Later, Rosalie and Howard Churchill, his brother-in-law, set upon Hunt outside Mrs. Rosalie’s former apartment at 500 Broadway and beat him, according to the statement Varbalow says the girl made to him.


Camden Evening Courier - January 18, 1928

Swap Punches In Street

BATTLE ECHO OF MURDER AT CLUB
Mrs. Rosalie and Her Rival for ‘Chick’ Hunt Describe Event in Court

Pretty, piquant Katherine Rosalie- for love of whom men are declared to have fought to the death in the rooms of the Sixth Ward Republican Club, today waged her own fight against her self-avowed rival for the attentions of Charles “Chick” Hunt.

In Camden Police Court this morning, Mrs. Rosalie appeared as complainant against Miss Elsie Berendt, 1901 Broadway who, by her own assertion, was “Chick’s girl” until Katherine came along .

The court battle, moreover, was merely an aftermath to a hand-to-hand encounter which both declared to have taken place yesterday at the corner of Fourth and Arch Streets. Today’s chapter of the comedy-drama was ended when Judge Bernard Bertman sent both young women home, after chiding Miss Berendt for being ’’too nervy” and “talking too much”. Miss Berendt was kept in custody by Judge Bertman for about five minutes and then dismissed. Meanwhile Mrs. Rosalie had departed in triumphant possession of Mr. Hunt's company.

Mrs. Rosalie, 22year-old brunette, entered the official investigation of the slaying of Joseph Cimini, at the Sixth Ward Republican Club, after 


Katherine Rosalie
Elsie Berendt

county detectives advanced the theory that the fight which resulted in the final shooting had been caused by an argument over “Chick's girl”. Hunt, a former South Camden pugilist, was in the club at the time of the shooting. According to detectives, the fight had started between Joseph "Mose" Flannery and Hunt; Cimini had entered the argument on behalf of Flannery, and Joseph “Polack Joe” Deven had shot Cimini when the latter struck him with the butt of a revolver.

Both Waiting For Hunt

Mrs. Rosalie, after recounting her story of her friendship with Hunt to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow, denied she was “Chicks girl,” or “anybody’s girl.” But, apparently, Elsie didn’t look at it that way.

According to the testimony of the two young women and of Hunt, in Police Court today, the encounter between the girls took place late yester­day afternoon. Katherine said she was waiting for Hunt at Fourth and Arch Street. Elsie said she was waiting for Hunt at Fourth and Federal Street, a short block distant.

”Chick” arrived, it was testified and Elsie met him first. She asked the whereabouts of Katherine. Then she saw Katherine and went there. She accused Katherine of having called her a “bum” and of using other un­complimentary terminology. Katherine promptly denied it.

What happened then depends on whether Katherine’s story or Elsie’s is correct. Katherine said Elsie hit her. Elsie says Katherine hit her. Hunt apparently acted a peacemaker for the nonce and the match wound up in Police Court today.

Girl’s Story Is Denied

There. Elsie earned the disapproval of Judge Bertman by declaring, in great detail and in determined tones, that she had lived with Hunt for seven years as his wife; that she had gone to work as a waitress, and sup­ported him and that he had deserted her several weeks ago when Katherine appeared on the scene.

“Chick” denied all this, declaring he lived at 1213 Broadway and not with Miss Berendt. It was then Elsie received the Court’s opprobrium for “talking too much” and evidencing “too much nerve”. And that was about all there was to it.

Meanwhile, It became increasingly evident that it was a tangled case which Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott is to present to the Camden County grand Jury in connection with the slaying of Cimini, otherwise “Joe Gannon” last Saturday morning.

“Polack Joe” Deven, held on a charge of murder, has admitted firing the shot that killed Cimini before the eyes of two Camden district detectives and nearly a score of other men.

Motive A Mystery

But just how it happened or why, or what led to the argument that seems to have preceded the shooting remained today as much of a mystery as though Cimini had been slain in some lonely DeRussey’s lane instead of in a crowded clubroom.

The investigation so far has focused definitely around the figures of Hunt and Flannery, the latter a storm-center of Eighth Ward politics and police records.

From the tangled web of evidence which county detectives have gathered, it appears only that the argument which resulted in the shooting of Cimini by Deven was caused by ill-feeling between Flannery and Hunt. Whether that ill-feeling had to do with the fading love motive that county detectives so confidently built up until yesterday, whether it was over the crap game supposed to have been in progress at the club, or whether It had a political tinge, is part of the mystery.

Clings to Love Motive

County detectives still cling to a somewhat obscure “love motive,’ though it is admitted that they’re not getting very far with it.

The latest development along this line is the arrival in the prosecutor’s office, late yesterday, of John Rosalie, estranged husband of the attractive young woman, who denied that he knew either Flannery or Cimini and stated Mat he knew nothing whatever concerning the latter’s death.

Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow, after bearing Mrs. Rosalie’s statement the day before, had announced yesterday that the authorities were ‘looking for Rosalie.” Mrs. Rosalie had told of the apparent jeal­ousy of her husband—a jealousy which she insists in unfounded—concerning Hunt. She had told how Rosalie and his brother-in-law, Howard Churchill, had set upon Hunt one day at her apartment and bad beaten him. She said that she believed her husband might have been acquainted with Cimini. 

The theory formed by detectives after that, was that Cimini had gone to the Sixth Ward Republican Club early last Saturday for the purpose of ‘getting” Hunt because of his, Cimini’s friendship for Rosalie.

Theories Break Down

This was the theory that seemingly broke down when Rosalie appeared and declared he didn’t know either Cimini or Flannery. It apparently broke down just as had a former theory, to the effect that Cimini and Hunt had been rivals for the affections of Mrs. Rosalie, for the latter also declares she knew neither Cimini nor Flannery.

It broke down just as had the city detectives’ theory that It all happened because of an attempted hold-up by Flannery and Cimini, for none of the witnesses mention a hold-up affair in their statements to Wescott. Flannery has made no statement, though apparently he holds the key to the story. His reply to all inquiries is “See my lawyer”. And no one knows who his lawyer may be.


Camden Evening Courier - January 18, 1928

Grand Jury Will Consider Slaying After Probe Ends

Investigation in the slaying of Joseph Cimini in the Sixth Ward Republican Club Saturday, is “far from completed”, Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow announced today.

Although the Camden County grand jury went into session this afternoon, he added, the case will not be presented to that body today.

“We wish to present a complete case to the grand jury,” Varbalow said. “Obviously, we are unable to do that at the present time. There are many ramifications. All we have to present is the declaration of Joseph Deven that he killed Cimini and he did so in self-defense. We are investigating other ramifications and are looking for John Rosalie, husband of the young woman who came to us yesterday and told us of a quarrel between her husband and Charles Hunt, one of the witnesses to the shooting”.

Statements made to Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott by witnesses have not yet been transcribed by the court stenographer, it was also stated. Joseph “Mose” Flannery held as a material witness and as an accessory before the crime, has made no statement.


Camden Evening Courier - January 19, 1928

”Mose” Flannery Released On Bail
Shay Signs Order After $5000 Bond is Posted in 6th Ward Fuss

Joseph 'Mose' Flannery, declared by detectives to have precipitated the battle in the Sixth Ward Republican tub which resulted in the slaying of Joseph Cimini last Saturday, was released from the Camden county jail us afternoon under $5,000 bail.

Samuel Orlando, attorney for Flannery walked into Camden Criminal Court with an order for Flannery’s release, which was immediately signed by Judge Samuel M. Shay. Bond was furnished by Flannery’s brother, James, who lives at 1123 Princess Avenue.

Flannery has been accused as an accessory to the murder of Cimini by Joseph “Polack Joe” Deven and also as a material witness. He was also charged with carrying concealed deadly weapons and with attempted hold-up and with assault and battery with intent to kill, the latter accusations coming in connection with two other cases. The bail bond signed by Judge Shay covers all the charges.

Alone among those who were’ taken into custody for the fatal shooting last Saturday morning, Flannery had refused to make any statement to detectives. His replay to all questions has been “See my attorney Sam Orlando.” Until today, however, it was not definitely known if Orlando had been retained to represent Flannery.

Arrested with Flannery and accused on the same charges, Russell Sage, taxicab driver, remains in jail as does Deven, the latter being held on a murder charge. Other material witnesses to the shooting are out on bail of $1,000 each.

The order for bail for Flannery, it was learned, was obtained from Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott by the accused man’s brother. After his clients release, Orlando said he had “no comment to make on the case at the present time.”


Camden Evening Courier - January 20, 1928

FLANNERY PROMISES TO EXPLAIN SLAYING
Statement Will Set Forth Facts of G.O.P. Club Murder, Attorney Says

With Joseph "Mose" Flannery at liberty under $3000 bail, a statement setting forth his part In the Sixth Ward Republican Club affray which resulted in the slaying of Joseph Cimini last Saturday, was promised today by his attorney, Samuel Orlando.

Orlando said he had not discussed the case fully with Flannery, but expected to do so today. Flannery had no statement to county detectives or to County Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott, although he is generally regarded as holding the key top certain mysteries circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.

Meanwhile, the text of statements made by other witnesses to the slaying were still being awaited at the Camden courthouse. Copies of these statements were promised to newspapermen early this week and on each day since. Today. However, it was declared by William McDonald, court stenographer, that transcription of the statements had “little more than begun” .

Release of Flannery and of Russell Sage, another witness to the shooting, leaves only Joseph “Polack Joe” Deven in jail. He is awaiting grand jury action on a on a charge of murdering Cimini, otherwise Joe Gannon, He has admitted the shooting, according to Prosecutor Wescott, but claims that he fired in self defense after Cimini struck him with the butt of a revolver.

Flannery, in addition to being held as a material witness, was charged with being an accessory to the crime, carrying concealed deadly weapons, attempted robbery, threats to kill and assault and battery. The three latter accusations were made in connection with other cases in which County Detective Howard Smith brought in an Audubon policeman and a Kaighn Avenue cafe proprietor who identified Flannery as the man who had attempted to hold them up.

Sage was similarly accused. Statements from witnesses of the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying are said to agree that Sage, a taxicab driver, accompanied Flannery and Cimini to the clubhouse on the morning of the fatal shooting. Bail for Sage was set at $2,000 and was furnished by Alfred Schlorer*, a Camden meat packer.

Flannery’s $5,000 bail bond was furnished by his brother, James, who lives at 1123 Princess Avenue. Other material witnesses, including Charles “Chick” Hunt, who is declared by detectives to have been the intended victim of Flannery and Cimini when the entered the clubhouse, were at liberty under bail of $1,000 each.

Prosecutor Wescott fixed the bail bonds yesterday afternoon after Orlando had made application. Judge Samuel M. Shay signed the orders for bail and the two prisoners were immediately released.  

“The $5000 bond was set because, of the charge of carrying concealed deadly weapons”, Wescott said later. “There exists no right to hold a material witness without bail, nor does sufficient evidence exist against Flannery in connection with this case to warrant refusing him bail. So far as Sage is concerned, he plays a very minor part in the case.

*This appears to have been John Adam Schlorer



Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928

‘CHICK HUNT’S GIRL’ GONE
Husband Dismissed When Brunette of Sixth Ward Shooting Fails To Appear in Court

Back into the notice of Camden’s Police Court, but not into its courtroom, Katherine Rosalie came today.

The attractive 23-year-old brunette ‘who was known as “Chick Hunt’s girl” during the investigation of the Sixth Ward Republican Club shooting affray & fortnight ago, was to have appeared before Judge Bernard Bertman today to press charges against her husband, John Rosalie, 30 years old, of 1956 South Sixth street.

On January 10, it was made known; Mrs. Rosalie swore out a warrant charging her husband with threatening to kill her. Rosalie was arrested Monday night by Patrolman John Hollowell and the case scheduled for a hearing yesterday. Katherine didn’t appear and the case was postponed until today.

Today when the case was called Katherine was again absent from the courtroom and Judge Bertman sent Motorcycle Patrolman Heber McCord to the apartment house at 311 Cooper Street where the young woman formerly had lived. The officer returned with the information that Katherine had moved, no one at the apartment house knew where. Accordingly Judge Bertman dismissed the complaint against Rosalie.


Camden Courier-Post - April 04, 1928

POLACK JOE OUT ON BAIL DESPITE MURDER CHARGE
Slayer in 6th Ward G.O.P. Club Fracas Released From Jail by Varbalow
JUDGE SHAY, WESCOTT NOT CONSULTED IN MOVE
Findings of Grand Jury Will Not be Returned Until Tomorrow
...continued...
Joseph "Mose" Flannery - Samuel M. Shay - Joseph A. Varbalow
6th Ward Republican Club - Broadway - Kaighn Avenue
Charles "Chick" Hunt - "Polack Joe" Deven
James Lewis - Walter Keown - Walter T. Gross - Ed Powell

Camden Courier-Post - April 05, 1928

...continued...
...continued...
Samuel M. Shay - Joseph A. Varbalow
6th Ward Republican Club
"Polack Joe" Deven - Walter Keown
Ethan P. Wescott

Camden Courier-Post - April 6, 1928

SIXTY-NINE INDICTED BY GRAND JURORS IN FINAL PRESENTMENT
'Polack Joe' Deven Charged With Manslaughter in G.O.P. Club Slaying
'MODE FLANNERY' NAMED
...continued...
Joseph "Mose" Flannery - Samuel M. Shay - 6th Ward Republican Club
Joseph Cimini -
Patrick Mulvihill - "Polack Joe" Deven

Camden Courier-Post - April 23, 1928

C. Lawrence GregorioSamuel M. Shay - Joseph A. Varbalow
6th Ward Republican Club - Broadway
Charles "Chick" Hunt -
"Polack Joe" Deven
William King - Walter Keown

Camden Courier-Post - December 2, 1945
...continued...
 

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