FRANK TRUAX was born on September 12, 1882 to Mr. and Mrs. John Truax in Camden NJ. His father was a trainmaster, grandfather Clayton Truax had served two one-year terms as Camden's Mayor in the late 1850s.
The 1900 Census shows John Truax and family living at 636 Mount Vernon Street in Camden's Sixth Ward. Frank Truax was by then working as a machinist. He was still following that trade when the 1910 Census was compiled, boarding at 1048 South 4th Street, then working in a shipyard. He married around 1912. On April 12, 1917 Frank Truax secured an appointment to the Camden Police Department. When he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918 hr was living with his wife Linda at 296 Mount Vernon Street.
A Detective by the end of 1927, he was often partnered with Detective Joseph Caputi Sr. The 1929 Camden City Directory shows that Frank & Linda Truax were living at 1139 Kenwood Avenue in Camden's Parkside neighborhood. He had been promoted to Sergeant on April 9, 1930.
Camden Daily Courier - January 23, 1922
4 BOYS BREAK WINDOW IN SEARCH FOR CANDY
Accused of breaking a window of the confectionary establishment of Nathan Katz, 1022 South 10th Street and stealing a quantity of candy, four boys were held by recorder Blackshear today for the Juvenile Court.
The young prisoners are Elwood Trotman, 8 years old, 824 South 5th Street; Edward, his brother, 14 years old; Wilbur Applegate, 14 years old, 226 Sycamore Street; William Hernisey, 14 years old, 219 Walnut Street.
A man passing by the store informed Frank Truax, a policeman, they boys were inside.
Camden Courier-Post - May 16, 1922
Camden Courier-Post - January 7, 1928
CLERK HELD IN ROBBERY OF STORE
Climbing to the roof of a shed in the rear of the Greenetz & Pellicoff jewelry store, 833 Broadway, burglars entered the shop early today and carried away $2,000 in loot.
noon today, Joseph Shapiro, 29 years old, 215 South Fifth
clerk in the store, was being grilled by Detectives George
Ward and Thomas
Cheeseman, after being booked at police headquarters
as having been arrested “on suspicion.”
29 four suspected robbers were captured by police only a few minutes
after they had smashed the plate glass window and snatched a tray of
jewels at the same store.
John McTaggert reported the burglary this morning. He is the brother of
McTaggert, who participated in the capture of the four
suspects last August.
in the loot of the burglars this morning were 35 watches left at the
shop by their owners for repairs. At the shop it was said the owners of
the watches would be reimbursed. Other articles stolen included 26
bracelets, 12 diamond bar pins, 15 pair of earrings, three fountain pen
sets, and six strings of beads.
7:30 this morning, Patrolman McTaggert noticed several men standing in
front of the jewelry store. He learned that they had just discovered an
open window and, investigating, found the shop had been robbed.
watches and other articles of jewelry were taken from trays and
showcases. A safe in the store was left untouched.
building next to the jewelry store at 831 Broadway
is unoccupied and it
was through this structure that the burglars entered. They climbed to
the roof of a shed at the rear, entered a second story window and
followed a corridor to an inner door of the jewelry store, forced open
the door, and entered.
capture of the four men at the store more than four months ago resulted
in commendation from Chief James E. Tatem for the three officers who
participated. With Policeman Edward Smith and Frank
James McTaggert took the four men at revolver’s point. The men
arrested at that time, still awaiting trial, are James Toner, 54 years
old, 1204 Vine Street, Philadelphia; Mervin Campbell, 24 years old, 2309
Carlisle Street; James J. Kelly, 25 years old, 2121 Brandywine Street;
and Frank MacCrossan, 33 years old, of 1328 Pearl Street.
|Window of Store Smashed by Trio of Radio Robbers|
Camden Courier-Post - January 28, 1928
SEEN! FIRES ON 2 GIRLS, BULLET IS FOUND
Camden’s “phantom sniper” has been seen.
The man who had terrorized occupants of
motorbuses, drivers of automobiles and residents of homes upon which he
has fired during the last two months is no ghost, but a man of flesh and
He is tall, fleet of foot, and he knows a man
This at least is the description given to Camden police today by two young girls, who escaped the “ghost gunner’s” latest bullets this morning.
The girls were asleep in their bedroom, in the
Centerville section, when the “sniper’s” shot sped through their
A short time before a bullet-like missile had
crashed through the window of a Public Service trolley car, bringing the
total number of occasions on which the “phantom” has appeared to 11.
The girls, through the window whose bedroom a
bullet sped at 4:45 o’clock this morning are the Misses Redempta and
Jean Napier, 25 and 20 years old respectively, daughter so Peter Napier,
former Camden Prohibition agent, who is now in the south.
Jean, youngest of the sisters, is a former
Camden High School student and widely known as a participant in amateur
theatricals here and in Philadelphia.
That incident marked the tenth occasion on which the sniper has fired upon vehicles in Camden and the fourth attack he has made this week. He fired a bullet through the windshield of a Pennjersey bus on the Camden side of the Delaware River Bridge, struck a bridge policeman with a large marble fired from a slingshot or powerful air compression gun, and fired a shot through the store window of Gottlob Mayer, Twenty-seventh Street and Hayes Avenue as his activities for the week.
was no “blue marble” such as that which struck Bridge Policeman John
J. Rogers on the Camden bridge a few days ago that crashed through the
Napier girls window. It was a leaden bullet. This latest appearance of the
“ghost gunner” is notable for the fact that the bullet was found. Only
in the first of the cases in which former State Senator Albert S.
Woodruff was fired upon in his automobile has the bullet fired by the
“phantom” been discovered afterward.
bullet which entered the girls’ room was of .32 caliber. It penetrated
the glass of the window, boring a hole about an inch in diameter. It
struck a curtain at the window, which acted as a buffer and the bullet
fell to the floor.
Aroused by the breaking glass, Redempta and Jean leaped from bed and ran to the window.
saw a man with a gun, standing across the street” the former said today.
“He was looking up at our window. As we looked, he broke into a run. He
reached the corner and I heard him say to another man: ‘It’s all right
City Detective Frank Truax was assigned by Camden police to investigate the latest appearance of the “phantom sniper.” The leaden bullet found on the floor of the girl’s bedroom was turned over to him.
several agencies began investigations of the “phantom’s” firing upon
a trolley car this morning.
The mysterious shooting by the “ghost gunner” at
the trolley car this morning, marked the tenth occasion which the “sniper”
has fired upon vehicles and the fourth attack he has made this week. He fired
a bullet through the windshield of a Pennjersey bus in the Camden side of the
Delaware river bridge, struck a bridge policeman with a large marble fired
from a slingshot or powerful air compression gun, and fired a shot through the
store window of Gottlob Mayer,
Twenty-seventh Street and Hayes Avenue as his activities for the week.
The motorman, George Washkruz, of 1114
and the passengers heard the bullet crash through the front window of the
trolley car. A clean hole larger then pencil showed where the bullet had
pierced the window. No report of a gun was heard and police believe the shot
was fired by an English compressed air gun.
United States Commissioner Wynn Armstrong was a passenger on the trolley when the bullet tore through the window. He was on his way from his home in Merchantville to his office at Third and Market Streets in Camden.
short time before,” Commissioner Armstrong said,” a coupe driven by a
woman skidded and crashed into our trolley car as it was passing Morris
Street. Naturally the passengers were excited about the accident. Luckily no
one was injured.
car was proceeding again toward Camden when suddenly there was aloud
“ping” and we saw the motorman jump. He stopped the car and looked at the
window. There was a bullet hole in the window but we searched the car but were
unable to find the bullet or where it had lodged after entering the car.
looked all around outside the car but was unable to see any person who might
have fired the shot. We heard no report of a rifle or revolver accompanying
the crash of the bullet.”
When Washkruz reached the Market Street ferries, he reported the occurrence to the police. Several policemen hurried to the scene and reached the neighborhood but found no trace of the sniper. As in nearly all the other cases the bullet was fired from a southerly direction.
didn’t know what happened.” Washkruz said. “I heard the bullet strike
the window and I heard it sing as it passed by my head and go into the
Interior of the car. I saw no one who might have fired the shot.’
Rothery, manager of the southern division of the Public Service Transportation
Company, said the company would start an investigation independent of that
being made by the police in an effort to capture the sniper. The attack marks
the first time a trolley car has been fired upon during the sniper’s reign
of Detectives John Golden said
police would start a campaign to capture the fiend who Is endangering the
lives of citizens.
have received no report so far from the Public Service about the sniper’s
activities this morning.” Captain Golden
said,” but I will detail several plain clothes men immediately to run down
this half-wit and take him into custody before he kills somebody.”
Chief of Police Linderman. of Merchantvllle, said he would make an investigation into the shooting..
Camden Courier-Post - March 25, 1930
TOTAL $1005 IN WEEKEND RAIDS
A weekend of raiding in which 59 men and women were arrested in two disorderly houses, and a restaurant dispensing beer enriched the coffers of the Camden city treasury yesterday by $1005.
Proprietors of the three establishments were fined $100 each by Judge Garfield Pancoast on charges of violating the city disorderly act. An inmate of one of the disorderly houses was sentenced to three months in jail, having ignored a warning to leave town.
Frank Kerr, 40, proprietor, pleaded guilty to charges of violating ordinance 422, while Parker McGonigal, of 1240 Morton street, facing similar charges, said he only worked in the establishment and received a suspended sentence.
Security of $10 was returned to Florence Williams, 22, of 312 North Third Street; Teresa Kelly, 21 of 3013 Constitution Road, and Charles Mengalie, 24, of 314 Stevens Street, who proved that they had not been in the restaurant but were picked up on the street outside.
Thirty-eight others required to post $10 for appearance as material witnesses forfeited their security.
The disorderly houses raided were located at 818 and 1219 Locust Street.
Two colored women and six white men were arrested in the first establishment and three men and five women in the second.
Pearl Williams, an inmate of the establishment at 818 Locust street, was sentenced to three months in jail, while Mary Young, proprietress, and Leona West, proprietress of the second establishment, were each fined $100.
All of the men arrested were either fined $25 or forfeited securities of $25 each.
|Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930|
|Camden Courier-Post - January 11, 1928|
IS ACCUSED OF ATTACKING NIECE
reading and hearing of a warrant charging him with committing a serious
offense on his 14-year old niece, a South Camden man this morning was held
in $1500 bail for grand jury.
Pennino, 50 years old, of 14 South South
3rd Street, a hot-dog vendor who has a stand at Third
and Arch Streets, went to
the county jail ion default of the bail fixed by Judge Bertman
in police court.
which City Detectives Frank
Truax and Joseph Caputi Sr.
obtained from their questioning of Anna Bongino*, of 325 Walnut Street,
and which they say involves her uncle, will be presented to a grand jury
Pennino’s arrest yesterday followed a day’s investigation of a knife slashing at the Walnut Street house.
George Bongiono, 48 years old, Anna’s father, is being held by police charged with assault with intent to kill Peter Di Pise, his brother-in-law.
Di Pise is recovering from knife wounds at Cooper Hospital, where he was treated following the fight of Sunday night.
Although police had said that Bongiono would be given hearing today, his case was not called in police court.
* Spellings are as they appeared in the article
|One year Later|
It was reported in the Bucks County Courier-Times, on January 17, 1929 that Annie Bongiorno was murdered by her uncle. The paper reads:
KILLER-SUICIDE: Photo shows Pietro de Piso, of Camden, N. J. Who, angered by an argument with his niece Annie Bongiorno, 15, seized a pistol and shot her to death
Camden Courier-Post - February 11, 1928
|Samuel J. Edwards|
CAMDEN COURIER-POST - January 31, 1928
TELLS OF LEAP TO ESCAPE CAPTOR
little 10-year-old Mamie Zimmie, 1181 Morton Street, finished telling a
story of how she had been lured into a house, and had escaped by leaping
to the ground from a porch roof. Police
this morning held Samuel Osler, 18 years old, 1450 Mount Ephraim Avenue
in $2500 bail for the Grand Jury.
default young Osler was committed to the county jail.
Facing a courtroom, crowded with spectators, and showing no sign of fear or excitement, Mamie, while on the witness stand, turned toward the youth, six years her senior, and declared, "That’s the boy who tried to hurt me.”
Detective Frank Truax testified that he arrested Osler yesterday afternoon in his home at the Mt. Ephraim Avenue address, after the Zimmie girl had accused him.
the stand and the object of the stare of those who packed the courtroom,
Mamie dramatically recited the events of yesterday afternoon which led
to her leap from the porch roof and her removal to the West Jersey
Hospital, cut, bruised and lame.
girl's leap had been witnessed by Frank Clark, of 1006 South Ninth
Street who picked her up and took her to the hospital. She was treated
for cuts and bruises and allowed to go home. Her father, William Zimmie,
testified that his daughter had complained of pains in her back, all
night. On the stand in his own defense, Osler said that Mamie had
followed him into the house and up the stairs. “When I went into the
bathroom to get some money, she jumped out of the window, I did not know
her,” he declared
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Camden Courier- Post December 12, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Arthur Colsey -
George A. Ward - John
Kowal - Donald
Swissler Clarence Phifer - Archie Reiss -
Camden Courier-Post - October 27, 1931
Wives Give Same Block Duplicate Murder Scares
Two wives, within two hours, excited the neighborhood of Chestnut Street in the 200 block by running into the street and calling "murder." .
In both instances Motorcycle Patrolman Earl Wright was summoned to subdue ferocious husbands.
The first call came from 290 Chestnut Street. Wright used jujitsu to stop William Passio, 24, from breaking up the furniture and threatening his wife, Catherine, with a bread knife. The cop arrested Passio and confiscated one case or 48 half-pint bottles of alleged whiskey and a punchboard. Sergeant Truax and Policeman Devine assisted.
His wife, Hazel, said he attempted to kill her. Wright drew his pistol- Hall handed over the knife.
Both men were given "suites" in the city jail pending arraignment today. Both were charged with "threats to kill.'
Camden Courier-Post * June 6, 1932
Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - Roy
R. Stewart - T. Harry Rowland
Charles V. Dickinson - Arthur Colsey - Clifford A. Baldwin - Samuel M. Shay
Austin H. Swackhammer - Manle J. Steyer - WIlliam Sharkey - Dr. C.N. Mason
Gustave Huseman - John Uboldi - Albert Cohen - James Jordan - Herman Romaine
Harold Nickturn - Howard C. Franklin - Arthur "Gyp" Del Duca
Charles Fanelli aka Charlie Mack - Harry Fleisher - John Cernivo - Thomas Gibbons
Walt Mills - Edward J. Walsh - Owen Sweeney - William Marshall - Conrad Bittner
Harry Underwood - Frank Truax - Walter Kennedy aka Walt West -
Harry Willingmeyer - Fairview Street - Penn Street - Rand Street
Louis Ward - Dean Kessler - Pasquale Massi - Jacob Melzer - Frank Atwater
Louis Scott - Edward Brady - Carl Pisco - Joseph Pisco - Jim Jackson
Woodrow Jackson - Frank Mucci - W.H. Seckel - Davis Keese - Gustave Seletos
Roland Davic - William Bopergola - Tony Basile - Jospeh Gogenti - Frank Garafalo
Edward North - Joseph Carboni - Geoge Huber - George Walters
Camden Courier-Post * June 8, 1932
Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - John Tumulty - Charles Rubenstein
T. Harry Rowland - Charles V. Dickinson - Arthur Colsey - Clifford A. Baldwin
Samuel M. Shay - Austin H. Swackhamer - Frank Truax
A. Harry Moore - David Baird Jr.
Camden Courier-Post - July 1, 1932
Sergeant Truax was admitted to the institution at 8:55 PM. Five minutes later he was dead.
was considered one of the most efficient officers of the police department
by his superiors, and his death was a shock
to his friends and acquaintances.
He had been a member of the police department since April 12, 1917, having been appointed by former Mayor Charles H. Ellis. After 13 years of "pounding a beat" he was promoted to sergeant on April 9, 1930, by former Director of Public Safety David S. Rhone.
after dinner last night, Sergeant Truax
complained of feeling ill. He had been in ill health for the past few
His wife, Mrs. Linda Truax summoned Dr. H. G. Stimus and Dr. Rhone. They ordered him removed to the hospital at once.
Camden Courier-Post - July 6, 1932
POLICE SERGEANT TRUAX BURIED AT HARLEIGH
Police Sergeant Frank Truax, who died Thursday night from a complication of diseases, was buried yesterday in Harleigh Cemetery.
More than two score policemen, as well as city officials, attended services at the funeral parlor of Frank J. Leonard, 1451 Broadway. Rev. E.M. Munyon, pastor of Eighth Street M.E. Church, officiated. More than 50 cars were in the procession that wound its way to the cemetery. A patrol wagon was used to carry the flowers sent by numerous individuals and organizations.
Pallbearers, all policemen, were John Cole, Joseph Lenhart, John McTaggart, Andrew Truman, William McGrath, Paul Jackson, Joseph Mardino, and Clarence Boyer.
Sergeant Truax was 50 and resided at 1129 Kenwood Avenue. He died five minutes after being taken to Cooper Hospital. He had been a member of the police department since 1917, and was made a sergeant in 1930. He is survived by a widow, Linda, and a sister, Mrs. Viola Wilkinson.
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