THOMAS MURPHY was born May 23, 1897 in New Jersey to Thomas J. and Anna Murphy. His father was a longtime member of the Camden Police Department.
The Murphy family in January of 1920 was living at 705 North 2nd Street in North Camden. The elder Murphy was a member of the Camden Police Department. Thomas Murphy, who had not joined the force yet, was working as a machinist.
The 1930 Census shows the Thomas Murphy residing with his parents at 545 Vine Street in North Camden. Also at home was older brother William, an accountant at the Victor Talking Machine Company, and younger brother John, who also worked there, as a clerk. Both Thomas Murphy and his father were then working as policemen when the census was taken in April of 1930. The elder Murphy had made Sergeant by then.
By 1936 Thomas Murphy had made detective. He was instrumental, in August of that year, in solving the Haddonfield murder of Curtis W. Dobbins, which resulted in the conviction and execution of William J. Stephan.
The 1947 Camden City Directory shows that Thomas Murphy had been promoted to Sergeant, and was still working in the Detective Bureau of the Camden Police Department. He was then living at 417 Cooper Street, where he resided there throughout the 1950s. Thomas Murphy had been promoted to Captain by November of 1952.
Thomas Murphy passed away in August of 1969.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1936|
LIBERMAN DISCHARGES 2 HELD IN RING THEFTS
with stealing seven diamond rings valued at $4000, two men were discharged
by Police Judge Lewis Liberman
yesterday when the complaining witness failed to appear in court.
Burke, 42, of 736 Berkley
Street, and John Bryan, 31, of 3009 Mt. Ephraim
avenue, were arrested
on complaint of Mrs. Anna Ricco, of 40 Terrace avenue, who accused them of
taking her jewelry during a party on February 18.
men denied the charges and when Detective Thomas
Murphy testified he notified Mrs. Ricco several times to appear at the
|Camden Courier-Post - August 29, 1936|
|Admits Kidnapping-Robbery Hoax|
Anthony Carrozza, 209, of 1021 Wolf Street, Philadelphia, is shown standing between Detectives Thomas Murphy, left, and August Fortune behind the $389.64 he planned to take from fellow employees by telling them he had been kidnapped and robbed after cashing their pay checks.
Theft Tale Faked, Radio Worker Admits
Youth Who Cashed Checks for 12 Fellow Employees
And Said He Was Kidnapped, Helps Recover Money from Friend
|Camden Courier-Post - October 28, 1936|
HEART ATTACK FATAL TO MAN IN HOTEL HERE
Henry F. Wilson, about 65, of Unionville, Pa., dropped dead of a heart attack last night at the Lenox Hotel, 22 Market street. He was taken to Cooper Hospital and pronounced dead. Detectives Thomas Murphy and Gus Fortune are attempting to locate relatives of the man.
Camden Courier-Post - January 29, 1938
Ermelious - Angelo Naglas - Ross Pandeladis
Joseph Carpani - Thomas Murphy - Harry Kyler
David S. Rhone - Franklin P. Jackson III
Luigi Tortu - Thomas Timothy Sullivan
Cooper Street - Langham Avenue - Line Street - Penn Street
Camden Courier-Post - January 24, 1938
- Pearl Willis - Evelyn
Buffa - Harry Kyler - Thomas
Murphy - Samuel
Frank Luggi - Nicholas Dandrea - Frederick Gasperone
Samuel Ermelious - Angelo Malagas - Ross Pandeladis
George Caras - Michael Dandrea - George Matros - Annie Matros
Sam Bosco - George Summers
Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938
SET TODAY IN GAMBLING DEATH
Jury List Prepared for Coroner's Action in Holdup Fatality
The coroner's inquest to decide the cause of death to Angelos Magalas, Greek chef, who was shot during a card game holdup at 725 Penn Street on January 11, will be held today at 10 a. m.
Coroner Franklin P. Jackson III, of Collingswood, will conduct the inquest and will select his jury of 12 from a list of 15 persons prepared by the office of County Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando.
Detectives already have subpoenaed 20 witnesses for questioning at the inquest, including players who were the victims in the holdup and three Camden physicians who attended Magalas prior to his death.
The witnesses will include Samuel and Mabel Ermilios, tenants of the Penn Street house where the holdup occurred; George and Annette Mastros, who room at the house; Samuel Bosco, Broadway barber; George Summers, Ross Pantel, Michael D' Andrea. and William Caras, who according to police were participants in the card game.
All of the men were held as material witnesses in the shooting when arraigned today before Police Judge Gene R. Mariano.
Doctors to Testify
Other witnesses will include Dr. Paul Mecray, Dr. A. S. Ross and Dr. Edwin R. Ristine and Miss Sophia MacAfee, a Cooper Hospital nurse. Police who will testify in elude Detectives Thomas Murphy, Harry Kyler and William Boettcher and Patrolmen Richard Powers, Frank Clements, George Nicktern and Sergeant Jack Deith.
The jury will be selected from Guy Clokey, Collingswood; Lawrence Ball, Haddonfield; Howard Friant, Collingswood; Harry Chew, Collingswood; Sig Schoenagle, Camden merchant; Raymond Hanly, real estate broker; Benjamin Brest, Raymond Worrel, John Eby, all of Camden; William H. Lorigan, Merchantville; David B. Robinson, Collingswood; Rev. James Pemberton and John McGowan, of Camden, Earl Jackson, of Collingswood and Morris B. Clark, of Haddonfield.
Coroner Jackson refused to give a certificate of death until the chemical test of Magalas' brain was made by Philadelphia experts. The re suit will not be revealed until the inquest.
Assistant Prosecutor Isaac Eason and County Physician David S. Rhone gave it as their opinion that Malagas died of natural causes rather than, the bullet wound. Coroner Jackson then ordered an inquest to be held.
Police are searching for Frank Luggi, 21, of 322 Penn Street, who they say was one of the holdup bandits and the one who fired the bullet that struck Magalas.
The last coroner's inquest held in Camden county was in 1933, in the death of Thomas Timothy Sullivan, and previous to that none had been held here in 25 years.
Sullivan was 57 years old and lived at 401 State Street. He was employed as a detective by the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was found shot to death in a shack in the rail road yards on August 28, 1933.
At that time, County Physician Edward B. Rogers issued a certificate of death that Sullivan had committed suicide. The decision of the county physician enraged members of Sullivan's family and they demanded an inquest.
The inquest was ordered by then Coroner Arthur H. Holl, who presided. All the evidence in the case was presented to the jury of 12 men, and after deliberating for less than an hour, they returned a verdict that Sullivan had been murdered by persons unknown.
Under state law, the county physician may order an inquest; with 12 persons on the jury of the coroner's choosing. The jurymen may be taken from the present panel of the petit jury or be picked at ran dom. The Grand Jury does not have to indict on the basis of the inquest. At the inquest Coroner Jackson will be assisted by attaches of the prosecutor's office.
Malagas, the father of three children, lived at 1110 Langham Avenue. He was shot when several armed bandits held up a card game and he died several days later.
Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938
|Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938|
BOOK 'LIBRARY' CAUSES MAN'S ARREST
Murphy asked Public Safety Director Kobus for an opinion whether Spada could be held on this evidence for a lottery charge. If he cannot, Murphy said, the man will be released.
Camden Courier-Post * February 12, 1938
BOSCO DENIED BAIL IN CARD
Samuel Bosco, widely known Camden barber, sat in the anteroom of the Camden County Grand Jury room yesterday, expecting to be called as a witness in the slaying of Angelo Magalas, Camden chef.
Instead he was arrested on the charge of murder.
With Frank Luggi, fugitive police character, he was charged with slaying Magalas, wounded fatally as he sat in a Penn street card game, January 10.
Magalas, who lived at 1119 Langham avenue, died Jan. 23 in Cooper Hospital. A coroner's jury found death was superinduced by gunshot wounds inflicted during a scuffle between two bandits and players at the scene of the holdup.
Bosco, who also participated in the card game, was one of the principal witnesses at the inquest. And yesterday he readily answered the summons to appear before the jury.
Indicted by Jury
He was in the ante-room— still waiting to testify— shortly after 4 p. m. when Mark Reeve, clerk of the jury, came out and whispered to City Detective Thomas Murphy.
Murphy walked over to Bosco. Ha placed a hand on his shoulder and said:
"You are under arrest."
"What for?" Bosco asked.
'The grand jury just indicted you on a charge of murder," Murphy replied.
Bosco appeared stunned. He started to speak again. His lips moved but no sound came as ha arose, put on his overcoat and accompanied Murphy to the city jail across the street from the old courthouse. He was booked at police headquarters on the murder charge, photographed, fingerprinted and hell without bail.
John L. Morrissey and Benjamin J. Dzick, counsel for the accused barber, announced last night a rule to show cause for a writ of habeas corpus will be sought this morning from Common Pleas Court Judge Clifford A. Baldwin, in an effort to win Bosco's release.
Evidence Held Lacking
"There was no evidence to warrant Bosco's arrest on a charge of murder," Morrissey said.
"If Judge Baldwin is available I will appear before the court and ask for a writ of habeas corpus. I intend to ask the court to dismiss the charge entirely. There was not sufficient evidence to warrant a charge of murder and certainly no evidence on which the arrest for murder was made."
Both Morrissey and Dzick visited Bosco in the city jail last night. They held a brief conference after which Morrissey reported the barber still was stunned over the turn of events but .otherwise was unworried.
Police said arraignment of Bosco would be delayed due to the Lincoln's Birthday holiday. He probably will be taken before Judge Gene R. Mariano Monday morning, they said.
Barber Held Door
Bosco was one of the players in the game, but when the bandits entered, he ran into a shed and held the door in back of him. He told police he held the door to prevent the bandits from following him. None of the players could have, fled by the door, either, Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando pointed out.
At the time of the coroner's inquest, officials of the prosecutor's office questioned Bosco at great length concerning his act in holding the shed door closed.
"I didn't want the bandits to follow me. I didn't want to be robbed," Bosco answered his questioners.
Luggi has been sought for ques tioning in connection with the holdup; ever since it occurred.
Luggi has been identified by other participants of the card game, which was held at the home of Samuel
Ermilios, 725 Penn
street, as the gunman with whom Magalas was wrestling when the gun went off, the bullet severing an artery in
Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1938
POLICE JAILER HURT AS BOSCO HURLS PLATTER
Sam Bosco, Camden barber indicted and arrested on a murder charge last Friday, went temporarily berserk in the city jail late Saturday, police revealed yesterday.
In a fit of nerves and rage, according to the police, the heavy-set prisoner flung a platter of food in the face of the jailer, Policeman William Michalak, who had opened Bosco's cell to give him a hot meal he brought from a nearby restaurant.
Bosco then menaced the jailer with a jagged fragment of the platter that shattered on the cell floor. Michalak rang an alarm which attracted Police Lieut. Herbert Anderson, Detective Thomas Murphy, Motorcycle Policeman Marshall Thompson, Sgt. Gus Koerner and Policeman James McLaughlin from the adjacent police headquarters in City Hall.
Anderson and Murphy went into the cell tier at the end of which Bosco stood, still brandishing the piece of broken dish. After grabbing his arms, they led him back to his cell. He offered no resistance.
"I was excited," he told them later.
Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1938
11 NABBED BY POLICE IN
Ten men and a woman were arrested in gambling raids over the weekend by Camden city and county authorities.
Seven were arrested for operating a "bingo numbers" racket. A warrant also was issued for Frank Palese, 400 Spruce street, a member of a widely known South Camden family, as the "big shot" of the racket, according to Chief Lawrence T. Doran, of county detectives. Doran said last night Palese is still a fugitive.
In another raid by Camden police, three men and a woman were arrested
in an alleged horse racing betting establishment at 1149 Lansdowne
avenue. The place was on the second floor over a grocery store, according to
Sergeant Gus Koerner, City Detective
Thomas Murphy, Jr.,
Several racing forms and four telephones with two direct wires to tracks
now in operation were seized, according to Koerner and
Murphy, The police first arrested Roland Flynn, 36, of 589
street; Neil Zeldman, 43, of 1064 Langham
avenue, and James O'Donal, 27, of.
Later Mrs. Rose Koplin, 37, who lives in an apartment over the store, was taken into custody on the same charge and held in $500 bail. Mrs. Koplin's brother, Milton Katz, posted cash bail for her release.
Murphy reported that $700 had been bet on race horses at the establishment up until 3.30 p. m., Saturday, the time of the raid.
Among those arrested in the "bingo numbers" racket was Fred Rossi, who fought in the prize ring under the name of "Pee Wee" Ross. He was arrested Saturday afternoon at his home at 438 Mickle street by Koerner and Murphy.
O'Donal, Flynn, Zeidman and Mrs. Koplin will be given hearings today
in police court.
Rossi, Branco, Goodman and Holmes were released in $500 bail each for the Grand Jury by Justice of the Peace Samuel Rudolph. Prosecutor Orlando said he would demand bail of $1000 each for release of Girard and Marino.
Refused to Sell
Lodge told the detectives he was approached to sell the slips but that he refused to take them.
Doran stated that Marino insists he is the operator of the lottery, but the county detective chief declared that Marino was merely trying to "take the rap" for Palese.
City and county authorities have been aware of the existence of the new
racket for about 10 days. Murphy and
Koerner had been detailed specifically by Commissioner
Mary W. Kobus to investigate and break
up the ring. The two sleuths followed numerous suspects, watching
The trap was sprung when Marino, Girard, Chapman and Holmes were arrested on South Centre street in Merchantville as they sat in a parked car. The car, according to Doran, bore license plates issued to Palese.
Merchantville police and Doran arrested the four and seized bingo numbers slips. Murphy and Koerner also arrested Branco, while County Detectives James Mulligan, Elmer Mathis, Wilfred Dube and Casmir Wojtkowiak arrested Goodman.
Doran admitted that the automobile in which the four men were found
was the property of Palese. A search was made at the home of Palese, on Fourth
street, near Spruce, but nothing indicating he was connected with
the racket was found, Doran said. But
Doran added he has information
which leads him to believe Palese was the head of the new racket..
Camden Courier-Post * February 15, 1938
Camden Courier-Post * February 16, 1938
Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938
PAIR ON TRIAL CLAIM THEY WERE 'DUPES' IN CHECK FRAUD
Two men who declare they were the unwitting dupes of a third, who is still at large, went on trial yesterday in Criminal Court before Judge Clifford A. Baldwin. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to defraud tradesmen and others through the use of counterfeit paychecks of the R. C. A. Manufacturing Company.
The defendants are Alfred J. Bittner, 25, of 892 Lois avenue and Benjamin Joie, 25, of Williamstown. The third man, accused by the others as the, "brains" of the alleged plot, is George Hickman, now a fugitive.
The State closed its case late yesterday when Detective Thomas Murphy read a statement made to him by Bittner at the time of his arrest. James Mulligan and Heber McCord, two other detectives, said they were present when Bittner made the statement.
According to the document Murphy read to the jury, Bittner said Hickman came to him and asked him to do a printing job. When Bittner heard it was a check job, he refused to take it, saying he did not want to get into trouble.
Refused Printing Job
Hickman went away, returning several days later with material which he asked Bittner to look over. Bittner said he told Hickman the material could be used in a check printing job. Again Hickman asked Bittner to do the work, Bittner said, and again he refused.
According to the statement, Bittner's reply each time was: "Not interested." ' Hickman again appealed to him to do the job, asserting "no one will catch up with you, if you do it." Finally Bittner said he would tell Hickman about the printing business.
Hickman promised Bittner money for the information, and then came to Bittner's home and started using his press. Bittner noticed Hickman was printing RCA checks and asked him where he obtained the trademark.
The reply, Bittner said, was: "In Philadelphia."
Bittner told Murphy he watched Hickman print the checks until about 100 were printed. Several days later, Bittner said, he heard Joie was arrested, and a couple of days later he, himself, was arrested.
Murphy testified under cross-examination a search of Bittner's home resulted in discovery of four pieces of blank paper "that looked similar to the paper used in the forged checks."
Murphy also testified Joie said he had been paid $25 by Hickman for the use of his car one day, but that he knew nothing about Hickman's business or any conspiracy to use the paychecks to swindle victims.
James Bennett, Oaklyn grocery clerk, was the first witness. He identified a photograph of Hickman as the man who came in and cashed one of the counterfeit checks. Bennett said he saw no one else in the car. He said he wrote down the license number of the car on the sleeve of his white coat.
Others who identified the photograph of Hickman as the passer of similar
checks were: Charles Brodson, 1220 Empire
avenue, owner of the Central Liquor Company; Albert Drell,
employee of a meat store at 1192 Yorkship Square; David Raphael, chain grocery
employee at Haddon and
avenues; Jules Rosenberg, grocer, of 618 West Maple avenue,
Edwin Bigger, assistant paymaster of the RCA Manufacturing Company, testified the checks were not those issued by his company. Lawrence M. Crowther, an executive of a Philadelphia firm that prints the RCA checks, also testified they were counterfeit.
The trial is expected to continue for several days.
John S. Quirk, 218 North Tenth street, Philadelphia, a designer and engraver, said he had done some work for Bittner. He told how County Detective James Mulligan came to his office when he showed the detective a copy of an RCA trademark cut on which he had worked for a man he said may have been Bittner. Under cross-examination Quirk said the copy shown him in court and the copy also presented for examination, bore no relation.
Edward H. Fritsch, office manager for Ruttle, Shaw and Wetherill, typesetters, said Hickman came to his establishment for type set on three occasions. Joie, he said, picked up one order. He identified some of the type shown him in court as set by his firm. He also identified a style book shown him as coming from his company's, offices.
E. Irving Silverstein, 5503 Pine street, a photo engraver for the Atlas Photo Engraving Company, identified a border on the checks which he said he made up for Hickman.
Chief of County Detectives Lawrence T. Doran told of the investigation. He said he had gone to Bittner's printing establishment, where he found the stylebook shown in evidence, as well as four blank sheets of paper similar to that used for the bogus checks..
Camden Courier-Post * February 25, 1938
WOMAN AND 2 MEN SEIZED IN NUMBERS
Two men and a woman were arrested and numbers slips representing play of $138 were seized in a raid on a house at 1039 Jackson Street yesterday.
Detectives described the place as “drop” for the slips and said they believed they were left, there by writers and delivered to "banks" at night.
Those arrested gave names and addresses of Joseph Orlowski, 31, of the Jackson Street address; Mary Stanska, 29, of 1275 Chase Street, and John Pawela, 21, of 1564 Louis Street. All were charged with violating the State Crimes Act pertaining to gambling.
The raid was made by City Detectives Thomas Murphy, Jr., and Gustav Koerner and Policemen James McLaughlin and Raymond Carson. Besides the slips, the detectives seized $52.97 in money lying on a table.
Murphy said he and Koerner have been watching, the place for several days and raided it today when they saw several persons enter. Those arrested are being held in $2000 bail for a hearing in police court tomorrow.
|Camden Courier-Post - 1938|
|Click on Images to enlarge|
Pflederer - William Casler - Clifford
Carr - Joseph
Mardino - Thomas
Mitchell Sadowski - Stanley Krause -Stanley Geda - John Lenkowski
Calvin Hunsinger - George Mayo
Park Boulevard - Kaighn Avenue - South 9th Street - South 15th Street - Mickle Street - North 3rd Street Arch Street
|Camden Courier-Post - December 26, 1939|
|Camden Courier-Post - April 6, 1940|
May 27, 1942
Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 1944
|Camden Courier-Post - December 2, 1945|
Murphy - August Pflederer - Romeo deSanctis - Leon Grenkwicz
Mickey Quinn - Mitchell Sadowski
November 5, 1952
A difficult case that Detective Captain Murphy investigated in 1953 was that of the tragic suicide of James S. Wilkie, son of a veteran Camden police officer, John V. Wilkie. For several days after the shooting, Sgt. Wilkie claimed that he had shot his son, in order that he receive a Catholic funeral. He retracted his confession after it became apparent that he could not deceive the city and county investigators, and was released after the grand jury refused to return an indictment.
This tragic case saw the involvement of many of Camden's law enforcement and legal community, including Benjamin Asbell, Mitchell H. Cohen, Wilfred Dube, James J. Mulligan, J. James Hainsworth, Samuel P. Orlando, John Healey, and Joseph Bennie, among others.
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