While volumes could be written on the subject of crimps and criminals, and while the details of the acts of some of the principal malefactors and the story of their apprehension and conviction would doubtless make good reading to those who delight in Nick Carter and Gaboriau, the limits of our space will permit of but one of this class of incidents, and we have selected for it the account of the running down of the notorious Charles Stimmel and the breaking up of the infamous "Bungaloo" gang.
SIMPLE COUNTRY MAIDEN BECAME CONSORT OF THUGS AND MURDERERS.
ROBBERY, MURDER, AND OTHER CRIMES FOLLOWED THE FOOTSTEPS OF ROSE SHAFOR——MOST NOTORIOUS WOMAN CRIMINAL IN CITY'S HISTORY——PARAMOUR WENT TO ELECTRIC CHAIR FOR COLD-BLOODED MURDER OF JOSEPH SHIDE—GRAPHIC LIFE STORY OF THIS LEADER OF BAND OF CRIMINALS WHICH TERRORIZED DAYTON. MOST OF THEM NOW IN DURANCE VILE AND WILL GO TO THE PEN. INTERESTING REVIEW OF BROKEN-UP GANG'S CAREER OF CRIME.
"If you touch pitch, it will stick to your fingers; even so, if you associate with evil companions, you will acquire their vices."
From a simple country life to the life of a simple city maiden is not a far leap, but from a simple country life to the life for years led by a once simple country maiden with which this story has to deal is, indeed, out of the ordinary.
This shall be a story of Rose Shafor, just a story of a once happy, con-tented, country girl, just a story of how "the crow goes not to the raven, only when seeking its kind." Rose Shafor has written this story herself, in that she has made the facts and laid the foundation for it. Rose Shafor will testify that every word of it is truly spoken, and in her brief career will realize that much that she has made in the history of criminality in Montgomery County is not here incorporated.
HER FIRST APPEARANCE.
Look to the police records of 1900 and the year following—it is not a far reach—and you will find numerous petit burglaries, you will find where the police were more than once baffled and knew not in which direction to turn to find the guilty parties so wrapped up in mystery were the clues. You will find, however, that behind many of the burglaries and holdups reported during those years there was a suspicion that the Cook family had something to do with it—and it wag from the Cook family that Rose Shafor came.
Rose Shafor was born of respectable parentage on a farm near Cincinnati. She moved with her parents to Middletown and at a young age came to this city. That is about the best that can be learned regarding her early years.
Throughout her whole criminal career nothing definite regarding her early life can be learned. Since she came to Dayton, however, events have come so thick and have occurred so fast as to make it almost worthy of a -large volume to record their enumeration.
Rose Shafor moved here with her parents along during the eighties. She had lived here but a short time until she became wayward, but it was only the waywardness of a schoolgirl. It first took form in "street-walking," as the police interpret it, and it was some time before it attracted their especial attention. Then it developed that she had become acquainted with a "bad gang"—and then is when the police first noticed Rose Shafor and first attempted to rescue her from the ruin that they saw she would ultimately come to unless she gave up her evil companions. Several times she was arrested on minor charges and several times given minor fines; but this did not serve to steer Rose Shafor to the straight and narrow path.
Rose Shafor was an attractive girl; she is still attractive in a way, though years of mingling with a criminal sort have had their work to do and did it well, and she now shows signs of "breaking." But Rose Shafor was counted an unusually pretty girl when she met Charles Stimmel, while she was married to Harry Shafor, who is now living—the names are spelled differently, the wife changing only a few letters and not the sound of her name. She was counted fairly attractive when she met Charles Stimmel, and the boy whom she had borne by her husband but a few years previously was a bright, intelligent little fellow, and her mother love for that lad never permitted him to leave her sight.
Just how Charlie Stimmel came into her life will possibly never be known . unless Rose Shafor tells the story herself. And Rose Shafor is not given to doing very much talking about her past affairs. But, anyhow, he came into the home, and he wrecked it, and, wrecking it, sent his own soul to the electric chair and so blackened the soul of the woman that today she lies in the county jail, weeping and wondering what her fate will be; bereft practically of friends, yet a young woman bearing traces of beauty—the picture of despair, the most graphic picture that has yet been painted of the one who did not realize that wrong-doing brings its own reward.
THE FIRST CRIME.
After Rose Shafor had become associated with Charlie Stimmel it seems that she planned many little "jobs" with him, as the police call them, many little burglaries; but she was never caught. However, she was held under suspicion, and when on the evening of November 22, 1902, the city was astounded with the announcement that Joseph Shide had been murdered at Allen & Eminger's feed store at Wayne Avenue and the railroad-it was then that Rose Shafor first came really into the limelight, and from that day she has played a prominent part in the criminal history of Dayton.
HOW THE MURDER OCCURRED.
Joe Shide was a trusted employee of the Allen & Eminger Company's place, and he was just closing the books and desks on a bleak November evening, along toward the supper hour, when a man with a handkerchief tied about the lower part of his face approached and with pistol in hand asked for the keys to the safe, which had been locked but a short time before.
Shide tremblingly faced the cold muzzle of the revolver and dug among the keys and papers in the drawer in front of him to find one that belonged to the lock on the safe. The one he handed the masked man did not fit.
Returning it, the masked man demanded that he get the right key. He turned to the drawer again, but before he had spent hardly a second in search for the real key a shot rang out, he sank to the floor, the man ran, and Joe Shide was dead.
In the alleyway alongside the building a driver, who had just come to put up his team, was stopped by a second masked man. It was at the time, and has since been believed to have been Rose Shafor in man's clothing' This party held the driver quiet while the affair was being pulled off inside the building. As soon as the shot rang out the party in the alley disappeared in the darkness, and within the space of a few seconds the man who did the shooting ran from the building, down the alleyway, and onto Third Street, running east on Third Street.
FINGER OF SUSPICION.
The finger of suspicion pointed to Charles Stimmel and he was looked for about his old haunts, but was not to be found. Then Rose Shafor was searched for, and she too had left the city. With her was her boy, and then the police felt sure they had not struck a cold trail.
They learned that Stimmel had boarded a Dayton, Springfield, and Urbana traction line, headed toward Springfield, just a few minutes after the murder, and they learned that a woman and a little boy had coined him when the car reached Findlay Street. They learned after from the people where Rose Shafor was supposed to have been visiting and taking supper, that a man called her out of the house and she was heard to express herself, when the man said he "had to shoot him."
Together Rose Shafor and Charlie Stimmel proceeded to Springfield and alighted at Face Street. The traction cars enter Springfield over North Street from the city limits. They went but a square north and secured rooms in a boarding-house. It is a singular coincidence that since their re-siding there one of the most cold-blooded murders in the history of Spring-field has occurred in that same house. The murderer is now doing a life term.
LEARNED OF IT.
It did not take the police long to connect Charlie Stimmel with the murder of Joseph Shide. It was all too plain to them, and, learning of his movements, telephoned to Springfield, but Stimmel was "wise to the game" and he got away. Rose Shafor, however, remained in the house in Face Street and stuck it out.
And now comes a part of the story of Rose Shafor's first appearance in the limelight of crime that has not been written.
She "stuck it out" at the house in Race Street, and it was her staying there that resulted in Stimmel's arrest. On a day when she had least expected a visitor a smooth-faced, well-dressed picture-enlarging man rapped at the door and Rose Shafor answered. He asked for room, saying he was enlarging pictures, and Rose Shafor called the lady of the house. The young man secured the room. He started out afterwards, presumably, to enlarge pictures, but could Rose Shafor have seen him signal to a house across the street, Rose Shafor would not have been in Springfield long and Charlie Stimmel might even now be at large.
The "picture enlarger," as he called himself, was Homer Hendrickson, even now one of the foremost detectives on the Dayton police force. He was acting under the orders of Chief Whitaker, who lost sleep night after night waiting to learn if "the boys" would turn the trick.
Across the street where Homer Hendrickson signaled were "planted" two other officers from Dayton. They had secured a room where they could watch Rose Shafor as she came from the house. When she did, one of them would follow her. In the meantime Homer Hendrickson was presumably enlarging pictures, but he grew into the good graces of Rose Shafor and she told him of her lover in Dayton. She would never divulge his name.
Time and again Hendrickson attempted to learn the name of the man and the story of her departure from Dayton from her own lips, but Rose Shafor was too shrewd for that. She always referred to the man as her "best boy." Hendrickson resided in the same house with her for about two weeks, watching her closely, and yet he was unable to gain a clue. Each day he would communicate with Chief Whitaker in this city, who awaited every telephone message anxiously, but all the time he had nothing new to report. Rose Shafor was receiving letters and mailing them, but Hendrickson could not find them.
An amusing incident in connection with the "picture enlarger" occurred one day when the mother of Rose Shafor visited the house. The mother knew Hendrickson and he knew her. All that saved him was the fact that he saw her first, and, excusing himself from Rose, he hid in a pantry and awaited until the elderly woman had returned to the city.
SAW THE LETTER.
One day Homer Hendrickson had a telephone message to send his chief in Dayton that was worth sending. He saw a letter Rose Shafor was about to mail, and it was addressed to Charles Wilson at New Orleans. Homer Hendrickson didn't lose his head, he was cool; and imagine what it takes to be cool under those conditions, if you can. He walked up town with Rose and he "bought." Buying for her had cost him already several dollars a day, but it proved afterward to have been money well spent. Rose mailed the letter.
When the letter reached New Orleans there were two plain-clothes men stationed at the general delivery window awaiting for .some one to ask for a letter for Charles Stimmel. But a short time elapsed after the letter had reached its destination until a man called for Charles Stimmel's mail. He was promptly nabbed. He was taken to headquarters in New Orleans—but it was not Stimmel. Stimmel afterward said he sent the strange man in for his mail, and when he saw him arrested made his "get-away."
WENT TO DENVER.
A few days after this. Rose Shafor left Springfield and came back to Dayton. She was here but a short time until she went West, and then the police learned that she had gone to Denver. They notified the Denver authorities, and they discovered Rose Shafor and Charles Stimmel living as man and wife, under the name of Covelly, in a secluded street. They possessed a horse, a cow, and a wagon. For four months they lived together, and then the Denver police turned the trick. Stimmel was arrested and Rose Shafor fled. Later she returned to Dayton.
Stimmel was held until Chief of Detectives McBride and Detective Neidergall went for him, and he was returned to this city on August 30, 1903.
On September 10, after a long and bitter struggle, Stimmel was bound over to the grand jury by Squire Terry. Rose Shafor was considered the star witness when the case came to trial, but Rose Shafor refused to say a word. She was kept confined in jail and finally consented to testify. This she did.
Passing over the trial, which was long drawn out and bitterly fought; over the conviction of Stimmel and the refusal of a new trial by the late Judge Kumler; pausing only for a moment to recall the successful electrocution of Stimmel, it would possibly be well to go back to the afterlife of Rose Shafor.
CURSE ON LIPS.
But it is hard to get along this recital just here without reference to the electrocution of Stimmel, the only man who went to the electric chair in this State with a curse on his lips.
Stimmel pronounced a curse with his dying breath, after he had been strapped in the chair, against those who had been only instrumental in carrying out the law—a curse that did no one injury, but served to show the kind of a man he was, and events since have served to show that his spirit was instilled in those who were most closely associated with him during his criminal career.
RETURNS TO DAYTON.
After Stimmel was electrocuted, Rose Shafor returned to Dayton and took up her residence near the Soldiers' Home, taking up with Mike Mullen, a present police character, who, it is generally understood, secured sufficient money in some manner to pay for Stimmel's defense. Later, Rose Shafor moved to Hall Avenue in North Dayton, and it was here, possibly, that the real Shafor-Cook gang had become organized when Dayton first began to suffer in reality from it.
Then Rose Shafor, surrounded by Mike Mullen, Charlie Cook, John "Bennie" Stevens, George Hanley, and a few others began to terrorize Day-ton in the way of burglaries and holdups, and to keep the police at their wits' ends all the time to figure out who was who in local burglary circles.
The cunning of "Dayton Slim," as Stimmel was known in life, had seemingly passed to Mike Mullen, and the cold-bloodedness of the man had presumably been inherited by Rose Shafor. Her brothers (and it must be said in their behalf that two of them have since leaving the penitentiary straightened up and are now making good citizens) at that time encouraged her. The two who are attempting to lead better lives will not be further mentioned in this article, further than an urgent appeal will be made to all who know them to lend whatever assistance may be in their power to keep them solid on the road which they have now decided to traverse.
GANG BRANCHES OUT.
About two years ago Rose Shafor found herself so closely pursued by the police that she sought new recruits. She picked on an excellent place, the "Bungaloo," at Second and Clinton streets. The "Bungaloo" gang was composed principally of young boys who had been well schooled in petty thievery, but they were learning fast, and under the tutorship of Pete Foutz and Mike Mullen they were growing to be adepts at the art of stealing and burglarizing, though, for a wonder, no murders have been marked up to them.
As soon as Rose Shafor got in with the "Bungaloo" gang she "got in bad," as the police say. There were too many of them. She had on her staff, so to speak, such characters as "Turk" Haynes, Dave McDonough, Pete Foutz, John Hamilton, "Bum" Oscar Myers, Jack Cromwell, "Sunfish" McDonough, Ed McCormick, Sam Fogle, and that bunch Dayton people know only too well just what the "Bungaloo" gang consisted of. Dayton people have tired of reading of their escapades; and now Dayton people learn with pleasure that through the tireless work of the Police Department the entire gang has been rounded up, with but a few exceptions, and that never more will the "Bungaloo'' gang be a reality, but only a matter of history.
CLEANING THEM UP.
Only about a year ago were the police enabled to got a correct line on the Shafor-Cook gang, and then they started in to clean house "good and proper." Several of the gang were arrested from time to time, but unfortunately, and it is regrettable to say, the Service Board released them from the work-house as fast as they were sent over. But the Chief of Police was not discouraged, and he did not permit his men to become discouraged. He told Chief of Detectives Walter Hughes not to get discouraged, and he told his "plain-clothes" men not to get discouraged. And then they went to work with a will.
Possibly the first chapter of any importance in the winding-up of the gang came when "Bum" Oscar Myers was shot on September 14 last, while burglarizing the store of Wagner & Sons, at Trotwood. The store was situated across the street from the Wagner home, and connected with it by a burglar alarm in the shape of an electric bell.
Along toward midnight the bell rang, and the father and son went to the store. In the rear two men were crouched. Shots were exchanged, and one of them fell, the other making his escape. The injured man was brought to the city and put in the hospital. He was recognized as Oscar Myers. He realized that he was going to die, and gave the name of the other man— "Turk" Haynes. Myers died five days later and "Turk" Haynes was sentenced to the Mansfield reformatory some time later.
Then but a few days elapsed until Dave McDonough was corralled. He had stolen a typewriter from the Connors Coal Company. He showed his ability to bungle a burglary job when he took the typewriter to the home of "Turk" Haynes' father. The old man reported the matter to the police, having nothing to do with the gang or their methods. A search was made for it, and it was found hidden in a haymow in the rear of a saloon in East Third Street. This occurred on October 11 last, and Dave is still awaiting trial.
Several of the members of the gang are now out, either on suspended sentence or with permission to stay out of Dayton.
WHEN ROSE GOT IN.
From time to time the police picked up members of the gang, and while at times they were not "caught with the goods," as they say in police parlance, the officers were never discouraged, but bided their time, and now realize that their efforts to exterminate the worst gang that ever infested any Ohio city have been crowned with success.
Rose Shafor's downfall came on the night before last Christmas. The story of the affair has already been told, but it is worth repeating.
Accompanied by three men, she went to a roadhouse that evening, in the Smithville Road, and had several drinks with them. On the return she was in a light buggy with a man, while two men walked in front of the rig.
As they were midway between the end of the car line and the roadhouse they encountered two young men, Roy Welsh and James Friend. The men walking in front of the rig stopped the young men and, with drawn revolvers, commanded them to halt. They halted, but only long enough to grab the revolvers from the men and turn the trick on them. Rose and her companion jumped from the rig and the horse ran away. When the smoke cleared away, one of the men had been shot in the head and the side, and another in the arm.
The police were notified and given a description of the party, and after a visit to the roadhouse, had no doubt but it was Rose Shafor and some of her crowd. They went to her house, and reached there just in time to find one of the men bandaging up his head and the others sitting about the stove, framing up an alibi.
The bunch was arrested and taken into court. All pleaded not guilty, but the bandaged head, the raincoat that Rose Shafor wore—evidently made for such occasions, since it was lined with rubber and buckled about the body, instead of buttoning—was too strong. The testimony of the man who conducts the roadhouse, the statement of the young men, who showed their grit when they wrested the pistols from the two men and fought the four afterward, the identification of the raincoat especially, all went to convict the four, and when tried in Judge Sullivan's court they were bound over to the grand jury, each in the sum of $1,000, and they are now awaiting the action of that body.
Then came more work for the Police Department, in that two of the men arrested with Rose Shafor were evidently "old-timers," but new recruits to her gang. But they got busy, as the Dayton Police Department has a habit of doing, and Chief of Detective Hughes landed their records. In this connection it can be said that too much credit cannot be given Detective Hughes and the Bertillon man, Charles Kauffman, for the manner in which they have worked in rounding up these cases, and Chief Whitaker is justly proud of their work, and really deserves to be.
HUSBAND IN BAD.
And it seems that fate follows every one that touches the garments of Rose Shafor. It seems that there is a great, big, ugly finger pointing at any one that has or ever did have anything to do with her or the men with whom she surrounds herself. For example, take her husband, her real husband, and the only husband who can show by the books of the Montgomery County Court that he was married to her. That man is Harry Schaeffer. He is the father of Rose Shafor's only known child, Howard Shafor. Henry Schaeffer left Rose when she took up with Stimmel, shortly before the murder of Shide. He left the city and went to Hamilton, and has since resided there.
But a few weeks ago—since the first of the year—he returned to Dayton and, unfortunately, gorged himself on hops. He became intoxicated, and, going to a saloon at Third and Clinton streets, engaged in a quarrel with one Earl Hanson, with the result that Hanson was severely cut.
And Henry Schaeffer is in the work-house for that cutting scrape, while his real wife, Rose Shafor, is languishing in jail, the last of her race, as it were, that has not followed the straight and narrow path.
THE SON ARRESTED.
And then the finger of fate seems to point to the son of Rose Shafor. But it is to be hoped, and the police themselves and the public at large hope that that son will realize the right, and, realizing, do it. Only a few days ago the house of Rose Shafor was searched, and in it were found many articles that were without doubt stolen; and inhabiting the house were three of her crowd and her own son. They were brought into police court, and while circumstantial evidence was against them, while there was seemingly enough evidence from a standpoint of sentiment to convict them, Judge Sullivan, of the police court, demands a fair deal for all, and Judge Sullivan did not see sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The four were dismissed.
And Howard Shafor, Rose Shafor's son by her own husband, was one of the quartet that faced Judge Sullivan. He has grown to be a clean-cut, intelligent-looking fellow now, and the police and the people who know him are going to do all they can to see that Howard Shafor grows up to be a man worth while—one of the kind that goes to make the world better by reason of his having lived in it. It is easy to forget, and he who first forgets one's faults has his own faults first forgotten.
THAT IS THE STORY.
And now you have, briefly outlined, the story of Rose Shafor and her crowd. Pages could be written, many could be filled in a recital of the deeds that have made up the history of this one "gang" that has given the police more trouble than practically all the "independent" criminals put together. But it need not be written, for all Dayton knows the history, every one in Dayton is acquainted with some little or large thing that members of the Shafor-Cook or "Bungaloo" gang have "pulled off." It need not be written.
The only thing that need be said at this time, in closing this history of the Shafor-Cook-"Bungaloo" gang, is that the work of the Police Department in exterminating it, assisted by the courts of the city and of the county, should be heartily congratulated, and that it may be the hope and prayer of every one in the City Beautiful that it will never again be infested with such a gang, never again have the fact pointed out by those who do not live within our gates that Dayton has harbored the worst gang that has yet been in any city of its size.
Even while you are reading this, the fate of Rose Shafor may be sealed by the grand jury as regards her liberty, and possibly it will be best to hope that the one that said that as long as the lamp of life still burns the vilest sinner may return, may be right; possibly it will be out of place to hope that no such history of such a gang need ever be written in Dayton.
"But the moving finger writes,
And, having writ, moves on—
Nor all your piety, nor all your wit
Can call it back to cancel half a line."
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