6 1/2" x 10" Item #019418
AN EARLY WIRE PHOTO OF ONE OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS VIOLENT GANGS LEADING TO THE ELECTROCUTION OF IRENE CRAWFORD SCHROEDER IN PENNSYLVANIA AFTER HER CAPTURE IN ARIZONA One of the most legendary crime sprees that began in 1929 with a series of robberies with Irene Schroeder (Shrader) her boyfriend Walter "Glenn" Dague (former Methodist Sunday School teacher and Boy Scout leader) who had left his wife for her charms. After a series of robberies of gas stations from Pennsylvania to Illinois soon adding her brother Tom Crawford, they decided to rob the P.H. Butler Grocery Store. On their escape near New Castle they were confronted by officer Paul Moore of the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol, who stopped the car and during the search, she fired and he died that night at the hospital. They carjacked another car, parting ways with Tom Crawford headed west, committing robberies and stealing cars from Ohio to St. Louis, Oklahoma, Texas picking up a hitchhiker Vernon Ackerman who joined the gang as they passed through New Mexico. As they stopped for fuel and food at a gas station in Florence, Arizona, Irene was confronted by a Pinal County Deputy Sheriff named Joe Chapman. They kidnapped him and encountered a roadblock in Chandler where gunfire was exchanged and a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy R. Lee Wright was wounded and Deputy Chapman was thrown out pushed out of the car which they abandoned and fled into the foothills of the Estrella Mountains near Laveen, Arizona. A posse of seventy-five men including authorities from the local Pima Indian reservation pursued them as well as an aircraft to help spot the fugitives. A gun battle lasted for several hours until their ammunition ran out and the three surrendered. A Pima Indian identified as "Chief Sindust" rode down the hills with Irene Schroeder on his horse and her two male gang members walking alongside. The trio were taken to the Maricopa County Jail but claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and they had nothing to do with the murdered deputy in Pennsylvania. However, in a few days with some prompting her lover Dague confessed and identified her as the one that fired the shot that killed the deputy in Pennsylvania. They did say her brother Tom Crawford had died in an earlier shootout (though he evaded capture until 1933 when he was killed by a police shootout in Cape Girardeau, Missouri). When the wounded Arizona Deputy Lee Wright died of injuries on January 29, 1930, Arizona wanted to retain her on first degree murder charges but Pennsylvania won out. On the morning of February 23, 1931, Schroeder was led to the electric chair and became the first woman to be put to death by electrocution (the fourth woman in the United States to be executed that way). The process of wire photos were just perfected in in 1929 but did not began to be used by newspapers until 1930. This is one of the first to report a major crime spree. A remarkable example of the three captured criminals by the Maricopa County Sheriffs and Pima’s Chief Sindust. A very scarce and a very nice copy with crime summary on verso.