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.
and Dandrea were released after questioning and after each had
made a statement to Chief of County Detective Lawrence T.
The others were held with Flannery
as material witness.
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
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.
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
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
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
an attempt to hold up the other men in the room. Golden based
his view on the statements of Clarence
Arthur, a city sleuth.
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.
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.
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
Doran stated the witnesses had told him that words passed
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
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,
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
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.
he fled from the club, according to
jumped on a
Public Service bus driven by David Smith, of 423 Haddon
which was passing at the time.
Faster” he is declared to have urged Smith as the latter drove
along Broadway in the direction of
Federal Street and Broadway,
Arthur and Bunker caught up to the
bus and arrested Flannery
as he descended from the vehicle.
don’t you give me a chance to get to Philadelphia?”
asked him. “I can get bail over there.”
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