Oklahoma Labor Unit (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 33, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 30, 1909 Page: 3 of 8
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OFTEN THE CA8E.
Detection of Chinky
"By George P. "Butler and Herbert Ilsley
Dr. Furnivall Solves a Perplexing Case by the Use of His Psychometric-Deductive Powers
T f :30 in the
morning a laborer
with two cents for
his breakfast milk
k wann in his hand
stopped in front of
store and stared
blankly at the
closed door and
shutters. The place
was always open
at five at this time
of year, and he
was in a hurry.
The stillness was broken by the
policeman. Drawing his revolver he
topped with it lightly on the glass,
calling in a loud voice:
"HI, there! You in there! I see
you. Hold up your hands and come
on out o' that! Come out, I say!"
"Well, well, well! 'Tia poor old
fiwartz—he's hung himself!" the po-
lioeman whispered in awe. Then he
remembered that the door of the shop,
fastened on the outside, was secured
by means of a bar and padlock. These
must havo been put in place by some-
body with Swartz in the shop! Then
who could that somebody be if not—
tho murderer! Yes, it was not suicide,
it was murder, and if murder, who
could the murderer bo but Flannigan,
tho only person besides Swartz pos-
sessing a key to tho padlock?
With the flash of this obvious se-
quence into his mind, the policeman
hurried to the store telephone and
called up his station, notifying it that
Swartz was murdered, that Flannigan
a clerk, had done the deed and was
From the evidence not a man of the
fcrrce present entertained the slightest
doubt of how the crime had occurred,
nor who the criminal logically must
be. Flannigan, just before closing-
time on Saturday night when, trade
being over and the shop deserted, the
street door was closed and the shut-
ters put on all but the back window,
had for some reason throttled his
boss with his powerful hands, slipped
the rope around his neck and hoisted
him up there to make it appear to bo
a case of suicide, locked up and tied.
Flannigan was thick-witted, and it
would never occur to him that he had
)eft all the signs pointing to himself,
and only to himself. As long as no-
body had seen him do it he would feel
safe; for he was one of those peoplo
who are continually repeating for the
information of their audiences that
"what you don't see you don't know."
Officers were at once dispatched in
several directions for the man. The
fact that he was not at his boarding
house, but must have returned to his
room from the shop and changed his
clothes at some time between six
o'clock on Saturday evening and eight
on Sunday morning, was precisely the
evidence that the police looked to find
there, and they found it. Flannigan's
lodging mistress said that on going to
his room to put it in order on Sunday
morning at eight, tho usual time, she
saw that the bed had not been slept
In, and examination showed that his
every-day clothes hung in the closet
while his best suit was missing from
its accustomed hooks. And he had
not been seen in the vicinity since
Saturday morning, when he left the
house for his day's work. To this in-
formation the police, making a search
of his room on their own account,
added certain other suggestive items.
A badly soiled shirt, torn up the back
as if discarded in a hurry, was crowded
behind the bureau; a razor, unwiped
after using, and a shaving paper with
dried lather on it, as if the shaver
was in such haste that he could not
stop to clean away the traces of his
work, were on a little table near the
gas jet; a traveling bag, which the
lodging mistress asserted that he
owned, was not to be found; there was
no linen in the bureau drawers. In
fact, all the evidence tended to show
that the man had left suddenly for
parts unknown, saying nothing to any-
body of his intended absence, taking
with him what few valuable effects he
possessed. If the razor remained be-
hind it was because in his excitement
he had forgotten it.
Inquiry in the neighborhood soon
brought to light a man who had seen
Flannigan late Saturday night with &
suit case and a big roll of bills stag-
gering from one saloon to another on
the way down to the south station;
and it presently being learned that
Fiannigan had relatives in the Uttle
country town of Fairview, whict was
his native place, the rest was easy.
He was just the type of man who,
having committed a crime, would im-
mediately make for the vicinity of his
eld home, having neither sense nor
general information enough to steer
as widely away from that particular
spot as possible. Connections were
made by telepho&ft with the police of
Fairview, and within two hours from
that time Flannigan was undergoing
examination at station five.
Me was a very muscular fellow of
'WMMll.MZL 7/6 POO?(%7?<5M#rZ-//r<5//l/ArG f//M6£Lf.
27 years, with a face full of good-
natured imbecility. It seemed evident
at once to the examining officers that
the man would know no better than to
commit murder, and would commit it
under provocation, the last thing to
enter his thick head being tho fact
that he, with his grade of intelligence,
would not have one chance in a thou-
sand of escaping tho penalty. He as-
serted his innocence of the charge, but
in a half-hearted manner, as if ho was
very far from realizing the serious-
ness of his position. He said:
"If old Swartz is dead. I'm sorry. I
didn't do it. He always treatod mo all
right, and I wouldn't do him dirt. If
I knew who did I'd lick him good."
"What did you go away from your
room for without telling anybody
"Shucks! I didn't have no lime. It
was most 11 Saturday night when I
knowed it first myself. The boss, he
says:'Flanny,' he says, 'how'd you like
a vacation?' he says. 'Everybody but
you and me is taking a vacation,' he
says; 'it's the fashion nowadays,' lie
says. 'You go to-night, Flanny,' he
says, 'and I'll go when you git back.
You can stay a week,' ho says, 'and
here's two weeks' wages. That will
do you,' he says. Then he counted
out $2G dollars from the big roll he
had in the safe—"
"So he had a big roll in the safe, did
he?" the captain interrupted.
"Sure! He had just put it in there
—$248. He says: 'Flanny, this Is the
biggest day we ever had, and I'm a-
going,' he says, 'to give you a vacation,
'because,' he says, 'Flanny, you're all
right., and we can afford to be in the
fashion,' he says."
"Well, what did you do then?"
"I says if I'm going I'd go then, so's
to git the 11:45 train and be home
Sunday all day. So he says go ahead,
and I goes—"
"You went to your room before
taking the train?"
"For sure! I had to git my glad
rags. And I started to shave, but
didn't. I didn't have time."
"You had time to drop into a num-
ber of places on the way down to the
station, didn't you?"
Flannigan grinned s!yly.
"I wouldn't if I'd shaved," ho an-
That ended the examination as far
as it need be given here. Swartz was
found hanged in his store, to which
only he and Flannigan had a key,
Swartz' key was in his pocket, Flan-
nigan's key was in his pocket, and the
store was locked from the outside.
Flannigan had run away, and when
caught had told a cock-and bull story
of a vacation, a luxury never heard of
before in connection with any employe
of "Fatty" Swartz, or even with
Swartz himself, who had been for 13
years in that store every day of his
life except Sundays, and all day. The
notion that he should suddenly propose
such a thing to Flannigan at 11 o'clock
at night, make him a present of a
week's pay and pack him off at once,
was preposterous—just the kind of a
foolish story that a man of Flanni-
gan's caliber would be likely to in-
vent. Only one thing seemed strange
to the police: What had Flannigau
done with the $248?
Tho next day after Flannigan had
been committed for trial without bail
a little old woman with beady black
eyes, a wrinkled, yellow skin, a highly
nervous manner and a very shrill
voice called on Dr. Furnivall, aud an-
nouncing that she was Flannigan's
mother said that her son was of
course innocent, and as she had no
money to pay a high-up lawyer and
detective to prove it, she had come to
him as the only thing left for her to
Dr. Furnivall was given access to
Flannigan's cell. He commanded:
"Flannigan, carry your mind back to
11 o'clock Saturday night, and tell
me what happened to you then?"
"Why," he answered without hesi-
tation, "the boss was giving me 26
plunks to go on a vacation with.'
"Did you leave the store then?"
"I left as soon as I put the shutters
up to the front windows. The old man
said he'd fix the back one."
"Was he in the store when you
| "Ye& sir*
"When you went out at the door
where did you go?"
"To Tim Foley's place first, and
then to Randall's, and then to my
"Did you talk with anybody in those
Only the barkeeps. They was
hardly anybody around then. It was
closing time for those shops. They
"Did you see anybody at your lodg-
"No. The lights was out and I went
in quiet. Everybody was abed."
"When you camo out where did
"I took a car for the south station."
"Did you talk with anybody on the
"I can't think. I don't think so."
"You don't think? Can't you say
positively? What you had taken at
Foley's and Randall's hadn't begun to
afreet you. had it?"
"Well, I h'isted it in quick, and a
lot of it, aud my head was going some,
Up to this moment Flannigan had
been talking in a normal manner. The
doctor's gaze had put his face through
the preparatory stages of change only.
But now, from a startled, then earnest,
passing to a peaceful an'J contented,
expression, his eyes leaped to that of
absorbed thought, and he continued in
a monotonous voice:
"I think somebody was there; some-
body I didn't know very well. I think
I spoke to him. But I don't remember
if he said anything to ine. It was an
open car, and I guess he was way
over on one end of the seat and I was
on the other."
"Was he on your right or your left
"I don't know. Seems to me he was
sort of behind me. I'm pretty sure I
didn't see him. I sort of felt him, I
guess, and I asked him—"
He hesitated, a strange, intent, in-
trospective look in his blue eyes.
"Asked him?" suggested Dr. Furni-
He proceeded thus hesitatingly,
groping in his mind for the clew to
the impression faintly traced there.
Then suddenly he went on In full con-
fidence: "No, I asked him if wo had
time before tho 11:45 train to drop in
somewhere for a little taste."
"What did he say?"
"He asked me where I was going, [
and 1 told him to Fairview on ray va-
cation. and I mustn't miss the train."
"What did he say then?"
"Ho said there was plenty of time.
So we got off aud walked through
Arch street to lieuizer's, but he
wouldn't go in. Ho said he'd wait out-
"But you went in?"
"Was he waiting when you cam®
"No. I guess I stayed too long. I
missed the train and had to go home
on a freight."
"You say you didn't know the man
very well, but can't you remember
anything about him, any peculiarity
"Well, he had a funny smell."
"A funny siuell. What was it like?"
"It was kinder sweet. He said he'd
been eating something for his breath.
He gave me some, too. He Bald I
ought to have some by me, it was so
good for a whisky breath."
"Have you any of It with you?"
"Yes, in my vest pocket."
The doctor searched the pocket and
presently found a kernel of a woll-
known proprietary article for tho
breath. He chewed it a moment and
then leaning toward the man so that
the scent must strongly reach his
"Do you remember that smell?"
"Sure I do."
"What is associated with It in yonr
mind? What does it remind you of?"
"Did you ever smell it before yon
were in that place?"
"Why, yes; that Is what Chinky
gave me just before I went in—"
"Chinky? Who Is Chinky?"
"I dunno. He's a feller I mot some-
times. I dunno his last name."
"Why Is he called 'Chinky?'"
"They say It's because when ho
runs to turn the switch tho dimes
and nickels chink in his pocket."
"Then he must be a conductor oa
the street cars?"
"Oh, yes; that's what he Is! I re-
Dr. Furnivall returned to the office.
The captain had just returned with
the information that, sure enough, the
key did not fit the lock on Swartz*
"Of course," said Dr. Furnivall.
"Now hunt up a man-—a conductor on
the street cars, who is known as
'Chinky.' He Is your man. Bring him
to me and I'll prove it."
But "Chinky," who was found to be
a conductor by the name of Alan
Westover, frightened so that he could
not stand on his feet when charged
with the crime, admitted his guilt at
once, and there was no necessity fof
hypnotizing him. He said that Satur-
day night after his work ho had met I
Flannigan on a car. He told him he
was going on a vacation, that Swartz j
was in the store with a big roll, which
he was intending to take home with i
him, as the safe was no good, and that1
he (Flannigan) had brought away the j
store key instead of leaviug It with the I
boss, as he ought to have done, seeing
that he was to be away so long and
might lose it. Flannigan was stupid, ;
and "Chinky" easily got tho key from
his pocket as he helped him from the
car to go to Heuizer's, substituting one
of his own in its place. Running to
the store he watched until he saw
Swartz removing his butcher's frock,
and while it was over his head, en- |
tangling his arms, he rushed in and
choked him with a short length of
rope. He meant only to render hlra
unconscious and get the money, hi9
hastily conceived plan being to throw j
suspicion on Flannigan. who would
seem to have run away after doing the
job; and that was why he had stolen
the key. But when ho saw that he
had overdone tho matter—that Swart*
was dead—the pulley and rope dan-
gling down from the loft gave hlra
the idea of complicating the affair by
making it look like suicide. So he
hoisted the body up and left it hang-
ing, shut the door, put up the bar,
locked the padlock and went home.
He had suffered the most horrible tor-
tures of mind ever since; had been on
the point of giving himself up a dozen
times, feeling that death would be a
relief to him, and now that he was
taken he was glad of it. They would
put him out of all his misery before
long. His only excuse for the crime
was that he was a cocaine fiend, and
supposed he was crazy tnd didn't
know any better.
Flannigan, released at once, went
home for his vacation, this time with-
out stopping on the way; and he never
entered a saloon afterward. Westover
was electrocuted, after a long trial in-
stituted by a benevolent society in the
attempt to prove him insane.
(Copyright, 1909, by W. G. Chapman.)
(Copyright in Oreat BritulnJ
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Egbert, R. Oklahoma Labor Unit (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 33, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 30, 1909, newspaper, January 30, 1909; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc107605/m1/3/: accessed August 4, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.