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the exhaust? that noise?

Q. Did the car start a puttering sound? A. The exhaust? That noise?
Q. Well, from some part of the car. A. Well, it was making that noise often enough.
Q. During that ride, the chauffeur was at the wheel, of course? A. He was at the wheel.

— Luther Boddy, smart and coolly straightforward, replies to questioning by Nathan Birchall, Jr., at New York Court of Appeals, Records and Briefs, “The People of the State of New York, Respondent, against Luther Boddy, Defendant-Appellant.” (1922) : 886

Luther Boddy killed two white detectives in Harlem, then was on the run for a few days until apprehended in Philadelphia. His frequent arrests (for petty crimes) and frequent “third-degree” beatings by police may, in this instance, have triggered his killing of the police detectives. The questioning above concerns his escape, by taxi and disguised as a woman.

Boddy died in the electric chair eight months after the crime.

see Thomas Holt Russell, his essay “A Forgotten Chapter, A Persistent Problem” (December 22, 2020) for a summary of this case and its and its continuing relevance.

“Boddy became a folk hero in Harlem... More than thirty thousand people attended his funeral, and thousands more lined the streets to watch the hearse carrying the body move slowly down Seventh Avenue.”
— Russell, penultimate paragraph.

a footnote —
John Francis Wheaton (1866–1922), orator, politician, lawyer, enterpreneur : stood bail for Luther Boddy, who skipped; despondent (over financial ruin? other reasons?), he committed suicide.

27 April 2022