1897: Sachs Acquitted

Middletown, Conn., Dec. 29.–Herman Sachs, charged with murder in the first degree in the alleged shooting of Bertrand T. Hotchkiss in Killingworth Aug. 27, has been acquitted. The jurors were out exactly three hours.

When the verdict of not guilty was announced, Attorney Calef opened the prisoner’s stand, which permitted Sachs to walk out a free man. His sister at once embraced him, and the liberated man for the first time since his arrest showed symptoms of nervousness.

Four ballots were taken by the jury before it reached a verdict. The first ballot stood seven for acquittal and five for conviction, on the second ballot eight favored acquittal, with four for conviction, and the third ballot showed another gain for acquittal, it standing nine to three. There was not much delay after the third ballot before a verdict was reached.

After the opening of court Tuesday morning, Attorney Chase of New Haven, senior counsel for the prisoner, began the closing argument for the defense.

During his remarks he most scathingly denounced Mrs. Hotchkiss, the wife of the murdered man, who was in the courtroom with her mother, asserting that she was a perjurer and claiming that she knew the murder was to be committed. He said the shot that killed Hotchkiss was fired from the bedroom door and not through the window, as claimed by the state. “Who committed the murder?” continued the lawyer. “Who got angry when asked about it? It was Mrs. Hotchkiss, and she finally placed the blame on Sachs because suspicion fell to him.”

From the North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts), Wednesday, December 29, 1897.

1899: May Smith Again Attacked

(Special to The World.)

Middletown, Conn., Dec. 22.–The defense in the Hough murder trial attacked to-day May Smith by producing several witnesses to show that she had acted imprudently in being out night after night for long rides with Hough.

Some witnesses testified to seeing Hough hug her on the street. The testimony substantiated some of Hough’s stories told on the witness stand on Thursday.

Owing to the absence of witnesses for the defense an early adjournment was taken until Tuesday. The defense expects to conclude on Thursday.

From The World (New York, New York), Dec. 23, 1899.

1888: Serious Charge Against a Coroner

Middletown, Conn., Dec. 11.–County Coroner Lovell Hall was arrested this morning, charged with assaulting Mrs. Josephine Browne, a niece of Senator Allison. Hall was adjudged guilty in the city court and appealed to the superior court, furnishing bonds for his appearance.

From The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), Wednesday, December 12, 1888.

1968: Stolen Stocks Found in Middletown Pond

Middletown, Conn. (AP)–Three boys found a tin box in a pond Sunday and police say it contained jewelry and stock certificates worth about $50,000.

West Hartford police said today that stocks and jewelry were taken in a Nov. 5 break at the home of John Lupo, 8 Woodmont Road, West Hartford. Middletown police said some of the stock certificates found in the box bore Lupo’s name.

The three boys, Wayne Hammen, 10, Bruce Swanson, 12, and Bruce’s brother Clinton, 11, had spotted what appeared to be a box beneath the water in Pameacha Pond about three weeks ago. The water level apparently had dropped because a corner of the two-foot square box was exposed Sunday when the boys retrieved it.

From the Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut), Monday, December 9, 1968.

1956: Two Escapees Caught

Thompsonville, Conn., Dec. 5.–Enfield police today apprehended two 15-year-old girls who escaped Sunday night from the Long Lane Farm, Middletown.

The arrests were made by Policewoman Margaret Arietti. One of the girls was a former A. D. Higgins School pupil. Officers from the Long Lane Farm returned the girls to that institution.

From the Springfield Union (Springfield, Massachusetts), Thursday, December 6, 1956.

1828: Daring Robbery

Middletown, Conn., Dec. 6.–A most daring robbery, together with an attempt to murder, was perpetrated in Durham, on Monday night last. The store of Messrs. Coe & Wadsworth was broken open by two villains, and considerable property carried off. A son of Mr. Wadsworth slept in a room over the store, accompanied by a large dog. He was aroused by the noise of the robbers, and seizing a musket at his bedside, pointed it out of the window, and fired at them. One of the robbers shot at him with a pistol at the same time; neither shot took effect. The pistol ball, however, struck within a short distance of Mr. Wadsworth’s head. He then descended the stairs with the dog, and on reaching the door, one of the villains knocked him down. A brief struggle ensued, during which the dog exerted his teeth and strength with great skill and some effect, when the robbers made their escape.

From the Commercial Advertiser (New York, NY), Thursday, December 11, 1828.

1887: Between President and Student

Middletown, Conn., Dec. 2.–Ex-President Beach, of the Wesleyan University, and Howard Hawxhurst, of the Senior Class, became involved in a struggle this afternoon which is the talk of the town to-night. Hawxhurst has been found several times skating on President Beach’s private pond, although he had been ordered off. This afternoon Dr. Beach met him there, but when the student was told to leave he refused. Thereupon Dr. Beach grabbed him and endeavored to force him off. He was only able, however, to drag him to the edge of the pond. At the conclusion of the encounter Hawxhurst was still on the pond, but his coat was badly torn. Both sides are now talking of legal measures.

From the New York Times (New York, New York), Saturday, December 3, 1887.

1885: Held For Concealing Evidence

Hartford, Ct., Nov. 25, 1885. Thomas O’Connell of Middletown has been held in bonds of $1000 for concealing from the United States deputy collector a cask of liquor which had been seized. The cask is a part of the evidence in the United States case against Peter Chute, who has been violating the revenue laws in this city.

From the Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), Thursday, November 26, 1885.

1969: Dead Man Found in Middletown Was on FBI List

Middletown, Conn.–(UPI)–Police have identified the frozen body of a man found shot to death in a field as that of George J. Kallmeyer, 25, wanted by the FBI on charges of interstate car theft.

A hunter found the body Saturday in an open field off Long Hill Road. Kallmeyer, who had been missing since Nov. 12, had been shot four times in the stomach.

Police said Kallmeyer had been scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston Nov. 17 on charges of interstate car theft. He was also being sought on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

From the Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut), Monday, November 24, 1969.

1884: Suing For Libel

The Coroner For Middlesex County Seeks to Vindicate His Reputation.

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 22.–P. Hanscomb of Cromwell was arraigned in the city court charged with publishing a criminal libel against Lovell Hall, the county coroner, in the Middletown Daily Herald of Nov. 18, of which paper Mr. Hanscomb is the editor. The paragraph concerning which complaint is made reads as follows:

In one investigation, which was entirely uncalled for, Lovell Hall charged the state about $600. It is time that this extravagant and entirely useless branch of the service was cut off.

The facts are stated to be as follows: Mr. Hall was appointed county coroner in June of 1883. During the eighteen months he has attended, as the law requires, 51 cases of sudden death, seven of which he investigated by suggestion of the medical examiner, and one by advice of the state attorney. In two other cases he spent one day for each in adjusting claims and accounts. For the remaining 41 cases he made no charge for time. The whole amount charged by the coroner for services and personal expenses on the 51 cases is $407.29. Silas A. Robinson appeared in court as counsel for Mr. Hanscomb, and at his request the case was adjourned until Saturday the 29th.

From the New Haven Register (New Haven, Connecticut), Saturday, November 22, 1884.