Mount Vernon, New York, July 20th 1925. It’s just after 2AM. It’s been a long day for Joseph Shumacker who is close to ending his work day. He has spent most of his day on several Trolleys, not because he likes to or anything, but it’s because he works as an Inspector for the Westchester Street Railway Company. He spent his day riding from station to station collecting the weekend receipts which was just over 1,800.00 in small bills and Silver. Now, he was on the home stretch and was headed to the office in Mount Vernon, where the money would be counted and weighed before a deposit would be made at the bank. He was seated at the front of the Trolley so that he could talk to the driver while they were commuting from stop to stop.
When they reached Mount Vernon, a skinny pale young man boarded the Trolley. Currently, besides the young man, the Inspector and Driver of the Trolley, there were six other people onboard. The young man sat near the middle of the Trolley and eyed the two employees without them noticing. As the trolley stopped at the cross street of 6th street and Dunham Avenue, the young man got up from his seat and without making any noise, he approached Shumacker, who is now standing and talking to the driver of the trolley, Raglan Nicoll.
Without a word of warning, the young man pulls out a pistol from his pocket. He fires two shots into the back of Schumacher. Raglin, who was still in the Trollies driver’s seat jumps from the sound of the shot and quickly looks behind him. The Young Man now has his pistol trained on Nicoll’s face. Again, without saying a single word. The young man then shoots the driver in the head.
The young man turns and points the gun at the passengers of the trolley. Frank Schlegel, who was unfortunately one of those passengers, had the distinct feeling that he and the other passengers were never going to leave the trolley alive. But to his surprise, a Cadillac touring car quickly pulled up beside the trolley, the young man quickly heaved the heavy bag containing the weekend deposit that Schumacher was carrying and then he leaped from the Trolley and got into the Cadillac. They then speed off at a high rate of speed, out of sight.
Quickly, the passengers of the trolley did what they could to save the lives of the two wounded men. They alert the Mount Vernon police who quickly alert all nearby towns to be on the lookout for what they believed to be three bandits.
Mount Vernon Police Chief George G. Atwell decided that acting as quickly as possible would be the best say to catch the bandits if they were still in town. He sounded a siren on top of the Police Headquarters. This alerted the surrounding public that something major was going on. Over a hundred citizens went to the police station and volunteered to help with the search around town.
The Chief then called in all off duty officers to report in and join in the search. They formed a ring of police around every street and exit of the city. The Chief was in charge of one section, Captain Michael Silverstein who was in the Detective Bureau in charge of another and Lieut. Herman Mattes in charge of the rest. With this many searchers, it didn’t take long to find out what happened in the aftermath of the robbery. Police located the Cadillac touring car that was involved in the crime. It was sitting a mile away from the crime at the St. Paul’s Churchyard located at South Columbus and South Third Avenue. Apparently, the excited get-away driver turned the corner too sharply and one of the rear wheels hit the curb and destroyed the wheel. With no car, the three bandits must have left on foot.
As the search continued, they then found the bag in which the money was stored. The bag was located at the back of public school number 14. The bag was open and the metal money was all that remained. Police searched the grounds for any other evidence and they found two revolvers. Police collected this evidence in hopes that they can raise fingerprints on the weapons or on the car.
As daylight broke, detectives believed that there was little chance that the three could have made it out on foot and that there was a good enough chance that they are either hiding in their own residence that may be in the area, or are in the wooded areas, hiding until they see a way out. So detectives brought in their special police dogs. They are trained to take a scent and follow it wherever it might go.
While Officers and Detectives were searching with dogs. Chief Atwell and other detectives focus on the automobile. Besides the fingerprints that were being collected, they also had the license plate still on the car. Inside the car, they found a syringe and came to the conclusion that someone in the car was a drug user.
It didn’t take police long to find out who owned the car, a quick records search listed the owner’s as Edna Baltimore and Mrs. Marion Mooney. Mrs. Baltimore was 28 years old and lived in Manhattan. Quickly, the police and detectives descended on Mrs. Baltimore’s home. There, Mrs. Baltimore was with a friend and co-owner of the car Mrs. Mooney. Police questioned them at Mrs. Baltimore’s home and she didn’t give them much to go on and was calm and collected. Mrs. Mooney however seemed strangely nervous. After some discussion, Detectives decided to arrest them both and bring them in for questioning.
Now, according to Medical Examiner Amos O Squire, Police spent a considerable amount of time trying to question Mrs. Baltimore. She refused to give much to the Detectives. They found out that Baltimore was actually her maiden name. Her Current last name was actually Marino and the name of Mrs. Marino’s husband was John Marino. The Medical Examiner even had a turn trying to question her but had little to no success. He was quoted as saying “In all my experience, she’s the hardest woman to question I ever encountered.. I could no trap her into a single damaging admission”
It didn’t take long for police to hone in on John Marino. He had an active criminal record stretching back almost 20 years. When they asked the women about the car and her husband, Mrs. Marino admitted that the car was not stolen, her husband has had it for a week and that he often rented out the car. But when asked where they could find John Marino, the women refused to answer.
The police dogs following the scent seemed to follow the trail correctly, from the car, to the school and then into a wooded area. After a considerable search, no one was found.
At this point the police had only a few things to do to start strengthening their case. They had the car, the guns, the bags containing what was left of the money and fingerprints were lifted from the car. The Fingerprints were identical to John Marino’s. They had his on file for when he was convicted of burglary in 1914, in New York. John Served his time for that crime in the Elmira Reformatory. But finding his fingerprints was easily explained, it was his wife’s car and if he stated that it was stolen or rented out, his fingerprints might still be on the car. Police obtained John’s rogues gallery photo’s and also showed it to the witnesses. They all stated that it looked similar to the man who did the shooting. But none of them said for certain.
Detectives feared that the men were trying to flee the United States by entering Canada. Some of the investigators believed that they might have already done just that by train. It was not uncommon for people to cross the border as a stowaway in a boxcar.
Police and Detectives would go on to search for 10 days before they had a break in the case. A tip would lead detectives Tom Martin and Steve Donahue to 149th St. and Southern Blvd in the Bronx. There they found John Marino and his nephew John Barilo stepping out of a car. With guns drawn, both men gave up without incident.
Since the public was eager for news, officers let the public know that the man they were looking for had been arrested. But this had an unintentional effect as well as over 1,500 angry citizens showed up to the police headquarters to see the arrival of Marino. Police thought it was wise to keep him in the Bronx station to keep him from being possibly attacked by an angry mob.
At the station, Marino was questioned about his involvement and was accused as being the triggerman. Seeing that they believed him as the killer, he started to cut a deal with the officers. He would give them information and in exchange his charges would not be as harsh.
Marino stated that he was actually the driver of the car. He stated that this was the first robbery of its kind that he participated in and that there was supposed to be no killing. He named Frankey Daly as the actual killer. According to the police at the time, the two men resemble each other so it would be understandable why the witnesses would have thought he might have been the triggerman.
Marino stated that before the robbery he and three others drove the Trolley route the night before. They were driving a different car and it was a little too small for all of them. They decided to use Marino’s car since they could fit more people in it. After the robbery and the crash moments later, Marino stated that he and Daly hid in a sewage drainage culvert pipe. They waited until the next morning to split up and make a run for it. He would flee to Toledo. But he had one issue, he ran out of money quickly but knew that he might be able to get his hand on some more. The plan was that he was going to flee to Cuba to stay out of reach of the federal government. In order to get those funds, he had to return to New York but he was caught before he was able to get the funds and escape. Unfortunately, since the time that they all split up, Marino had no idea where the others went.
Marino also named two other people that were involved in the crime. Detectives were able to use all of this new information to re-interview another suspect that had information to give. Marion Mooney was still being held by the police as a material witness. They confronted her with the new information they gained from Marino about Daly. You see the Detectives figured out that Mrs. Mooney was in fact, his girlfriend.
Under the guise that they would do what they can to help Daly out, Detectives convinced Mrs. Mooney to tell what she knew about the crimes and who was involved. Much of the information that she provided seemed to match what they were told by Marino. She also gave information on how the others escaped and who had helped them.
With the information gained with the cooperation of Marino and Mrs. Mooney. Police were able to locate David DeMaio who was named as the brains of the operation. DeMaio was a known bootlegger. When Detectives located him, he was driving in New Rochelle. He stopped his vehicle and officers quickly arrested him. When they searched his car, they found three cases of whiskey.
At first, DeMaio denied the allegations against him. But that quickly changes when he is confronted as the actual killer. Just like Marino before him, DeMaio confessed that he was involved in the crime and that Daly was the real killer.
Speaking of Daly, the very next day, Officers in Connecticut were moving in on him. They received a tip that Daly was staying in a farmhouse and hiding out. Officers posted up nearby to watch the home in hopes that he would show himself. When they saw someone that looked like Daly exit the home. Officers waited until nightfall and then descended onto the home. Officers kicked in the front door to the home and rushed in with guns drawn. Inside, they found Daly sitting on a bed smoking a cigarette and looking very alarmed. It was reported that one officer said “Good Morning, Daly. Sorry to disturb you but you’ll have to come along with us.”
Capt. Silverstein and homicide Detectives Martin and Donoghue traveled to Connecticut to get Daly. They rushed him back to Mount Vernon Police station for questioning. Questioning Daly was simple. As soon as they mentioned that Marino and DeMaio had ratted him out, he freaked out and said “If those guys squealed on me… I’ll fix ‘em. I ain’t scared to burn – and they’ll burn with me.”
Daly then admitted to his part in the crime. He told the detectives that he was the one on the Trolley. When he pulled his pistol, he ordered the driver and inspector to hand over the bag but they didn’t act. He then feared for his life because he thought that they might have a weapon on them and so he decided to protect himself by shooting them. As odd as it sounds, he tried to say that it was actually self defense.
They also got some extra information that proved that he was telling the truth. He let them know that when he was hiding in the sewage culvert, he actually ditched a pistol in there. Detectives checked and sure enough, they found the gun. For all of this trouble, Daly’s take was only $35.00. It would have been more if they didn’t have to ditch the bags because the silver and metal money was too heavy.
Daly was the last to be caught and the first to go on trial. The witnesses to the killings that were called to the stand all stated that Daly was the killer, without a doubt. A police stenographer took down all of Daly’s confession and presented it to the court. They read aloud page after page of Daly’s confession, detailing every step that was taken and what they each did.
When it was the defense’s turn, they announced that they had no witnesses. The Judge then handed the case over to the Jury who deliberated for seventy minutes. When they came out, it was obvious what the verdict was. They found him guilty of murder in the first degree. Mrs. Mooney screamed as the verdict was read and fainted.
Daly waived his right for a three day grace before sentencing and the judge condemned him to death. Forty minutes later, Daly was in the Death House in Sing Sing.
DeMaio was the next to go on trial. Prosecutors decided that there were no witnesses that actually saw DeMaio in the vehicle, but they had the next best thing. They called his partner and get-away driver John Marino to the stand. Marino was able to detail the crime, how it was DeMaio who had come up with the plan and helped them execute it.
Marino actually recreated the killings for the Jury so that they could see how it all happened, first hand. Marino sat on a trolley and played the role of Daly and showed how he had senselessly murdered the two men and then stated that DeMaio was the mastermind of the entire thing.
On the defense side of the courtroom, they did have a few outbursts. The first one was when DeMaio’s wife, Mrs. Margaret DeMaio, screamed out in court that her husband was being framed and was removed from the room. The Defense Attorney also had an emotional outburst when he accused a spectator that was in court, Mr. Dominick Termarco, as the real brains behind the operation.
This is exactly what DeMaio repeated when he testified in court. He stated that he knew the people who were involved but he was not involved on such a level that he had been the one who had planned it all. He stated that Dominick Termarco was the brains of the entire operation and planned the whole thing.
The Jury deliberated for fifteen minutes and quickly returned with a verdict. He was also guilty of Murder in the first degree. Three days later the Judge sentenced him to death and he too was taken to the Death House at Sing Sing.
Just a few months later, On June 25 1926, Frank Daly was set to be put to death by the electric chair. The day before, Daly confessed that DeMaio had nothing to do with the crime. He thought that this information would save himself because this new information would need to be investigated. It didn’t. Daly also had an unexpected ally in the form of Mrs. Nicoll. She was the Wife of Raglan Nicoll, who Daly had Murdered. She placed a call on the day of his execution, to the governor asking that his life may be spared. The Governor understood her position, but did not agree with it. He let her know that she did what she could but he was not going to stop it. No one that was able to would give him a stay in execution. It was reported that then he was placed in his black death suit, he told the guards “Well boys, I’m ready to go but I want everybody to understand, it was drugs that did this to me.”
DeMaio fought and appealed his sentence but lost that appeal. When reviewing the case, the governor stated that he believed that the sentence was fair. DeMaio lost all hope of escaping the electric chair. Before his execution, DeMaio proclaimed that he was innocent and “I feel I should be allowed to live for me family’s sake.”
The State felt otherwise.
After the trials and executions, Marion then was allowed to plead guilty for his part in the murders. He was charged with first degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was given credit for the time he already spent in prison during the trials. He would not spend much time in jail. He had tuberculosis and fell ill in prison and was released early for compassion.
Photo Gallery (Click for full image)
The Who and Where
July 20th 1925.
- John “Dopey” Marino – The Rat and Getaway Driver
- Sentence to a short term and then released because he was suffering from tuberculosis.
- Hid in a Culvert from police
- Uses a syringe to take meds for illness
- Called Dopey because he was held by narcotics squad in NYC on suspicion
- Fingerprints found in the car.
- David DeMaio – The Brains
- Died Via Electric Chair
- Frankie Daly – The Killer
- Died Via Electric Chair
- Hid in a Culvert from police
- Is 21 Years Old
Salvatore Milete – aka. Solly Cheesecake. – Believe to be connected to the murders
On the Trolly
- Raglan Nicoll – Motorman for the Trolly Company – Killed
- Jacob Schumacher – Inspector for the Trolly Company, Had 1,800 in Weekend Receipts – Killed
- Frank Schlegel – A Baker and Witness
- The Chief – George G. Atwell
- Lieut. Herman Mattes
- Capt. Michael Silverstein
- Detective Steve Donahue
- Arrested John Marino with partner
- Detectives Tom Martin
- Arrested John Marino with partner
- Medical Examiner Amos O. Squire
- Chief of Detectives – Arthur Carey
Others In the Case
- Edna Baltimore
- 28 years old and lived in Manhattan
- John Marino’s wife
- Owner of the Get-Away car
- Marion Mooney
- Found and arrested with Edna
- Frank Daily’s girlfriend
- John Barilo
- Nephew of John Marino who was arrested with him in the Bronx.
- Where John Marino and John Barilo were arrested.
- 149th st. and Southern Ave in the Bronx
- Where David Demaio was arrested.
- New Rochelle