Detective Albert “Mad Dog” Marcus

Detective Albert “Mad Dog” Marcus

Detective Albert Marcus, affectionately known as “Mad Dog,” is a highly esteemed member of the Baltimore Police Department. His impactful career spans over 40 years, during which he has made significant contributions to his field.

Renowned for his assertive approach to law enforcement, Detective Marcus earned his nickname, “Mad Dog.” Over his 18-year tenure with the department, he has made nearly 6,000 arrests. His unwavering dedication and commitment to his role have garnered him numerous commendations, including two Bronze Stars. He has also been nominated as Policeman of the Year award twice.

Detective Marcus dedicated many years to narcotics before transitioning to homicide cases. His career is a testament to his deep commitment to law enforcement and public service. Even as he neared retirement, he continued to work tirelessly on solving cold cases, demonstrating his relentless pursuit of justice.

Commissioner Kevin Davis retired Detective Albert Marcus's Detective badge # 12 on March 5, 2016. This significant honor is a testament to an officer’s contributions and service. It's important to note that the Baltimore Police Department has only retired five badge numbers since its founding in 1784.

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Police Definitions

(1) Aggressive: In the context of police work, this term refers to an officer who is proactive, diligent, and hard-working in patrolling and preventing crimes, as well as assertive, confident, and determined in pursuing justice and protecting the public. An aggressive officer is not someone who is violent, abusive, or reckless, but someone who is professional, competent, and effective.

(2) Good police: In Baltimore, officers refer to their co-workers who are competent, professional, and effective in their work as “good police.” This means that the officer is proactive, diligent, and hard-working in patrolling and preventing crimes, as well as assertive, confident, and determined in pursuing justice and protecting the public. It also means that the officer abides by the code of ethics and conduct of the department, respects the rights and dignity of the people they serve, and cooperates with their fellow officers and supervisors. A good police officer is not someone who is violent, abusive, or corrupt, but someone who is honest, honorable, and courageous.


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We are always looking for copies of your Baltimore Police class photos, pictures of our officers, vehicles, and newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers; old departmental newsletters, old departmental newsletters, lookouts, wanted posters, and/or brochures; information on deceased officers; and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency. Please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll 

The Rising Star of Jiu-Jitsu: Henry Driscoll

The Rising Star of Jiu-jitsu: Henry Driscoll

In the world of martial arts, a new name is making waves: Henry Driscoll. At just eight years old, this young man from Baltimore County has shown exceptional talent and dedication to the art of Jiu Jitsu.

Born into a family of MMA fighters, Henry Driscoll was introduced to martial arts at a young age. His parents, Kennith Driscoll II and Brittany Driscoll, both practical MMA fighters, have been instrumental in his journey. They have not only nurtured his skills but also ignited his passion for the sport, encouraging him to excel and fostering his love for martial arts.

Henry’s determination and resilience are not just a testament to his character but also a reflection of his lineage. His grandfather, retired Detective Kenny Driscoll, studied Jiu-jitsu and Judo under Robert Koga while serving in the Baltimore Police Department for nearly 16 years. Despite facing significant injuries, Detective Driscoll’s determination never wavered, and he always managed to stay one step ahead. His unique approach to eliciting confessions, which had a 98% success rate, encouraged people to confide in him and share their stories.

Just like his grandfather, Henry has turned his challenges into his strength. Despite Henry’s battle with asthma, he has shown that no obstacle is too big. His technique is precise, his movements fluid, and his understanding of the sport is well beyond his years.

Henry often hears stories about his grandfather’s achievements, his grandmother’s excellence, and how his uncles and aunts have all been known for their abilities. So, Henry has been eager to create his own legacy. He dreams of the day when people will search his name in the search engines or ask Alexa and hear about him and his accomplishments.

Well, Henry, that day has come. Your name is now etched in the archives of martial arts, and your story is an inspiration to us all. Keep shining, keep fighting, and keep making us proud. The world of martial arts awaits its new champion, and we believe that champion is Henry Driscoll.

Remember, every time Henry steps onto the mat, he’s not just fighting an opponent; he’s fighting his own health challenges, and he is fighting for his dreams. We are all cheering for him to succeed, and we have no doubt he will.

This is just the beginning, Henry Driscoll. The future holds great things for this kid. Just like his father, his mother, his aunts, uncles, grandmother, and grandfather, Henry is creating a legacy of resilience, determination, and excellence that we believe will outshine all of theirs put together if he keeps his heart in it, as he is already off to a great start.

This is just the beginning, Henry Driscoll. The future holds great things for you.


For audio, click HERE 

Stephen Tabeling

Steve Tabeling

Stephen Tabeling
Retired Baltimore police lieutenant

Stephen Tabeling is a former Baltimore police lieutenant who served for 25 years in various roles, including narcotics, homicide, and security. He was the first detective to win a murder conviction without a body, and he investigated some of the most notorious cases in the city’s history, such as the attempted assassination of former Mayor William Donald Schaefer, the sniper shooting of seven police officers, and the killing of a drug-dealing state delegate. He also worked as a chief of police in Salisbury, a director of public safety at Loyola University, and a consultant for Johns Hopkins and the Baltimore Police Department. He retired from policing in 2000, but he did not stop working. He became a private detective, a substitute teacher, and an author. He co-wrote several books about his experiences in law enforcement, such as Black October, The Badge and the Bullet, and The Thin Blue Line. He also co-produced a documentary series called The Wire: The Real Story, which won an Emmy award in 2008. At the time of these writings, he is currently 94 years old and lives in Towson, Maryland. He is married to Dolores Tabeling and has four children and nine grandchildren. He is passionate about education and mentoring young people, and he often tells his students, “Don’t be like me.” He is a respected and admired figure in the Baltimore community, and he is a living legend in the history of policing. He has dedicated his life to serving and protecting the people of Baltimore, and his impact on the city's police force is immeasurable.

Throughout his career, he has been known for his commitment to justice and his unwavering determination to make a difference. His contributions to law enforcement have left a lasting legacy, inspiring future generations of officers to follow in his footsteps.

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LEO Legends cover

LEO Legends Baltimore, PD 
A Look Behind the Badge
Click HERE or on the book to buy the book

Dick Ellwood, a retired police officer, detective, and sergeant, has written several books since his retirement from the Baltimore City Police Department. As a police officer for over twenty-five years, he brings many stories of LEO (Law Enforcement Officers) legends to this book. Dick was a police officer who worked in several high-profile units in one of the most dangerous cities in the nation, Baltimore. In this book, he will share stories of some of the true legends that he knew during his career. The author details the reasons he has chosen these men that he served with as legends. The definition of a legend is a person who stands out above others; a person who, by his actions, leaves an indelible mark on those he worked with and the community he served.

The author realizes that by singling out law enforcement officers that he has firsthand knowledge of, he may be leaving out many that are legends in the eyes of others. He does not want to offend anyone who feels a certain law enforcement officer should be included in the book. Maybe by writing the book, he will have readers think about their legends when they served in law enforcement.

The author was born and raised in Baltimore City’s 10th ward. Ken's father was also raised in the 10th ward. Ken once had to make an arrest on a street called Albemarle St.; it was out of Ken’s district, but just outside the line. Somehow,  the topic came up while Ken was talking to his father; he may have asked for directions. Ken’s dad was a cab driver and knew all the streets. Anyway, during the conversation, Ken’s father told him he grew up on Albemarle and added that it was part of the 10th ward.  The neighborhood was made up mostly of people of Irish descent. Many of the legends he writes about in this book are from that neighborhood. Dick Ellwood served four years in the Marine Corps. He comes from a family that includes four generations of people who served with the Baltimore City Police Department. He retired from the police department with the rank of detective sergeant. While with the department, he earned a degree in criminal justice. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife, a retired educator.

The names selected by Detective Sergeant Dick Ellwood Jr. were as follows:

1.   Dick Ellwood, Sr.
2.   Jim Cadden **
3.   Steve Tabeling * **
4.   Leon Tomlin
5.   Donald “Skippy’ Shanahan
6.   Bishop Robinson *
7.   Joe Bolesta
8.   Furrie Cousins
9.   Jules Neveker **
10. Leander “Bunny” Nevin **
11. Donald Pomerleau *
12. Jimmy Cabezas
13. Darrell Duggins *
14. Mike Dunn *
15. Pete Bailey
16. Gene Cassidy *
17. Owen Sweeney **
18. Pete Barnes
19. Kenny Driscoll
20. Ed Boston
21. Bobby Berger
22. Ed Blaney
23. Ed Mattson **
24. Dick Frazier
25. John Ellwood
26. Ed Dunn
27. Steve Ellwood
28. Tom Ellwood
29. Dave Ellwood

I can’t give the reason these names were selected, but I highly suggest getting your hands on a copy. It is in paperback, available through Amazon, and only costs $6.00. Aside from the names of some true legends in the Baltimore Police Department, you’ll read some great stories as to why these men were selected.

* They are also on the Baltimore Historical Society’s Hall of Fame page.
** These are guys Ken recognized and admired, guys he modeled his policing style on, or guys he later learned of and admired.

Some were both on the Hall of Fame page, and among those, Ken admired. I just didn’t know how to put symbols on those names. 

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We are always looking for copies of your Baltimore Police class photos, pictures of our officers, vehicles, and newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers; old departmental newsletters, old departmental newsletters, lookouts, wanted posters, and/or brochures; information on deceased officers; and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency. Please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll 

Edgar Allan Poe and the BPD

Illustration of a Edgar Allan PoeMy Notes on Edgar Allan Poe, 

In reality, Poe was never a suspect in any murder case, nor did he help the police solve any crime. He did write a story based on a real murder case called “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," in which he used his fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, to analyze the clues and propose a solution. In his story, his solution was wrong in reality ( or was it—Poe never named the killer; he only gave the initials W.W.G. ), and the actual killer confessed on his deathbed in 1849, shortly before Poe’s own death. The killer was William W. Gantt, a former Baltimore police officer and journalist who had a romantic interest in the victim, Marie Rogêt, aka Mary Rogers.

Poe's stories had an impact on the development of detective fiction and crime solving because they introduced the reasoning, observation, and deduction techniques that both fictional and actual detectives still use today. However, Poe himself was never directly involved in any criminal investigations.

1 black devider 800 8 72William W. Gantt 
The Mystery of “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

When we say that Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story, we may as well say that Poe invented the detective. In 1841, when “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” were first published in Graham Magazine, Boston Police was five years away from founding the first professional police detective unit in the United States. Indeed, Poe established one of the genre's most enduring tropes when he created the character C. Auguste Dupin to solve mysteries using "ratiocination," or the powers of reasoning: a civilian solves a mystery without an obvious solution because they enjoy the thrill and challenge of the puzzle.

But it does not discredit Poe’s immense and macabre imagination to point out some of the real-life inspirations for his stories. Poe certainly read writings by Eugène Vidocq, a French criminal-turned-informant who established some of the procedures we associate most closely with the detective profession, such as taking an impression of a shoe print. (Some of his publications can also be found in our current exhibition, Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives.) And then there is “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” which was based on a mysterious death that captivated New York in the 1840s.

In 1841, the body of a young girl was found in the Hudson River and identified as Mary Rogers, a noted beauty who worked as a clerk in a tobacco shop. The cause of her death was uncertain, although her body and clothing appeared to be battered. Years later, Edgar Allan Poe would write that “the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world." Perhaps that’s why the death of “The Beautiful Cigar Girl” inspired numerous theories, speculation, and gossip—not all of it poetical. Some posited gang violence. When Mary’s fiancé committed suicide several months later, many considered his despair to be evidence of his guilt. Mary’s past and present came under scrutiny, and when it was revealed that she had disappeared from her home under mysterious circumstances for one day several years earlier, attempted suicide or some other trouble seemed plausible. The coroner's report found no evidence that Mary had been pregnant, but a well-liked theory held that she had experienced a botched termination by Madame Restell, a woman well-known for the services she provided to women who did not want to become pregnant. (Incidentally, Madame Restell too is represented in our exhibition gallery; check the wall of broadsheets to find her portrait in a gazette of criminals.) But despite the intensity of public interest—maybe even because of it, as the case inspired several false confessions—the mystery of Mary Rogers was never solved.

In “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” Poe references Mary Rogers outright and suggests that readers familiar with her case (i.e., everyone at that time) might reconsider it in light of a similar story that took place in France. This similar story is Poe’s fiction, but it features all the details that made the real Mary’s death so fascinating to her contemporaries: the beautiful shopgirl, the fiancé’s suicide, and the injuries of the fictional Marie recounted in lurid detail. Then Poe’s story offers something that the facts of the real case could not: an account of the events that led up to the body’s discovery. Poe's Detective C. Auguste Dupin walks the reader through the murder step by step, from the arrangement of the victim’s clothes to her transportation to the river. The effect is both salacious and educational.

So did Poe crack the case? His contemporaries seemed to think not, but a former Baltimore police officer confessed to killing Mary Rogers, the young woman whose murder inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.". His name was William W. Gantt prior to his work as a patrolman. Gantt was also a former journalist who had moved to New York from Baltimore in 1839. He had met Rogers at her cigar shop and had fallen in love with her. He claimed that he had taken her on a boat ride on the Hudson River on July 25, 1841, and had killed her in a fit of jealousy after she rejected his marriage proposal. He then threw her body into the water before fleeing the scene.

Gantt had read Poe’s story and said he was amazed by how close Poe had come to the truth in the case. He said that Poe had correctly identified the location of the murder, Poe had correctly identified the motive of the killer, and Poe had correctly identified the manner of death. He also said that Poe had almost guessed his identity, as he had used his initials (W.W.G.) in the story as a clue. However, Poe had never revealed the name of the murderer publicly. Poe wouldn't have had the chance to learn of this confession before William W. Gantt's death.

Gantt confessed to the murder on his deathbed in 1849, as he was dying of tuberculosis in a Baltimore hospital. He asked for a priest to hear his confession. He also wrote a letter to the New York Herald, in which he admitted his guilt and explained his actions. He said that for the previous eight years, guilt and fear had plagued him, and he wanted to clear his conscience before passing. He also expressed his admiration for Poe and his detective fiction, as it had come so close to being non-fiction.

Gantt’s confession was published in the New York Herald on October 7, 1849, the same day that Poe died in Baltimore under mysterious circumstances. It is unknown if Poe ever learned of Gantt’s confession or if he had any connection to him. The only piece of evidence connecting Gantt to Mary Rogers' murder was his confession, and no other source ever corroborated it. Some historians have doubted the authenticity of Gantt’s confession and have suggested that it was a hoax or a delusion. However, others have accepted it as the final solution to the mystery of Mary Rogers and have praised Poe for his remarkable insight and imagination.

“The Mystery of Marie Roget” was probably the least popular of his mysteries. But this story nonetheless established yet more of the tropes that would become vital to the genre of detective fiction: the practice of mentally walking through the crime scene to discover overlooked details and the “poetical” impact of the death of a beautiful girl.

1 black devider 800 8 72Edgar Allan Poe
and the
Baltimore Police Department

Edgar Allan Poe revolutionized the literary genre of mystery with his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” He created the first fictional detective who solved crimes by using logic and observation rather than intuition, community support, or luck.

Poe’s life and work were full of mystery and drama, as some movies have shown. They imagined him as both a target and a solver of crimes, using his own fiction as a guide. These stories were not true, but they added to the appeal and mystery of Poe’s legacy. Poe’s stories also had a real impact on crime solving, as they inspired many detectives to follow his logic and style. Poe not only created a character; he also shaped a profession that has been using his techniques for almost 200 years. Poe’s influence also reached other writers, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created one of the most famous fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes.

According to some accounts, Poe was found unconscious and delirious in a tavern in Baltimore on October 3, 1849, by a man named Joseph W. Walker, who was a printer and a member of the Fourth Ward Watch, a volunteer police force. Walker sent a note to Poe’s friend, Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass, asking for help. Snodgrass arrived and saw that Poe was wearing someone else’s clothes and was in a state of "beastly intoxication." He took Poe to the Washington College Hospital, where Poe died four days later. The exact cause of Poe’s condition and death remains a mystery, but some theories suggest that he was a victim of cooping, a form of electoral fraud in which people were kidnapped, drugged, and forced to vote multiple times for a certain candidate. The tavern where Poe was found was a polling place for the 1849 Baltimore mayoral election, and Poe’s strange clothes could have been used to disguise him as a different voter.

However, Poe was also involved in a murder case that he helped solve with his detective fiction. In 1842, Poe published “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," a sequel to his first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” The story was based on the real-life murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers, a cigar shop employee who was found dead in the Hudson River in New York in 1841. Poe used the details of the case, which was widely reported in the newspapers, and transposed them to Paris, where his fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, solved the mystery by using his analytical skills and newspaper clippings. Poe claimed that his solution was correct and that he knew the identity of the murderer, but he never revealed it publicly.

However, in 1849, a few months before Poe’s death, a man named William W. Gantt confessed to the murder of Mary Rogers on his deathbed. Gantt was a former Baltimore police officer who had moved to New York and became a journalist. He had met Rogers at her shop and had a romantic relationship with her. He admitted that he had taken her on a boat ride and had killed her in a fit of jealousy. He also said that he had read Poe’s story and was amazed by how close Poe had come to the truth. Gantt’s confession was published in the New York Herald on October 7, 1849, the same day that Poe died in Baltimore. It is unknown if Poe ever learned of Gantt’s confession or if he had any connection to him.

Poe’s death and his involvement in the murder case have inspired many works of fiction and non-fiction, such as The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl, The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard, and The Poe Museum by Edward Pettit.

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What really happened to the master of the macabre in the days leading up to his death here 174 years ago?


PUBLISHED: October 2, 1994
UPDATED: October 24, 2018

Death has reared himself a throne... In a strange city, lying alone

On a balmy Friday in late September 1849, a middle-aged man with curly brown hair and deep pouches under his eyes stood among the passengers of a smoke- and cinder-belching steamship as it slid into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

No diary, letter, or newspaper article recorded his arrival. But it’s likely he wore his trademark threadbare black suit with a boutonniere and black bow tie. He probably held a Malacca cane, which he was later found clutching.

As he stepped off the ship, perhaps the ancient side-wheeler Pocahontas, he may have plunged into the mob of hansom cab drivers and hotel hawkers that often greeted visitors at the wharves.

One thing is certain: On Sept. 28, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe vanished into the city’s crowded, noisy, and dangerous streets.

Five days later, he was discovered muttering incoherently and dressed in filthy, outlandish clothes in the first-floor saloon of a hotel in what is now Little Italy. Taken by friends to a hospital in East Baltimore, he spent nearly four days wrestling with invisible demons.

Before dawn on Sunday, Oct. 7—145 years ago this week—the acclaimed writer died with a hoarse plea: “Lord, help my poor soul.”

It was a fitting coda to a remarkable, troubled life.

An author of horror tales about premature burials and corpses springing to life, Poe himself died in a mental maelstrom of confusion and terror.

With the publication of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in 1841, he invented the genre of detective fiction. Yet he left few clues about the events that led to his own death—a puzzle that has intrigued, divided, and stumped historians, fans, and critics for almost a century and a half.

According to Jeffrey Savoye, the secretary of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, "his mystery attracts people who are interested in Poe." “His death is so shrouded by so much disinformation and lack of information that we don’t know why he died, and we’ll probably never know.”

Yet Poe’s death amounts to more than just a mystery tale or an antique celebrity scandal. It resembles a faded family album, full of disturbingly familiar faces.

There are fading images of a city scarred by violence. Daguerreotypes of a society split by ethnic divisions. And an intimate portrait of a prodigious talent tragically destroyed, or foolishly squandered—but in any event, lost.

“There are some secrets that do not permit themselves to be told.”

From “The Man of the Crowd”

Born in Boston, where his parents were working as actors, Edgar Allan Poe was orphaned before he was 2 years old.

After his mother died, he was raised in the household of John Allan, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Va. John Allan fed and clothed Edgar and paid to send him to school. But he never adopted the boy, and the pair began to quarrel as Poe grew older. Ultimately, they fought over Poe’s college debts and career plans, which severed relations.

After stints as a student at the University of Virginia, as an Army recruit, and as a cadet at West Point, Poe moved to Baltimore, where he lived with relatives.

This is where he struggled to launch his writing career. This is probably where, in 1835, he married his 13-year-old first cousin, Virginia. After a few years, the restless artist moved on to work as an editor, critic, and writer in Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York.

When Poe arrived here on Friday, Sept. 28, 1849, he was a 40-year-old widower and an accomplished man of letters. The internationally known author of the poem “The Raven” was a master of Gothic fiction and one of the most prominent literary critics of his day.

The stop in Baltimore was expected to be brief. In Richmond, Poe had proposed to a wealthy widow—a childhood sweetheart—then set off for New York, probably to pack up his things for the move to Virginia.

He had taken a steamer to Baltimore, then planned to continue north by train, stopping in Philadelphia long enough to edit a book of poetry by the wife of a piano manufacturer and collect a $100 fee.

The author had much to look forward to: his coming marriage, the move from New York to his boyhood home of Richmond, and his long-delayed plans to launch a literary magazine.

But he was also a troubled man.

In an age before effective copyright laws, Poe was chronically broke and forced to borrow small sums of money. His wife's death from tuberculosis two years earlier still troubled him. He was in poor health and sometimes drank excessively. A few weeks before leaving Richmond, he joined the Sons of Temperance and swore never to drink alcohol again.

Throughout his life, he quarreled with bosses, had trouble holding onto a job, and frequently moved from city to city. Weeks of lassitude would follow months of overwork.

In November 1848, he tried to commit suicide with an overdose of laudanum, or liquid opium.

“I have been terribly depressed since birth,” Poe wrote to a friend the year he died. “I cannot express to you how terribly I have been suffering from gloom. . . . I am full of dark foreboding. Nothing cheers or comforts me. My life seems wasted, the future a dreary blank.”

“Once upon a midnight dreary . . . “

From “The Raven”

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1849, brought rain and an early chill to Baltimore. Smoke curled from chimneys. It was Election Day for members of Congress and the state legislature, and men sloshed through the streets to the city’s polling places, many of them neighborhood saloons.

That afternoon, Joseph W. Walker, a Baltimore Sun compositor, dove into Gunner’s Hall, a hotel and tavern on Lombard Street owned by a man named Ryan. Fourth Ward voters and patrons mingled in the tavern, located just east of the Jones Falls in present-day Little Italy.

Walker talked to a raggedly dressed man. Shocked at the man’s condition, he scribbled a note and dispatched it to Dr. Joseph Evans Snodgrass, a physician who lived on nearby High Street.

“Dear Sir: There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan’s 4th ward polls who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe and who appears in great distress, and he says he is acquainted with you, and I assure you, he is in need of immediate assistance.

“Yours in haste, Jos. W. Walker.”

Snodgrass, once editor of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter and a longtime friend of the poet, later recalled that when he arrived, Poe sat slumped in a chair with “an aspect of vacant stupidity that made me shudder.” On his head was a “cheap palm-leaf” hat; around his shoulders, a second-hand coat. He wore dingy and badly fitting pants and a rumpled, soiled shirt. He had a Malacca cane.

Poe mumbled and seemed almost paralyzed.

The doctor tried to rent a room upstairs for the sick man, but the hotel was full. About this time, Henry Herring, a well-off lumber dealer and Virginia Poe’s uncle, walked in. He offered to help his nephew-in-law, but refused to take the sick man home with him. In the past, Herring said, Poe had abused him and been ungrateful for his help—presumably when Poe was drunk.

So Snodgrass and others carried Poe into a horse-drawn cab, which took him to what was then called the Washington Medical College and is now Church Hospital—at the crest of Broadway in East Baltimore.

Dr. John J. Moran, the young resident physician, put his patient in a second-floor room with a view of Fells Point, Locust Point, and the harbor.

There, Poe passed out.

“It was the most noisome quarter... where everything wore the worst impression of the most deplorable poverty and of the most desperate crime... Horrible filth festered in the dammed-up gutters. The whole atmosphere teemed with desolation.”

From “The Man of the Crowd”

What happened between the time Poe left the docks on Friday and that next Wednesday when he wound up in Gunner’s, just a few blocks east? No first-hand accounts survive about his five days missing in Baltimore. Rumor and speculation have filled the void.

It’s clear, though, that in 1849, Baltimore’s streets were dangerous places for a stranger to wander.

A noisy, restless, and rapidly growing city of 169,000 residents, Baltimore was one of the nation’s largest urban centers and a commercial hub of the booming South. Iron foundries pumped smoke skyward. A forest of ship masts jammed the Inner Harbor. Merchants peddled goods from Pratt Street warehouses or clapboard storefronts lining Baltimore Street.

Baltimore was just beginning to acquire its rich ethnic texture. Irish immigrants came to escape the potato famine of 1845–1849. German political dissidents arrived at the docks, fleeing repression after the collapse of their country’s 1848 liberal revolution. By 1850, about one out of five Baltimoreans was born overseas.

The city’s population of free blacks and fugitive slaves was one of the nation’s largest and was growing rapidly. Still, slave traders were busy here. Coffles of chained men, women, and children were sometimes marched through downtown streets.

Immigrants competed for scarce jobs with free blacks and migrants from America’s rural areas.

Knots of young men loitered around saloons or the streets. Whiskey was cheap and generally more potent than it is today. Temperance advocates, meanwhile, battled the bottle with a righteous vigor.

Neighborhood gangs, usually made up of members of a single ethnic group, flourished. Adopting names like the Eighth Ward Blaggards, the Red Necks, and Butt Enders, they attacked rival gangs or unlucky bystanders, employing fists, clubs, knives, and pistols.

Many gang members also worked as firemen in the city’s numerous private companies, which raced each other to blazes. Sometimes, while the building burned, competing companies would battle for the right to fight the fire and the right to collect the insurance company’s fee for dousing the flames. Firefighters were even suspected of committing arson to drum up business.

A handful of police officers and night watchmen struggled to cope with the growing violence. In five years, the city jail population will grow by 40 percent.

Violence escalated during the election season. And Poe was unlucky enough to arrive here during a fierce political battle.

The Whig Party had controlled Maryland politics for the previous decade but saw its grip slip. Democrats, meanwhile, aggressively recruited immigrants and were gradually eroding their rivals’ power.

As in most major American cities in the early 19th century, election fraud was widespread in Baltimore. One popular form of ballot rigging was called “cooping.”

A few days before Election Day, gangs of thugs roved the city, rounding up drunkards and the homeless. They furnished their captives with liquor and food and kept them in a basement or back room, like chickens in a coop. On Election Day, these hapless citizens were herded to the polls to vote repeatedly for the candidates of the party that sponsored the gang.

There were no voters’ lists. Balloting was done with color-coded cards, so there was nothing secret about it. Election judges, who were charged with challenging the qualifications of suspicious voters, were often bribed to look the other way, says Robert I. Cottam Jr., a Baltimore historian who has studied the politics and gang violence of the era.

By some accounts, there was a notorious Whig coop in the rear of an old firehouse on High Street, near Gunner’s saloon.

Poe—injured, sick, drunk, or perhaps just vulnerable-looking—was scooped from the streets by a gang and carried off to their coop, some biographers and historians strongly suspect.

On Election Day, Oct. 3, he and his fellow captives most likely would have been roused and herded over to Gunner’s, where they would have been told to vote the Whig ballot. That being done, Poe would have been sent back to his coop, told to swap clothes, and then herded out to vote again. The exchange of clothing was supposed to make it harder for opponents at the polls to spot the fraud, Mr. Cottam said.

Critics of the cooping theory have sometimes objected that Poe had too many fans, friends, and relatives in Baltimore to permit him to be marched through the streets without being recognized and rescued.

In the days before television, however, celebrities were not so easily recognized. And it seems hard to account for Poe’s strange attire in any other way.

Many scholars find the cooping theory very persuasive. In his 1934 biography of Poe, the scholar Hervey Allen called it “by far the most probable explanation of what happened.” Jean Baker, a historian at Goucher College who has written about the politics of pre-Civil War Baltimore, agreed.

“The people who like Poe as a writer really don’t like this story of cooping,” she said. But, she insisted, the circumstantial evidence seems strong. “It’s more than just sort of the myth of Edgar Allan Poe, which would fit nicely with his life.”

“I was sick — sick unto death with that long agony. . . . “

“The Pit and the Pendulum.”

After the polls closed that evening, triumphant partisans lit bonfires in the streets and set off gunpowder charges.

Poe saw and heard none of this. From the time he was taken to Washington Medical College until before dawn the next day, Thursday, Oct. 4, the author lay unconscious in his room.

He woke to a nightmare.

Delirious, shaking, and drenched in perspiration, he began to babble, talking with “spectral and imaginary objects on the walls,” Moran, the resident physician, reported. For more than 24 hours, he remained restless and incoherent.

Then, on Friday afternoon, Poe was able to talk to Moran, although he was still confused. He said that he had a wife in Richmond. To soothe his patient, Dr. Moran said Poe would soon be staying with friends.

“At this he broke out with much energy,” Moran reported in a letter written weeks later, “and said the best thing his best friend could do would be to blow out his brains with a pistol.”

Poe dozed, then lapsed back into a “violent delirium.” At one point, two nurses had to hold him down.

By Saturday evening, he began shouting the name "Reynolds" and kept it up for several hours. (To this day, Reynolds’ identity remains a mystery.)

Exhausted, finally, he grew silent.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, Poe turned his head and died.

“We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us—of the definite with the indefinite—of the substance with the shadow. But if the contest has proceeded thus far, it is the shadow

which prevails—we struggle in vain.”

“The Imp of the Perverse”

Biographers and others have blamed Poe’s death on various things: alcohol withdrawal, injury, or illness. Whatever the direct cause, his last months seemed haunted by the shadow of self-destruction.

“This death was almost a suicide, a suicide prepared for a long time,” wrote Charles Baudelaire, the French poet and Poe’s fervent admirer.

Poe’s mother-in-law, Marie Poe Clemm, decided, after talking to friends here, that the writer had run into some former classmates from West Point, who urged him to break his temperance pledge with a fateful toast of champagne.

John Pendleton Kennedy, a Baltimore lawyer and early patron of Poe, came to a similar conclusion. He noted in his diary entry for Oct. 10, 1849, that “Poe fell in with some companion here who seduced him to the bottle.”

“The consequence,” he wrote, “was fever, delirium, and madness.”

Snodgrass, a trained physician and the city’s leading lTC temperance advocate, wrote years later that, when he found Poe in Gunner’s saloon, the poet was “utterly stupefied with liquor.”

The New York Herald reported in October 1849 that Poe died during an attack of mania a’ potu—delirium tremens, the chills, pains, fever, and hallucinations that come with alcohol withdrawal.

Poe’s fans resisted this conclusion then, and they resist it now. His defenders portray him as a level-headed man, often down on his luck, whose character is too often confused with the tortured, self-destructive figures who populated his Gothic tales and poetry.

Some defenders suggest Poe may have been robbed and beaten. Others say illness felled him. Jeffrey Jerome, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore, thinks the author suffered from diabetes or a heart condition. Poe, he said, probably collapsed on a Baltimore street and was picked up by passersby and taken into Gunner’s Hall for shelter.

Poe’s reputation as a drinker, his defenders say, is false, or at least grossly exaggerated. It grew, they say, out of a malicious 1850 memoir by his bitter literary rival, the Rev. Rufus W. Griswold.

Yet there is no question that Poe drank, sometimes with disastrous results.

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I so madly indulge,” he once wrote. “It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have perilled life, reputation, and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, some a sense of insupportable loneliness, and the dread of some strange, impending doom.”

“Ye who read are still among the living; but I who write shall have long since gone my way into the region of shadows.”

From "Shadow: A Parable”

On Monday, October 8, the author's dejected little funeral cortege—a hearse and a single carriage—bubbled through the rain along the cobblestone streets from the hospital on Broadway across town to the Presbyterian cemetery at Fayette and Greene streets.

The lumber dealer, Henry Herring, provided a mahogany coffin.

About 10 mourners gathered for the hastily arranged ceremony, including the undertaker. The Rev. William T. D. Clemm, a relative of Poe’s late wife, said a few words. Mourners lowered the coffin. In all, the service took about three minutes.

That same morning, the sun carried this obituary:

“DEATH OF EDGAR A. POE. — We regret to learn that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., the distinguished American poet, scholar, and critic, died in this city yesterday morning after an illness of four or five days. This announcement, coming so suddenly and unexpectedly, will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius and have sympathy for the frailties too often attending it. . . . “

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The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe's Death

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

Theories abound about Poe’s death, but there has yet to be one that proves definitive—a fittingly mysterious end for the master of mystery.

No subject regarding Edgar Allan Poe ignites as much controversy as his sudden death at the age of forty, which remains shrouded in mystery. What we know is that Poe planned a trip from Richmond, Virginia, to New York City, during which he traveled by steamer and stopped in Baltimore on September 28, 1849. His actions and whereabouts throughout the next five days are uncertain.

Was Alcohol Involved?

On October 3, 1849, printer Joseph Walker found Poe inside or near Gunner's Hall tavern and sent a note for J.E. Snodgrass, one of Poe’s acquaintances in Baltimore. Walker described Poe as appearing in "great distress.”

Snodgrass noted that the clothes Poe wore looked disheveled and out of place: "he had evidently been robbed of his [own] clothing or cheated in an exchange." Snodgrass and his uncle, Henry Herring, both presumed that Poe was in a drunken state and agreed to send him to Washington College Hospital. Once there, Poe was taken to a room reserved for patients who were ill due to intoxication.

Poe lapsed in and out of consciousness for the next few days, and according to Dr. John J. Moran, who questioned Poe about his condition, Poe's answers were incoherent and unsatisfactory. Moran also prevented visitors due to Poe’s “excitable” condition.

Moran later noted in a letter to Maria Clemm, Poe’s mother-in-law, that during a period of consciousness, Poe held "vacant converse with spectral and imaginary objects on the walls. His face was pale, and his whole person was drenched in perspiration." Poe died quietly before sunrise on Sunday, October 7, 1849.

It may be logical to assume that alcohol played a role in Poe's death, given that it intermittently surfaced as a negative influence during his adult life. But how does it explain why Poe was wearing somebody else's clothes? Nor does it provide any insight into the circumstances that caused him to be found in such an unfortunate state.

Was Poe a Victim of Cooping?

One of the most popular theories about Poe’s death stems from the fact that Poe was found on Election Day, and Gunner’s Hall was a polling location. It is possible that on that day, Poe fell victim to cooping, a common method of voter fraud in the 19th century. Cooping victims were kidnapped, drugged or forced to drink, and disguised several times in order to cast several votes. Others have suggested that perhaps Poe was beaten and robbed, or even that he contracted rabies.

Theories abound about Poe’s death, but there has yet to be one that proves definitive—a fittingly mysterious end for the master of mystery.

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Poe's History Life and Death
"I had walled the monster up within the tomb!"

Described as horrifying, mystifying, and brilliant, Poe’s writing has engaged readers all over the globe. The six years Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia were his happiest and most productive. Yet Poe also struggled with bad luck, personal demons, and his wife’s illness. In Poe’s humble home, reflect on the human spirit surmounting crushing obstacles and celebrate Poe’s astonishing creativity.

Early Life

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in 1809. Both of his parents were actors. His mother, the much-admired Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was a talented actress. His father, David Poe, was considered less talented. The Poes performed at theaters throughout the Eastern Seaboard, from Boston to Virginia. In 1811, Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis in Richmond, Virginia, leaving orphaned Edgar, his infant sister Rosalie, and his older brother Henry. David Poe apparently abandoned his wife and children earlier and was not present when she died.

Different families separated and raised the three children. The successful Richmond businessman John Allan and his frail wife Frances took Edgar in. The Allans had no children of their own. They raised Edgar as part of the family and gave him their middle name, but never legally adopted him.

In 1815, Edgar traveled with the Allans to England and Scotland, where John Allan planned to expand his tobacco business. Edgar attended boarding schools throughout the five years the family lived overseas. After John Allan’s business venture failed, he moved the family back to Richmond, Virginia, in 1820.

From University of Virginia to West Point

Edgar continued his studies in Richmond. He entered the University of Virginia in 1826 at the age of 17. During the year he attended the university, Edgar excelled in his studies of Latin and French. He was unable to complete his studies at the university because Allan refused to pay debts Edgar had incurred during the school year. Allan and Edgar quarreled over the debts, of which a large portion was incurred from gambling.

Shortly after his quarrel with his foster father, Edgar Allan Poe left Richmond for Boston, where he hoped to pursue a literary career. His first book of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published there. Unable to support himself and receiving little assistance from his foster father, Poe enlisted as a private in the US Army on May 26, 1827, for a five-year term. He entered under an assumed name and lied about his age, claiming to be 22 years old when he was only 18. Poe was assigned to Battery H of the First Artillery at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor. On October 31, 1827, Battery H was ordered to Fort Moultrie to protect Charleston Harbor. He sailed on the Brigantine Waltham, arriving for duty in Charleston on November 18.

At Fort Moultrie, Poe was promoted to artificer, the rank of a noncommissioned officer or enlisted man who had a mechanical specialty. On December 11, 1828, Poe’s battery sailed for duty at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where he attained the rank of Sergeant-Major, the highest possible rank for a non-commissioned officer. His quick progress up the ranks can be attributed to his education, high social standing, and competence. Despite his accomplishments, Poe left military service in April 1829 and hired a substitute to complete his obligation. 

A brief reconciliation between Poe and Allan occurred upon the death of Frances Allan in 1829. Allan assisted Poe in obtaining a discharge from the regular Army and an appointment as a cadet at the US Military Academy in West Point. Poe experienced restlessness once more as he entered West Point in July 1830. One of his roommates described him as having “the appearance of being much older. He had a worn, weary, discontented look, not easily forgotten by those who were intimate with him.” The financial hardship, along with the realization that literature was his true vocation, led to Poe’s decision to resign from the academy. Allan, as Poe's guardian, refused to give him permission to resign. Unable to obtain permission to resign, Poe chose to neglect his duties and was court-martialed for “gross neglect of duty” and “disobedience of orders.”

Editor and Author

After leaving West Point, Poe eventually moved to Baltimore, where he lived with his impoverished Aunt Maria Poe Clemm, and her young daughter, Virginia. Poe continued to write poetry and prose. In 1833, he won a $50 prize and attention for his short story “Ms. Found in a Bottle.” The attention he gained led to a job offer as an editor for the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe accepted the position and moved to Richmond in 1835. His aunt and cousin joined him the following year. Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia, shortly afterwards.

The Poes and Mrs. Clemm moved to New York City in 1837 with the hope of Edgar finding work in the literary field. The financial "Panic of '37" had caused a depression in the city as well as the rest of the nation. Unable to find work, Poe moved to Philadelphia in 1838. The six years he spent in Philadelphia proved to be his most productive and perhaps the happiest years of his life. He worked as an editor and critic for one of the nation's largest magazines, Graham’s Magazine. Some of his most famous stories were written in Philadelphia, including “Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mask of the Red Death,” and “Ligeia.” Poe referred to South Carolina settings in several short stories, including “The Balloon-Hoax" and “The Oblong Box." The Gold Bug, first published in 1843, was by far his most well-known work and drew inspiration from Sullivan's Island. In 1842, his beloved wife became ill with tuberculosis. Her illness and the constant strain of financial problems caused Poe to sink into deep bouts of depression.

Professional and Personal Loss

The Poes and Mrs. Clemm moved to New York City in 1844. Poe continued to work as an editor and critic. He gained his greatest fame as a poet after his poem “The Raven” was published in 1845. In the same year, he achieved his lifelong dream of owning a literary journal. Unfortunately, the journal failed within a few months. The Poes and Mrs. Clemm moved outside of New York City to a small cottage in 1846. Virginia died of tuberculosis the following year.


For the next two years, Poe continued to write poetry, short stories, criticism, and plans for his own literary journal. After a successful lecture tour in the South and an extended visit to Richmond, Poe seemed to be finally recovering from the loss of Virginia and making plans for the future. On his way back to New York City, Poe stopped in Baltimore, where he died of “acute congestion of the brain.” The day was October 7, 1849; Edgar Allan Poe was 40 years old.

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Edgar Allan Poe was suspected of killing Mary Rogers, a young woman who worked in a cigar shop in New York and whose body was found in the Hudson River in 1841. Poe wrote a story based on her murder, called “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt”, in which he claimed to have solved the case using his fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin. However, Poe’s solution was wrong, as the real killer confessed on his deathbed in 1849, shortly before Poe’s own death. The killer was William W. Gantt, a former Baltimore police officer and a journalist who had a romantic relationship with Rogers.

Possible Solutions

The fact that the murder of Mary Rogers is still remembered today has much to do with Edgar Allen Poe.  Poe biographer Jeffrey Meyers notes that in the second of his mystery stories involving the detective Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, Poe neatly transported Mary and the surrounding characters from New York City to Paris and presented Dupin's solution to the crime in "The Mystery of Marie Roget" via three magazine installments.  Dupin/Poe believed the murderer to have been a naval officer of dark complexion who had previously attempted to elope with Mary/Marie (thus explaining her first disappearance in 1838) and who killed her the second time she ran off with him.  Loss's deathbed confession came to light before the last installment had been published, but Poe managed to hint at a bungled abortion in the final episode and later added footnotes that further brought his fictional story into line with the known facts of Mary's case.

After Poe, other writers and criminologists would attempt to "solve" Mary's murder.  In 1904, Will M. Clemens proclaimed that both Mary and the man of dark complexion had been robbed and murdered inside Loss's tavern.  A man's body (although not matching Loss's description) had been pulled from the East River on August 3, 1841, but nobody other than Clemens seems to have considered a connection between the two corpses.

Samuel Worthen proposed a theory a few decades later that John Anderson, Mary's former employer, had paid for her abortion, which had occurred at Loss's Tavern.  Mary died during the procedure, and the "tall, dark" abortionist who had been seen with Mary that day panicked and threw her body into the Hudson River.

In Irving Wallace's "The Fabulous Originals," the author suggests three possible killers: Crommelin, whom Wallace believes was the father of the baby whose abortion caused her death; Mrs. Rogers, who possibly offered up Mary as a prostitute at the boarding house and had arranged for an abortion that accidentally turned fatal; and, without any evidence to back it up, Wallace names Poe himself as a possible candidate, referring to the possibility that Poe knew Mary from Anderson's tobacco store and Anderson's later claim that Poe had discussed Mary's murder with him while the writer was researching his story.

And finally, author Raymond Paul presented in the early 1970s his theory that Daniel Payne did indeed murder Mary, but not on the Sunday she disappeared (for which Payne had a solid alibi), but on the following Tuesday.  Paul argues that Mary did go to Loss's for an abortion on that Sunday and survived it, then stayed to recuperate for a couple of days at the inn.  While Mary's family and friends searched for her the next day, Payne couldn't admit to where she really was, so he stalled for time and pretended to look for her, knowing that he was to meet Mary on Tuesday and bring her home.  Paul points out that Payne's own statements show him to have been in Hoboken on that Tuesday "searching" for the lost Mary.  But when he met her, Paul theorizes, Mary informed him that she was breaking her engagement to him, and Payne strangled her in a fit of anger, dumped her in the river, and later retrieved some of Mary's clothes (including the second pair of gloves) and planted them in the thicket near Loss's inn to add credence to the "gang" theory.  Paul's main evidence consists of the fact that when Mary's body was taken ashore on Wednesday afternoon, the body was, according to the coroner's report, in a state of rigor mortis that clearly indicated to Paul that she had not been murdered on Sunday—because rigor mortis passes within 24 hours of death and, Paul contends, the Hudson's waters in July would not have been cold enough to slow down the rigor mortis process.  Paul thus concludes that the stiffness of her body proves that she was killed no earlier than Tuesday, when Payne was known to have been in the area.

Whether done in by a gang of ruffians, strangled by a jilted lover, or killed at the hands of the man who would later write a fictionalized account of her death, the murder of the "beautiful cigar girl" is undoubtedly one of the pioneer instances of the media celebrating a gruesome crime. Yet despite the intense media interest and immortalization of a sort by Poe, the crime remains one of the most puzzling unsolved murders in New York City.

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Edgar Allan Poe Tried and Failed to Crack the Mysterious Murder Case of Mary Rogers 
After a teenage beauty turned up dead in the Hudson River, not even the godfather of detective fiction could figure out who done it

Angela Serratore

October 31, 2013

She moved amid the bland perfume
That breathes of heaven’s balmiest isle;
Her eyes had starlight’s azure gloom
And a glimpse of heaven in her smile.

New York Herald, 1838

John Anderson’s Liberty Street cigar shop was no different from the dozens of other tobacco emporiums frequented by the newspapermen of New York City. The only reason it was so crowded was Mary Rogers.

Mary was the teenage daughter of a widowed boarding housekeeper, and her beauty was the stuff of legend. A poem dedicated to her visage appeared in the New York Herald, and during her time clerking at John Anderson’s shop, she bestowed her heavenly smile upon writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving, who would visit to smoke and flirt during breaks from their offices nearby.

In 1838, the cigar girl with ”the dainty figure and pretty face” went out and failed to return. Her mother discovered what appeared to be a suicide note; the New York Sun reported that the coroner had examined the letter and concluded the author had a “fixed and unalterable determination to destroy herself.” But a few days later, Mary returned home, alive and well. She had been, as it turned out, visiting a friend in Brooklyn. The Sun, which three years earlier had been responsible for the Great Moon Hoax, was accused of manufacturing Mary’s disappearance to sell newspapers. Her boss, John Anderson, was suspected of being in on the scheme, for after Mary returned, his shop was busier than ever.

Still, the affair blew over, and Mary settled back into her role as an object of admiration for New York’s literary set. By 1841, she was engaged to Daniel Payne, a cork cutter and boarder in her mother’s house. On Sunday, July 25, Mary announced plans to visit relatives in New Jersey and told Payne and her mother she’d be back the next day. The night Mary ventured out, a severe storm hit New York, and when Mary failed to return the next morning, her mother assumed she’d gotten caught in bad weather and delayed her trip home.

By Monday night, Mary still hadn’t come back, and her mother was concerned enough to place an advertisement in the following day’s Sun asking for anyone who might have seen Mary to have the girl contact her, as “it is supposed some accident has befallen her.” Foul play was not suspected.

On July 28, some men were out for a stroll near Sybil’s Cave, a bucolic Hudson riverside spot in Hoboken, New Jersey, when a bobbing figure caught their attention. Rowing out in a small boat, they dragged what turned out to be the body of a young woman back to shore. Crowds gathered, and within hours, a former fiancé of Mary’s identified the body as hers.

According to the coroner, her dress and hat were torn, and her body looked as though it had taken a beating. She was also, as the coroner took care to note, not pregnant and “had evidently been a person of chastity and correct habits.”

Questions abounded: Had someone Mary knew killed her? Had she been a victim of a random crime of opportunity, something New Yorkers increasingly worried about as the city grew and young women strayed farther and farther from the family parlor? Why hadn’t the police of New York or Hoboken spotted Mary and her attacker? The Herald, the Sun, and the Tribune all put Mary on their front pages, and no detail was too lurid—graphic descriptions of Mary’s body appeared in each paper, along with vivid theories about what her killer or killers might have done to her. More than anything, they demanded answers.

Suspicion fell immediately upon Daniel Payne, Mary’s fiancée; perhaps one or the other had threatened to leave, and Payne killed her, either to get rid of her or to prevent her from breaking their engagement. He produced an airtight alibi for his whereabouts during Mary’s disappearance, but that didn’t stop the New-Yorker (a publication unrelated to the current magazine of that name) from suggesting, in August of 1841, that he’d had a hand in Mary’s death:

There is one point in Mr. Payne’s testimony that is worthy of remark. It seems he had been searching for Miss Rogers—his betrothed—for two or three days, yet when he was informed on Wednesday evening that her body had been found at Hoboken, he did not go to see it or inquire into the matter—in fact, it appears that he never went at all, though he had been there inquiring for her before. This is odd and should be explained.

If Payne hadn’t killed Mary, it was theorized that she’d been caught by a gang of criminals. This idea was given further credence later that August, when two Hoboken boys who were out in the woods collecting sassafras for their mother, tavern owner Frederica Loss, happened upon several items of women’s clothing. The Herald reported that “the clothes had all evidently been there for at least three or four weeks. They were all mildewed down hard. The grass had grown around and over some of them. The scarf and the petticoat were crumpled up as if in a struggle.” The most suggestive item was a handkerchief embroidered with the initials M.R.

The discovery of the clothes catapulted Loss into minor celebrity status. She spoke with reporters at length about Mary, whom she claimed to have seen in the company of a tall, dark stranger on the evening of July 25. The two had ordered lemonade and then taken their leave from Loss’ tavern. Later that night, she said, she heard a scream coming from the woods. At the time, she’d thought it was one of her sons, but after going out to investigate and finding her boy safely inside, she’d decided it must have been an animal. In light of the clothing discovery so close to her tavern, though, she now felt certain it had come from Mary.

The Herald and other papers took this as evidence that strangers had indeed absconded with Mary, but despite weeks of breathless speculation, no further clues were found and no suspects were identified. The city moved on, and Mary’s story became yesterday’s news—only to return to the headlines.

In October 1841, Daniel Payne went on a drinking binge that carried him to Hoboken. After spending October 7 going from tavern to tavern, he entered a pharmacy and bought a vial of laudanum. He stumbled down to where Mary’s body had been brought to shore, collapsed onto a bench, and died, leaving behind a note: “To the World—Here I am on the very spot. May God forgive me for my misspent life.” The consensus was that his heart had been broken.

While the newspapers had their way with Mary’s life and death, Edgar Allen Poe turned to fact-based fiction to make sense of the case.

Working in the spring of 1842, Edgar Allan Poe transported Mary’s tale to Paris and, in “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” gave her a slightly more Francophone name (and a job in a perfume shop), but the details otherwise match exactly. The opening of Poe’s story makes his intent clear:

All readers will be able to identify the secondary or concluding branch of the extraordinary details that I am now required to make public as being the primary branch of a string of hardly understandable coincidences that relate to the recent murder of MARY CECILIA ROGERS in New York.

A sequel to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” widely considered the first detective story ever set to print, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” would see the detective Dupin solve the young woman’s murder. In shopping the story to editors, Poe suggested he’d gone beyond mere storytelling: “Under the pretense of showing how Dupin unraveled the mystery of Marie’s assassination, I, in fact, enter into a very rigorous analysis of the real tragedy in New York.”

Though he appropriated the details of Mary’s story, Poe still faced the very real challenge of actually solving the murder when the police were no closer than they’d been in July 1841.

Like many other stories of the mid-19th century, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” was serialized, appearing in November issues of Snowden’s Ladies Companion. The third part, in which Dupin put together the details of the crime but left the identity of the criminal up in the air, was to appear at the end of the month, but a shocking piece of news delayed the final installment.

One of Frederica Loss' sons accidentally shot her in October 1842, and she confessed to Mary Rogers on her deathbed. The “tall, dark” man she’d seen the girl with in July 1841 had not been a stranger; she knew him. The Tribune reported: “On the Sunday of Miss Rogers’s disappearance, she came to her house from this city in company with a young physician, who undertook to produce for her a premature delivery.” (“Premature delivery” being a euphemism for abortion.)

The procedure had gone wrong, Loss said, and Mary had died. After disposing of her body in the river, one of Loss’ sons threw her clothes in a neighbor’s pond and then, after having second thoughts, scattered them in the woods.

While Loss’ confession did not entirely match the evidence (there was still the matter of Mary’s body, which bore signs of some kind of struggle), the Tribune seemed satisfied: “Thus has this fearful mystery, which has struck fear and terror to so many hearts, been at last explained by circumstances in which no one can fail to perceive a providential agency.”

To some, the attribution of Mary’s death to a botched abortion made perfect sense—it had been suggested that she and Payne quarreled over an unwanted pregnancy, and in the early 1840s, New York City was fervently debating the activities of the abortionist Madame Restell. Several penny presses had linked Rogers to Restell (and suggested that her 1838 disappearance lasted precisely as long as it would take a woman to terminate a pregnancy in secret and return undiscovered), and while that connection was ultimately unsubstantiated, Mary was on the minds of New Yorkers when, in 1845, they officially criminalized the procedure.

Poe’s story was considered a sorry follow-up to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” but he did manage to work Loss’ story into his narrative. His Marie Rogêt had indeed kept company with a “swarthy naval officer” who may very well have killed her, though by what means we are not sure—did he murder her outright or lead her into a “fatal accident,” a plan of “concealment”?

Officially, the death of Mary Rogers remains unsolved. Poe’s account remains the most widely read, and his hints at abortion (made even clearer in an 1845 reprinting of the story, though the word “abortion” never appears) have, for most, closed the case. Still, those looking for Poe to put the Mary Rogers case to rest are left to their own devices. In a letter to a friend, Poe wrote: “Nothing was omitted in Marie Rogêt but what I omitted myself—all that is mystification.”

Joseph A. Chianca

Retired Major Joseph A. Chianca  Jr., 


Baltimore Police, a long-time employee of JetBlue, devoted husband, father, and friend to all of East Boston, passed away peacefully on March 15th. Loving husband, father, Papa', brother, uncle, and nephew. Joe was born in Chelsea, MA. He attended Christopher Columbus High School in the North End and graduated with the Class of 1969. Joe proudly enlisted in the Marines (Reservists) for a four-year term. Having a deep passion for law enforcement, Joe traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, joined the Baltimore police force as a patrolman, and made his way up the ranks, retiring 27 years later as a major. Joe returned to his home in East Boston to enjoy time with his family. After a short retirement, he accepted a position with Jet Blue as an airport operations crew member and later as the Chairman of the Airport Values Committee, which he served with great pride and dedication—Loyalty Above All Except Honor. Joe's wife Beth Chianca, beloved daughter Caitlin Sophie Chianca, cherished grandson Shawn Joseph, late parents Joseph A. and Sophie Chianca, godmother and aunt Lucy Ryan, sister JoAnn Memmolo, and late husband Richard, brother Anthony J. Chianca, and wife Jeannette are all still alive. I am a loving and adored cousin, uncle, great uncle, friend, and mentor to so many.

Black Maria America's First Police Transport Vehicle

Black Maria America's First Police Transport Vehicle

1928 Studebaker Patrol Wagon 314 CD

Black Maria

It is a well-known fact that Maria Lee influenced the nickname of the Black Maria police transport vehicle.

In the annals of history, countless individuals have left their indelible mark, shaping the world as we know it today. Yet, many of these individuals remain unsung heroes, their stories untold, and their contributions unrecognized. One such individual is Maria Lee, a formidable woman from colonial Boston. Maria Lee was no ordinary woman. She was a towering figure, both in stature and in the impact she had on her community. As the proprietress of a boardinghouse for sailors, Maria Lee was known for her strength, energy, and her unique ability to maintain law and order. In her neighborhood, there was a new sheriff in town, and he was a she, and she ruled with an iron fist. Her story is a testament to the power of individual courage and resilience.

This page aims to shed light on the life and legacy of Maria Lee, a woman whose influence extended beyond the confines of her boardinghouse, reaching into the very heart of Boston’s law enforcement. As we delve into her story, we hope you will gain a deeper appreciation for unsung heroes like Maria Lee, whose contributions have helped shape our society. Join us on these pages as we journey back in time, uncovering the life of Maria Lee and celebrating her remarkable contribution to colonial Boston.

1920sPatrol Wagon2

Before we learn of Maria Lee, let’s learn why we are learning of Naria Lee. The term “Black Maria” is often used to refer to a police van, also known as a paddy wagon. The history of the term is quite interesting and has roots in the mid-1800s in Boston, Massachusetts. There lived a black woman named Maria Lee who ran a lodging house for sailors. Maria was a large and powerful person, known for her ability to quell fights and bring offenders to jail. So successful was she in handling tough characters that the constables frequently enlisted her aid in bringing malefactors to book. When police wagons came into use in the 1830s, the Boston constables, remembering the great help the black woman had given them, immortalized her name in the term "Black Maria." These vehicles were usually painted black or a very dark blue. 

Maria Lee was an African American woman who ran a boarding house for sailors in colonial Boston, and some accounts place her in the early 1800s. She was known for her large stature, strength, and energy. Maria Lee became an indispensable asset to the Boston police force of her time due to her ability to handle particularly rowdy individuals. There’s an often-repeated anecdote that describes Maria Lee single-handedly hauling three boisterous sailors into the police station when they were causing a disturbance at her boardinghouse.

The term “Black Maria," used as slang for a police van, is often attributed to her. The story goes that when the police needed backup to take a lawbreaker to jail, they would call for “Black Maria," referring to Maria Lee. When police vans, originally large boxy horse-drawn wagons, came about, they were painted black and named “Black Maria” in honor of Maria Lee. However, it’s important to note that there’s no concrete evidence linking Maria Lee directly to the origin of the term for the police vans.

Maria Lee’s most notable accomplishment was her significant contribution to maintaining law and order in colonial Boston. Her strength and courage in dealing with rowdy individuals, particularly sailors, made her an indispensable asset to the Boston police force of her time.

There’s an anecdote that describes Maria Lee single-handedly hauling three boisterous sailors into the police station when they were causing a disturbance at her boardinghouse. This story has been repeated in several periodical and newspaper publications as a bit of interesting trivia.

However, beyond these accounts, there don’t seem to be any other specific accomplishments attributed to Maria Lee. It’s important to note that historical records from this time period are often incomplete or biased, and the contributions of many individuals, particularly women and people of color, may not have been fully recognized or documented. Maria Lee’s story is a reminder of the many unsung heroes who played vital roles in their communities.

The exact birth and death dates of Maria Lee, the proprietress of a boardinghouse for sailors in colonial Boston, are not documented in the available historical records. This is not uncommon for individuals from this time period, particularly women and people of color, whose lives were often not as thoroughly documented. If you’re interested in more information about Maria Lee or other historical figures.

The Evening Sun Thu Oct 24 1912 72

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Paddy Wagon

The term “paddy wagon” is also commonly used to refer to these police vans. The precise origin of this term is uncertain and disputed, though its use dates back to at least the beginning of the 1900s. One theory suggests that the term arose due to the number of immigrant Irish being arrested for having consumed too much alcohol and taken away in the paddy wagon.

Another theory holds that the name originates from the padding used on the inside of police horse-drawn carriages to prevent injury. However, the most prevalent theory is based on the term “Paddy” (derived from the common name Patrick), which was once a nickname for anyone of Irish descent. Since many of the early constables, or police officers, in the major east coast cities at the turn of the century were Irish, their police vans were also called paddy wagons by association. It’s fascinating to see how these terms have evolved and are still used today in parts of Britain, Australia, and the United States. I hope this gives you a good overview of the history of the terms “Black Maria” and “paddy wagon." If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

The term “paddy wagon” is commonly thought to have originated from an association with the Irish. There are two main theories about its origin:

The first theory suggests that the term “paddy wagon” came into use because a disproportionately large number of Irish were police officers in North American cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The term “Paddy” is a common Irish shortening of Padraig (Patrick in English) and was used in a derogatory way to refer to Irish people.

The second theory suggests that the term originated in the 1840s and 1850s, when the majority of people being transported by police were poverty-stricken Irish Americans acting out against their destitute conditions.

It’s also worth noting that many believe “paddy wagon” could simply be a shortening of “patrol wagon" to Patty Wagon, but due to the Irish influence at the time, it became Paddy instead of Patty. This would be similar to how police cars are referred to as patrol cars today. However, the exact origin of the term is uncertain and heavily disputed. It’s fascinating to see how these terms have evolved and are still used today in parts of Britain, Australia, and the United States.

There could be a third theory. Perhaps it was a combination of both the first and second theories. At this time, there were a disproportionately large number of Irish police officers on the east coast. Likewise, the majority of those the Irish police were transporting at the time were impoverished Irish Americans, most for drinking, others for fighting, and still yet a third-class combination of the two: drinking and fighting. So, the Irish were driving and the Irish were occupying these wagons, so maybe that contributed to the nickname. While this theory suggests that the term "paddy wagon" may have originated from the stereotype of Irish involvement in law enforcement and the transportation of Irish Americans, it is important to note that this theory is speculative and lacks evidence, so any conclusions you may draw are left solely up to you. Nonetheless, it offers an interesting perspective on the possible origins of the term "paddy wagon," and for the easily offended, they need not worry about the feelings of the Irish, as we are not that sensative, and if this is a fact, it is a fact that makes us proud. There were many Irish police in the United States at the time, and Boston may have had even a higher number than the other east coast police forces, though looking at the yearsbooks of those times, NYPD and BPD were not lacking in the area of Irish police. 

We cannot leave this article without providing still yet another argument: an argument that says the term may have originated from an abbreviated form of the term "patrol wagon," where "patrol" has been shortened to "patty," but due to the Irish influence, "patty" had become "paddy." This theory is widely debated. However, some linguists maintain that the term "paddy wagon" is strongly linked to the Irish. If we look at St. Paddy's Day, a religious holiday named after St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, the Irish say St. Paddy's Day, not St. Patty's Day. According to the linguists, the term "paddy wagon" may have derived from the term "paddy," which they say is derogatory and was used to refer to Irish immigrants in a way that was meant to mock and demean the Irish. The issue with this is that the Irish call St. Patrick St. Paddy, and the Irish do not offend easily. With that, it should be noted that the Irish do not find the term "paddy" derogatory.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding its exact origin, these terms continue to be used in various countries, such as Britain, Australia, and the United States. The term "Paddy Wagon" is commonly used to refer to a police vehicle used for transporting multiple suspects or prisoners. So while we are not sure where the temr Paddy Wagon came from, we do know where the term Black Maria came from.


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We are always looking for copies of your Baltimore Police class photos, pictures of our officers, vehicles, and newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers; old departmental newsletters, old departmental newsletters, lookouts, wanted posters, and/or brochures; information on deceased officers; and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll 

Traffic Officer William R. Myers

Traffic Officer William R. Myers

Fallen Hero

Traffic Officer William R. Myers passed away on September 27, 1933.

On September 20, 1933, Officer Myers reported feeling ill to the point that another officer had to take over his post at Howard and Pratt Streets. Officer Myers was an original member of the "Beauty Squad," Baltimore's first Traffic Division; he took his spot in the division on its start in 1912. After working on one of the busiest corners of Baltimore for more than twenty years, the corner located at Lexington and Eutaw Streets, he reported to his supervisor, Captain Hamilton Atkinson, respectfully requesting to be moved to a semaphore. Myers, who has been with the Baltimore Police Department since July 14, 1896, was well known and well liked. He did his time on one of the harder corners of Baltimore, and it was becoming too stressful for him toward the end of his career, so Captain Atkinson gave him the transfer he had requested. The captain had acknowledged Myers' commitment and years of service by granting his request and moving him to the semaphore once located at the corner of Howard and Pratt Streets. This move allowed Myers to continue serving the Baltimore Police Department in a more subdued capacity.

However, after 20+ years on Baltimore's most congested corner, the stress had caught up with him, and the damage was already done. Feeling ill on the 20th day of September 1933, Officer Myers reported his illness to his supervisor and was sent home. He wasn't getting better after a week at home, and on September 27, 1933, just before 6 a.m., he passed away from heart disease, a stress-related illness. Myers' dedication to the Baltimore Police Department was evident in his willingness to dedicate himself to a tough corner and work it for so many years before requesting a move to an easier semaphore. Still, the toll of serving on such a congested corner for over 20 years had taken its toll on his health. Despite reporting feeling ill to his supervisor and being sent home, Myers' condition wouldn't improve; tragically, it took his life on September 27, 1933, signaling the end of an area in Baltimore's Traffic Division.

We can't say 100% that his death was the result of a work-related illness; all we can do is present what we know and let our readers decide for themselves. We will say that given his position as one of the original Beauty Squad, it might be enough for us to take a minute to think of him on this, the anniversary of his passing, and pray that he continues to rest in peace as we thank him for his service.

Myers' passing marked a significant loss for the department, as he had been a dedicated and respected officer and a pioneer in the traffic section of our agency. His contributions to the Beauty Squad will always be remembered, and his death serves as a reminder of the risks stress places on its law enforcement officers. Let us honor his memory and remember the sacrifices made by all those who serve to protect our communities.

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We are always looking for copies of your Baltimore Police class photos, pictures of our officers, vehicles, and newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers; old departmental newsletters, old departmental newsletters, lookouts, wanted posters, and/or brochures; information on deceased officers; and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency. Please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll 

Retired Officer Oliver T Murdock was killed

8i patch history 72Retired Officer Oliver T Murdock was Killed in the City of Baltimore
29 November 1998
By Dan Thanh Dang
Police are seeking two men in a retired officer's killing. The victim was among three people fatally shot in the city on Friday, November 29, 1998. Baltimore police were searching yesterday for two unknown men in the fatal shooting of a retired city officer, who was killed in an apparent robbery outside his longtime West Baltimore home. The victim, Oliver T. Murdock, 73, was pronounced dead just before midnight Friday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, about two hours after he was shot in the 2500 block of Riggs Ave., city homicide detectives said. Apparently unrelated shootings in the city earlier Friday left two men dead and one wounded, police said. About 9:50 p.m., Murdock and his 73-year-old wife Katherine were on their way home when two men approached them and demanded money. In a brief scuffle, one of the robbers shot Murdock, who managed to fire one round from the.38-caliber handgun he carried, police said. Katherine Murdock was not injured, and the assailants fled in a dark-colored pickup truck, police said. The gunfire shattered the quiet of the holiday weekend and left neighbors in mourning. 'I was watching 'A Miracle on 34th Street' on TV, and they had just decided Kriss Kringle was real when I heard the shot,' said Erika McAfee, 16, a close friend and neighbor of the Murdocks. 'I ran outside, and he was lying there on the ground. He was still talking, so I thought he was going to be OK. 'He was very well-loved and will be missed,' McAfee said. Murdock was born and raised in Baltimore. He moved to Riggs Avenue 46 years ago and quickly made a name for himself. Longtime friends and family members described him as a gregarious and kind man who gave back to the community and served as a grandfather figure for many young children in the area. Assigned to the Southern District, Murdock retired after nearly three decades in the Police Department, then worked as a security officer for the National Security Agency for more than 18 years and, later, as a master plumber. He helped neighbors with plumbing problems, drove senior citizens on daily errands, and also volunteered at the Central Rosemont Recreation Center to create the 'Sugar and Spice Beauty Pageant' for local children in recent years. 'They weren't just your neighbors,' said McAfee's mother, Vada McAfee, 42. 'They became our family members. Pop was always helping people. It's really, really just a great loss.' Murdock's death left many concerned for their safety in the normally quiet neighborhood, which has many elderly residents. 'This entire block is mostly people who moved here when my father did,' said Dorolie Murdock Sewell, 52, the retired officer's daughter. 'They're left unprotected. My father would be very worried about that. He tried to look after everybody.' The Fraternal Order of Police and Metro Crime Stoppers offered a combined $4,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailants. 'This is a man who put in 27 years in the police department and survived the streets,' said homicide detective Homer Pennington, who is leading the investigation. 'And then he becomes a victim of a robbery. It's a shame.' In two other shootings Friday, two men were wounded, one fatally, in the 100 block of N. Poppleton St. about 5:30 p.m. by a man who walked up to them and opened fire. One victim, Franswan Opi, 27, was released after hospital treatment. Police said they did not know the name of the other man, who was pronounced dead at Shock Trauma. Police found Curtis Lamont Haynes, 38, of the 4200 block of Massachusetts Ave. lying wounded about 10:15 p.m. in the 200 block of McCurley St. in Southwest Baltimore. He had been shot several times and was pronounced dead at Shock Trauma.

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If you have copies of your Baltimore Police Department class photo, pictures of our officers, vehicles, equipment, newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers, old departmental newsletters, lookouts, wanted posters, or brochures, information on deceased officers, and anything else that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency, please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Follow Follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist, like us on Facebook or mail pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222


Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll 

David Marshall Simmons

David Marshall SimmonsDavid Marshall Simmons
August 11, 1958 — October 27, 2023


David Marshall Simmons, aged 65, of Glen Burnie, passed away on October 27, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of devotion and love as a son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He is survived by his beloved wife, Sandi; his dear father, Walter Simmons; his devoted sons, Daniel and Cody Simmons; his loving stepson, William Casanova; his loving daughters-in-law, Kayla Simmons and Elizabeth Casanova; and his cherished grandchildren, Damian, Julie, Ava, and Isabelle Simmons. He was preceded in death by his mother, Alice Simmons.

Born in Washington, DC, Dave's journey began with promise and determination. He graduated from Springbrook High School in 1976, where he showcased his talents on the cross country, track, and wrestling teams. His exceptional driving skills led him to become a respected driver's education instructor during his high school years. In 1980, he began his career by graduating from the police academy. Dave earned a Bachelor's in Science in 1997 from UMBC, Magna Cum Laude, while working full-time for the department. His dedication led him to be inducted into both the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, in 1994.

For over four decades, Dave served the Baltimore City Police Department with unwavering commitment and distinction until his retirement in 2020. Throughout his illustrious career, he embodied honor, integrity, and humility as he selflessly dedicated himself to serving the citizens of Baltimore. Dave's exceptional service was recognized through numerous accolades and achievements, including being named Officer of the Month in 1984 and receiving the Community Service Award for his exemplary work with the Northwest Citizens Patrol in 1988. In 1997, he was proudly bestowed with the title of police agent and nominated for the Evening Sun's Officer of the Year Award in 1988. Additionally, Dave received the Baltimore Ravens Tip of the Wing Award in 1999, further exemplifying his commitment to his role. Throughout his career, Dave served in various capacities, including assignments to patrol the Northwest District, work as a detective in the Internal Affairs Unit, roles within the Traffic Unit, and Overtime Unit. In addition to his primary duties, he readily volunteered for additional responsibilities, such as serving with the Northwest Citizen Patrol, contributing to Raven command posts during significant events, and demonstrating his commitment as part of the police auxiliary during the riots of 2015. Dave was a proud member of FOP Lodge #3, solidifying his bond with fellow officers in a fraternity built on shared experiences and dedication to their calling.

Forever imbued with a spirit of generosity and devotion to not only his profession but also his community, Dave's commitment extended beyond his uniform. He willingly dedicated his time and energy to coaching his sons' baseball and basketball teams, nurturing the growth and potential of young athletes. An eloquent speaker, Dave passionately presented numerous seminars on domestic violence against women, seeking to raise awareness and effect positive change in society's attitude towards this pressing issue.

Dave had a zest for life that encompassed various interests and hobbies. His love for reading and history, particularly the Civil War, provided him with countless hours of intellectual fulfillment. Exploring outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and kayaking allowed him to connect with nature's beauty while maintaining an active lifestyle. To know Dave was to experience a profound sense of love and warmth. His presence exuded genuine kindness, and his infectious smile brightened the lives of all those he encountered. Whether it was his endearing gestures of pointing in agreement or approval, hearty laughter that accompanied shared humor, or a simple thumbs-up signifying culinary delight, Dave possessed an indescribable ability to infuse joy into every interaction. His remarkable character and unwavering authenticity endeared him to all who had the privilege of calling him a friend. Dave's memory will forever be cherished by his loving family.

Family and friends may gather at Singleton Funeral & Cremation Services, PA, Glen Burnie, on Friday, Nov. 3rd, from 2–4 and 6–8 PM. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4th at 10:30 AM in the funeral home chapel. Interment to follow at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens


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If you have copies of: your Baltimore Police Department class photo, pictures of our officers, vehicles, equipment, newspaper articles relating to our department and/or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 



Click HERE to see actual PDF

Recent events have given renewed currency to the hundred year old decision of the Court of Appeals in Baltimore v. State,' upholding the transfer of the Baltimore police to the control of the State. The legislation2 effecting this transfer was adopted February 2, 1860. Its passage occasioned an outcry from City Hall the like of which had not been heard since the days of the Sabine women. But the wails gained no sympathy from the courts. On March 13, 1860, the Act was upheld by the Superior Court of Baltimore City, and on April 17, by the Court of Appeals. No one would quarrel today with the principal holding of the case, that a municipality was legally a creature of the State and that the legislature had power to control its police and other functions. But the court hurdled other obstacles in a manner that seemed to demonstrate more agility than deliberation. Obviously, the circumstances exerted overwhelming compulsion. Indeed, the main interest of the case stems from its background. THE IMMIGRATION EXPLOSION After the dust had settled from the War of 1812, immigrants came pouring into the country in ever-increasing numbers, giving rise to problems that were in part religious, part economic, and part political. Many of the new arrivals were Roman Catholic, and in the areas of their greatest concentration they brought alarm to the established Protestant order. Some of the ministers reacted with vigor. Rather curiously, the most violent were those who were later to lead the abolitionist movement; for example, the Reverend Lyman Beecher of Boston, who became a leading abolitionist in his own right and sired Henry Ward Beecher, as well as Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of * A.B. 1925, Princeton; LL.B. 1928, Harvard; General Solicitor of C&P Telephone Company; Author, Without Fear or Favor (a biography of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney). 1. 15 Md. 376 (1860). 2. LAws or MD. ch. 7 (1860). See also LAWS oF MD. ch. 203 (1966) and LAWS or BALTIMORE ch. 526 (1949). MARYLAND LAW REVIEW Uncle Tom's Cabin. So loudly did Beecher thunder against what he called "the whoredom of Babylon" and the "foul beast of Roman Catholicism," that he is sometimes given credit for the anti-Catholic mob which raged through Boston for three days in 1829 and sacked the Ursaline Convent in neighboring Charlestown.' Baltimore also received its share of Irish Catholics, together with a multitude of Germans. Their descendants include many of our most substantial citizens, but in the 1840's their numbers caused consternation among the laboring and artisan classes with whom they came into competition. By 1850, some 135,000 foreigners had entered America through the port of Baltimore.4 Quite naturally, they liked the City, and at the time with which we are concerned they constituted a fourth of the total population. Politicians soon sponsored measures to curry their special favor. The most explosive was the Kerney bill of 1852 to provide public funds for the support of parochial schools. Protestants rose in their wrath and smothered the plan, but it highlighted the growing political power of what were then regarded as alien groups, and triggered a violent reaction among the natives. A rising spirit of intolerance spawned a political party and a spate of secret societies with such choice names as the Rip Raps, the Plug Uglies, the Wampanoags, and the Blood Tubs. Officially, they called their political organization the American Party, but the name by which they were better known reflected the answer they were sworn to give to questions about their societies: "I know nothing." THE GROWTH OF VIOLENCE AND THE INADEQUACY OF THE POLICE The Know Nothing societies operated with a violence that today seems incredible. In their more sporting moods, they fought with bricks and paving stones, of which the streets and sidewalks furnished a plentiful supply. Against serious opposition they used revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, and even small cannon. In their dealings with the voting public, or more correctly with the foreign-born public whom they aimed to keep non-voting, a mere show of force was usually sufficient to effect intimidation. But in their jurisdictional rivalries, their fighting became ferocious. Lest anyone doubt the vigor with which they expressed their differences of opinion, let him read Scharf's Chronicles of Baltimore in which some of these incidents are reported. For example: On the 12th of September [1856] a bloody and disgraceful riot took place at the Seventeenth Ward House, kept by James 3. See BEALS, BRASS KNUCKLE CRUSADE - THt GREAT KNow-NoTHING CONSPIRAcY: 1820-1860, at 25-36 (1960), for these quotations and events. 4. These and other facts relating to the Know Nothing movement in Baltimore are drawn primarily from two monographs: SCHMECKFBIER, HISTORY OF THE KNOW NOTHING PARTY IN MARYLAND 145 (Johns Hopkins University Studies in History and Political Science Series XVII Nos. 4-5, 1899); TUsKA, KNOW NOTHINGISM IN BALTIMORZ, 1854-1860, at 217 (Catholic History Review, vol. 5, 1925). 216 [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE Clark, on Light street, nearly opposite Warren. The house was attacked by the "Rip-Rap" and "Wampanoag" Clubs, and there commenced a bloody and desperate affray .... The streets where the contest took place presented the appearance as if cart-loads of bricks had been strewn about .... During the melee one man was killed and some twenty badly wounded, some of them fatally.5 During the 1840's and 1850's this form of exuberance was accepted as an inescapable adjunct of urban life, much as we today regard manslaughter and mayhem as inevitable by-products of the automobile. Volunteer fire companies had been fighting each other for years, and had recruited gangs of toughs for this express purpose. At first, no doubt, they did so in self-defense. Later the rougher elements took control, sounding false alarms and setting fires so that they could ambush their rivals in the streets. Scharf reports one of these intramural contests as follows: [O]n Saturday night, August 18th, 1855, ... the New Market fire company, in colleague with the United, had formed a plot whereby they designed giving the Mount Vernon Hook and Ladder company a severe thrashing, and accordingly the bell of the New Market sounded an alarm of fire at ten o'clock on that night, and the members ran with the apparatus in a northerly direction. Upon returning, the New Market fell in behind the Hook and Ladder. . . . They proceeded along Franklin street, until about midway between Howard and Eutaw streets, . . . the Hook and Ladder ahead and New Market following. At this juncture the United turned out of Eutaw street into Franklin, immediately in front of the Hook and Ladder company, and the onslaught commenced upon them from the front and rear. Pistols were fired, bricks thrown, and axes, picks and hooks used in the most desperate manner.... During the melee two men were mortally wounded and a greater number severely.6 The New Market fire company, which engineered this ambush in 1855, received its come-uppance a year later. This time it was not a mere firemen's frolic, but a battle with one of the Know Nothing gangs. This is how Scharf tells the story: About 12 o'clock [on Oct. 8, 1856] a desperate struggle took place between the "Rip-Rap" Club and the New Market Fire Company in the Lexington Market.... The firing was as regular as if it were by platoons. A great many persons were wounded and carried from the ground, and the drug shops near the scene of action were filled with the wounded and dying. The New 5. SCHARF, THE CHRONICLES ov BALTIMORZ 549 (1874). Considerable variation exists in the reports of casualties in these affrays. One suspects that the gangs liked to minimize their losses, and that the count of the dead was limited to the bodies left on the field of battle. The fatally injured who could get or be carried away were probably recorded in the vital statistics as victims of bad blood, lead poisoning, or what have you. 6. Id. at 548. 1966] MARYLAND LAW REVIEW Market Company were driven from the market-house and dispersed. Their engine-house was entered by the "Rip-Raps" and ... sacked. 7 At least four men are said to have been killed, over 150 wounded. Where, might we ask, were the police during these events? It would be more appropriate to ask, "What police?" In 1848 responsibility for the peace of Baltimore reposed in the High Constable, one regular and two special policemen for each ward, and the night watchmen, who carried large wooden rattles, like those that we sometimes see or hear at football games. When rotated these made an unearthly clatter, summoning help and at the same time deadening the footfalls of escaping miscreants.' The watchmen made their rounds much as they had in colonial days, crying the hours and obliging the citizenry with occasional weather reports, such as "Five o'clock, and raining." In 1843, newspapers complained that these public announcements of the whereabouts of the guardians of the law made life too easy for burglars, and the practice was discontinued. In 1857 the police were reorganized on a more modern footing, but the new men who were recruited to build up the force were drawn largely from the Know Nothing gangs and remained subservient to their old leaders. Indeed, the gangs had by this time attained such power as to defy restraint. The impotency of the police is summed up in a single statistic. In 1857 twenty-five arrests were made on the charge of shooting at police officers. No figures were given for the number of such shootings which did not result in arrests. THE DEATH OF FREE ELECTIONS The inability to protect life and limb was bad enough, but it was the election practices of the Know Nothings that triggered the transfer of the police to State control. Until 1865 voters were not registered.' Citizens merely lined up at the polling place and handed in their ballots. As each ward contained only one voting place, it would have been impossible for the election judges to know who was and was not entitled to vote, even had they desired to do so. And during the period we are considering, it is safe to say that few, if any, election judges had any such desire. This led to an interesting practice known as "cooping." For some days before an election, the stalwarts of the party in control of the ward would round up drunks and hoboes, or for that matter anyone they could intimidate, and imprison them in a convenient cellar, or 7. Id. at 549-50. 8. For these and other details of the Baltimore police, see generally Dt FRANCIS FOLSOM, OUR POLICE (1888); McCAs, HISTORY OP THE BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT, 1774-1909 (1910). See also FinY, R MINISCUNCZS or BALTIMORE (1893), an excellently written and illuminating local history by one who made his career in the Police Department and was its marshal. 9. See STEINER, CITIZENSHIP AND SUFFRAGE IN MARYLAND 21, 47 (1895), for the development of election practices in Maryland. [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE "coop," near the polling place. The victims were kept drunk or drugged until election day. Then they were formed into squads, armed with ballots, and marched to the polling place. If transportation was available, they would be taken to all the voting places which were manned by friendly election judges. Then the process would be repeated, the same individuals being voted many times during the course of the day. As a concession to election judges who might be inclined to be fastidious, the victims were sometimes forced to swap clothing between ballotings. Edgar Allan Poe's death is generally attributed to a "cooping." Passing through Baltimore a few days before the election of October 3, 1849, he had a drink with a friend and disappeared. On election day he was found lying near the Fourth Ward polling place at 44 E. Lombard Street, unconscious and in shoddy clothing not his own. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital (now the Church Home and Infirmary), where he died on October 7 without regaining coherence. 10 His "cooping," if such it was, is believed to have been the work of Whigs, but after the Know Nothings obtained dominance they adopted and expanded the practice. The Know Nothing "coops" added an extra feature. They used as guards friendly policemen who invoked the majesty of the law to keep the victims from escaping. The anonymity of the voters in the eyes of the election judges did not carry with it anonymity as to their voting intentions. The law required the use of ballots, and further required that they be folded so that they could not be read, but the political organizations printed their own and evaded secrecy by placing colored stripes on the backs. This device, also originally Whig, was appropriated by the Know Nothings, so that they could tell at a glance whether a prospective voter was with them or against them. All the Know Nothing gangs were adept at discouraging adverse voting, but the Blood Tubs made it their specialty. The name derived from their practice of placing large tubs of slaughterhouse blood outside the polling places, into which they dipped headfirst anyone having the temerity to approach the poll with a ballot of the wrong color. This proved especially persuasive with the Germans, who by and large were a peaceable lot and had little taste for blood. By means such as this, it did not take the Know Nothings long, once they acquired dominance, to dampen the election ardor of their opponents. At the City Council election of October 14, 1857, they virtually eliminated Democratic voting in all wards but the Irish Eighth, which they never succeeded in subduing." In the l1th, the Democrats polled only two votes; in the 14th, eight; in the 17th, ten; and in the 20th, one.' These token figures may have been designed to avoid the 10. Poe's whereabouts and activities immediately prior to his death are not known with certainty, and there may well have been exaggeration or untruth in the stories of his "cooping" and multiple voting. The known facts are detailed and analyzed in QUINN, EDGAR ALLAN POE, A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY 637-40 (1941). 11. In those days the City went no farther north than Eager Street and was split into two main divisions by Jones Falls. The eighth ward was east of Jones Falls (now the Fallsway), between Hillen Street on the southeast and Eager Street on the north. 12. SCHARF, op. cit. sopra note 5, at 558. 1966] MARYLAND LAW REVIEW undesirability of recording zeroes, which would open the door to attack by individuals who could prove that they voted for the losers. Or they may have represented people whom the Know Nothing leaders had some special reason to treat with respect. Like all political parties, the Know Nothings liked to assert their respectability. They tried hard to get men of standing to head their tickets, and they preferred not to injure individuals whom they regarded as "genuine swells." For example, they admitted George William Brown and Severn Teackle Wallis to their polling places in 1859, while strong-arming away lesser members of the Reform party. THE KNOW NOTHING TAKE-OVER It was not until 1854 that the Baltimore Know Nothings put a ticket in the field. At the City election on October 11 of that year they elected the Mayor and a majority of both branches of the then bicameral City Council.' 3 The next year they gained control of thirteen of the twenty-one counties. They still were meeting strong competition, however, and in 1856 they undertook to suppress this by force. In the resulting election disorders, fourteen men were reported killed and hundreds wounded. In the process, they elected Thomas Swann Mayor of Baltimore. He had been president of the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road and was later to be Governor of the State and a member of Congress. His standing and ability were such that many, including the Baltimore Sun, expressed confidence that he could bring the Know Nothing gangs under control. But although his administration brought other important benefits to the City, including the elimination of the volunteer fire companies, a reorganization of the police force, and the acquisition of Druid Hill Park, he was unable to bring about fair and open elections. Perhaps he did not really have his heart in this. He would not have been the first reformer, or the last, to compromise with his conscience with respect to election practices, on the theory that he could do more good in office than out of it, even if he had to cut corners to get there. The Democratic governor of the State, Thomas Watkins Ligon, attempted to get Mayor Swann to use the militia to quell election disorders and assure open voting. In 1857 Governor Ligon himself called out the militia. But the Mayor was not only uncooperative; he was adamantly opposed to any such plan, and denied the legal right of the Governor to invoke it. The Governor's power was indeed unclear. The statute expressly authorized the Mayor, the Judge of the Criminal Court, and the Judge of the Superior Court of Baltimore to call on the militia in order to maintain local peace, but it said nothing about the Governor's doing so. Accordingly, it was argued that this excluded the exercise of such power. Resort was had to the old game of getting prominent attorneys to express their opinions, and with the usual result. One long string of leading lawyers lined up behind the 13. SCHMECKZBI4R, op. cit. supra note 4, at 19, 29. [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE Governor, another behind the Mayor. The militia also exhibited great lack of enthusiasm for the Governor's call, and rather than risk further doubt and disorder he withdrew it. In the ensuing election, Democrats were so effectively barred from the polls that the Know Nothings swept the State, gaining control of the governorship as well as both houses of the State legislature. 4 One of the first acts of the new governor, Thomas Holliday Hicks of Dorchester County, and of the legislature was to publicly condemn Governor Ligon's efforts to intervene in the police or election affairs of the City of Baltimore. THE REFORM ASSOCIATION AND THE ELECTIONS OF 1859 Not all Baltimoreans were chicken. In 1858 a group of them organized the City Reform Association, declaring "their conviction that the only positive security . . . is the combined and resolute actions of the citizens themselves, within the limits of law." A guiding spirit in this was George William Brown, successful practicing lawyer, then aged 47, later to be Mayor of Baltimore and Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench. With him was Severn Teackle Wallis, four years younger and also destined for a long and distinguished career in the law. Two elections were due in the fall of 1859, one in October for the City Council, another in November for the State legislature and other offices. The Reform Association* girded for them, getting up slates of candidates, developing ward organizations, recruiting poll watchers, and sponsoring a mass meeting in Monument Square to whip up enthusiasm and support. The results were gratifying. On October 13, in spite of fraud and intimidation, they elected six of their candidates to the City Council."5 This was not sufficient to control the Council, but it was enough to arouse the Know Nothings, who organized a counter-demonstration the week before the November election. At this meeting, in Monument Square, their new weapon was officially unveiled. Some bright soul in Baltimore or elsewhere had discovered the perfect instrument with which to discourage voters, a shoemaker’s awl. It was cheap, easy to conceal and to use, excruciatingly painful to the victim, and non-lethal. Some enthusiasts strapped them to their knees, so as to puncture the backside of the victim by a simple move of the leg. Others favored manual operation, attaching the awl to a rubber band which would snap it up the sleeve after use. Both methods were admirably calculated to induce a distaste for voting. At the Know Nothing rally the Blood Tubs carried a sign, or transparency, portraying the head of a reformer streaming with blood. Others showed reformers being pursued with awls, and during the speeches a giant awl four feet long was conspicuously displayed over the speakers' platform. There was even a mobile blacksmith shop 14. Id. at 88. 15. Id. at 101. 1966] MARYLAND LAW REVIEW which busily manufactured and distributed awls during the course of the festivities. Henry Winter Davis, who has been called the greatest orator of his day, delivered the principal address. He flayed the reformers. It so happened that he belonged to a group of twelve lawyers, known as the Friday Club, which met once a month at each other's homes to read and discuss legal papers in convivial surroundings. Most, if not all, of the other members were leaders of reform, including George W. Brown, Severn Teackle Wallis, and Frederick W. Brune, Jr. So personal and scathing were Davis' remarks that the Club minutes for November, 1859, circumspectly record that "a correspondence took place between the Club and Mr. Davis, which resulted in his resignation."'" At the State election in November the Know Nothing gangs outdid themselves. The following descriptions are from the sworn testimony of witnesses at the later legislative investigation. WARD 10 Mr. S. Teackle Wallis testified: There was not, at any part of the time while I was there, free access to the window for all voters; ... there was a willful obstruction by a party of men not engaged in voting, who rallied under the cry of "Regulators," and came in a body from the house of Erasmus Levy, two doors south of the polls; about twenty minutes or a half an hour after the polls were opened, they were taken forcible possession of by the same party of rioters with a volley of bricks and a discharge of firearms; from that time until I left, no man was permitted access to the polls, except at the pleasure of the parties who had so taken possession of them .... The bricks were thrown and the firearms were discharged and into the midst of the members of the Reform party, who were standing north of the window and on the sidewalk, and in the street near it; ...a gentleman standing by my side called my attention to the fact that a large portion of the bricks had been removed altogether from the sidewalk in front of the house, between Levy's and the polls; .. .Levy . . . came rushing out, at the head of a crowd, . . .crying out, "Wade in, Regulators, wade in, we will take the polls, God damn you," and phrases of similar character; for the moment the Reformers stood their ground, and then the party who had rushed out ... discharged a volley of bricks, and fired a considerable number of revolvers into the Reform party;... Mr. Weaver, the sexton of Christ Church, was struck by my side; the attack was so violent and so sustained; no interference made by the judges, and no policeman visible on the ground, that there was no alternative for the Reformers but to leave the ground or sacrifice their lives uselessly; . .. 16. The minute book of the Friday Club is at the Maryland Historical Society. 17. MARYLAND HOUSE DOCUMENTS, Doc. U. and MARYLAND SENATE DOCUMENTS, Doc. L, Papers in the Contested Election Case from Baltimore City 175-77 (1860). Severn Teackle Wallis, whose home and law office were at 37 St. Paul Street, had written the stirring Reform Address to the Citizens of Baltimore. W. C. BRUCE, [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE WARD 14 Mr. Charles D. Hinks, of the fourteenth ward, testified: Shortly after the polls opened . . . there was a discharge of firearms in the crowd, and I saw a man who, I understood, was called "Sonny White," fall mortally wounded; the firing was very rapid, and the crowd scattered; I saw Gregory Barrett draw his pistol and fire five times, but being intently engaged watching him, I did not see at whom his pistol was pointed; after he had discharged all the barrels of his pistol, he called for rifles; he and some of his party raved like madmen, swearing that they would kill the Reformers, and I heard McGonnigan, one of the Rip Raps, swear that no Reformer should vote; except over his dead body, this he said with horrid oaths and imprecations, which I do not care to repeat in giving testimony; . . WARD 15 Mr. George H. Kyle, of the fifteenth ward, testified: I went to the polls at half-past eight o'clock A.M., and was within two feet of the window; remained there about five minutes, with my brother. I had a bundle of tickets under my arm, and one man walked up to me and asked me what it was that I had. I told him tickets; he made a snatch at them, and I avoided him and turned round; as I turned, I heard my brother say, "I am struck, George!" At the same time I saw my brother raise his stick, and strike at someone; the same, I suppose, that had struck him; at that moment, I was struck from behind a severe blow on the back of the head, which would have knocked me down, but the crowd which had gathered round us, some thirty or forty in a cluster, was so dense that I was, as it were, kept up; after I received this blow I drew a dirk knife, which I had in my pocket, with which I endeavored to strike the man, who, as I supposed, had struck me, I then felt a pistol placed right close to my head, so that I felt the cold steel upon my forehead; at that moment, I made a little motion of my head, which caused the shot of the pistol to glance from my head; my hat showed afterwards the mark of a bullet, which I supposed to have been from that shot; the discharge of the pistol, which blew off a large piece of the skin of my forehead and covered my face with blood, caused me RECOLLECTIONS 138 (1936) said: "Not only was Wallis the most brilliant public speaker that I have ever known, but his mind was the most highly cultivated mind that was ever brought to my knowledge.... ." And at 145 the author further elaborated: "[Hie does not seem to me to have ever had his superior in the entire history of the Maryland Bar.... ." The eulogy goes on at 147: "He was a game cock to the last feather. When one of the most murderous desperadoes of the Know Nothing reign of Fraud and Violence urged him to leave the polls, where he had taken his post, as a watcher, saying that, if Wallis did not do so, even he would be unable to save Wallis' life, the only reply that he got was the cool reply: 'That is your responsibility, not mine!'" 18. Id. at 243-44. Charles D. Hinks was a flour merchant, at 41 S. Howard St., and was later named by the legislature to the Board of Police Commissioners. His brother and partner, Samuel Hinks, had been elected Mayor of Baltimore in 1854 on the Know Nothing ticket. 1966] MARYLAND LAW REVIEW to fall; when I arose I saw my brother in the middle of the street, about ten feet from me, surrounded by a crowd, who were striking at him and firing pistols all around him; he was knocked down twice, and at one time while he was down, I saw two men jump on his body and kick him; he had no other weapon in his hand than his stick; in the meantime, I drew my pistol, and fired into the crowd, which was immediately in front of me, every man of whom seemed to have a pistol in his hand, and was firing as rapidly as he could; in this crowd there were fully from forty to fifty persons; I saw at the second story windows of the Watchman Engine-house building, in which the polls were held, cut-off muskets, or large pistols, protruding, and observed smoke issuing from the muzzles, as though they were being fired at me; I then turned towards my brother, and endeavored to get to him; when within a few feet of him, I saw him fall, placing his hand on his groin as if badly hurt; at the same moment, a shot struck me in the shoulder, which went through my arm and penetrated into my breast; from the direction the ball took, I am satisfied that the shot was fired from the second story of the engine-house; when I got up, my brother was still lying on the ground immediately opposite the door of the house into which he afterwards managed to get; I supposed that he was dead, and transferred my pistol from my right hand, which was disabled, to my left hand, and holding it in front of me, backed down towards Lee Street, the crowd following me; as I backed in that way, just as I got near Lee Street, a fellow ran out with a musket from under a shed, and I pointed my pistol at him, which made him change his position a little; as I continued to back off, a brick struck me in the breast, and I fell; just at that moment the musket was discharged, and the ball whizzed over me as I was falling; while I was so retreating, the crowd was firing at me constantly; when I arose there was no further trouble offered me, and in a few moments some one came up, with whom I went off; there were seven bullet holes in my coat, and the coat was cut as if by knives in various places; the pantaloons had also the appearance of having been cut by bullets; during all this time I saw no police officers, and it was only when I was on my way home that an officer came up and asked me my name; my brother died that evening from the effect of injuries received there. 19 According to the witnesses, the police not only made no attempt to protect voters but in some instances assisted the Know Nothings in their work of intimidation. For example, the Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser for November 3, 1859, gave this account of Tenth Ward activities: A few minutes after the polls were opened a party of men from the "Regulators" Tavern attacked the Reformers with awls. Mr. 19. Id. at 255-66. George H. Kyle was a partner in the firm of Dinsmore & Kyle, wholesale grocers and commission merchants, at 156 W. Pratt Street. [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE R. B. Fisher, of the firm of James I. Fisher & Sons, fired at his assailant. Paving stones were thrown at them, and six or seven men armed with rifles and horse pistols rushed out of Levy's [Erasmus Levy's tavern] 20 and commenced an indiscriminate firing, but fortunately no one was injured. Messrs. Fisher and Morris were both arrested, but their assailants were not troubled. THE POLICE REFORM BILLS As was to be expected, the recorded votes in Baltimore City heavily favored the Know Nothings. But the spreading knowledge of their practices had brought about a revulsion of feeling in the counties. Both houses of the legislature became Democratic; the Senate by the narrow margin of 12 to 10; the House by 46 to 28.21 By the time the legislature met in January, the Reform Association lawyers had been hard at work and presented a series of three bills: (1) to place the Baltimore police under the control of a State Board of Commissioners; (2) to reform election procedures and make them a responsibility of the police; and (3) to eliminate the alleged restriction on the right to call the militia to preserve the peace. The Know Nothing members of the Assembly set out to sabotage or kill the bills. In the House they were relatively powerless and could do no more than effect delay. But in the Senate the Democratic margin was paper thin. The Know Nothing strategy was to amend the police bill to death and, in the process, to postpone final action in the hope that some of the Democratic senators would get sick, go home or submit to Know Nothing pressure. In the Senate alone forty-two amendments were offered, one at a time, and a record vote was demanded on almost everyone, eating up legislative days and staving off final passage. Only one succeeded in breaking the ranks of the Democratic majority. It was sponsored by Senator Anthony Kimmel of Frederick County, an opponent of the bill, and provided "That no Black Republican, or endorser or approver of the Helper Book, shall be appointed to any office under said Board."22 The "Helper Book" was the product of H. Rowan Helper of North Carolina and advocated the abolition of slavery. It was published in 1857 and by 1860 had become a campaign document of the Republican party. It was symptomatic of the times that this amendment succeeded in breaking the legislative alignment, passing the Senate by 15 to 6. Its design, of course, was to invalidate or ridicule the proposed law. 20. Erasmus Levy's tavern, on Holliday Street, to which reference is also made in Mr. Wallis' testimony, was a notorious gang headquarters. Levy's and similar dens here and elsewhere brought the term "tavern" into such disrepute that dispensers of spirits sought to refurbish their public image by calling their establishments "saloons," a term which a century ago carried an air of gentility and elegance. 21. See WINGATE, THE MARYLAND REGISTER VOR 1860-1861, at 6, 8-9 (1860), for the composition of the 1860 General Assembly. 22. JOURNAL OF The PROCEEDINGS OF THE STATE Or MARYLAND 113 (Jan. Sess. 1860). 1966] MARYLAND LAW REVIEW On February 2, 1860, the police bill received its final vote of approval,23 and the companion bills followed in its wake. The Governor at that time was a Know Nothing, but the 1851 Constitution gave him no veto power and the bill became law. THE BATTLE IN COURT Both sides now girded for the inevitable court fight, and both took the offensive. The four Police Commissioners named in the Act brought a mandamus action to obtain possession of the station houses and police equipment owned by the City. The City countered with a suit to have the Act declared void and to restrain the Commissioners. The two actions were argued together before Judge Robert N. Martin in the Superior Court of Baltimore City.24 He was an able judge and had been on the Court of Appeals from 1845 to 1851. The new Constitution of that year had required that judges be elected. This was so offensive to the members of the Court of Appeals that they refused to run, and a wholly new court was elected. Later, Judge Martin became judge of the Superior Court in Baltimore. His opinion was crisp and to the point and knocked down, one by one, every substantial argument advanced by the fertile imaginations of the City lawyers. In this he had the support of some of the best legal brains of the day, the new Police Commissioners being represented by Reverdy Johnson, William H. Norris, James Mason Campbell, and Severn Teackle Wallis. The City was represented by Jonathan Meredith, William Price, William Schley, and Thomas S. Alexander. The issue was solely one of power, said Judge Martin, the question of expediency being exclusively within the province of the legislature. The City was a creature of the State, and the State legislature had the power to rearrange its functions as it saw fit, including the power to transfer municipally owned station houses and police equipment to State Commissioners. It was a public trust, and if the legislature saw fit to change the trustees, it had the right to do so. Within a month the Court of Appeals affirmed, opinions being written by Judge William Hallam Tuck and Chief Judge John Carroll LeGrand, of Baltimore City. Although much longer than Judge Martin's opinion, the Court of Appeals opinions did not add greatly to it. Indeed, their greater elaboration had the effect of creating doubts on some points that the lower court had merely brushed aside.25 23. The 1860 census figures for the political subdivisions from which members of the legislature were elected make it clear that the Know Nothings represented a larger proportion of the voters than did the Democrats, as shown below: Population Represented by Senators by Delegates Know Nothings 338,704 304,566 Democrats 117,204 211,342 24. Baltimore v. State, 15 Md. 376, 382-401 (1860). 25. 15 Md. 376. The most questionable part of the decision was that sustaining the legislative authority of the Police Commissioners to fix their own expenses and to require the City to pay them. The Court of Appeals regarded this as a delegation of taxing power, but sought to justify it on the basis of cases permitting the delegation of [VOL. XXVI BALTIMORE POLICE CASE The case was not as easy as the judges made it sound. No one could question that the City was legally a creature of the State, but the concept that the legislature could transfer the City's police to commissioners named in the Act was nevertheless revolutionary. By the same logic the legislature might have named a new mayor and a new city council. The Court of Appeals was humorous rather than serious in its treatment of the legislative anathema against Black Republicans and endorsers of the Helper Book. They had no way of determining, they said, what the words meant. Therefore they held them meaningless. 2 6 THE SWEETS OF VICTORY Whatever the legal quirks in the police bill, the proof of the pudding was in the voting. At the next election, held six months after the court decision, the new laws and the new police force performed so well that for the first time in a decade Baltimoreans were free to vote as they chose, free of violence, fraud or intimidation. Know Nothingism was smashed. And, to cap the climax, the voters swept into office as mayor the lawyer who had so fearlessly led the battle, George William Brown. Nor was this the only occasion on which the transfer of the police to State control was to have a dramatically beneficial effect. During the Civil War, Baltimore was subjected to force and intimidation of a different sort, purportedly in the interest of the war effort. Mayor Brown, the four Police Commissioners, Judge Bartol of the Court of Appeals, thirty-one legislators, and hundreds of other citizens were arrested without legal process. Many of them were imprisoned at Fort Warren, in Boston harbor, for more than a year, without the placing of any charges against them, merely because military officers hoped that their incarceration might render the City less contentious. 27 While the war was raging there was some color of justification for administering the City under what amounted to martial law. But the Radical Republicans who held political control at the war's end had no notion of surrendering their authority. Through the cooperation of the Police Commissioners they controlled the election machinery just as ruthlessly as the Know Nothings had before them. Many of the Radical Republican leaders had in fact been Know Nothings. By such power to municipal corporations, citing Burgess v. Pue, 2 Gill 11 (1844) and State v. Maryland, 2 Gill 487 (1845). This seems contrary to the spirit and purpose of the MARYLAND DECLARATION OF Rights aCt. XII (now art. 14), which was designed to vest the taxing power in the elected representatives of the people, in accordance with the principle of "no taxation without representation." A delegation to an administrative body, not directly responsible to the vote of the people, is very different from a delegation to a municipal corporation, and seems to violate this principle. 26. Id. at 484-85. 27. See C. B. Clark, Suppression and Control of Maryland, 1861-1865, 54 MARYLAND HISTORICAL MAGAZIN4 241 (1959). No charges were ever placed against Mayor (later Judge) Brown, who attributed his arrest and fourteen month incarceration to his refusal to use City funds to pay police officers who were appointed and controlled by the Federal military command. 19661 MARYLAND LAW REVIEW an overbearing application of what was known as the "Ironclad Oath," they exercised a form of thought control, barring from voting anyone who could not satisfy the Republican election judges that he had never sympathized with or extended aid or comfort to anyone connected with the Confederacy. The overzealous enforcement of restrictive rules is said to have disfranchised more than half the voting public." Again the key to the situation was the police, who had a large measure of responsibility for elections. The governor at the time was Thomas Swann. He had been mayor of Baltimore during the earlier crisis and had condoned the intimidation of voters by his supporters. Fate now gave him the opportunity to redeem himself. Like most of the Know Nothing leaders, Swann had become a Republican, and he had been a strong unionist throughout the Civil War. But with the war over he could no longer stomach the vengeful spirit and excesses of the party leaders then in command. Upon a petition from citizens of Baltimore, he removed the Police Commissioners and replaced them with appointees of greater tolerance. 29 The effect was to break the hold of the Radical Republicans upon Baltimore, and once more, through State control, to make elections free."° 28. KmNT, THE STORY oF MARYLAND POLITICS 5 (1911), places the proportion of those disfranchised at three-fourths. 29. See Andrews, History of Baltimore, from 1850 to the Close of the Civil War, in I BALTIMORE, ITS HISTORY AND ITS PEOPL 208-09 (1912). 30. By the LAWS oF MD. ch. 15 (1900), the Police Commissioners were made subject to appointment and removal by the Governor, rather than by the General Assembly, as theretofore; and by the LAWS OP MD. ch. 559 (1920), provision was made for a single Commissioner instead of a board. In 1920 and again in 1947 the General Assembly called for a vote in Baltimore City as to whether the Police Commissioner should be appointed by the Mayor or by the Governor. The Department of Legislative Reference shows the results as follows: 1920 1947 For appointment by Governor--------- 87,474 56,457 For appointment by Mayor -------- 72,779 24,809

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September 11, 2001

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Baltimore Police went to New York to take part in rescue/recovery efforts
L to R are: Shawn Garrity, Aaron Owens, Maxx Anderson III, and Greg Woodlon.
They were standing in the demolished lobby of the Millennium Hilton Hotel,
which was directly across from the footprint of the World Trade Center complex

2002 Newletter Blue LIne News Vol 35 Issue 10 to 11 72

From the 2002 BPD Newsletter to see full year of 2002 newsletter click HERE
To see this article go to page 5 of the PDF found in the links above

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September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks, commonly known as 9/11, were four coordinated Islamist suicide terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda against the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. That morning, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners scheduled to travel from the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the East Coast to California. The hijackers crashed the first two planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, two of the world's five tallest buildings at the time, and aimed the next two flights toward targets in or near Washington, D.C., in an attack on the nation's capital. The third team succeeded in crashing into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense in Arlington County, Virginia, while the fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania following a passenger revolt. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and instigated the multi-decade global war on terror.

The first impact was that of American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan at 08:46. Sixteen minutes later, at 09:03, the World Trade Center's South Tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175. Both 110-story skyscrapers collapsed within an hour and forty-one minutes, bringing about the destruction of the remaining five structures in the WTC complex, as well as damaging or destroying various other buildings surrounding the towers. A third flight, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon at 09:37, causing a partial collapse. The fourth and final flight, United Airlines Flight 93, flew in the direction of the capital. Alerted to the previous attacks, the passengers retaliated in an attempt to take control of the aircraft, forcing the hijackers to crash the plane in a Stonycreek Township field, near Shanksville at 10:03 that morning. Investigators determined that Flight 93's target was either the United States Capitol or the White House.

Within hours of the attacks, the Central Intelligence Agency determined that al-Qaeda was responsible. The United States formally responded by launching the war on terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which rejected the conditions of U.S. terms to expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and extradite its leaders. The U.S.'s invocation of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty—its only usage to date—called upon allies to fight al-Qaeda. As U.S. and NATO invasion forces swept through Afghanistan, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden disappeared into the White Mountains, eluding captivity by western forces. Although bin Laden initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he formally claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda's cited motivations included U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Iraq. The nearly decade-long manhunt for bin Laden concluded on May 2, 2011, when he was killed during a U.S. military raid after being tracked down to his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The war in Afghanistan continued for another eight years until the agreement was made in February 2020 for American and NATO troops to withdraw from the country, and the last members of the U.S. armed forces left the region on August 30, 2021, resulting in the return to power of the Taliban.

Not including the 19 hijackers, the attacks killed 2,977 people, injured thousands more and gave rise to substantial long-term health consequences while also generating at least $10billion in infrastructure and property damage. It has been described by many as the deadliest terrorist act in human history and remains the deadliest incident for both firefighters and law enforcement personnel in the history of the United States, killing 340 and 72 from each organization. The loss of life stemming from the impact of Flight 11 secured its place as the most lethal plane crash in aviation history followed by the death toll incurred by Flight 175. The destruction of the World Trade Center and its environs seriously harmed the U.S. economy and induced global market shocks. Many other countries strengthened anti-terrorism legislation and expanded their powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site (colloquially "Ground Zero") took eight months and was completed in May 2002, while the Pentagon was repaired within a year. After delays in the design of a replacement complex, construction of the One World Trade Center began in November 2006; it opened in November 2014. Memorials to the attacks include the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial at the Pennsylvania crash site.

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If you have copies of: your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

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Proposed Baltimore police and fire training facility copyProposed Baltimore police and fire training facility has a hefty price tag: $330 million
The Baltimore Banner - Justin Fenton and Ben Conarck - Published 8/25/2023 3:30 p.m. EDT, Updated 8/25/2023 4:14 p.m. EDT
A proposal for a new joint training facility for Baltimore’s police and fire departments on the Coppin State University campus has come back with a whopping price tag of $330 million.
A preliminary design report was posted to the Maryland Stadium Authority website Aug. 17, and it outlines two possible sites on the campus of the historically Black university in West Baltimore that would offer classroom and training space for the city’s two public safety agencies.
The Coppin project, pushed for nearly a decade and more formally explored starting in 2021, received renewed attention this week when a top Police Department official described it as a “tactical village,” drawing comparisons to the so-called “Cop City” project in Atlanta that has been the subject of protests.
But the controversial Atlanta project cost $90 million, a fraction of the proposed plans for the Baltimore facility. About $30 million of the Atlanta facility came from taxpayer funds, with the rest cobbled together from private donations.
Only $450,000 for the study has been expended thus far for the Coppin project. The design report addresses possible funding sources, including the suggestion of a possible “sunsetting public safety income tax” on residents. It also cites the Atlanta project as a “case study” in courting public support.
“The cost of this facility is a significant investment. However, the cost of doing nothing is exponentially more,” the report from architects Manns Woodward Studios concludes.
Gary McGuigan, an executive vice president with the Maryland Stadium Authority, said it was asked by Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott to secure the project study and that it’s up to the city to figure out next steps.
“We put appropriate contingencies and escalation into these numbers, and, yeah, it’s a big number, but it’s a big building,” McGuigan said.
City Council President Nick Mosby has championed the project for nearly a decade. In a phone call Friday afternoon, Mosby reiterated his support for a police training facility in West Baltimore but declined to comment on the costs outlined by the Maryland Stadium Authority because he said he wasn’t familiar with the report.
Scott’s representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.
At Thursday’s quarterly meeting on the Baltimore Police consent decree, Deputy Commissioner Eric Melancon said officials are trying to determine funding sources. He described the project as a “tactical village,” which drew ire online.
Atlanta’s plans drew national attention and local protests, with activists saying the plans would further militarize police. Demonstrators occupied a campground on its site, and a protester was shot and killed by police as they moved in to make arrests. Other concerns include the destruction of forests to make way for the facility.
“Baltimore and Maryland leaders have seen all the controversy around Atlanta’s #StopCopCity and decided we need one too, at the expense of investing in prevention & roots causes of violence,” Nick Wilson, a former city public safety official now with the Center for American Progress, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Discussion of the Coppin facility dates to at least 2015, when Mosby, at the time a councilman representing West Baltimore, expressed a desire to see such a facility and sponsored a resolution calling for a feasibility study that passed easily through the council. Mosby said then that “a “state-of-the-art academy in West Baltimore that leverages Coppin’s current criminal justice school is a win-win situation.”
Then-Senate President Mike Miller and then-Mayor Catherine Pugh also threw their support behind it in 2018. “We’re working with Coppin State University because I’m going to double train police officers,” Pugh said while speaking at a community event. “I have got to have another training facility.”
U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, who is overseeing the police consent decree reforms, also said in 2019 that building a new police training facility should be a top priority of city leaders and that the state should pitch in.
The Police Department training academy was located at a former school building just north of Pimlico Race Course. In 2019, amid discussion about moving the facility to Coppin, the city announced plans to relocate the academy to the University of Baltimore, at a cost of $6.8 million over five years, in addition to what The Baltimore Sun described at the time as “hundreds of thousands of dollars for parking and other fees associated with the move.”
Elected leaders including Antonio Hayes said at the time that they feared the University of Baltimore arrangement could come at the expense of the Coppin project, which he supported.
“It’s troubling to me, and it’s troubling to the community,” he said.
In May 2021, the Maryland Stadium Authority’s board of directors approved a memorandum of understanding to conduct a preliminary design of a new proposed Public Safety Building at Coppin State University.
Coppin State fully funded the design cost of $450,000 through a state grant. The stadium authority says the General Assembly has identified the new proposed Public Safety Building as a “priority project.”
Manns Woodward Studios won the contract to conduct the study in April 2022.
Their plan includes an indoor firing range and a “practical training village” that “combines the typical street widths found in Baltimore (alley, street, avenue) with the building typologies that the first responders will typically experience in Baltimore, such as two-story rowhomes, liquor stores, garden apartments, and a convenience store.”
“These buildings are modeled after real-world scenarios, enabling Fire and Police recruits to train independently and together,” the design plan says.
Also included is a community plaza where “local residents and university personnel can experience purposeful, positive interactions with first responders and alter preconceived perceptions.
“One of the significant challenges associated with this project will be to design an ‘Accessible Fortress’ that engages the community and keeps public safety personnel safe,” the study says.
Banner reporter Adam Willis contributed to this article.
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If you have copies of: your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll