Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Eye That Never Sleeps - part four

The Adams express robbery is probably one of my favorite cases. This occurred on January 6, 1866 when the Adams Express en route to Boston was robbed of $700,000 in cash, bonds and jewels. Pinkerton was called in and he joined his sons (now part of the business) in New York. 

At that time The Adams Express "carried" between New York and Boston via an indirect route. Among the employees was the messenger, whose only task was to check the padlocks on the express car - which was allegedly "thiefproof" - at each of the six stops.

At first Moore (the messenger) claimed that he discovered one of the two doors of the iron car ajar when they reached New Haven. However, upon closer questioning Moore admitted he had only checked the doors once, at Bridgeport.

Pinkerton flooded the area with operatives and it wasn't long before a Pinkerton operative discovered a bag of $5,000 in gold coins that had been left behind at Cos Cob where the thieves had exited the train. Livery Stables were checked and in Stamford two unidentified men had apparently tried to hire a horse and buggy the night of the robbery. They were refused since the owner didn't know them. A description was given and the men were trailed to Norwalk where one of them was identified as John Grady, a brakeman on the railroad.

From Norwalk station the investigation led them to an old man named Tristam who had, according to witnesses, refused to check his bag, holding it possessively on his lap throughout the journey. Back in the city, they trailed Tristam to the Lower East Side and a run down tenement on Division Street. The apartment was raided and $113,762, still in the Adams Express bags, was found. Tristam was picked up in a tavern a few blocks away and soon confessed, giving up John Grady, and two other men who were not associated with the railroad.

This little escapade is the one that features in my novel,PARADISE. Tomorrow I'll introduce you to my Pinkerton agents and tell you one last story.










16 comments:

  1. That is very cool. Even without all of the technology we have today, they still tracked down the robbers. Quite impressive.

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    1. It is amazing and fascinating to read about.

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  2. what? They had almost one million $ in the train and not a small army to follow it and protect it?

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    1. They didn't need a small army they had the Pinkertons!
      :)

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  3. I'm enjoying your history adventure.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    I've been keeping up by Iphone and email mostly. And I don't always get to comment.

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  4. Another good tale, keep it coming!

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  5. This is a really cool story! I'm going to have to go back and read the previous installments. I'm sorry I've missed out.

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  6. That was a LOT of money in those days.

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    1. It was indeed - a single heist like that you could probably live very well somewhere.

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  7. It fascinates me how detective work has changed. How did they figure things out when they didn't have the technology that we have? They managed to do it. But how much better were they then? Or were they worse?

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    1. I think the detectives themselves were probably just as good, or bad. And just like today it still involves a lot of leg work and talking to people.

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  8. The robbers didn't cover their tracks very well, did they? Great story.

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  9. I'm amazed that there wasn't an Army escort with that much money in the train. I'm also amazed that even back then, good detective work can solve just about any crime. Of course, back then they probably got away with beating information out of people. Maybe?

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  10. Wow, how's that for an interesting story - thanks for sharing... amazing they could follow through so well in "those days."

    PS... If I never mentioned it, I *love* how you often change your wonderful background with another great picture:)

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