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More in Crime
Not-so-good old days
This week, for our readers' edification and/or amusement is a hodgepodge of small items culled from various issues of the Norway (Oxford County, Me.) Advertiser in the late winter and early spring of 1933.
At that time, as now, felonies were heard in Superior Court, along with civil suits and jury trial.
Superior Court Oxford County grand jury returned 18 indictments, 11 of them being secret.
Lester Lapham of Rumford was indicted for man-slaughter in connection with the death of Albert Small. Small died from a bullet in the head fired by Lapham who was target shooting near a logging operation at Rumford Point.
Chester Ladd of Bethel is charged in an indictment of shooting a man while hunting. The indictment resulted from the shooting by Ladd of Walter Lorry, whom Ladd mistook for a deer, while on a hunting trip.
Alex Dragoon, Peru, two indictments, drunken driving and reckless driving. These charges resulted from an automobile accident in which 10 year old Frederick Hutchinson of Canton, was killed.
Joseph McDonald, Roxbury, breaking, entry and larceny, at the summer home of Ann F. Driscoll, Nov. 14. A saw, axe and a lantern valued at $4 were taken.
Marshall Rolfe, Mason, breaking, entry and larceny at the home of Anne B. Blanchard. A rifle valued at $20 and a pair of pants valued at $5 were taken.
Mrs. Theo Purrington Mayberry, Norway, larceny of $10, the property of Peter Damgaard. No indictment was returned against Frank Emery of Norway held with Mrs. Mayberry and Kenneth Mayberry for larceny and he was discharged by the court.
Court adjourned Tuesday night until Thursday morning, Wednesday being Washington's birthday. Three prisoners were arraigned Tuesday morning, James MacDonald of Roxbury pleaded guilty to breaking, entering and larceny at the summer home of Ann F. Driscoll on Nov. 14. Mrs. Theo P. Mayberry of Norway pleaded nolo to the larceny of $10 from Peter Damgaard. The case was continued for sentence. Leo Loisel of Rumford pleaded guilty to escape from the Oxford County jail at South Paris, May 22, 1932. At the time, he was confined to the State reformatory at South Windham.
Lesser offenses were called in Norway Municipal Court, which filled the role currently occupied by South Paris District Court.
Norway Municipal Court
Erlon Emerson of Norway pleaded guilty Monday forenoon to the charge of driving intoxicated. Judge Harry M. Shaw imposed a fine of $100 and costs of court which were paid and respondent discharged. Deputy Sheriff Carl MacPhee was complainant.
Harold Eames of Bethel pleaded guilty to larceny of money and a pair of moccasins at Niamey's store in Bethel. The case was continued for sentence and respondent placed on probation for one year, to report regularly to Deputy Sheriff Chester A. Cummings, who was complainant.
On complaint of Deputy Sheriff J. J. Flynn, Donald Littlefield and James Ramsey of Paris, of high school age, were before Judge Harry M. Shaw, Feb. 2, and pleaded guilty to malicious mischief. They were charged with breaking glass in windows and other acts at the Wheeler farm, formerly the Bolster place, on the East Oxford road. Both were placed on probation for one year and to report regularly to Sheriff W. O. Frothingham.
Trio in Larceny Case
The cases of Eleanor A. Bennett of Canton, Albert Pomerleau and Irenne Bois of Lewiston, charged with breaking, entering and larceny, were continued in the Norway Municipal court Monday, to March 7. They pleaded not guilty.
Irenne Bois, 23, and Albert Pomerleau, 29, both of Lewiston, and Eleanor A. Bennett, 24, of Canton were turned over to Sheriff W. O. Frothingham, Sunday night after their arrest in a Lewiston garage by Sheriff Walton and deputies.
The chase for the trio began when Miss Sarah Reed of Canton saw a man come out of the Ellis and Son's store at Canton at 2 a.m. Sunday. She notified Ellis who found the store had been broken into and shirts, trousers, mittens and cartons of cigarettes and boxes of candy stolen. These goods are said to have been found by officers in the homes of the men.
According to their own admissions the trio are not only held responsible for the Ellis store break but for the breaking into of the John J. Julius garage at Brettun's Mills early Saturday morning and at Green filling station owned by Arthur Greeley, last Monday night when a cash register was stolen.
The points that stood out to your researcher include the relatively petty (in today's economy) value of items stolen — a pair of pants worth $5, a saw, axe and lantern valued at $4, hardly seem, 80 years later, worth the effort of stealing, or reporting the theft, let alone, the cost to the town of a police officer filling out a report. However, this was during the Great Depression and the thefts and values of stolen goods must be considered in that context. The axe and saw could have represented a family's source of income and the trousers the better of the owner's two pair.
We'll close this week's review with some good advice, even though the Legislature didn't make it a law.
Walk on the Left Side
A bill was introduced in the Maine Legislature requiring pedestrians to walk on the left side of the road.
The walkers would thus face advancing motor vehicles and be in much greater safety than if on the other side, while car drivers would be relieved from a great hazard, particularly when driving at night. There are some states, we understand, that have a statute under which pedestrians, who are injured by a motor car, when they are walking on the right side of the road, are unable to collect damages in the courts. We do not know if persons, who are so regardless of their own safety as to walk on the right side of the highway, can be driven to the other side, even by legislative action but the proposal seems to be well worth trying.
Of course, the advice was not intended to apply to politics, but the legislature eventually took it that way.
As is our custom, we try to exactly reproduce the grammar, spelling, punctuation and style of the original. Commas might appear where least expected and remain absent where we’d expect them if the item was written nowadays. On the other hand, consistency was not considered of utmost importance, so variations of a spelling might appear within one story. In addition, some words were abbreviated differently than today. Where brief explanations of terms are considered necessary, they are presented in brackets  within the quote. Otherwise, explanations appear at the beginning or at the conclusion, without quotes. Parenthesis () used in a quoted passage appeared in the original.