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Murder of David Paul

20 Oct 1920
Hacked Remains of David Paul, Missing Bank Messenger, Discovered by Gunners.
The Authorities of Burlington county have another baffling murder mystery to solve.On Saturday four duck hunters, William and James Cutts, and C.B. Inston, of Tabernacle, and George W. Duncan, of Audubon were passing through the pine forest at Irick's Crossing, near Tabernacle, when their attention was attracted by an automobile track following an old and rarely used trail leading to a stream toward which the gunners were making. As the car was miles off the nearest travelled road the tracks aroused the curiosity of the men and they followed them.

In a short time they came upon a freshly made mound over which dead leaves had been thrown. Leading to the mound from the shallow stream nearby were tracks of men and also marks as though some heavy object has been dragged by the men making the tracks. Thinking perhaps that a deer had been shot and secreted there, one or two of the men scratched around the end of the mound with sticks and within six inches of the surface a human foot was unearthed. This put an unexpected phase upon the situation and the gunners decided to let Sheriff Haines continue the investigation.

Word was hastily phoned to the jail at Mount Holly and the Sheriff and Detective Parker lost no time in reaching the scene of the tragic discovery. The new-made and crude grave was then opened under the Sheriff's direction. The body proved to be that of a man, fully dressed except for his coat which was lying buried deeper and under the body. The feet were tied with a heavy rope such as is used in towing automobiles and they were resting upward and back over the dead man's head. As soon as the features were uncovered Sheriff Haines recognized the dead man as David S. Paul, of Camden, a bank runner, who had been reported missing by the Broadway Trust Company of Camden ten days before, with $65,000 in cash and liberty bonds and $12,500 in checks besides a number of cancelled checks.

The body was badly mutilated and it was evident that a brutal murder had been committed. Apparently Paul had been dead but a few hours and the remains were in a good state of preserevation when discovered by the merest chance by the gunning party. There was a deep gash on the head as though made by a axe or hatchet, and the forehead was crushed in . Another ghastly wound just above one ear, alone was sufficient to have caused almost instant death. Every indication pointed to the man having been killed and buried within twenty-four hours of the discovery of the crime. The rigor of death had not yet set in and the victim's face appeared to have been freshly shaven. The marks on the ground accompanying the feet tracks leading from the stream about a hundred feet away,were quickly explained when the body was uneartherd. Evidently those who brought the body to the unfrequented spot had attemted to secret it in the stream, but finding the water too shollow to conceal the corpse, they had dragged it out again by the rope which bound the feet and pulled it to the spot where the grave was quickly made and the body of the unfortunate man shoved into it. The clothes which Paul wore bore every evidence of being new. The shoes also had eviddenely just been purchased and the soles bore no evidence of wear.
A search of the body failed to reveal any of the cash which the bank messenger is alleged to have taken when he so suddenly dropped out of sight while on his way across the ferry to go to a bank in Philadelphia to take the money, securities and checks for his employers. Only one cent was found in the pockets of the dead man. In the coat was a bundle of checks, said to have been cancelled. There had been no attempt to conceal the identity of the dead man. His watch which had stopped at 9.37, was found in his pocket and a stickpin and in his tie and a pair of sleeve buttons remained in the cuffs. How the dead man came to his untimely end and how his body happeded to be buried in the far away spot in the pines miles from any human habitation, was a mystery when the body was first discovered and it seems to be as much so today, although the authorities here, as well as those of Camden and Philadelphia, are exerting every effort to run down the criminals.

It will be recalled that Paul, who was 59 years of age , enjoyed the confidence of the bank officials by whom he had been employed for many years. He was a recent visitor in Mount Holly where he had a son, Harry Paul, and other relatives.
On the morning of October 5 Paul started across the river to Philadelphia in company with another bank employee, with a satchel said immediately afterward to contain $10,000 in cash and $12,500 in checks. This statement has since been revised and the amount of cash and Liberty Bonds that Paul carried is now variously stated to have been from $45,000 to $65,000. Upon reaching the other (not readable)the other bank (not readable)became seperated from Paul whether by accident of through Paul's design is not yet known and after (not readable) to find him at the ferry house, he went at once to the bank and reported his companion's disappearance. The Central Trust Company was immediatley notified and after all efforts to get in touch with the missing messenger had failed the Camden and Philadelphia police were asked to locate Paul.

Nothing more was seen or heard of him until his hacked body was discovered in the pines near Tabernacle ten days after his disappearance. What the missing bank runner did during the interim, where he spent his time or with whom he associated while the police of the county were searching for him has not yet been learned but it is expected that the mystery will be solved before long. One clue which seemed to put under suspicion the occupants of a yellow car truned out to be valueless when the owner, hearing of the authorities suspicions, came forward, gave his address as Haddonfield and proved that he drove a party in his yellow car inspecting some real estate in the pines shortly before the discovery of the body of the murdered man. Detective Parker yesterday said that he had just picked up what he considered the first piece of valuable evidence in the case since he stated to work on it on Saturday. He declined to state what this evidence was for the present.

There are endless theories being advanced as to how the dead man met his fate and in explanation of his disappearance with the large sum of money entrusted to his custody. Some officials incline to the view that Pual was killed either in Philadelphia or Camden and his body taken to the lonely spot at Irick's Crossing in the confident belief that it never would be discovered or at least not until time had obliterated identifying marks. Another theory is that the murdered man was taken alive in the automobile and killed near the spot where his body and rifled clothes were found. Ther is no means of telling which (not readable)correct at this time, quite as possibly both theories are at fault. The body was taken in charge by Coroner Isaac Clover who ordered it removed to the undertaking establishment of Cline & Sons, at Vincentown. Ther Dr. Longsdorf, of Mount Holly and Dr. Stein, of Camden, performed an autopsy, the result of which showed that Paul come to his death by wounds to the head, probably inflicted by a dull axe or hatchet.

There was a conference in Mount Holly on Sunday in which officers of Camden and Burlington counties participated. Those taking part were reticent after coming out of the room in which that meeting was held. In the discussion of the crime and the perparation of plans for running down the murderers, if there were more than one, were Sheriff Haines , Clifford R. Powell and County Detective Parker, of this county, and Prosecutor Wolverton, and Detectives Schregler and Doren, of Camden county. A reward of $1,000 offered by the Broadway Trust Company for the apprehension of Paul shortly after his disappearance is to be increased now for information leading to the capture of his murderers.

It is easily the most mystifying case that had come to the attention of the Burlington county officials for many years but they express confidence that it will be solved and the criminals run down.



22 Dec 1920
It took the jury only twenty minutes to find Frank J. James guilty of the murder of David S. Paul, at the conclusion of the sensational trial in Camden on Monday night. The verdict carried with it the infliction of the death penalty upon the self-confessed slayer of the bank messanger, the jury refusing the appeal of the prisoner's counsel to exercise clemency and recommend life imprisonment instead of captal punishment. The verdict came at the end of the five-day trial, during which the defendant's oral and written confessions were admitted in evidence in the face of counsel's strenous objection. Dapper and apparently self-possessed, James entered upon his ordeal last Wednesday but as the trial wore on and damning evidence piled up against him his confidence petered out and several times he collapsed, once having to be taken from the court room in order to allow him to regain his composure.
The Camden court house was besieged by a great crowd which clamored for admission to the court room in which the trial was held but the greater number of curiosity seekers were turned away. James offered insanity in his own defense but the evicence sought to be introduced to show that insanity exised in James' family was ruled out and after this failure the insanity defense was virtually abandoned, lawyer Harris admitting to the court during his argument that acquittal would not be asked on the ground of the prisoner's mental irresponsibility. Emphasis was made of the jury's right to find the prisoner guilty of first degree murder with a recommendation to life imprisonment instead of simply finding him guilty of fist degree murder, which without the recommendaion mentioned carries with it death by the electric chair.

A stirring appeal was made by lawyer Harris to the sympathy of the jury and the counsel was visibly affected by his own feelings as he spoke. He had known James from boyhood and his appeal for clemency evidently came from the heart. At the conclusion of argument Supreme Court Justice Katzenbach delivered his charge to the jury in part as follows:"It now becomes your duty to render a verdict on the question of the guily of Frank J. James. You must be governed by the evidendce; in determinging questions of fact sole responsibiblty is upon you. Any commment I may make on the evidence is only to aid you. If there be in your minds a reasonable doubt you must acquit the defendant. 'reasonable doubt' however, is not a 'possible doubt', because everything in human affairs is open to possible or imaginary doubt. "You will therefore, be justified in assuming that a criminal homicide was committed. The law provides that all murders committed in attemting to commit a robbery shall be of the first dgree. You have three choices-of declaring James not guilty, of rendering a verdict of murder in the fist degree with no recommendations, or of rendering a verdict of murder in the fitst degree with recommendations that he be sentenced to life imprisomnent at hard labor, and under the law I must be guided by your recommendation if so made."The jury was then sent from the court room and a recess was taken.This was at 4 o'clock. Upon resuming, an hour and a half later,the jury was summoned, it having been announced to the court that a verdict had been reached. When the foreman spoke for the twelve men composing the jury there was a tense stillness in the crowded court room. Jones seemed to be the most self-possessed of any of the principals in the trial.He presented a picture of composure although the grim set of his jaw indicated the great mental stress under which he was laboring. When the verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree was announced many of those in the room were visibly affected by the words which meant death to the accused man but James, who had almost miraculously recovered his nerve after the break-down during the early stages of the trial,was unmoved. As he was led away to his cell he turned and cast a searching glance over the crowded court room, looking for his relatives but they were not there, having anticipatea what the verdict would be and wishing to avoid any more distressing scenes. As he passed out of the court room, to which he will be returned for sentence to the electric chair, James said to the officer who had him in charge, "It is no more than I expected." Counsel for the defense at once filed application for a new trial, and was given ten days in which to file his reasons. It is understood that his appeal will be based on three exceptions to the rulings of Justce Katzenbach. The crime for which James is believed to be certain to pay the death penalty, was one of the most brutal in the criminal annals of Camden county.

According to James's confession he conspired with Raymond Schuck to decoy the bank messenger with whom they were both on friendly terms, into an automobile , while Paul was on his way from his place of employment to another financial institution with a large sum of money for the latter. Accordingly they timed their movenemts so that they met Paul soon after he had left the Cantral Trust Company on Broadway, and offered to take him to the Camden ferry. When they had entered the almost deserted driveway which parallels the iron shed on Market street leading to the ferry house, james struck Paul from the rear with a heavy piece of automobile spring, repeated blows rendering him unconscious. Paul was pulled back into the rear part of the car and Schuck it is claimed, at James's direction, stared out of the city. On the way Paul partly recovered consciouness and pleaded for his life but Jame again struck him and later fired two shots into his victim's head with the latter's own revolver. The flight of the murderers with their victim's body then led them over int Burlington county. They kept going until they reached a lonely spot at Irick's Crossing near Tabernacle where they pulled the dead man out of the car and tying his feet threw the body into a shallow stream.



29 Dec 1920
The trial of Raymond W. Schuck for the murder of David S. Paul, has been postponed from January 4 to February 7. Application for the postponement was made before Supreme Court Justice Katzenbach at Camden on Monday, by J. Russell Carrow, counsel for Schuch. Prosecutor Wolverton did not interpose any objection. The ground on which the postponement was asked was that time might be given for the drawing of a special jury panel. The postponement of Schuck's trial may result in putting off the sentencing of his confederate in crime, Frank James, already convicted of murder in the first degree. The State may want to use James as a witness against Schuchk. The latter claims that he entered into no plot with James to murder Paul and that he had nothing to do with the actual killing, James said that Schuck was as deep in the revolting crime as the former and that as a matter of fact Schuck struck some of the blows that caused death. There is no attempt made to conceal the enmity between the two fromer friends.

12 Jan 1921
Supreme Court Justice Katzenbach has set February 14 as the day for sentence of Frank James, convicted of the murder of David S. Paul, bank messenger, and refused an application of counsel for Raymond W. Schuck for a special panel of talesmen for his trial, set for February 7. The justice granted the applicaition of Lawyers John and William Harris for a writ of error in the James case. The writ will be argued before the Caourt of Errors on March 1 and will act as a stay in carrying out the sentence of electrocution of James, whose counsel will not press the application for a new trial made on the day of his conviction.

Feb 16 1921
Faces Jury With a Smile-Mystery Woman Appears; Kept From Reporters-State's Surprises.
Twice postponed, the trial of Raymond W. Shuck, of Camden, for the murder of David S. Paul, the bank messenger whose body was found in a shallow grave in the pines of this county last fall, was commenced in the Camden county court on Monday. Supreme Court Justice Katzenbach and County Judge Kates were on the bench. There was the same large crowd present at the sessions on the opening day as attended the trial of Frank J. James, who earlier was convicted of murder in the first degree for his part in the dastardly murder and is now awaiting sentence.Shuck, dapper and apparently confident of escaping the electric chair, sat beside his counsel, J. Russell Carrow, while the jury was being selected and appeared to take a keen interest in the selection of the talesmen. Frequently he leaned over to confer with his lawyer as though to offer suggestions as to the acceptability of otherwise of members of the special panel who were being questioned by Prosecutor Wolverton or Judge Carrow.

Back in the audience sat Shuck's well-dressed and rather good looking young wife who had their small son with her. She was accompanied by friends and seemed to have the personal sympathy of everybody in the court room. She had remained steadfast in her faith in her accused husband and even in the face of evidence of his infidelity, her apparent affection for Shuck did not waver. Six hours were expended in securing twelve men tried and true, who were acceptable to both the State and defense. Counsel for Shuck challenged the array of talesmen on the grounds that there were no women in the panel. The challenge was not allowed by Supreme Court Justice Katzenbach, presideing judge. Finally the jury was made up and the trial at once began.Jacob Hill, a farmer., of Merchantville, was the first juror accepted and was consequently selected as foremen. Hill is a personal friend of the Shuck family.
The other jurors follow:John H. Sibley, clerk, 576 Line street, Camden;
Charles Myers, painter, Pensauken;
Benjamin Hoffman, real estate, 1323 Broadway, Camden;
William P. Fowler, manager, Westmont;
George Riggs, retired, Merchantville;
Charles Fells, farmer, Gloucester township;
Harry App, carpenter, Merchantville;
Nathan Holland, huckster, Pensauken;
Harry Fifield, mechanic, 712 Haddon avenue, Camden;
William H. Gourley, farmer, Pensauken;
Joseph Keegan, retired, Haddon Heights. Keegan is sightless. Despite his condition he was accepted after withstanding cross-examination.

When Prosecutor Wolverton, with out attempt at oratory of the theatrical but in an even, conversational tone, opened the case for the State and outlined to the jury what the prosecution would undertake to prove, Shuck at times gulped hard and seemed to be having a difficult time to preserve his outwardly calm demeanor. The Prosecutor made it clear at the outset that the State would contend that Shuck had the part of the principal in the murder of Paul and that he dealt some of the blows which resulted in the bank messenger's death. Not only did the Prosecutor charge that Shuck dealt death-causing blows upon Paul but he also alleged that Shuck on two occasions previous to October 5 conspired with James to hold up and rob Paul of sums of money he was carrying. He named the north walk to Federal street ferry as the advantageous spot where the holdup could be staged. That allegation came as a great surprise and it is believed weakened Shuck's defense. The Prosecutor averred that he could prove to the jury that Shuck and James had twice befoe October 5 arranged to holdup, but failed to carry it out because their nerve failed them. The Prosecutor recited the details of the Paul murder. He explained that Shuck's previous statements that he knew nothing of any plot to rob Paul. He charged that Shuck was aware of the conspiracy and that he was a willing conspirator. Graphically did the Prosecutor relate how Paul was unmercifully beaten in James' automobile in the rear of the Market street walk to the Pennsylvania ferries. He further alleged that Shuck helped toss Paul over the front seat into the back of the car where James findishly wielded tha automobile spring flange. It was also charged that shuck dealt the finishing blows which silenced tha pleading Paul, who begged for his life. The placing of Paul's body in the swamps at Irick's crossing near Babernacle, Burlington county, and the burial of the body later were related by the Prosecutor, who also told of how Shuck hid the money first in his own home and later in a grave in the Shuck family lot in Evergreen Cemetery. In closing the Prosecutor asked the jury to return a verdict of murder in the fist degree. The appearance of a handsomely dressed and rather striking looking young woman when the trial was begun, lent a new phase to the situation that was watched keenly by those who knew the facts. The young woman is known by the officers who have been working on the case , as "Mysterious Mary". It is alleged that she kept $1,300 which Shuck left in her custody over night after the murder, he promising to buy her a $480 fur coat the next day, which he did. It is not alleged that this young woman with whom Shuck's relations are hinted to have been more than platonic, had any guilty knowledge of the crime or of her admirer's particepation in it. She is believed to have told a straght story to the Prosecutor and it is the understanding that her presence at the trial is intended as a subtle threat by the State that if Shuck undertakes to lie on the stand and further becloud the situation, the woman known to (missing the rest of the article...page missing)

23 Jan 1921
Harry Paul, of Mount Holly, son of David S. Paul, the murdered bank runner, of Camden, had been in attendance at the trial of Raymond Shuck, one of the murderers of the elder Paul, in Camden, when he was interviewed by a newspaper reporter on Monday. Here is what he said after stating that his mother has been in failing physical condition ever since the tragedy, and that he feared she would die as the result of "No matter what happens to these her grief and the shock of the crime: men Schuck and James -it will not bring my father back to me. "I feel terribly sorry for the families of James and Shuck. No one has any idea of my sumpathy for them. "But as for the men themselves, their conscience must be racked by the knowledge that their days seem to be numbered, and their end will be the electric chair. I cannot say I want to see them die as murderers. I cannot move myself to voice such an expression. "I cling to the belief, however, that if they do escape the death penalty, it would be a horrid example for other men with evil in their minds."

It took the jury at Camden yesterday less than an hour to return a verdict of first degree murder agaist Raymond W. Shuck for his part in the murder of David S. Paul.The defendant had been subjected to a gruelling cross-examination lasting nearly ten hours in all, by Prosecutor Wolverton, said to have been the longest line of interrogation of a murder defendant ever pursued in a trial in New Jersey. Shuck claimed that he was not a party to the actual murder but was compelled to drive the murder car and help dispose of the body of the victim at Irick's Crossing, near Tabernacle, this county, under threats of death by Frank James, already convicted of murder in the first degree and awaiting the sentence that will send him the electric chair. There was marked feeling between the two accused men when James appeared as a witness for the State. He made no effort to escape his own responsibility for the crime but stoutly maintained that Shuck had assisted in planning the crime and was equally guilty with him. Large crowds witnessed every session of the long trial which lasted all of last week and over into this, being concluded yesterday afternoon after the noon recess. It was evident that J. Russell Carrow, counsel for the prisoner, was fighting to save his client from the chair and that life imprisonment would be a welcome alternative. Even some of those who had worked on the case for the State were not sure that Shuck would be called upon to pay the extreme penalty for his complicity in the foul murder. A recommendation for mercy, included in the jury's verdict of first degree murder would under the law have required the court to pass a sentence of life imprisonment instead of capital punishment. Strangely enough, this bill was introduced and sponsored by Prosecutor Wolverton, when he was a member of the House Assembly some years ago.Shuck's wife stood by her dissolute husband throughout his trying ordeal and aided him in every way in his fight for life. She was evidently on the verge of collapse during the closing hours and when called to the stand fainted before she had been under the Prosecutor's questioning more then two or three minutes. She was not called back, nor was she in the court room when her faithless husband was pronounced equally guitly of the murder of Paul and started on his way to the death chair. He will be sentedced on a date to be fixed later by the court.

22 Jun 1921 Practically the last hope of the convicted murderers, Raymond W. Shuck and Frank J. James, of escaping the chair was dispelled on Monday when the Court of Errors refused their application for new trials. The verdict of the court was unanimous. The two doomed men were convicted of the murder of David S. Paul, a bank messenger, of Camden, and after the crime they buried the body of their victim in a shallow grave at Irick's Crossing not far from Tabernacle, this county.There is one last ray of hope for the condemned men and that is that the Court of Pardons might commute their death sentence to life imprisonment. James and Shuck will probably not be put to death until next fall. An appeal will be made to the court of pardons for commutation of their sentences and this appeal acts as a stay until that tribunal gives its decision, and it has adjourned until the middle of next September.While it is possible for a special session of the pardon court to be held this is not probably and is never done except in emergency cases.In the meantime, James and Shuck will be returned to Camden for sentence.


CAST OF CHARACTERS

Det. Ellis Parker: Detective Ellis Parker: According to this site, : "Ellis H. Parker was born at Wrightstown, NJ, now better known as Camp Dix on Sept. 12, 1871. He is the son of Anthony J. Parker whose forefather Marcus Parker was killed in the battle of Monmouth at the time of the revolutionary war. He was raised on a farm. In early life took up the study of music and for a few years played a violin for dances. Then he was selected by the Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean County pursuing society, to act as one of the pusuers in the detection of horse thieves. Prior to this, he suffered being robbed a couple of times and these he solved himself. He had good luck in catching horse thieves and on April 4, 1894 he was called to Mt. Holly by the prosecutor Eckard B. Budd to act as county detective for the county of Burlington. In those days he was paid under the fee system. It is said that Mr. Budd never questioned ay bill of his where he made good but would not allow him anything where he failed. This probably is the cause of him being successful; although he says that a good wife and a contented mind is responsible for his success. He served 6 years under Mr. Budd and then 15 years under Mr. Samuel A. Atkinson and nearly 10 years under Jonathan H. Kelsey. During this time he has handled every class of crime on the statute book. He has had 103 murder cases - 96 convictions and 1 case pending. He has shown that he can work cases in other counties as well as his own - the David Paul murder case in Camden, the bank messenger, was traced down by him and two persons paid the death penalty. This case attracted world wide attention and is only one of the many mystery cases that he solved. He also had the William Giberson murder case in Ocean County, whose wife, Ivy is now serving a life sentence. About one year ago [ca. 1924] he was called by the Attorney General of NJ, Thomas McCran to work on a case in Morris County, NJ. He located his man in St. Louis. MO and he was convicted. He was again called to work in one of the upper counties in another investigation which is still in progress. No case that he has ever had has been too big for him to handle. He has shown that he can direct work as well as do it himself, although he makes no specialty of any crime. Burlington County this year will be richer by many thousand dollars through his efforts of enforcing the Hobard act. He has had many fluttering offers but has refused preferring to stay in NJ. He not only is locally known but is nationally known in his work and can get assistance from all police departments and through government channels."

On the 1910 census, Ellis H. Parker, 38, detective, lived in Northampton Township. His wife, Cora E. and he had been married about 10 years at that point. They had Anthony J., 8 and Mildred E. Parker, 7 and Charlotte Parker, 2,living with them, as well as a boarder from Maryland whose name I can not make out. By 1920, he was living on High St in Mt. Holly, in an apartment building. Son Anthony was employed as a weaver at that time. There were several new children as well: Ellis Jr, age 9; Lillian J, age 4; Jane A, age 2; and Edward S. Parker, age 2 mos in Jan of 1920.

Parker was involved in the Allinson case in 1906, the Matilda Russo case in June of 1921, as well as many, many other cases in Burlington County in the early 20th century.