The Cleveland Police Department Never Gave Up!


From the moment of the senseless double-murder on New Year’s Eve Day 1920, the police never gave up the hunt for the six suspects involved in a payroll robbery-gone bad.  Police officers and prosecutors tracked to and /or arrested the killers in Los Angeles, Mexico City, San Francisco and finally Sicily, taking some fifteen years to make sure justice was served.


The crime was carried out by members of Cleveland’s infamous Mayfield Road Mob. The plot to rob the local businessmen was hatched after one gang member, convicted of auto theft, was desperate for cash to file an appeal. Short on manpower, the gang’s leader was forced to involve himself and an immature teenager in the daring hold-up. The young man’s inexperience led to the double slaying and the manhunt was on.

In the end, of the six participants, three would pay with their lives in the electric chair, one would be sent to prison for life, another received 30 years at hard labor, and the last one, the younger brother of Cleveland’s first Mafia boss, would go free.

This story also gives a chilling look at one of the most violent periods the city of Cleveland has ever faced. When a new prosecutor took office on January 1, 1921, he was faced with handling three sensational murder trials in addition to the one which took place only the day before. This lawless period resulted in the Cleveland Crime Survey of 1921, the country’s first in depth study of the justice system in a major United States city.

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