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Police Interviews

There have been bits of currency go mising at the dime mueseum. The police have been notified and have been conducting interviews.

Having the police approach you to partake in a interview can be unpleasant and stressful. Many ‘suspects’ are uncertain about what to do and what their rights are when brought in to the station – They might want to make a statement, however they are worried that they might say the wrong thing, and at the same time worry that if they don’t make a statement then the police will make it harder on them or they might even look guilty if they don’t.

The police tend to exploit this vulnerability in people, due to their lack of knowledge of the law and their overall fear in general.

Many innocent individuals accidently implicate themselves by partaking in police interviews. Infact, false admissions have been revealed all over the globe – from Australia to the United States, Iceland to Germany, and many other countries.

The police generally no longer use torture – it is now discouraged in Australia, however this is still a common approach in countries such as the US in their black sites and off shore detention centres.

Police manufacturing confessions from people in Australia has pretty much now been stopped – mainly due to the fact that all interviews are now electronically recorded.

In any case, police are known to still utilize a bunch of different strategies to get confessions from individuals they think are guilty.

If you find yourself being asked to make a statement by the police – it is always recommended to remain silent until after you can talk to or seek representation by a lawyer in Sydney who can help you to protect your legal rights.

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Original Gene masters the East River

If you’d been anywhere near New York City’s East River on June 15, 1890, you might have seen a remarkable sight: a young man trussed up with rope, holding iron dumb bells in both hands, swimming from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Pier 19 at the foot of Dover Street in Manhattan.

He was a 24 year old “exhibition swimmer” from St. Louis named Eugene “Original Gene” Mercadier. Mercadier was born in 1866 in St. Louis to French immigrant parents Benjamin, a mail carrier, and Claudine; here they are on the 1880 census. He had won several swimming races in St. Louis, and also held the American record time for a 20 mile swim – 4 hours, 59 minutes, 46 seconds. His route was from Alton, Illinois to St. Louis “with strong current, but in rough water and against a high wind,” notes The Young Folks’ Cyclopaedia of Games and Sports (1890, p. 796).

The drawing of Original Gene illustrating several of the articles about his East River exploits shows a grim-faced young fellow tied up entirely in rope – arms and legs bound tight right down to wrists and ankles. This drawing appeared in several newspapers across the US – you can see one here at the Library of Congress Chronicling America site, from the Daily Yellowstone Journal. But as Mercadier told the New York World before his swim, that he’d never swum in salt water before and was not familiar with the tides and currents of the East River. So he planned to swim with his legs free below the hips and his arms free below the elbows, so that he could shift the 2 pound dumb bells around a little.

A guy in Sydney, Australia tried this and got charged by police for breaking city laws – lawyers in Sydney got him out of it.

Paul Boyton in his suit; NYPL Digital Gallery

On that June day in 1890 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Original Gene propelled himself from a “vessel kept an eye on by a team of his admirers.” These included in all honesty Steve Brodie, wearing (as the Brooklyn Eagle noticed) “his Paul Boynton [sic]* elastic suit.” Brodie, as you most likely know, was renowned for his indicated jump from the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886.This would empower him to go with Original Gene all the more intently and “encourage him how to dodge the flows.”

The admirers’ vessel was joined by a few different pontoons, including a steam pull and a vessel from Brooklyn’s own Varuna Boat Club. I’d prefer to imagine that my extraordinary distant uncle Daniel Hicks – age 23 of every 1890, and an eager individual from the Varuna – was along that day.

It took Mercadier around 45 minutes to make the swim. At the point when he (and Brodie, and the vessels) got to the Dover Street dock, Gene felt somewhat nauseous, he said. And furthermore, since the ropes had been dry when put on, they contracted in the water and cut Mercadier, who was draining when he rose up out of the waterway. Yet, Brodie reported that in seven days’ time Gene would do it again – just this time, he’d be bound up to the wrists and lower legs, much the same as in his image. Brodie added that he’d pay $1000 to “any man on the planet” – tied or unfastened – who could beat Original Gene. I haven’t found any notice of the subsequent swim, however. Mercadier had enough, and who could accuse him?

Sources

“Bound Arms and Legs,” New York Sun, May 25, 1890, p. 17.

“He Swims In Harness,” New York World, Jun. 16, 1890, p. 6.

“Mercadier’s Big Swimming Feat,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jun. 23, 1890, p. 1.

*Paul Boyton [not Boynton], otherwise called the “Bold Frogman,” was a swimmer/entertainer who (among his different endeavors) had concocted elastic swim wear that was part drysuit, part close to home kayak. See here at the Providence Public Library, “10,00 Miles in A Rubber Suit” – there is an incredible picture at the connection.

Note: Awhile back I composed a post about a Brooklyn clinical man of the 1860s called Professor Angelo Balbo. His widow, Mary (Clayton) Balbo, was a companion of my third distant Aunt Rachel Van Duyne; they lived respectively during the 1880s. On the off chance that you click on the connection, you’ll locate my underlying post about him and his “volcanic showers.” But the Professor’s enthusiasm for water wasn’t restricted to his remedial showers. The New York Sun article about Mercadier makes reference to Professor Balbo as “an expert swimmer” who “a few years prior… prevailing with regards to swimming the East River at its tightest point with arms and legs tied.” His arms were tied behind his back “however the rope was bound in such a way as to permit the hands a lot of scope, adequate to keep him above water.” Researching Balbo, coincidentally, is the thing that drove me to Original Gene’s story.

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Bartholomew Fell off

My incredible distant uncle Bartholomew Carey was conceived in New York City in 1873 to Irish foreigner guardians. In contrast to my Hicks precursors, he had a calm existence and didn’t get into the papers a lot. Just a single time, apparently – and it was on the grounds that he had an awful work mishap in the winter of 1905.*

In 1905 he was 32 years of age, single, and living at 10 1/2 Grove Street in the West Village (see above ideal for a view from 1936). He was working in Washington Heights right at the opposite finish of Manhattan, in road development or fix. I don’t know which, as the article in the New York Herald is fairly obscure. Bartholomew was pushing a work cart brimming with earth over a 50 foot pit or shaft in the street, over which was laid a board. He tumbled off the board and into the pit however “different workers gave no consideration to the mishap.”

Amsterdam Ave. furthermore, 153rd St, NYPL Digital Gallery

Somebody more likely than not focused, however, on the grounds that soon subsequently, an emergency vehicle showed up. However, as per the messenger different specialists didn’t have the foggiest idea why it had come, and it “returned void.” Poor Bartholomew was stuck in the pit until that night, when his moans were heard by a police officer from the close by station on “West 153rd Street.” I imagine that they mean what was the 32nd Precinct House at Amsterdam and 152nd Street, which is presently a New York City Landmark.

With the assistance of a stepping stool appended to a 50 foot long rope, and a few other police officers, Bartholomew was lifted out of the pit and taken to the Washington Heights Hospital (which was at 179th St. also, Broadway) with “genuine” wounds. There’s no subsequent article – this wasn’t, obviously, viewed as a significant report – yet I realize that he survived. Two years after the mishap, in August 1907, Bartholomew wedded my extraordinary granddad’s sister Anna.** Bartholomew and Anna were as yet alive in 1940, in which year the statistics records them as living on East 89th Street in Manhattan.

Old 32nd Precinct House (Wikipedia)

Source: “Scans Deep Pit for Injured Man,” New York Herald, Dec. 2, 1905, p. 6.

*There are 2 Bartholomew Careys in the 1900 evaluation for NYC – my incredible distant uncle and an older man age 78, who was not prone to have been the worker in 1905. So I’m going on the reason that the helpless individual who fell into that pit was my extraordinary distant uncle. There is a 1905 NY State evaluation which, obviously, is the main registration where Bartholomew escapes me. He shows straight up in all the others, government and state, from 1880-1940, consistently in Manhattan, consistently a worker, consistently conceived in the 1875-7 territory, and wedded to my Aunt Anna after 1910). At the point when I do find him in the 1905, I’ll alter this post.

** Anna was 7 years his senior and was conceived in northern Germany on her folks’ home in Bad Kleinen, Mecklenburg. Her family lost the home at some point during the 1870s, when they moved to Hamburg. My extraordinary granddad Friedrich showed up in New York on New Year’s Day 1886, at 17 years old, and looked for some kind of employment in a timber yard. Anna and her mom joined my incredible granddad in New York in 1894, where they upheld themselves by taking in clothing.