Friday, May 25, 2012


Fleeing their robbery of $2,528 from the Goodland Stateland Bank of Goodland, Indiana, on May 25, 1937, the Brady Gang (a cocky Al will say his criminal escapades will one day make Dillinger look like a piker), consisting of Public Enemy #1 Al Brady (26), Clarence Lee Shaffer, Jr. (21), and James Dalhover (30), add a killing to the list of their crimes for the day.

Using backroads to return to their base in Baltimore, Maryland, about 15 miles outside of Goodland the bandits observe officers of the law waiting for them near the village of Royal Center.  Stopping, the trio open fire on the roadblock, then reverse course and drive rapidly away, actions that immediately draw a chase response from Indiana State Police officer Paul Minneman and Deputy Sheriff Elmer Craig of nearby Cass County.  But fleeing is not the gang's normal method of conducting themselves when confronted by police, throwing lead is, and upon arriving at the first crossroad on their escape route, they park behind a church and prepare an ambush for their pursuers.  Stopping at the crossroad and beginning to exit their vehicle to read the tire tracks in the road seeking which direction the outlaws have fled, the officer instead discover that the gang hasn't fled at all when both men are struck by a barrage of rifle and machine gun bullets from the trio of bandits.  In the hail of lead, Minneman is hit over twenty times and mortally wounded (a tough one, he somehow survives for two days before leaving behind a wife with their as yet unborn daughter) and Craig is seriously wounded.  Then showing thievery fills every fiber of their being, the killers pause to rob the officers and their vehicle and add to their bank loot, two pistols, a shotgun, a medicine kit, two holsters, a pair of handcuffs, and the officers' wallets. 
                                           Paul Minneman
                                                  Present day site of the killing
After the killing and the looting of their victims, the Brady Gang makes it safely back to Baltimore without any further mayhem, however the target on all their backs is now even bigger than it was before and by the end of the year they will be no more ... on October 12, 1937, in Bangor, Maine, Brady and Shaffer foolishly decide to shoot it out with over thirty members of the Bangor police force, the Indiana State Police, and the FBI ... a decision that results in the outlaws being fatally hit by over 60 bullets.

                      Brady (foreground) and Shaffer in Maine
And arrested before he can be gunned down too, Dalhover pays for his many crimes and also the killing of Minneman, when in 1938, he receives the dubious honor of being the last man to get cooked in Indiana's electric chair. 

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