Saturday, May 24, 2014

John J. Delaney

Little Murders:
From Defenders and Offenders:
John J. Delaney.

"John J. Delaney is only 17 years of age and is a self-confessed murderer. On June 3d, 1887, Mary Jane Cox was found dead in the kitchen of the house where she worked in Brooklyn, and in the pocket of her dress was found a bottle one-third filled with a preparation of arsenic. Delaney afterwards confessed that he had purchased the poison and given it to Mary, with the intention of getting rid of her, and telling her it was a harmless preparation which would do her good."

Defenders and offenders. New York: D. Buchner & Co., 1888.


Unknown says:
August 2, 2014 at 2:19 AM

Very interesting. What happened to young Mr. Delaney?

Unknown says:
August 2, 2014 at 3:18 AM
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Unknown says:
August 2, 2014 at 3:19 AM

From the New York Times of 6 Dec 1887:
J. Delaney, a boy of 19 years, is locked up in the Adams St. Station House, Brooklyn, a self-confessed murderer. He visited the station house on Saturday night while drunk and asked Capt. L. Campbell the penalty for murder. Upon learning it he said that he had murdered a girl named Mary Jane Cox and wanted to confess. The latter refused to listen to the boy as he considered him to be irresponsible and sent him away. Sunday night he returned sober and in his right mind and, after being cautioned that anything he might say can and would be used against him in a trial, he made a long confession in which he described his relations to the Cox girl and admitted that he had given her a dose of rat poison. "I met her on the street" he said, "1st Spring and an intimacy soon sprang up. Mary got into trouble and told me about it. ...on June 2 and I bought 12 cents worth of rat poison and mixed it in a bottle of water at the Keystone House, on Third Ave., near One Hundred and Twelth Street, New York in the presence of the clerk," "I, George and a boy named Frank McKion. I told them what it was and what it was mixed for and then came over to Brooklyn. I met Mary at noon on Johnson Street near Adams and gave her the bottle, telling her that if she took plenty of it, it would cure her. She said she would and went home. The next morning she was found dead. From that day until now I haven't been right in my head and I've had awful visions. I can't stand it any longer and I want to give myself up."
Delaney was taken to Superintendent Campbell's Office and repeated his statement to that official and to District Attorney Ridgway. Then he was locked up while Captain Campbell came to this city to endeavor to find "George" the night clerk, who corroborated Delaney's statement in every respect. He had seen Delaney pour a powder from a white paper into a bottle in the bottom of which...was blown. This same bottle was found in Mary Cox's room. Delaney said he was going to give it to a girl and the next day he told staff that he had given it to her. Another employee in the house, George Pecude said that he too had seen Delaney prepare the mixture and had heard him say that he was going to give it to a girl.
From the Keystone House, Delaney took police to Paul Treutier's Drug Store, at Second Ave and Twenty Fifth Street, saying that it was there that he bought the poison. The druggist remembered Delaney's face but could not remember a sale of poison to him as far back as June 1st.
Last night Delaney signed a confession and agreed to go to trial without any promises of immunity from the District Attorney. All he wanted, he said, was a fair trial.

Unknown says:
August 2, 2014 at 3:22 AM

From the New York Times of 6 Dec 1887:

Delaney's father was a rigger on the Brooklyn bridge and was killed by a fall. Then Superintendent Martin took the boy into his office as a messenger. A year ago his mother died and the employees raised a sum of money sufficient to bury her. It was given to Delaney, who took a girl to Coney Island and lived luxuriously for several days. Superintendent Martin paid the expenses for Mrs. Delaney's funeral.
On the morning of June 3 last, Mary Jane Cox, a servant girl, 18 years old, was found dead in the kitchen of her employer's house at 140 Prince St. There were evidences about the room that she had been very sick and the autopsy showed that death had been caused by a dose of rat poison. A bottle containing a solution of rat poison was found in her room. She had swallowed about three-quarters of its contents. When her clothing was searched, two letters addressed to John Delaney and upbraiding him for his conduct towards her were discovered and the police were instructed to arrest Delaney, who was employed in the Keystone House in Harlem. Before they could do so, he had gone to Brooklyn and given himself up to Detective Campbell.
At the inquest, he admitted his intimacy with Mary but alleged that she had induced him to buy the mixture, which afterwards caused her death. The Coroner held him for the Grand Jury but that body failed to indict him and for the last few months he has been at liberty.

Robert Wilhelm says:
August 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Thanks for the info! Looks like I might be able to do a longer post on this one.

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