Copyright 2007 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
~ Recent Items ~
Police Gazette friend Simon Read has been corresponding with Mr. William A. Mays seeking assistance on his next book. Mr. Read is the author of true crime volumes In the Dark and On the House that the Gazette highly recommends, and his latest project is sure to be at least as entertaining, enlightening and engrossing. Mr. Mays is happy to assist as he is always at the ready to set those seeking accuracy in crime and sports reporting on the right path.
The Police Gazette is pleased to have been contacted by a relative of a former Gazette champion bicycle tourist. Major Edward A. Weed, when in his fifties, hopped on a bicycle and rode it 17,000 miles all over North and Central America in just over four years. His recognition by the Gazette appeared in the January 5, 1901 issue. Major Weed's great grandson David Weed wrote in with a few questions, which Mr. William A. Mays was happy to answer, and some kind comments, e.g., "May the NPG live again under your guiding hand." We once again salute the Major on a singular feat and send our well wishes to his esteemed great grandson.
ATTENTION GAZETTE ENTHUSIASTS: Mr. Randy Berger has written in with an urgent request. His father, Jerry Berger, was featured in the February 1966 paper edition of the Police Gazette on account of his heroic acts performed as a Marine serving in Vietnam. The younger Mr. Berger had been keeping the magazine as a cherished memento of his father who passed away in 1999. Over the course of time, however, that copy became damaged and no longer contains the cover or the beginning of the article entitled "Vietnam Hero." We here do not have that issue as a previous publisher, Harold H. Roswell, kept all of the back issues when he sold the magazine to Joseph Azaria in 1968. Mr. Roswell died in 1993 and the back issues seem to have scattered to the winds--or libraries, as it were. If anyone knows where a copy of the February 1966 issue may be obtained, please don't hesitate to contact and we will pass the information on to Randy Berger, who sends his "very kind regards."
The Strange Case of Mr. Alexander P.
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Editor & Proprietor:
Mr. William Potter wrote in recently stating "I enjoy your NPG website and thought I would pass my small occasional newsletter on to you. Perhaps it is your sort of news." The name of Mr. Potter's newsletter is Publick Occurrences and, as it happens, it is our sort of news. So much so that our own readers may now find a link and a few selections in our Today's News section under the title "Potter's Field." We hope you enjoy it.
Author Michael Barmak recently contacted Mr. William A. Mays regarding Gazette coverage of the boxer Joe Jeannette, a black contemporary of all-time great Jack Johnson. Indeed, the Gazette contains extensive coverage of Jeannette who had several meetings with Johnson and held his own quite well. Mr. Barmak will be devoting a chapter of an upcoming book to Jeannette and he is looking for any biographical information he can get his hands on concerning this Hall of Fame boxer from the New York/New Jersey area. He is particularly interested in the assertion that Jeannette began his boxing career in 1904 on a dare. Anyone with any information may contact Mr. Barmak at
Mr. Charles W. Davis of Idaho wrote in recently inquiring about an issue of the Police Gazette from 1962. In the March, April or May issue from that year an article appeared that detailed a bar holdup in Jiggs, Nevada, that resulted in the death of Mr. Davis' uncle George Davis as well as the bar owner who was named Andy. Mr. Davis would like to obtain a copy of that issue, so if any of our readers know where it may be located please drop a line to William A. Mays at
Mr. Doug Harris of Stockton-on-Tees, England, recently wrote in regarding the rumor that the National Police Gazette contains the earliest known use of the term "limerick" to refer to a certain type of–usually bawdy–poetry. A search of the archives did, indeed, return a use of the term describing "rhymes" that were almost certainly risqué given the context of their performance. This Police Gazette article appeared in the December 25, 1880 issue, a full 16 years before the next known use of the term in writing. Unfortunately, the Gazette cannot claim Rosetta Stone stature as no examples of the poetry, or descriptions of its structure, were given. But it is an intriguing find that may be viewed here. Many thanks to Mr. Harris and his organization the Limerick Special Interest Group for bringing it to our attention!
Renowned documentary filmmakers from the United States to Turkey have been requesting Police Gazette-related research help from Mr. William A. Mays, who as always, is glad to oblige. Look for an upcoming PBS American Experience documentary on Wyatt Earp, as well as a documentary on famous 19th century pro wrestler Yousouf the Terrible Turk from Turkish filmmakers Tivimedya.
Mr. David Doss has written in trying to find if a photo he has in his possession ever appeared in an issue of the Gazette. In the posed, studio photograph are boxer George "Kid" Lavigne, Detroit policeman and Shakespeare buff Michael Fitzpatrick, and Detroit-area construction contractor Jack Finn. On the back of the photo is the handwritten note "To Manager Police Gazette." Mr. Doss feels the photo may have appeared sometime between 1908 and 1915. So far, we have been unable to locate it. If any of our readers know of this picture having appeared in a Police Gazette issue, please write to
In 1896, Mr. Richard K. Fox sponsored the first people ever to row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean. George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen named their boat the "Fox" in his honor and achieved the spectacular feat in 55 days. Today, Messrs. Bill Osmundsen and Victor Samuelsen are creating a monument to this singular effort and have asked Mr. William A. Mays for help with research. In particular, they are eager to identify the whereabouts of the boat today. Anyone with information on the "Fox," the first rowboat to cross the Atlantic, please write to Also visit for more information.
Mr. Jon-Christian Suggs is working on a book about the sensational murder in the early 20th century of Andrew Haswell Green, a New York City developer who was considered the Robert Moses of his day. The story also involves John R. Platt, a white millionaire who for years had a black mistress named Hannah Elias to whom he gave substantial amounts of money. Platt's children later accused Elias of extortion and tried to get the money back, but to no avail. Elias won all of her court cases and kept the money. Mr. Suggs is interested in getting any information he can on Green, Platt, and Elias, as well as on the law firm of Howe and Hummel. Those with anything of note may write to William A. Mays at, and he will pass it on to Mr. Suggs.