Tag Archives: Albert De Vall

Jail Plot Exposed (Part 3)

Schwartz, W. B. - 1906-09-20, p. 1 (3)Ringleaders in Dungeon.

After the sheriff discovered the kangaroo court, Monday, he sent Thomas McDermott and J. A. Hardin, well known as robbers, to join De Vall in the dungeon. He had reason to believe that these three men had come into possession of weapons and tools with which to manage an escape, but they denied this charge.

Fearing that a serious plot was on foot, Sheriff Sourbler secured a Winchester rifle and patrolled the United States war Tuesday night. Wednesday night, the sheriff, with a force of deputies, made a thorough search of the ward, and learned that their fears were well founded.

In the cells of the three dungeon prisoners were found two revolvers, saws and other tools sewed in the mattresses on the cots. The prisoners had manufactured clubs from the broken, wooden parts of cell cots, and had hidden the bludgeons under the bedclothing. A large numbers of these clubs were found.

May Be Other Weapons.

The sheriff believes there are other tools and weapons yet concealed and he will discipline the three suspected men until they confess. A careful inspection is now being made of the bars in the various cells, as it is feared some sawing already has been done.

The communication sent by the prisoners to Judge Alford is a most remarkable document to emanate from the jail. It was written by William B. Schwartz, attorney, who has been acting as “prosecutor” in the “Kangaroo court” conducted by the prisoners. Sheriff Sourbler suspects that the letter was carried form the jail by some attorney who interviewed his clients at the jail. In fact, the sheriff believes it is possible that the weapons and tools might have been carried to the prisoners by a visiting attorney. The “round robin” is as follows:

Piece of Jail Literature.

“Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 17, 1906 –
“To the Hon. Fremont Alford, Judge of the Criminal Court, Indianapolis, Ind.

(Continued on Page 8, Col. 3)

“Jail Plot Exposed,” Indianapolis Sun (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 September 1906, p. 1, col. 1; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 7 April 2014).

Jail Plot Exposed (part 2)

Schwartz, W. B. - 1906-09-20, p. 1 (2)Judge Alford Prompt.

“I am in possession of a communication from the jail, which, if a part only is true, needs investigation. I have so many cases for trial I cannot investigate it now, but I ask the board to hear evidence and report your finding to me, or report the facts. I do not know that there is any truth in it, but we can not all just treat it with contempt unless we find that the complaints are untrue, and I now ask this board to aid me in the matter.”

County Commissioner John McGregor immediately went to the jail and decided that the complaint of the prisoners was unfounded, except that the sanitary condition of the cells was not as good as might be.

Tip as to Coming Trouble

Sheriff Sourbler received private information last Monday that all was not well in the United States ward, where the most intelligent and desperate prisoners in the jail are confined. He found that some of the cleverest men in the gang had formed what is known as a “kangaroo court,” where prisoners who did not side with them in their schemes, were tried, convicted and disciplined.

Albert De Vall, charged with rape, one of the most dangerous members of this self-constituted court, made a daring attempt to escape from the jail last week, and was successful in dashing to the basement before he was caught and overpowered. For this he was placed in the dungeon.

“Jail Plot Exposed,” Indianapolis Sun (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 September 1906, p. 1, col. 1; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 7 April 2014).