Tag Archives: J. A. Hardin

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).