Crime and Police
Miami Has an Electric Nervous System (Dec, 1955)

Miami Has an Electric Nervous System

CAPTAIN Verner Smith pushed the attitude lever and nosed the blimp down closer to the water. Now it was within 50 feet of choppy Biscayne Bay off Miami, Fla., so close that the trailing landing lines of the huge powered balloon almost touched the water. A loudspeaker in the cabin blared: “This is Miami Communications, Vern. What’s happening?”

The sun-browned pilot pulled a control and the blimp nosed up again. “He’s still struggling. Trying to hold onto his boat. Get the patrol boat here—fast.”

The loudspeaker talked again. “The police boat radios that he’s coming over. Stay directly overhead. He’ll sight on you.”


Guided by the blimp, a patrol boat of the Miami Police Department scudded to the rescue scene.


Rubber slappers have taken the place of wooden clubs familiarly known as billies, in the hands of Indianapolis police. Invented by Chief of Police Michael Mor-risey, of that city, the new weapon is a flat, heavy block of rubber with a slot for the fingers It is declared more humane and fully as effective as a club, for it can deliver a stunning blow without drawing blood or cracking a rioter’s skull. In the photograph above, an officer compares the slapper with the stick formerly carried.

STRANGE INVENTIONS used by Crooked Gamblers (Nov, 1933)

STRANGE INVENTIONS used by Crooked Gamblers

By Thomas M. Johnson

IT WAS after midnight at Saratoga Springs, N. Y. Dark and silent, a large residence on a side street stood apparently deserted. Its shutters were closed, its blinds drawn. But, inside, were brilliant lights and the tense atmosphere of the gambling hall. Men and women leaned over green-topped tables and a tide of chips and currency ebbed and flowed according to the caprice of various games of chance.

At the far end of the room, a big man shoved his pile of colored chips to the center of the table.

“I’ll bet the works, five grand more,” he challenged. “Who’ll cover my bet?”

There was an angry murmur of dissent.

Reflector Vest Safeguards Policeman (Oct, 1937)

Reflector Vest Safeguards Policeman

Studded with reflector buttons on the front, back, and shoulders, a new safety vest for policemen has just been adopted in Bridgeport, Conn. Worn at night, the vest reflects the lights of approaching cars to warn motorists of a policeman’s presence at unlighted corners.

Police Dog Responds To Radio Commands (Jun, 1939)

Police Dog Responds To Radio Commands
ZOE, an Alsatian police dog attached to the Sydney (Australia) Police Force, is shown performing tricks in response to commands issued to her via short-wave radio. A miniature radio receiver was strapped to the animal’s back and a police officer whispered instructions into the microphone of a transmitter located some distance away. Hearing her master’s voice, Zoe dutifully carried out the commands.


This article also contains pictures of an early version of a breathalizer called the “Drunk-O-Meter” and an early automatic speed trap camera.


At the Traffic institute, veteran officers —finest in the country—are pumped full of facts on how accidents happen and how to help motorists behave

By Clifford B. Hicks

SEVENTEEN HUNDRED police officers from every section of the country have been learning the finer points of traffic enforcement at Northwestern University’s Traffic Institute since 1936. It’s not entirely coincidence that the national death rate per 100,000,000 vehicle miles has been cut more than half—since 1936.

Even faculty members don’t suggest that the institute is solely responsible for this startling reduction in fatalities. Yet during the past 12 years those 1700 officers, crammed with knowledge of how accidents happen and what to do to prevent them, have taken over key positions on traffic police forces throughout the country. And the institute’s sister organization, the Traffic Division of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, has probed traffic enforcement in 60 cities, counties and states and made recommendations that invariably have brought surprising slashes in the accident rate.

How Firebugs Burn Millions (Dec, 1930)

How Firebugs Burn Millions

Criminal Torch Starts One Fourth of All Fires—This Costs You Money


STORES in a big town in western New York had closed for the day when a small delivery truck drew up at the curb of one of the main shopping streets. A few minutes later two men, one of whom carried a bundle, stopped in front of a furniture store just across the street, looked about as if to make sure they were unobserved, and went inside. After a little while, one of them came out, carefully locked the door, and walked away.

The instant he was out of sight, the driver of the truck leaped from his cab and dashed to the back of the store. Soon he returned, dragging by the arm the man who had carried the bundle—a well-dressed, middle-aged individual. The package now was held by the driver, a powerful fellow who, with his free hand, forced the other into the truck.

G-MEN Fight Crime With Science – Hoover Interview (Oct, 1938)

G-MEN Fight Crime With Science

J. Edgar Hoover tells how science penetrates the dark corners of criminality to reveal solutions not before known in law enforcement.

by Stanley Gerstin an interview with J. Edgar Hoover

ON AUGUST 16, 1937, two men and a woman were sitting in an automobile in a remote section of the Chickamauga — a national military park in Georgia. Suddenly one of the men crashed an automobile crank over the head of the other and as the victim slumped, a pocket knife flashed and the sharp blade sank again and again into the bleeding body of the stunned man. In an effort to dispose of the car, it was set on fire in Chattanooga, where the partly destroyed machine was found the next day by authorities. On the same day that the mutilated body of the victim, James C. Revels, was found, Roy Weathers and his wife. Virgie, were picked up by authorities for questioning, and on August 21, they admitted the crime which they later repudiated in part. In the subsequent investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau’s crime laboratory established that soil picked up at the scene of the murder contained human blood. The clothing of the defendants and the automobile crank were also shown to contain blood and the pocket knife fitted rents in the victim’s clothing. Minute bloodstains were found on parts of the automobile, in spite of its burned condition, and this evidence resulted in the conviction of the defendants.

Identification Garter for Women (Jul, 1932)

Identification Garter for Women

IDENTIFICATION of women injured in accidents is often slowed up because purses, parcels and papers have been lost or stolen in the melee.

This novel “tag,” shown on the left, is made of gold or silver and has the full description of the wearer engraved on the smooth plate.

Camera Fan Lays Trap for Thief (Jul, 1940)

Camera Fan Lays Trap for Thief

Set a camera to catch a thief. That is the revised version of the old proverb which Joseph Marques, of Plymouth, Mass., used to trap a “phantom burglar” who had eluded police in fifteen robberies. An amateur photographer employed by a local theater, Marques rigged up a homemade camera trap and placed it in the office of the theater. As soon as the burglar forced a window and vaulted into the room, the mechanical sleuth went into action. In quick succession, a buzzer sounded, causing the thief to look in the direc^ tion of the camera; a magnet flipped open the shutter; and a relay set off photoflash bulbs. A bell frightened the intruder away before he could locate the camera. So clear was the resulting photograph that, within a few hours, the police announced the capture of the burglar.