Alton Police History

Officer Addis Miller

The following are articles from the Alton Evening Telegraph, reprinted exactly as they originally appeared.

July 22, 1937


Had Alighted from Car With Prisoner - Empties His Gun at Fleeing Assailant as He Sinks to Pavement in Front of the City Hall - Wide Search Being Made for Slayer

Police Patrolman Addis Miller, 40, ten years a member of the police department, was shot and killed at 10:35 a.m. today near City Hall by a man he had presumably taken into custody for questioning in a burglary case.

Miller's assailant fled from the shooting scene on foot. Four blocks away, he jumped into a passing car and forced the driver to ride him to Seventh and Piasa where he resumed his flight on foot.

Sought in the slaying is Clyde Wagner, 22, said by police to be a paroled convict. The car parked at the scene of the slaying was licensed to Wagner.

The shooting took place just after the policeman and his prisoner had stopped from the prisoner's car which had been parked on the north side of East Third Street just opposite the front door of City Hall.

Witnesses say there was an interchange of eight to 15 shots between the two. Slumps to Pavement

Following the interchange, Patrolman Miller staggered to the rear of his car. He groaned "O-o-oh." An automatic pistol empty of shells, slipped from his hand. He clutched his chest, just over the heart where he had been wounded and slumped to the pavement.

Police Patrolman Schreiber called from the police desk took the wounded man to St. Joseph's Hospital. His death followed within a brief interval after his arrival in the emergency room.

While statements of witnesses indicate there was an interchange of shots between the patrolman and the slayer, Patrolman Fred Schreiber is of the opinion that Patrolman Miller may not have fired a shot.

Schreiber, on taking Miller to the hospital, found that the patrolman's pistol, fully loaded, was still in the holster in which Miller carried it.

A pistol which Patrolman Miller was seen to drop just after the shooting, a .32 automatic from which all shells had been discharged, is believed to have been that of the slayer.

There are two theories: One is that Patrolman Miller took a pistol from his assailant on arresting him and later used it to defend himself. The other is that Miller grasped the weapon in hands of his assailant as the prisoner began to shoot, and wrenched it from the assailant after the last shot had emerged from it.

Statements of some witnesses, namely that Miller's assailant was still firing as he started flight, indicate.

In any event, the slayer is believed by police to have had two pistols.

A coroner's examination showed Patrolman Miller wounded just under the heart; in the right upper arm, in the left forearm; and in the right side.

Just a few minutes before this slaying, a police radio bulletin and telephone calls to patrolmen had been sent out ordering Clyde Wagner be picked up for questioning. At the police desk, it was said he was sought for questioning in connection with a recent garage burglary at Medora in which a car and an automobile radio were stolen.

Before taking the wounded patrolman to the hospital, Patrolman Scheiber paused to make a radio call in police cars not at the station. Then he left police Judge Parker on the police telephones to spread the alarm. Wide Police Hunt

State highway patrolmen and investigators of the secretary of state's department, in the city because of the centennial celebration, were summoned to join police in pursuit of the fugitive. Night patrolmen were called from their homes to assist in spreading a net for his capture.

First accounts of the shooting were confusing. Some witnesses told of seeing three men running. Later, it appeared two had run to avoid the shots and that there was but one man hurt.

It had chanced that only the desk man was at the police station at the moment of the slaying and this delayed the chase for the fugitive.

Police captain Uhle was away from the station because he had gone to call on Police Chief Smith at St. Joseph's Hospital. Other patrolmen were out on special matters and centennial assignments. It took several minutes to assemble patrolmen for effective pursuit.

Woman Heard Shots

Mrs. Annie Gillis Johnson, 1200 Wise Street, a supervisor of Household WFA projects, was within a few feet of the policeman and his assailant when the shooting took place.

"I had just gotten out of my car when I heard shots" Mrs. Johnson said. I thought for a second it was centennial fireworks. Then I looked up and saw patrolman Miller stagger back from the car next, west of mine. I was only about 10 feet from him. There were many shots, I don't know how many. I saw the patrolman drop his pistol. I screamed for help. A man got out of a near car, but I got to Mr. Miller first. Blood was trickling from his hand where he had put it to his chest. I caught hold of him, so did the man that had come from his car, but he was too heavy and slipped to the pavement. When I heard the shots and looked, I saw a man on the sidewalk who I guess was shooting too. I did not see what became of him except that he backed and ran towards the Alby Street corner.

Another witness was Miss Helen Louise Jones of 834 McPherson Street who was at a window in the office of the city clerk in City Hall. "I heard shots" said Miss Jones, "looked out - I guess there was 10 shots or more." Mr. Miller was on the street side of an automobile parked just across the street. He was standing near the door. There was a man at the sidewalk line near the front of the car. When I first looked they were shooting at each other at close range. The man who was shooting at Patrolman Miller had on a blue shirt and what looked like dirty overalls. I saw him turn and run west. Mrs. Johnson was starting from her car just at this time and Mr. Miller moved towards the rear of the car where he had been standing, clutched at his chest and cried out loudly "O-o-oh" then slumped down."

Saw Man Running

Harold Thurm of Medora who had started from the police station doorway as the sound of shots was heard, said he saw three men running on the north side of Third Street. One was turned half around shooting a revolver in direction of a car parked at the curb. Near this car, Thurm said he saw a policeman and ran toward him, reaching the car just as the policeman collapsed at its rear. "There were at least 10 shots," said Thurm.

City Janitor Charles Hatcher said at the shots, he stopped outside the police station door to the Alby Street sidewalk. "I saw a man running towards the post office, then North to Fourth and turn west down Fourth Street, said Hatcher. He was wearing a blue shirt, overalls and a cap and he seemed to be limping slightly."

A Western Union messenger boy, Carl Beach, told of the shooting after he had witnessed it from across the street where he was about to mount his bicycle after delivering a telegraph to Mayor Struit.

Eye Witness Account

I just started to kick up the bicycle stand when the shooting started. Beach related and I dropped my bike. I saw him (Addis Miller) get out of the car on the right side and start to walk around back of the car. Then the driver got out of the car and started shooting at Miller.

"Just as this man started shooting, he began to run and Addis turned and emptied his gun at the man as he ran around the corner, north onto Alby from Third Street."

The lay of the land where the shooting occurred made it practically impossible for Miller to get a good shot at the fleeing murderer. Miller was shot as he was standing in the street right after he had emerged from a row of parked cars. The fleeing man evidently shot through the area between the Auburn and the next car parked on the east and then ducked around the front of the automobile so that Miller had to shoot over the top. There were several bullet holes in the top of the auburn.

From one of the uppermost windows of the City Hall, Clendon Narup, assistant to the city engineer, was seated at this desk when the shooting started.

"After the shooting started," he said, "I got up and ran to the window. I saw Addis emptying his gun at that man as he ran around the corner. Addis was slumping toward the ground then."

Protected by Wall

On Alby Street, a high stone wall protected the fleeing man from the wounded policeman's bullets.

Narup ran down in the street and out to the spot where Miller lay dying, blood dripping from his scarlet shirt. A crowd began to converge around the scene. A woman shrieked hysterically.

Present at the scene were city officials and Assistant Postmaster Sam Findley, who had remarked to a woman in the post office it must be Fourth of July or something at the time of the shooting, "This Thing."

Findley, like many others, thought the noise was the result of someone shooting off firecrackers. This was the misconception of many, including several men who were seated at the Alby Street entrance to the police station.

Several city employees, including Cliff Abraham, city engineer, and Narup, helped to ease Miller as he lay dying and as the ambulance approached.

From most of the accounts, the fact that only one man was seen to get out of the car is outstanding, though Charles Hatcher, City Hall janitor, saw two others crouched, backs against the Third Street side of the stone wall as Miller was shooting at the fleeing man.

Paused at Corner

Hatcher said the fleeing man paused as he rounded the corner at Third, and straightened his cap then "lit out over Alby," and turned down Fourth. One of the employees in the post office reported seeing the man turn down Fourth Street.

The description of the fleeing man tallied in most details. He was wearing a cap, was 5 or slightly more feet tall, was dirty.

After the shooting, order came out of the chaos of bystanders crowded around the police station and the automobile from which the man had escaped. Night Captain Joseph Uhle took charge as Police Chief Paul Smith is in the hospital.

The trail of the fleeing man could be traced by the reports turned in to the station by persons who had been accosted.

Evidently after the shooting the man had fled over Alby to Fourth Street then West to Market, north to Sixth.

Stole Automobile

Picking up the thread of the trail, Zeddie King of 4 East Sixth Street told the police the man entered his home and asked who owned the car out in front. The fellow had accosted King in the upper part of the house. King said the fellow said "Come on down (stairs). I want to see you about something."

On the steps, King related the escaping man pointed a gun at him and demanded his keys. King said that he tried as best he could to explain that the car was owned by his brother-in-law, who was employed downtown.

The man hurried from the house and onto Market, north of Sixth Street, where there is no ceding to a point that is the front of the brick office building of Duncan's Foundry. Here Merriam said there was a truck parked and it seemed to be stalled. There was another car coming the opposite direction also, he said. The gunman then "jumped from the automobile and fled on Seventh, rounding the corner onto Belle going north.

Later police said the fugitive entered a car not far from Seventh and Belle and forced the driver to ride him to Washington and College in Upper Alton where he jumped out. The car was said to have been that of Henry Bierbaum.

Police Widen Search

Meanwhile at the police station, state, county and municipal police set their jaws in grim determination as they manned squad cars and set out in search. They were all well armed with high powered rifles and revolvers. It was a grim mission for the police and they were searching for a "cop killer."

Later on in the morning there came more witnesses who had clues and who were almost sure of the identity of the one man who was seen to flee around the corner. He was said to have a peculiar-looking eye which was affected by a cataract. One witness even told of places the escaping man had been employed.

From Edwardsville this afternoon came Sheriff Henry and deputies to join the search.

For a brief time after the shooting, the traffic jam at Third and Alby was handled by a fireman, Warren Lawless, who was later relieved by Paul Crivello. The police department concentrated most of its efforts on "getting the killer."

Henry Hussman, constable, stood near the Auburn car and kept the crowds of curious spectators from touching the car in case the police should later want fingerprints.

The floor mat of the car was raised, evidently where the driver had reached to pull forth the gun with which he shot Miller.

Evidence seemed to indicate that the man who shot Miller had possessed two guns, for one was in the hands of the police, though he had menaced Merriam with an automatic.

In the background of the slaying of Patrolman Miller is the investigation of a burglary of a garage of W. G. Gilworth at Medora last Monday in which an automobile of H. E. Wilton and an automobile radio were taken. The car later was found stripped two miles from Medora.

Yesterday police learned a young man had been attempting to sell a radio here answering the description of the one stolen at Medora. Early today came a report from Medora describing a car believed to have been used by the burglar or burglars.

Working from the description, Police Captain Uhle ordered certain possible suspects picked up. It was in acting on this order and bringing in a man wanted for questioning that Patrolman Miller lost his life.

Meantime search an hour before Patrolman Miller was shot, a patrolman had reported the radio stolen from Medora which the supposed thief had finally left with a local dealer for sale. Garage men from Medora had identified it as the stolen set just a few minutes before Miller drove up with the suspect who shot him.

In course of the police search after it was learned the fugitive had been in Upper Alton, Patrolman Galloway and Gould and Constable Burnett of Fosterburg drove to Godfrey where by a special permit the Alton Railroad sent out a speeder to carry them down the paving and where the road rough.

Robert Leo Merriam, 1102 Brown Street who was driving slowing along the road in second gear was the next to report to the police. He said he was headed north on the dirt stretch of Market when the fleeing man ran alongside his car and yelled "Hey!"

Merriam said he slacked the speed of his car and the man jumped on the running board of the car and opened the door, getting in with the driver.

"I just shot a copper," the man snarled. "Drive ahead or I'll do the same to you."

Merriam said he continued driving on Market and turned west on the dirt street of Seventh past the cut off to Upper Alton and resumed watching on the right of way for the fugitive's possible appearance.

Patrolman Miller is survived by his widow, Mrs. Violet Craig Miller; two brothers, Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller and William Miller, and a sister, Mrs. William Black. With the exception of William Miller, who lives in Wood River, all are residents of Alton.

Miller was born in Alton, a son of the late Mr. And Mrs. Edward Miller. A brother, Charles Miller, a sanitary inspector under Major Butler, died about four years ago.

A relative today remarked on the unusual coincidence in the death of Patrolman Miller. Four times has death now struck within the Miller family circle in the month of July.

In 1904, Patrolman Miller's Father died at the old family home in Sewall, N.J.; in 1926 his Mother died and in 1933 his brother Charles. All the deaths occurred in July.

Patrolman Miller had been making arrangement in the last few days for a trip to the old family home in Sewell where he several times had visited. He was to make the trip with his brother and sister-in-law, Deputy Sheriff and Mrs. William Miller.

July 22, 1937

Police Search Area Near Belleview Avenue

A stranger believed to be the fugitive was reported stopping at doors along Belleview Avenue early this afternoon asking for "a pair of pants."

He walked with a stiff left knee, one observed, Mrs. P. J. O'Neill, said.

The stranger stopped at the P. R. Cousley home, 437 Belleview, where Mrs. O'Neill, their daughter, is staying during their absence.

"He knocked on the door. Our dog, 'Jimmy,' barked at him savagely. When I asked from the head of the stairs, what he wanted, the stranger said, 'Have you got an old pair of clean pants you can give me?'"

"I didn't know what to do, but he turned and left then."

"I noticed as he walked away that his left knee appeared stiff."

"He wore dark trousers and carried a bundle. His hair was black and curly."

Mrs. O'Neill reported last seeing him going up Angle Street. Shortly afterward, the police arrived and began a search of the area.

July 23, 1937


State, City and County Forces Spread Dragnet

Clyde Wagner, 21, Sought As Man Who Killed Patrolman

Frenzied Flight Traced

Outlying Areas Scoured as Hunt for Fugitive Intensifies

Search for the slayer of Police Patrolman Addis Miller was being continued today.

Object of the manhunt is Clyde Wagner, 21, believed to have been the prisoner who fired on Miller as the two stepped from Wagner's convertible-top touring car near City Hall at 10:25 a.m., Thursday, inflicting six wounds from which the policeman succumbed a few minutes later.

Also charged against the fugitive is his subsequent kidnapping of motorists, his armed invasion of homes and threats on lives of residents in his frantic efforts to elude pursuers.

Latest factor to engross alienation of police today as the search went on was a report at noon, said to have emanated from a relative of Wagner, to the effect that a lawyer had been consulted in his behalf and that he might be surrendered.

Not only was the city being recombed today, but the outlying areas were being scoured. Clue after clue as to possible hiding places of the murderer were being explored meticulously.

Night patrolmen who left their beds early yesterday to join day men in quest of the slayer took scant sleep today and returned to duty.

Highways Covered

State patrolmen were assisting in keeping highways covered and in running down reports of the fugitive having been seen in the environs north of the city. Police Captain Uhle was directing the city search, Sheriff Simon Henry for that in the county. And, sheriffs of near counties were assisting with their forces, police department of near cities cooperating.

Sheriff Alva Henry came yesterday from Carlinville with his deputies. Sheriff Dewey Staples of Greene County came from Carrollton to proffer any assistance he could give.

All night activities of police forces failed to uncover the slayer's hiding place, but brought new clues which were being further explored today.

Early today, Alton police and state men scoured the Godfrey area following a report by Constable Schmoeller of Godfrey that he had observed a suspicious man at 1:30 a.m. and had taken a shot at him when he failed to answer calls to halt. Report of Schmoeller to Patrolman Schreiber at the police desk was that he had observed a cab stop at the home of a neighbor in Godfrey at 1:30 and that as the cab started back toward Alton, he saw a man run from the shadows as if seeking to get in. It was at this point, he intervened, the man failing to catch the cab, and continuing to run.

The area between the Humbert and Seminary roads just north of Upper Alton along the Alton cutoff was the scene of an intensive search by police and state patrolmen early last evening - just before and after dusk. Two reports had come to the police that the fugitive had been seen on the road and the railroad tracks. One report was from a motorist on Seminary Road, the other report from a man who had been on the railroad tracks. Both reports were that the suspect ran in a westerly direction, last seen when he entered a deep undergrowth in a ravine. Scouring the area failed in yield results.

Search Sewer Area

Following up a rumor that circulated to the police station late marks that indicated Wagner last night county officers found might have waited in the Piasa sewer near the C & A roundhouse.

Though rain only a few days before must have washed the ground in the little frequented area and left it unmarked, a hole leading down into the sewer was scuffed as if by a man sliding through the dirt.

Inside the sewer, the officers saw by their flashlights, marks on the mud and slime they said might have been made by a man crouching there waiting.

The lead was brought o police by James Martin, who said he had been Miller's "pal" and roommate at the Columbia Hotel.

Shot Six Times

Dr. W. W. Billings, Coroner of Madison County said today examination of the body of Patrolman Miller had shown he was shot six times. Nine bullet holes were found in his body. Two bullets were extracted said the coroner - one from the right side of the neck, the other from the left breast where it had lodged back of the shoulder after entering the right arm. One bullet entered the chest below the heart and went out at the back, another through muscles of the right side of the breast, and the third through he left hand.

The examination was made by x-ray and fluoroscope, said the coroner.

One of the bullets taken from the body was copper-headed and the other was a steel-jacketed bullet Dr. Billings said.

William Kunz of 408 Easton Street wonders if the fleeing slayer of Addis Miller may have caused the Kunz sedan to roll from a parking place on the hill in front of his home at about 10:45 a.m., Thursday. Coasting driverless down the slope, the Kunz car crossed the Fifth Street intersection and crashed into a telephone post on the easterly side of the street a quarter block further on. The car was damaged about the front end and the impact was so severe that the top part of the pole was broken off.

In reporting the mishap to his automobile, Kunz yesterday afternoon suggested to the police that the policeman's slayer may have sought to coast down Easton hill in his sedan when in flight from the scene of the fatal shooting a few blocks distant. It was his thought that the slayer may have sought to coast a few blocks to catch is breath before resuming flight on foot and that not until he had released the car did he find that the coincidental lock prevented him from guiding it therefore jumping out.

Dick Dunn of Carlinville, state parole agent, arrived here in the forenoon today bringing a parole warrant for Wagner issued Friday evening over signature of Warden O. H. Lewis of Pontiac Penitentiary.

Records show Wagner was paroled August 23, 1936 from Pontiac following a one to 20 year sentence in 1934 from Madison County in larceny of an automobile. He was paroled to a Wood River man and the parole has been effective up to this time with nothing definite against Wagner's record. When sentenced, Wagner was sent to Menard Prison and transferred three months later to Pontiac, then a reformatory.

Action to issue the parole warrant for Wagner was taken immediately last night when Dunn, returning from Chester, learned of the slaying of the Alton patrolman and informed Ray E. Reischel, Assistant Supervisor of Parolee, Springfield.

July 24, 1937


Manned Squads Scour Many Directions as Reports Come in

Appear Before Grand Jury

Officers to Take Testimony Before Reconvened May Session

Police this afternoon started on a new hunt for Clyde Wagner, sought in the slaying of Patrolman Addis Miller, after they had been advised a man answering the description of the fugitive had been seen in the neighborhood of Eleventh and Alby Streets.

Amos Reeder, 102 East Sixteenth Street came to police headquarters and said that as he was walking along the railroad tracks toward tenth about 2:10 this afternoon, a man came out of a sewer hole at Sixteenth and Alby Streets and accosted him.

"Give me all you have, give me that tobacco," said the man, uttering threats according to Reeder.

Reeder said the man answers the description of Wagner.

"He had one bad eye," said Reeder.

Heavily armed state and city police rushed to the scene and scoured the area, searching the culvert but without result. The squad returned to headquarters.

A man reported to resemble Clyde Wagner was seen then lost in a chase that sent police scouring the area just north of Godfrey at noon today, as the law prepared its first step in filing slaying charges against the fugitive.

Luther 'Bob' Shelton reported pursuing a green Chevrolet sedan containing a youth he recognized as the man sought in Patrolman Addis Miller's slaying.

Meanwhile State's Attorney Geers of Edwardsville announced he would take the slaying case before the Madison County Circuit Court Grand Jury when it reconvenes from the May term Monday.

Shelton saw the green sedan, a 1929 or 1930 model, on the Delhi paved road a short distance north of the "Y" where it branches from Route 111, he said.

He told police he believed the alleged slayer of Police Patrolman Addis Miller had commandeered the car in which he had seen him in order to flee the city and that he was forcing three others in the car to drive him towards Jersey County.

Fires the Shots

Just as he neared the Delhi Road "Y," Shelton related he fired five shots emptying his revolver at the speeding car ahead.

In response, he saw a gun, likely a rifle poked out of a rear window of the suspected sedan and at this, he slowed down.

Following more slowly, he saw the green sedan turn into a farm driveway. Speeding past, he made for the next farmhouse where he shouted to women to notify the police that Wagner was on the Delhi paved road.

Turning back, he found the suspected car gone and was unable to get trace of it.

Then Shelton sped to the Log Cabin Inn on Route 111 at the "Y" and telephoned the police station.

Drove 60 Miles an Hour

Police in Alton received the first call about suspected presence of the slayer of Patrolman Miller on the Delhi road at 11:45 a.m. when a woman called by telephone and said she was reporting fro Shelton. Ten minutes later, Shelton himself called.

Patrolman Fred Schreiber at the police desk received the calls and police and sheriff's deputies left immediately in two police cars.

Later a representative of the Telegraph found Shelton at the Log Cabin Inn and secured a more detailed account of what he had seen and done.

Shelton said he was driving down Belle Street hill, an extension of Route 11 during the late afternoon when a sedan passed. He thought he saw Clyde Wagner in the rear seat. He turned and followed. The car ahead took on speed and in the pursuit, Shelton drove 60 miles an hour out the Godfrey road in an effort to overhaul it.

Not until he neared the "Y" where the road branches towards Delhi did he get close. Then he fired five shots.

"After emptying my revolver, I saw a gun poked out of a rear window," he said and "realized caution was in order."

"I slowed down, letting the sedan ahead gain a reasonable distance. Then it unexpectedly was turned into a side lane. I put on speed and ran past the point, fearing a trap. At the next farmhouse, I ran in, called to some women to call the police and tell them I believed Wagner was on the Delhi road. I turned back at once, but the sedan had disappeared."

With regard to possibility that Wagner might have kidnapped those in the sedan, forcing them to drive him at point of a gun, Shelton remarked, "I was plenty scared myself, and those in the car looked scared too. He may have commandeered the car."

Patrolman Addis Miller's slaying will e taken before the May term of Madison County circuit Court Grand Jury, recalled for Monday, State's Attorney Geers announced today.

The recall was not a special one for the case. Geers pointed out, but is a customary session of the body to distribute more evenly the cases which arise between the time the body adjourns after its regular session and the time the September term Grand Jury convenes.

"We have sufficient evidence for an indictment against Wagner, I'm confident," commented Geers in connection with the recall of the investigation body.

Among evidence against Wagner to be presented was a signed statement by his friend, Vincent Wheeler, 905 Market Street, Duncan Foundry employee, Geers said.

Wheeler's statement, according to Geers, related that Wagner entered the foundry at noon the day of the shooting and, meeting Wheeler, said he'd just shot a "copper" and would do the same to him (Wheeler) if he said anything about having seen Wagner.

The foundry worker that afternoon, upon his father's urging, went to police with his story.

He was held overnight and next morning turned over to the state's attorney, who released him after the written statement was obtained.

Wheeler informed Geers Wagner had told him he was going in "hide out" near the foundry until after dark.

In addition to the statement of Wheeler's recognition of his acquaintance and Wagner's admission to Wheeler of the slaying, testimony as to the license number on the car from which Miller and his slayer slighted either during or before the shooting, also was to be present, said Geers.

The license number of the automobile indicated the machine was owned by Wagner, said Geers.

Beyond that is the fact that police had been ordered the night before to "pick up" Wagner for questioning. On the day of the shooting, a police radio broadcast further had instructed officers to pick him up for questioning in connection with a Medora garage burglary.

Elder Wheeler's Statement

Tom Wheeler, 905 Market Street, told the Telegraph today that Clyde Wagner, sought in the slaying of Patrolman Addis Miller, had not lived at the Wheeler home, as had been reported.

Wheeler said the only time he had seen Wagner at his Market Street home was last Wednesday afternoon.

"I was sitting on the front porch when Wagner drove up and asked if he could leave his car there while he went home to get some tools so he could come back and work on it. That was the last time I saw him. I paid no more attention to the incident. I noticed Thursday morning about 9 o'clock that the car was there but after that didn't see it."

He did not pay much attention to the car, said Wheeler, but thought it an Auburn. It was an Auburn automobile in which Wagner was stopped by Patrolman Miller and out of which the policeman had stepped when shot by Wagner.

It was Wheeler's son, Vincent, who told of Wagner's visit to the Duncan Foundry, where young Wheeler is employed, about noon, after the patrolman had been slain.

Godfrey Report

Report by LeRoy Schmoeller, of Godfrey, that a roughly dressed youth, wearing sunglasses had rushed down an embankment at Watts Hill between Godfrey and Alton on Route 111 and caught a ride on a truck, sent another searching party in that direction. At the same time, Macoupin authorities were instructed to watch for the truck.

A truck answering the description was stopped at Chesterfield but the driver said he had not noted anyone catching a ride, and no one was found on the truck, so police were assured the rider might have left it earlier.

Search for the slayer of Policeman Addis Miller swung into a wooded section north of Alton this morning after a tip from a farm girl who said she had seen a man with muddy overalls and dirty shoes, who she thought to be Clyde Wagner, hiding in a woods two miles north of the Alton brick plant near Coal Branch Road.

Police, sworn to get the slayer, dead or alive, concentrated their efforts on combing the woods all morning, but by 11:00 a.m. had not found the man answering to the girl's description.

To Pick Berries

The farm girl, Evelyn Ealey, 14, with a friend, Clara Halliday, had gone into the woods not far from the Ealey home, to pick berries shortly before 9 o'clock. According to Evelyn, they crawled through a barbed wire fence and then saw the man who Evelyn believed the slayer. Frightened, the girls ducked back quickly through the fence and ran to the Ealey home where arrangements were made to call police.

The girl accompanying Evelyn was too frightened to tell what she saw, according to Evelyn.

With as many men as he could muster, Night Captain Uhle, in charge during the illness of Chief Paul Smith, directed a systematic search of the woods. It was estimated that no more than 12 or 13 men could be pressed into duty to form a cordon around the wilderness. At least 200 men would have been necessary to ferret out the fugitive.

Nevertheless, with such a small band including a reported with a heavy revolver, the search was remarkably thorough.

The area combed was about a mile square and consisted of dense thickets, berry bushes and a wooded ravine. Members of the city police force proceeded from the southern section of this wilderness while deputies and state patrolmen thrashed through other parts.

With State Patrolmen Walter Craig and Joe Stephan, a representation of the Telegraph helped in the search through the woods, Stephan to a northerly course, skirting the outside of the woods and checking possible avenue of escape while Craig and the reporter proceeded through a ravine.

Finds Traces

As they approached a shaded grove, the point where the girls said they had seen the fugitive, Special Policeman Clyde Bassett, found a bit of waxed paper and a newspaper, indicating someone had been there, probably resting in the cool shade.

Craig and the reporter, heading south up the ravine, noted that the thick underbrush offered many places for a hunted man to hide and the search seemed almost futile, but they poked into every nook and cranny.

The ominous note in the hunt was in the fact that the fugitive, the hunted, could probably spot the police, the hunters, before they would see him.

Wagner had sworn, police said witnesses told them, that he would "kill another copper, yet." Despite the fact that the man was desperate and that he had an obvious advantage and was armed, police bravely stalked through the woods. The principal protection, the uniformed men had was a watchful eye and a quick finger on the trigger.

On the west side of the woods, train tracks from north to south offer a means of egress for anyone hiding in the woods. With this fact in mind, Craig and the reporter proceeded to Godfrey along the Coal Branch Road, keeping an eye on the underbrush all the while, for the slayer might be anyplace along the road, waiting in the bushes for cars to pass.

At Godfrey, questioning of men seated at the railroad crossing revealed that nobody answering the fugitive's description had come that way. The bystanders, however, assured Craig they'd send in the alarm if the man was seen.

He May Be There Yet

The woods where the search was being continued could still harbor the slayer for the dense underbrush is an effective screen for a man or even a cow. There were several cows in the woods that could not be noticed until one came within 10 feet of them.

A small muddy stream would be a source of water for a human and there are thick growths of mulberry bushes, which would furnish food.

There are many possibilities, however, that the fugitive has left the woods for safer parts. Or perhaps the girls saw a tramp and thought him the slayer.


EDWARDSVILLE, July 24 (Special) - Clyde Wagner may be wearing a red paint-flecked pair of blue overall pants and a "Ford" service station cap next time he turns up.

The possibility that the fugitive sought in the slaying of Alton's Patrolman Addis Miller might have sought a bite to eat and a change of clothing was seen by authorities here after report that a home had been entered and those articles taken.

The home was that of Forrest Kohlburn, 811 Troy Road, who returned at 12:30 from attending the Alton Centennial Celebration and found the screen cut out of the bathroom window.

The thief had helped himself to food from the refrigerator during his visit.

July 26, 1937


Legion Ritual Read at Rites - 15,000 Visit Funeral Home

Long after taps had been sounded by a bugler of Alton Municipal Band at Oakwood Cemetery, Sunday afternoon, and the body of Patrolman Addis Miller, slain policeman, lowered into the grave, the crowd assembled at the cemetery for the burial lingered on, and persons continued to visit the grave until dusk.

From 8:30 o'clock Sunday morning until hour of the funeral at 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon, crowds thronged the Luly Funeral Chapel, 2514 State Street, to pass before the body of Patrolman Miller. It was estimated that 15,000 persons had visited the funeral chapel during the time the body had lain there. Four thousand and seven hundred persons had signed the register.

Automobiles jammed the streets in the area of the funeral chapel as the hour for the service drew near and every available parking space in streets and alleys in that vicinity was taken long before the hour for the service. Some began assembling at noon. Traffic was directed by state highway patrolmen.

Military Funeral

A military funeral under auspices of Alton Post 126 of the American Legion was conducted at the chapel and at the grave. Commander Dwight L. Pilkin of Alton Post and the Acting Chaplain, Pastor Commander Herman Bockstruck, officiated. Tom Terry of St. Louis, formerly of Alton, was organist.

The regular burial ritual of the American Legion, consisting of a brief address by the commander at the beginning of the service, followed by prayer by the chaplain opened the service. Then came the eulogy by Commander Pilkin followed by the reading of the service for the dead after the benediction by Chaplain Bockstruck the service at the chapel was closed.

As the casket was moved from the chapel the colors of Alton Post that had stood at head and foot of the casket were removed by the color bearers George Cox and Roy Clark and the procession headed by eight state highway patrolmen moved to the cemetery.

At the cemetery gates the procession was met by the Legion commander and chaplain, the firing squad and color bearers and the motion to the grave started. At the gravesite, Commander Pilkin and Chaplain Bockstruck were again in command. After the reading of the burial ritual by Commander Pilkin and prayer by Chaplain Bockstruck, the command was given by Pilkin for the salute to the dead. Eight members of Alton Post in charge of Fred Reed, were at the firing squad. As the last volley was fired, came the sound of grieving as taps was sounded by Lester Parker of Alton Municipal Band.

Police Form Guard

In the assemblage at the funeral were many uniformed police patrolmen, state highway patrolmen and members of the Fire Department. It was estimated that as many as 60 to 70 patrolmen, representative of every city and village in Madison County and some from more distant places, were in attendance at the funeral.

Heading the Alton police department was Acting Chief Uhle in the absence of the Chief Paul Smith who is ill in the hospital. With the exception of two extra police officers who had been delegated to attend to duties at the police station, members of the Alton police force attended in a body.

Floral pieces required two trucks to transport them to the cemetery. In the floral display was a piece sent by the police department, a wheel with a broken spoke. The wheel contained 27 spokes representative of the members of the department.

West End businessmen had sent a floral piece of red roses on a base of white lilies that stood six feet high and another large piece was an American flag of red, white and blue flowers.

The crowd that had visited the funeral home during the time the body had lain there had included highest officials of the city and county with officials from the state highway department and youngsters who had become acquainted with Patrolman Miller on his beat in the East End. The Pallbearers

Active pallbearers were the following members of the Police Department: Joseph Reno, Frank Clayton, Sergeant Earl Scott, Peter Voumard, Eugene Laughlin, Robert Brown, Claude Barkley and Lester Lynns.

Honorary pallbearers, members of the Fire Department, were Fire Chief Krepel J. Lewis, Arnold Gibson, Gerald Brown, Bernard Jun, Charles Mayhall, John Hesse and Michael Bensman.

Among those attending the funeral was Don Duncan of Terre Haute, IN, Superintendent of the New York Central Lines Police on the Terre Haute Division. An old time friend of Patrolman Miller, he made a special trip here for the services. From East St. Louis, he was accompanied by Clarence Blume, another Big Four agent. Until six years ago, Duncan was stationed in this area and in and out of the city at frequent intervals.

July 26, 1937


Charles Edward Harris, 18, Signs Statement to State's Attorney

Search Suspect's Hideout

Stolen Goods Recovered - Grand Jury Begins Its Inquiry

After pausing to pay tribute at the funeral of their fallen comrade, police today renewed with increased intensity their search for the slayer of Patrolman Addis Miller, as the Circuit Court Grand Jury of Madison County went into session at Edwardsville to hear evidence of the slaying and to consider the recommendation of State's Attorney Geers that Clyde Wagner, fugitive sought since the killing last Thursday, be indicted for murder.

After three days of frantic pursuit of phantom clues, police stared their hunt along what Acting Chief Joseph Uhle called "Inside lines."

Week-end development in the manhunt:

Arrest of Charles Edward Harris, 18, said to have signed a written admission that he was with Wagner in the Medora robbery for questioning in which Miller had taken Wagner into custody just before the patrolman was shot to death.

Search by a posse at dawn Sunday of the area near the "big arch" northeast of Delmar and Alby on a tip from Harris, and the finding of a supposed hideout of the slayer and some stolen goods.

Recovery of an automobile reported to have been stolen by Harris and Wagner.

Reported information that Wagner has said he will never "enter the Alton police station alive."

Announcement by Acting Chief of Police Uhle that the investigation would follow "inside lines" rather than pursuit of "phantom clues."

Harris Signs Statement

Charles Edward Harris, taken into custody Saturday night, signed a statement to State's Attorney Geers admitting companionship with Wagner, said Geers to the Telegraph today, as the Grand Jury began its investigation of the slaying of the patrolman. Last week Geers said enough evidence was on hand to seek the indictment of Wagner on a charge of murder.

The state's attorney said that, in the signed statement, Harris admitted he was with Wagner in the Medora robbery when an automobile, a radio, two electric drills and other tools, wrenches, a valve-grinding outfit, an ignition-testing outfit, and another machine were stolen.

In the statement Harris admitted, according to the state's attorney, that the two had stolen four other cars, which they had abandoned after taking tools, horns, wheels and in some cases, radios and after driving the cars until the gasoline supply had been exhausted.

Harris said in the statement, according to Geers, that he was with Wagner last Thursday morning before Patrolman Miller was shot. He left Wagner at Fifth and Alby Streets that morning and went downtown to a poolroom, the statement related, according to Geers. It was at the poolroom he heard about the shooting. He then went to a railroad station where he learned the killer of the policeman was in an Auburn car the statement continued and Harris then went to Third Street in front of the City Hall and looked at the car which was the one he had left when he parted from Wagner that morning. Harris, the statement continued according to Geers, then went home. Harris' father took him to police headquarters Saturday night the statement relates and the state's attorney.

To Ask Indictment

Harris said he had not seen Wagner after the shooting and it was reasoned that Wagner, after Harris had left the car, drove to the East end where he was picked up by Patrolman Miller, under an order from police headquarters to be on the lookout for an Auburn car in connection with the Medora robbery. Presumably, Patrolman Miller told the driver of the car to go to headquarters. The car was parked on the north side of East Third Street, in front of City Hall and Miller got out. It was then that the patrolman was shot down and his assailant fled, turning the corner at Alby and going north on that street. Police then ordered the search for Wagner.

State's Attorney Geers said this morning he would recommend to the Grand Jury the indictment of Harris on a charge of automobile theft.

That the hunt would be directed along "inside" plans was announced by Captain Uhle yesterday.

"We've been distraught over Patrolman Miller's death and we've buried him with honors. Now we're going to redouble our efforts to catch his killer. We're going to get back to work," said Uhle as he returned to headquarters after the funeral Sunday.

"We're going to quit these 'phantom' searches and confine our work to more serious investigation since beating the brush has not yielded results yet."

Word From Wagner

Wagner never will enter the Alton police station alive, he has boasted, his stepfather and another informed Parole Agent Dick Dunn yesterday.

They hinted he might give himself up to authorities at another point and allow himself to be brought back to trial in Madison County, Dunn said.

"Those Alton police don't want to bring me back. They'd rather shoot me," Wagner is quoted as saying.

Dunn said the word was not received directly from Wagner by his parents.

Search 'Big Arch' Area

Questioning of Harris Saturday evening brought startling revelations pertinent to the case being built up against the slayer-suspect Wagner, according to Police Captain Uhle.

On information given by Harris that Wagner had a prearranged "hang-out" near the 'Big Arch' on the Alton cut-off road north of the city, a posse of police, sheriff's deputies and state highway patrolmen was organized to search that area at dawn.

Between 50 and 60 men in 20 cars rode out at 5:00 a.m. and surrounded the section north of Elm Street from the Humbert Street road to Route 111 then combed through every bit of woods, brush and thicket.

Wagner was not found. But, a hiding place and a cache of stolen goods was uncovered and hanging from a weed near the cache in the center of a high growth of sweet clover, Captain Uhle said, was found a handkerchief which Harris identified as one which Wagner carried on the morning of the slaying.

"The handkerchief leads us to believe that Wagner has been at the 'Big Arch' since the slaying," said Uhle. "He may have mopped perspiration, laid the handkerchief out to dry, then forgotten it as he left."

Search Hiding Place

When the cache of stolen articles near the "Big Arch" was not immediately found, Uhle said he sent back to the police station for Harris. The prisoner led members of the posse to the point where he thought it was, then it quickly was located.

One of the members of the posse later told a telegraph reporter that the sweet clover patch in which the hiding place was found was almost head-high. He thought that Wagner must have burrowed into it like a dog after a rabbit so as not to beat it down and leave a trail.

In the hiding place, Captain Uhle said, was found a pair of field glasses, a telescope, a flashlight, and an automobile spotlight. Uhle flatly denied a rumor that a pistol was found there.

Early in questioning Saturday evening, Harris had told of the 'Big Arch' hiding place which Wagner might visit. Police hoping to trap the suspect kept the information a tight secret. Roads near the point were secretly watched but not until the early hours of the morning was the posse assembled by calls to sheriffs of near counties as well as Madison, to police departments of the immediate Alton area and highway patrolmen.

During Saturday evening, however, police acting on tips from Harris, Uhle said, recovered additional goods taken in a garage burglary at Medora last Monday night. Harris, he said, told where in lathe, some electric drills, an ignition tester, tools and other articles had been left for disposal near a small garage. The goods were brought to police headquarters in the city ambulance.

Admissions by Harris

It was as a suspect in the Medora garage burglary that word had gone out for the arrest of Wagner shortly before the slaying of Patrolman Miller last Thursday morning.

Harris, according to Captain Uhle, admitted under questioning, knowledge of the Medora job, also of recent theft of six automobiles which he and Wagner "stripped" for sale of parts.

Of special interest, Uhle added, was Harris' admission that he had been with Wagner in Wagner's automobile Thursday morning shortly before Patrolman Miller was slain.

"He apparently left Wagner's car just before Patrolman Miller placed Wagner under arrest in the East End," Uhle said.

Following search of the 'Big Arch' area for Wagner, Uhle said Harris led a party of police officers to a wooded thicket north of Brighton in the direction of Medora. There was found a 1937 model V8 Ford sedan, license plates missing.

Ownership of the car had not been checked Captain Uhle said as of today, but it may be a car reported stolen at Roodhouse last Wednesday night.

The car stolen at Roodhouse was that of Eugene Ash of Brighton, a former Ford car salesman. Ash had driven to Roodhouse to visit his mother Wednesday evening and the car was taken when he called on her.

On the floor of the car recovered by police are "prospective items" bearing the name "Ash" and names and addresses of persons in Alton and other near points believed for the market for automobiles.

Taken to County Jail

The loss of Ash's car was reported by the Roodhouse police to the Alton police department shortly after midnight Wednesday night.

Ash, according to information from Brighton, said the car stolen from him was equipped with a spotlight. The car found by the police had no spotlight on it. But, Captain Uhle points out that a new-appearing automobile spotlight was found in the Wagner hideout near the 'Big Arch' yesterday morning.

After the stolen car had been brought in from the Brighton vicinity, Harris was taken by patrolmen and sheriff's deputies for a search of two other spots which, Captain Uhle said, he confessed had been used to conceal stolen cars. One point was described as near Troy, the other between St. Jacobs and Grant Fork. Nothing was found at these places which, it was believed, had been used as hiding spots where stolen cars could be stripped of salable parts.

Following the search of the out-lying hiding places, Harris was taken to county jail at Edwardsville, Uhle said, so that he might be questioned by the state's attorney.

The arrest of Harris, the telegraph is informed, came about as the result of a bit of information secured by Dick Dunn, State Parole Agent, Carlinville. Dunn came to Alton Friday to aid in the investigation of the slaying of Patrolman Miller because Wagner was a paroled convict. Working in cooperation with the police that day as information was sought as to associates of Wagner, Dunn uncovered the name of Harris.

Surrendered by Father

Harris was found to have moved from a previous address. When his new address was determined, it was found he was not at home. His father, however, cooperated with the police. When Harris came home early Saturday evening, his father immediately surrendered him.

Then came a curious incident, Dunn relates. Asked where he had been, Harris said that he had been in his car almost all day, parked near the foot of Market Street, overlooking the centennial carnival set up in city square. Questioners doubted his statement. To back it up, Harris said he had met a stranger there who if found, could prove his assertion. Patrolmen went to the foot of Market Street, found the man Harris had described. He not only corroborated having been with Harris, but under questioning, Dunn says, admitted he had escaped from a federal prison. His fingerprints will be taken. It was said at police headquarters today, and his story checked with federal agencies.

One of the startling admissions made by Harris, Captain Uhle relates, is his assertion that Wagner had a scheme to hold up the sheriff's office at Edwardsville and the Alton police station in expectation of securing machine guns.

Laurel, Nebraska Report

Amidst the continuation of the local search for Wagner came a message last night from authorities at Laurel, Nebraska Captain Uhle said, stating that a suspect answering Wagner's general description is in custody there. The suspect, like Wagner, has a blind eye.

A detailed description of Wagner, including his photograph and fingerprints, was sent today to Laurel in response to the message Uhle said, the matter being handled by Patrolman Waller, the police record clerk.

Despite the fact that Sunday found members of the police department worn from long hours in the concentrated effort to find the slayer of Addis Miller, the watch continued Sunday night. Several officers from near department came to work with the police and aided as new reports and clues came in. Many of the policemen have gone with but two or three hours sleep on the last several days as clue after clue to Wagner's possible whereabouts was received.

July 27, 1937

$100 Reward Offered For Miller Slayer

Police Post Sum for Facts Leading to Arrest and Conviction

Inquest Set Tonight

Called for 7:00 p.m. - Loot And Stolen Auto Identified

Reward of $100 for "information which will lead to the arrest and conviction of the slayer of Police Patrolman Addis Miller" was voted by the Police Pension Board at a special meeting this afternoon at City Hall.

Announcement of the reward offer was made immediately after the meeting by the officers of the board. Patrolman Raymond L. Galloway is President; City Clerk Earl Linkogle, Secretary; and City Treasurer Felix T. Boschert, Treasurer.

The special meeting of the police pension board was called, it was said, after a majority of the members of the police department, who could be quickly reached during the afternoon, had signed their approval of the reward proposal.

Inquest into the death of Patrolman Addis Miller will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. today by Coroner Billings at the Klunk Funeral Home.

Only brief testimony will be taken, Dr. Billings said. He will call as witness Police Captain Uhle, who is Acting Chief; and Vincent Wheeler, an employee of Duncan Foundry, who has told police that Clyde Wagner, sought as the slayer, came to him at noon on the day of the shooting and said, "I've just killed a cop."

Dr. Billings said he would recommend to the coroner's jury that its verdict be homicide and that Wagner "be held in the Grand Jury without bond." Then, said Dr. Billings, he will issue a coroner's warrant for the fugitive.

The Grand Jury at Edwardsville already has started its inquiry into the slaying State's Attorney Geers told the Telegraph he would recommend that the Grand Jury return its indictment charging Wagner with the murder of the patrolman. The Grand Jury may report Thursday.

Automobile Claimed

A sedan which police recovered Sunday from a weeded hiding place off Route 111 north of Brighton was identified Monday afternoon by Eugene Ash of Brighton as his property and turned over to him. The car had been stolen a week previous in Roodhouse where Ash had driven to call on his mother. He had left it only momentarily to carry a suitcase into the house when it was taken, he said.

Police recovered the stolen car on information given by Charles Edward Harris, 18, an admitted associate of Wagner, after Harris had been picked up for questioning Saturday evening. Harris also disclosed a hiding place near the "Big Arch" on the Alton railroad, just north of the city from which police recovered a number of stolen articles Sunday morning.

When Ash came from Brighton yesterday to identify his car, he listed for Police Captain Uhle, a number of articles in the car when it was stolen from him. The articles included a telescope, pair of field glasses, a flashlight and a Palm Beach coat. Ash also said a spotlight from his car was missing. He described the articles minutely then Captain Uhle opened his desk drawer and drew out every article Ash had mentioned except the coat. Ash identified them all.

Loot Recovered

These articles, Uhle said, were the loot recovered from the Wagner hiding place in a weed growth near the "Big Arch" Sunday.

Ash today went to Edwardsville for a conference at the office of State's Attorney Geers as to whether he should sign complaints in Madison County in regard to the theft of his automobile and the other articles that the Alton police recovered in course of the search for Addis Miller's slayer.

Police work on the slaying continued last night and today with new clues reportedly being investigated by groups of officers. Hunt for the slayer has become less spectacular with fewer phantom reports to confuse sober effort to round up the killer.

"Nothing new" was the report of Police Captain Uhle as the day opened.

July 27, 1937

Coroner's Jury Names Wagner In Miller Death

Returns Homicide Verdict in Fatal Shooting of Patrolman

Statements Are Read

Police Continue Search for Fugitive Sought in Killing

"Addis Miller died from bullet wounds of a .32 caliber size gun in the hands of Clyde Wagner, Alton, IL. We the jury, recommend that Clyde Wagner be held without bond awaiting the action of the Madison County Grand Jury (homicide)."

Thus read the verdict of the coroner's jury following a brief inquest Tuesday night into the slaying of Patrolman Addis Miller, who was shot as he stood on Third Street Thursday morning.

The verdict was returned as recommended by Dr. W. W. Billings, the Coroner, after he read a statement made by Vincent Wheeler of 905 Market Street to State's Attorney Lester Geers and statements by Acting chief of Police Joseph Uhle and by himself.

Wheeler's statement, as read by the coroner, told of movements of Wagner when he said he had shot a policeman and sought refuge at the Duncan Foundry where Wheeler is employed. Wagner had known Wheeler seven years. Wagner had never worked at the foundry.

Wheeler in discussion following the inquest, said Wagner appeared to be trembling and was perspiring when he stopped at the foundry.

"He was plenty scared," said Wheeler.

In his statement, Wheeler told how he and Wagner had seen the police at the Wheeler home on Market Street, as the fugitive and Wheeler stood at the rear of the foundry. Wagner did not seem to be particularly upset at the proximity of the officers, however, Wheeler's testimony indicated.

Police today were continuing their search for the fugitive slayer of the patrolman. A number of clues have been investigated and found to be worthless. A report Tuesday night that the fugitive had been seen near Municipal Golf Course investigated without results.

Police at noon had received no information regarding the arrest of a man said to answer the description of the fugitive, in a tourist camp near East St. Louis. The report had been broadcast by a radio station.

July 30, 1937

Grand Jury Charges Fugitive with Murder of Patrolman

Posse of 40 Men Combs Farming Area Until Darkness Falls

EDWARDSVILLE, July 30 (Special) - Clyde Wagner was named today in an indictment charging him with the murder of Police Patrolman Addis Miller at Alton on July 22.

The true bill was returned by the Circuit Court Grand Jury, which presented its report to Judge Mudge at 11:00 a.m.

Wagner has been sought by Alton and state police and sheriff's deputies since Patrolman Miller was shot down in the street in front of the Alton City Hall. Wagner was named in three other indictments, each charging theft of a motor vehicle. The true bills charging theft of motor vehicles named Wagner jointly with Charles Edward Harris of Alton.

Harris, who had been sought for questioning as a reported acquaintance of Wagner, came into police custody last Saturday evening. He made admissions, Police Captain Uhle later announced, which resulted in recovery of a stolen automobile, loot from a garage burglary at Medora, and also told of a hiding place of Wagner near the "Big Arch" north of Alton. On combing the area near the "Big Arch" Sunday morning, police found a cache of stolen goods in a weed patch and near the spot a handkerchief believed to have been carried by Wagner on the day Patrolman Miller was slain. After the alleged Wagner cache had been found, Harris was taken to Edwardsville where State's Attorney Geers announced he made a signed statement.

The stolen automobile recovered Sunday near Brighton later was identified as that of Eugene Ash of Brighton, which had been stolen in Roodhouse. Ash identified articles taken from his automobile in the loot police recovered from the cache near the "Big Arch."

40 in Searching Posse

Search for the killer of Patrolman Miller veered into the Brighton vicinity Thursday evening when a posse of more than 40 men combed a farming area in which are abandoned small coal mines. No trace of the fugitive was found, Police Captain Uhle later reported.

The scene of the search, reached on a road leading westerly from Route 111 in Brighton, was believed to be familiar to Clyde Wagner sought as the police patrolman's slayer since he once had been employed in that vicinity, Police Captain Uhle said. Report that a man answering a description of Wagner had been seen in that section prompted the search.

Included in the posse were Alton policemen, deputy sheriffs of three counties, a group of state highway patrolmen and investigators and other men of official capacity. The main party of searchers started from Alton City Hall at 6:00 p.m., other groups joining as Brighton was neared. Two routes, the point of search, were followed so that it might be more or less surrounded. Many of the members of the posse wore old clothes suited to the task of beating through brush and thicket.

Search was continued until darkness fell. The foray was similar to one of daybreak last Sunday in the vicinity of the "Big Arch" north of Alton when a cache of stolen goods was uncovered and a handkerchief believed that of Wagner was found.

September 9, 1937


Suspect Admits He Killed Patrolman, Police Announce

Recounts Tale of Shooting Addis Miller and of Flight to Texas - Disguised Bad Eye With Artificial One - Apprehended in Stolen Car After Hiding Last Night in East St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, September 9 (AP) - Clyde Wagner, 23 year old paroled Illinois convict, was arrested today by three St. Louis officers who said he confessed the slaying of Patrolman Addis Miller in Alton, IL, July 22.

Wagner, driving an automobile which had been reported stolen, was forced to the curb in the South St. Louis brewery district by Motorcycle Patrolman Roland Farnsworth and Special Officers Cyrus Calloway and Edward Lange. He surrendered without resistance.

Wagner gave a fictitious name, but at police headquarters, admitted his identity, the officers said and made an oral statement admitting he shot and killed Miller.

In his statement, Wagner said Miller arrested him on suspicion and drove with him in his automobile to the Alton City Hall. The officer got out first and held the door open for Wagner to follow.

Gun Under Floor Mat

"I reached under the floor mat and pulled out a automatic pistol," the officers quoted Wagner as saying. "I told Miller to give me his gun. He drew his gun and started shooting. I fired at him and he fell to the street. I ran."

"That night, I hid in an old foundry yard near Alton. I stayed around there the next day, and the next night I stole an automobile and drove over the Lewis-Clark Bridge. As I went over, I threw my gun into the Mississippi River. I went to some town in Missouri, left the car there and hopped a freight train for Texas."

"I left Texas after a few days and worked my way east on trains and by hitch-hiking to Pennsylvania."

"I got a job in a garage at Harrisburg and I would have stayed there, only they wanted me to fill out a social security card. I thought I'd better not do that, so I left."

"I got into East St. Louis yesterday and the police almost got me near the B. & O. tracks yesterday afternoon. One of them fired a bullet that grazed my right wrist."

"I hid near the river and last night I gave a man a quarter to row me across to St. Louis. I went out in the West End and stole a car. I was just driving around when the police got me. I had intended to go out to some friends of mine in Missouri to see if they would put me up for a while."

Wagner was taken from police headquarters back to the Wyoming Street station where his confession was put in written form for his signature. He said he would waive extradition to Illinois.

Saw Stolen Car

Patrolman Farnsworth was driving along South Broadway at Arsenal Street when he saw a man driving north in an automobile and Farnsworth recognized the license number of a car reported stolen at Waterman and Belt Avenue last night.

Driving about 25 miles an hour, Farnsworth turned and followed the automobile and at Pestalozzi Street on Broadway, the other two patrolmen were riding in a scout car and saw what Farnsworth was doing. They joined in following the car.

When they got to Dorcas Street and Broadway, Farnsworth pulled alongside of the first car and ordered the driver to stop. He thought the man misunderstood, or did not hear him. The man turned east into Dorcas and drove about a block and a half toward the river, until Farnsworth pulled up beside him and told him to go to the curb and stop.

Farnsworth ordered the man out of the car. The man got out and offered no resistance, just as the other two policemen drove up. The man was placed under arrest and the police drove to the Wyoming Street station.

The captured man told the police he was Herman Digler of Chicago, but had no explanation of why he was driving a car with a Missouri license.

The policemen thought he was Wagner because of his right eye. They seared him and found under his shirt an empty shoulder holster. In a pocket metal case, they found an artificial eye which could be used to slip over the bad right eye, the police said.

The suspect still insisted his name was Digler. The policemen told him they would take him to police headquarters, to the Bertillon Room where his fingerprints would be compared.

When the officers reached headquarters with Wagner, he weakened, they said, and admitted he was Wagner. He at first denied he had shot Patrolman Miller at Alton, but shortly afterward gave the story as told in the foregoing.

Wagner was wearing gray pants and a gray shirt and a pair of muddy shoes.

First Search Failed

East St. Louis police attempted Wednesday to capture Wagner but failed when he plunged into a field of weeds and sunflowers east of Eads Bridge and escaped.

On a tip, police sped to the rear of the relay depot on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. As they drew near, they observed five transients near the tracks. Wagner plunged down an embankment and into high weeds.

The police combed the field after firing about 15 shots. They found a leather coat in the pocket of which were some .32 caliber cartridges and a pearl-handled knife.

Wagner, 23 years old, served 18 months of an indeterminate 1-to-20 years sentence in Pontiac Reformatory for an automobile theft in Madison County.

September 9, 1937

Miller Was Shot Down on Street in Front of City Hall; Slayer Fled Scene

Slaying Took Place During City's Centennial Celebration

EDWARDSVILLE, September 9 (Special) - Clyde Wagner, said to have confessed the fatal shooting at Patrolman Addis Miller of Alton, was to be brought to the county jail here this afternoon. Sheriff Henry, Chief Deputy Kellermann and State's Attorney Geers had gone to St. Louis to bring the prisoner to jail.

Madison County officials had been informed that Wagner would waive extradition.

Addis Miller, who had been a member of the Alton Police Department for 10 years, was shot and killed almost in the shadow of the Alton City Hall on the morning of July 22. The festivities celebrating the Alton City Centennial were at their height when the slaying took place.

Patrolman Miller had been notified from the police station, shortly before to take into custody Clyde Wagner, a paroled convict, as a suspect in a series of burglaries.

Miller halted Wagner in Wagner's car in East End Place. Entering the automobile, he told Wagner to drive to the police station.

Parking had been forbidden on the Alby Street side of the City Hall near the police station door because of the Centennial Celebration traffic. Wagner's car, presumably at the patrolman's direction, was nosed into the curb on Third Street, opposite the front door of City Hall, as they reached the city building.

As Miller and his prisoner were getting out of the car, witnesses saw apparent exchange of shots. The policeman staggered mortally wounded and collapsed. He dropped a pistol believed to be one he had snatched from his prisoner, for Miller's own revolver was found in his holster, not discharged.

Miller's assailant fled on foot.

Four blocks further on, at Fifth and Market, the killer invaded and terrorized occupants of a home, seeking to secure use of an automobile. Then, he moved to Sixth and Alby, invaded another home, still failing to secure an automobile. Finally, he compelled a motorist on the dirt stretch of Market Street, just north of Sixth, to haul him several blocks. He then left the car near Seventh and Belle to resume flight.

On a desk sergeant had been at the police station at the moment of the slaying. First action was to get the mortally wounded patrolman to the hospital. There, Miller expired almost on arrival. Meantime, patrolmen had been called to police headquarters y radio and search for the slayer began. Excited reports of bystanders at the slaying scene, however, served only to confuse their efforts in the immediate pursuit.

Soon, the chase became citywide then was pressed over the Madison and adjacent counties to the north. State patrolmen and sheriffs deputies were soon assisting the police.

The week following Miller's slaying was one of great trial for local and county police agencies as attempts were made to run down all leads that were transmitted to the departments. Phantom clues were unwound like an endless thread that enmeshed the entire area of two counties.

Phantom Clues

Two days after the killing, Luther Sheltop reported seeing a man answering the description of Clyde Wagner, who was being sought in connection with the slaying, driving near the Log Cabin Inn near Godfrey in a green Chevrolet sedan.

Later that afternoon, Amos Reeder of 102 East Sixteenth Street told police that he had seen a man come out of a sewer culvert at Sixteenth and Alby.

These and similar "leads" sent local and county officers scurrying to investigate. All of them melted and vanished in the light of investigation like snow on a warm roof.

Definite information, however, had been uncovered that Wagner had hidden immediately after the slaying in a local foundry and police began a search for one of his known acquaintances. With arrest of this youth two days after the killing came admissions, which connected Wagner with a garage robbery at Medora, recovery of a car stolen then and the discovery of Wagner's supposed hideout near the "Big Arch" just north of Delmar and Alby in Godfrey Township.

Rewards Posted

Next came the inquest into Patrolman Miller's death with a verdict naming Wagner as the slayer, then a Grand Jury session, called by the state's attorney at which an indictment charging Wagner with them order of the policeman was voted. Three other indictments were returned naming Wagner jointly with Charles Edward Harris, 18, in motor vehicle thefts.

Police now were working under cover still investigating all plausible clues but had become convinced Wagner had left the area shortly after the slaying. The search was turned to national scope as the sheriff's office sent out 10,000 handbills describing the fugitive and naming known rewards for his capture.

Leading off on rewards, the Alton Police Pension Board offered $100, the City Firemen posted $300, the Madison County Sheriff's Office $100 and later the Alton Firemen's Pension Board $100. This brought the total of rewards for information bringing about Wagner's arrest and conviction of $600.

September 10, 1937


Displays No Emotion or Remorse - Glad to End Fear of Being Caught - Faces Fate Stoically

The story of a fugitive, a young man only three years out of his teens, transformed into a shooting, fleeing, hunted man by a sudden desperate break, a pull on a trigger to escape the penalties of a string of thefts which had snarled like vines surrounding him until they prompted him to murder as the only way out, was related calmly by Clyde Wagner as he was "dressed in" at the Madison County Jail at Edwardsville yesterday afternoon.

Parts of the fugitive's story seemed unbelievable, but there was little apparent cause to disbelieve it - he makes no attempt to deny the most incriminating features of it. Little, if any of it, is pertinent. He displayed no emotion, no cringing in telling, in the presence of the slain officer's brother (Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller), how he had killed Patrolman Addis Miller.

He had already made to State's Attorney Geers a full statement of his activities which came to a climax in the fatal shooting of Patrolman Addis Miller in front of the City Hall shortly before noon July 22.

Hundreds of Questions

This deed had set literally tens of thousands of persons to watch for him, had given rise to hundreds of rumors as to his whereabouts, activities and degree of desperation. He had proven that he would take a life to preserve his freedom. He would need money - he might kill for that. He had no safe haven in which to stay, he might be lurking in a hideout right in Alton. He might walk into any home and demand money or help, as he had done in his wild dash from the scene of the slaying. He would have a hard time eluding his pursuers for long. He was not a crafty rich-hauling criminal. He would be easy to identify by the deformity of his right eye and this handicap to evading recognition would make him only the more ruthless in his efforts to cling to the freedom for which he had taken a life and placed his own in jeopardy.

Clyde Wagner's story answered many questions which had been asked by Altonians since the killing on that morning of Alton's Centennial celebration which brought thousands of persons to Lincoln-Douglas Square only a few hundred feet from the site of the gun battle.

Where Did He Hide?

Where had he hidden after leaving his friend who was at work and telling him he "had just killed a cop!" Had he taken refuge in a manhole of the Piasa sewer? Grabbed a ride on a truck? Forced a farm woman near Upper Alton to give him food at the point of a gun? Gone to a hideout previously chosen and from there darted in and out of Alton frequently? Seen police searching for him at a friend's home? Come back to Alton a week ago with a pocketful of money, two new guns and a fine automobile, saying there was "another cop" he wanted to get? Joined up with gangsters in a colorful campaign of crime? Had he boasted in the first place that he would never be taken into the Alton Police Station alive? Why had he decided to take a chance on a "life for a life" rather than face the comparatively light penalty for burglary? Had he escaped unscathed in the gun battle with Patrolman Miller and his flight amid a fusillade of shots from East St. Louis police?

What was the sequence of events in those seconds of flying bullets and death?

Why He Shot

"I didn't want to go back to Pontiac and I knew they'd find the tools stolen in a burglary in my car," he explained. "You might of done the same thing. All I thought of was if I could make him give me his gun I could get away."

"I didn't know Patrolman Miller before then, except to see him and know he was a policeman. He stopped me and told me they wanted me at the police station. He got in with me and rode to the City Hall. I had two guns under the floor mats. We didn't talk much on the way up. He just said they wanted to ask me some questions about some stealing."

Denies Firing First

"When we arrived there, he got out of the right side of the car and motioned to me to get out after him. I wanted to take his gun and get away. As I slid over to follow him, I reached down with my left hand and lifted up the floor mat and grabbed one of my guns in my right hand. He saw me, jerked it away from me and when he saw the other gun there, he shot at me. He was standing at the door and holding the gun hardly a foot from me. The bullet went through my shirt front. I yelled "Stop," pulled the other gun up and started shooting. I tried to shoot him in the stomach to make him stop shooting at me.

"That's where I hit him wasn't it? He stood kind of behind the car door and started backing away from me and I kept shooting. One bullet hit me. I felt it but it didn't hurt very much and as he got to the back of the car, I jumped out and ran around the front and down toward the post office."

The scar of a wound, evidently from a bullet, is below Wagner's left hip, indicating that the blood found on the seat of his car after the affray came from this wound. He had been wearing greasy overalls and the blood didn't show. How the patrolman's other bullets fired at so short a range could have missed him while his own fire had been so deadly, Wagner makes no attempt to explain in his efforts to convince listeners that Miller fired the first shot. Wagner declares he had fired a pistol only a few times before this.

Seeks Refuge

His flight on Alby Street, bursting into a house where he terrified two women by demanding keys to an automobile he had seen outside, he describes in a way which indicates his mind was working with speed and boldness. He say he stayed in the house with the women "for about an hour" although their account of times his stay at half that time.

"Maybe it seemed longer because I was afraid, and wanted to get away. Then I went out and down to Market Street where I stopped a man in a Ford by the point of my gun and told him to keep driving. He was going towards Broadway and before he got there, I jumped out and ran across lots to the foundry."

His account of meeting Wheeler there parallels Wheeler's narrative given to the police later in the day, except that he denies the bravado of telling Wheeler he had "just killed a cop, gave him three with this one and three with this one." He wasn't sure the policeman was dead. He knew he was in desperate trouble and had to get away. He didn't threaten Wheeler, he said. His mouth was dry from running, he wanted water. He got a drink at the fountain in the pattern shop, left Wheeler and slipped into a shed in which boxes were stored.

Does Without Food, Water

In this shed Wagner says he hid under two boxes for the next day and a half without food or water. He peered through cracks in the boxes and saw police searching about for him even in that very shed. He was afraid to come out that first night and waited until dark the second night before trying to make his way out.

How did he stay hidden in that shed for 32 hours, wounded, desperate, afraid without food or water and bleeding from his wound? He draws no picture of a killer at bay - he was afraid to go out the first night and didn't dare go out in the daytime, he "just stayed there."

Would he have submitted if the police had looked under the boxes and caught him or would he have again tried to "shoot it out?" "How could I? Nothin' else to do but give up."

"When it got dark the next night, I knew I had to get out of town. I climbed up to Market Street and went through backyards over toward Alby Street, heading for the bridge. I came by that little park (Easton Square) and washed up and got a drink at a hose faucet in back of a house there. The people were sitting on the front porch and couldn't hear me. Then I went on down toward Broadway, through backyards. I wanted to get to the railroad bridge to catch a freight train and get away. I thought they would be watching the automobile bridge. I wanted to get something to eat so I stopped on Broadway and just then a big truck came along with a canvas over the load. It was going slow and I climbed on and hid under the canvas.

Gets Out of Town

"After we got past the toll house, I thought I'd better get rid of the gun for fear I might be picked up. I threw it away as we crossed the bridge. The truck stopped at West Alton and I got off and caught a freight train and rode freights to Dallas, Texas. I had about $5 with me and bought food as I went.

"From Dallas I headed for Mississippi and then Virginia on freight trains and wound up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I stayed only a few hours until the next freight left and then went to Harrisburg.

"I got a job in a garage there as a mechanic for $4 a day working from 7:00 to 9:00, slept in the garage and ate in restaurants. They asked me for my social security number and I knew if I gave them my number, I would give myself away. They kept asking for my social security number and I left."

"I then headed for Chicago. I was scared and didn't know what to do."

All this time, he had realized he was hunted, had masked his appearance by wearing the glass covering for his blind right eye but had gained some degree of indifference to the danger of capture as time had gone on. Later, a hair under the glass had made his eyeball sore and he had to quit wearing it.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Wagner says his family moved north and came to Alton ten years ago. He lost the sight of his eye during early childhood in Murphysboro he says, as a result of being poisoned by eating food from a can which had been left open. He attended school in Alton, having gone through the first year of high school.

Comes Back Armed

Wagner had become a creature of habit. He had been accustomed to stealing cars and was adept at it. When he had been short of money he had been able to get it by burglary. He was worried about the condition of his mother who was ill when he left home. He wanted to come back. And, these factors resulted in his capture, as they had done with thousands of other fugitives.

He made his way back to Chicago on freight trains, bought another gun there, carried it in a shoulder holster and began to work down toward home where his family was and where police were maintaining a watch for him as vigilant as ever. At Springfield, Decatur and St. Joseph, he entered houses which were dark in the early evening indicating the families were away and obtained $15, $25, as much as $30, and such other loot as he could find. At one house in Springfield, he obtained a railway engineer's medal from the World War which he was wearing on the chauffeur's cap he had on when captured in St. Louis. He also had stolen a valuable gold watch.

In Alton Week Ago

It was thus that he lived for weeks stealing an automobile when he needed it, abandoning it when it ran out of gas, sometimes riding freight trains, but always circling toward home. Thus, he drove into Alton about 5:00 o'clock one evening about a week or so ago in an automobile he had stolen in Hannibal, Missouri. His pistol was in his shoulder holster as he drove into North Alton from Jerseyville.

Would he have drawn his pistol again and given battle to police if they had recognized him?

"Naw, I couldn't of got the gun out. It was under my coat. What do you ask me a question like that for?"

But, he had gotten two pistols out from under the floorboard of his automobile and shot his way to freedom only a few weeks before. What had started him to thinking of shooting a policeman? It had been a succession of crimes beginning with petty thefts, then automobiles. He remembered stealing a pair of chinchilla rabbits as a boy.

Coming to Alton last week, he wanted to find out how his mother was. He drove to his brother's house but his brother was not yet home from work. His brother's wife told him the police were hot after him and he'd better come back later.

"I drove out Alby Street past the brick plant, turned off on that first road to the right and waited until 6:00 o'clock. Then I went back for my brother. We drove around a while and he told me there was a $500 reward out for me and I'd better get out of town. He told me he needed money and I gave him $10 and let him out on Washington Avenue and went on east to Effingham. I stayed around there a few days, left the car there and came into East St. Louis Wednesday morning on a freight train."

"I bought these clothes there (a suit of gray coveralls) and traded in my pistol on a new one that German Luger. Then I went down to the railroad yards to get a freight train south to go to Mississippi again."

Why had he bought the new pistol; a powerful shooting weapon? Had he done any stickups or did he want to be able to shoot his way out of a tight place? Not Enough Nerve for Stickup

"Naw, I didn't want to be a gangster and I didn't think I was tough. I never pulled any stickups because I didn't have the nerve. I liked that gun and I guess I wanted it because it would scare somebody in case I did have to try a stickup."

Hiding in a "jungle camp" of hoboes in the East St. Louis railroad yards, Wagner Wednesday afternoon ran a gauntlet of gunfire from which it would seem almost impossible to escape. Two squad cars of East St. Louis police drove up to the camp. Wagner supposed they had come to look the inhabitants of the camp over and took to his heels. The police opened fire with pistols at close range. He was barely ten feet from them when they started shooting and more than a dozen bullets were fired at him, but he got away untouched. He discarded his leather jacket, stolen several weeks ago from a tractor, and his pistol, so he could run faster. They were found in the bushes through which he had fled.

End of the Trail

Crossing the river in a boat, he stole a Chevrolet coupe in the west end of St. Louis, after darkness came, intending to flee southward. He was looking for Route 40 and got lost. Tired from his strenuous flight, long ride on a freight train and constant vigil, the fugitive nonchalantly pulled up the car in a park and slept until morning. He was again looking for Route 40 when St. Louis police overhauled him yesterday morning as they recognized the license number of the stolen car.

It had been a long trail. It had hardened the young man to the perils of flight from the law. He realized he was nearing the end of it and he faced this fact with little emotion.

He was sorry he had killed the man yes, but anybody else might have done the same thing, he insisted. His attitude was a mixture of candor, indifference, surliness. He showed none of the remorse or cringing appeal for sympathy that often are manifested by seasoned criminals when they are captured and face the possibility of execution.

What was ahead of him? Well, I know I might get life or I might get the chair. I want to live. But, I know what I got coming.

September 11, 1937


Will Be Taken Before Judge to Plead Under Indictment

Signs Confession

Alton Attorney Retained

No Defense Plans Yet Made

Clyde Wagner will be arraigned in Circuit Court next Friday, under an indictment charging the murder of Police Patrolman Addis Miller here last July 22, State's Attorney Geers told the Telegraph by telephone this morning. Arraignment will be at Edwardsville before Judge Mudge.

The state's attorney reiterated his former statement that if Wagner enters a plea of guilty, he will recommend it be not accepted and that testimony be heard. Geers said he would recommend the death penalty.

Wagner had indicated according to officials, he would enter a plea of guilty, but whether this plan would be followed was not certain today.

Manuel Wiseman has been engaged as attorney for Wagner.

"I will not know what defense plans are until I have talked to Wagner," Attorney Wiseman said this morning. "I intend to talk to him this afternoon."

Attorney Wiseman said he had been retained by the mother and stepfather of Wagner.

State's Attorney Geers said that, as a rule in trials on murder charges where the death penalty is recommended, it is customary for the state to oppose acceptance of a plea of guilty, until an attorney has been named for the defendant. Since an attorney had been engaged for Wagner, the state's attorney added, and he did not know the defense plans, he could make no statement as to procedure, except that he would recommend the death penalty.

Friday afternoon Wagner signed the confession that had been taken the day before in the state's attorney's office, Geers said today. The confession also was signed by ten witnesses, including the state's attorney. The confession, said Geers, covers 39 pages and covers a number of incidents in Wagner's life in addition to the Miller case.

November 17, 1937


Selection of Jury Starts at Afternoon Court Session

Defense Motion Lost

Judge Joyce Refuses to Quash Jury List as Drawn

EDWARDSVILLE, November 17, (Special) - Clyde Wagner went to trial today on an indictment charging him with the murder of Police Patrolman Addis Miller at Alton, last July 22. Overrules Motion

Judge Joyce had overruled a motion by Manuel Wiseman, attorney for Wagner, to quash the jury panel. Wiseman based his motion on the assertion that six members of the panel had been served by Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller, a brother of the slain patrolman. Wiseman told the court that Addis also had been a deputy sheriff. These facts, the attorney submitted, might prejudice prospective jurors.

State's Attorney Geers opposed the motion and Judge Joyce called a recess while attorneys look up authorities.

When court resumed, the court overruled the motion.

In his argument, Wiseman said a newspaper had "played up" stories of the forthcoming Wagner trial and that the August Mayford slaying also had received publicity. This was especially true he said, "in the radius of that newspaper - in Alton, Wood River, East Alton and Roxana."

First page publicity had aroused the public to the fact the Wagner trial was to start soon, he added.

Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller is liked in Alton, said Wiseman, and when he summoned a juror, the attorney thought that would prejudice a juror against his client.

Judge Joyce said that if any juror says Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller discussed the case, or told the juror he would likely serve in the Wagner case, the court would discharge that talesman as a juror.

Wiseman said he was not averaging that Deputy Sheriff Miller had discussed the case, but thought the fact of his serving summons would prejudice a juror.

Right of Challenge

The court replied that the attorney had the right of peremptory challenge and the attorney rejoined that with only 20 peremptory challenges allotted to the defense he hoped he would not have to "waste six or eight" for this reason.

The court then declared that, with 27 men called for jury service, only eight had been summoned by Miller, but with 30 more to be called, he would instruct the sheriff to see that they are not served by Miller. If this panel is exhausted and additional jurors are needed, the court added, he would name a special deputy to secure them from the body of the county.

Because only 12 jurors were in court at the time, Judge Joyce said he would recess court until 1:30 p.m. and asked Wiseman if he would be ready for trial. The defense attorney said: "I suppose so" and the court asked if he had anything else to submit to the court, in which Wiseman replied he might have more motions.

When court reconvened this afternoon to take up the Wagner case motion was made by the counsel for Wagner to renew the objection to the whole panel for the same reasons as had been overruled by the court earlier in the day. Then the council for Wagner asked permission to read into the record his objections and motion to quash the whole panel of jurors in the presence of the jurors. This was granted and the reading of the motion was begun. Thereafter, it was announced the picking of jurors would be resumed and the case would go to trial.

The Wagner case had been called unexpectedly this morning. A jury had been secured late Tuesday for trial of Herbert Bentley and Loyal Leland Saylor, indicted in the holdup of James Wiseman of Alton, last August 10. Manuel Wiseman, who represented them, announced they would plead guilty to robbery unarmed, to which the state's attorney agreed and the two were sentenced to one year to life.

Judge Joyce then examined the docket and called the Wagner trial. Both Wiseman and the state's attorney announced themselves ready, whereupon Wiseman offered his motion to quash the jury panel.

Unexpected ending of the Bentley-Saylor trial left in the courtroom only the 12 jurors who had been selected for that case, the others having been excused until this afternoon. It was for that reason that Judge Joyce set resumption of the Wagner trial for 1-30 after overruling the motion to quash the jury list.

November 19, 1937


In Custody of Brother of Man He Admitted Slaying

Mother Opposed Plea

Eligible for Parole After Third of 100-Year Sentence

EDWARDSVILLE, November 19, (Special) - Clyde Wagner started for the Chester penitentiary today in the custody of the brother of the man whose murder he admitted.

Wagner, 21, pleased guilty Thursday in an indictment charging him with the slaying of Police Patrolman Addis Miller at Alton on July 22 last, and was sentenced to 100 years in the penitentiary. At 6:00 a.m. today, he was started for the penitentiary in the custody of Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller and Sheriff Henry.

The mittimus and other papers necessary for Wagner's transfer to the penitentiary were signed just before noon by Judge Joyce, who sentenced Wagner Thursday.

Also transmitted to prison officials was a letter from State's Attorney Geers which, after recounting a history of the case, concluded with this paragraph: "I am opposed to any commutation of Wagner's sentence. I believe he should be kept in the penitentiary as long as he lives.

Other Indictments Quashed

This morning, other indictments against Wagner were dismissed, including those that named Charles E. Harris, who hanged himself in the county jail. In the docket entry, Harris' death was "suggested." Also taken to Chester in the automobile in which Wagner rode were two Negroes, Charles Edward Burge, sentenced to a year to life for burglary; and John Robinson, sentenced for the theft of a prize Aberdeen Angus Steer.

Wagner's plea of guilty was entered after members of Addis Miller's family had said a penitentiary sentence would be satisfactory to them. During a mid-afternoon recess of court, Wagner and his attorney and members of his family conferred. When the defendant and his attorney reentered the courtroom, Manuel Wiseman informed the court his client was ready to plead guilty. State's Attorney Geers in open court, said that at the request of Miller's family, he had agreed to accept a plea of guilty and recommend a sentence of 100 years.

It became known today that first suggestions to the state's attorney that he recommend a prison term if a guilty plea were entered, had been rejected, and that later he demanded a longer term than that given. It was reported that an offer to plead guilty with a recommendation of a 99-year term had been rejected by Geers, who later agreed to recommend the 100-year term after he had conferred with Deputy Sheriff Clarence Miller, a brother of the slain patrolman.

It was said that Wagner's mother objected to his pleading guilty.

Parole Provisions

Court attaches pointed out that, under Illinois law, Wagner will be eligible for parole after he has served a third of his term - 33 1/3 years. He would be 54 years of age at that time. The statute provides that a defendant sentenced to a term of more than 50 years must serve a third of the time before he is eligible to parole.

Under a life sentence, a prisoner is eligible for parole at the end of 20 years.