When I think of Duquesne, I think of neat homes in a row, the steel mills, having fun at Kennywood Park, Little League Baseball games and all things idyllic. The last thing that I would ever think of is Duquesne as a 1930s Gangster Era town. As I was researching newspaper articles about our home town, I came across a few eye-opening articles that proved surprising to me. I thought I would share these tidbits of Duquesne history with you….. enjoy!
Man Is Slain In Duquesne Raid Battle
August 24, 1934 – Pittsburgh Post-GazetteCLICK BELOW TO READ ARTICLE
December 20, 1936 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Murder Crazed Cop Tells Own Story
The Story of Duquesne’s Mass Killer!
CLICK TO READ ARTICLE – PART 1
CLICK TO READ ARTICLE – PART 2
Ilona Helen Benda and Joseph Benda were my grandparents. How were you related?
My Great-Grandmother was the one of the five who was murdered. Her name is Laura Bacon. It affected my family greatly. My Grandpa does not like talking about it, and he found no closure the execution of Martin Sullivan.
Matthew, I am sure that wounds such as what happened to your Great-Grandmother cut deep into a family’s core even after this length of time. In spite of the passage of time since that terrible day, my sympathies to your grandfather and entire family.
My mother was 14 at the time and says she remembers it as though it were yesterday. She lived at 15 Seward street, a close neighbor to Sullivan and the Bendas. She knew all of the people involved. At the time of the shooting, Sullivan ran down Parallel Alley on the side of my mom’s home. It was frightening and shocking that it happened so close to them and that a policeman committed the murders.
Wow! Imagine that – a serial killer from Duquesne. Jim, did it ever come out whether the rape charge was false or not? So many familiar names there, too. I find it fascinating that the newspaper printed the entire interview before the trial. Who was the sixth person who was just wounded? Was it the boy or one of the older Kavalcheks? The article didn’t exactly say.
Ilona Helen Benda and Joseph Benda were my Great Grandparents, my Mom never knew them she was born a year later… Her family never got over it, it haunted them everyday of their Life.