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Joseph Weckoski Family

The Telegraph-Herald - Mar. 16, 1927

Detroit Officials Hold Him for Pittsburgh Authorities; Denies All Connection in Case.

Detroit, Mar. 16, (INS) - Turned over to police here by a woman, Jos. Weckoski, 32, was held today for Pittsburgh authorities in connection with the bombing of an armored pay car near that city, in which $104,000 was stolen last wk.
About $30,000 in currency, said to be part of the loot, was found by Pittsburgh  police yesterday hidden under a thicket on Weckoski's farm near Bentleyville, PA.  Mrs. Jos. Gowacki, wife of a cousin of Weckoski, brought the suspect into the police station. Mrs. Gowacki said she induced Weckoski to come to the police station with her willingly when he called at her home last night. Taken to HQ the suspect said he knew nothing of the loot found on his farm. He admitted he knew several strangers had been coming to his farm and conferring with a farm hand lately. Pittsb. authorities notified Detroit police today they were led to the $30,000 cache on Weckoski's farm by Jos. Jaworski of Detroit, one of two suspects held in the case. After studying measurements and a photo. of the suspect sent here from Pittsb., Detroit police believe Jaworksi has been implicated in several Detroit hold ups, including that of a pay roll car in which Ross Loney, was killed.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 3, 1930
Joe Weckoski, owner of the farm in Wash. Co. used by the "Flathead" Jawarski gang as a hang out and hiding place for its loot, was paroled yesterday by Judge H. H. Rowand in criminal court.  The parole action was taken following recommendation of Judge. J. Frank Graff, of the superior court., who, while sitting in the local court sentenced Weckoski on May 24, 1927, to serve from 5 to 10 yrs. in the workhouse. Weckoski was indicted along with Paul Jawarski in connection with the $104,000 pay roll robbery of the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Corp. The petition for the parole was presented by his wife, Sophia Weckoski, who claimed she is in destitute circumstances and unable to provide for her large family. 



A NOTE OF CAUTION:  Historians/Researchers should always remember that just because an article was placed in a newspaper does not necessarily mean the description given as "facts" is true or is the full story.  Here two examples, more than 100 years apart:  In the first example, there was a "scandal" in the 1880s when a young man from my family went "missing". His horse was found covered with blood. He'd earlier been seen in Washington "with a large sum of money".  Reporters printed speculations and opinions which reduced the story to 'blood found; no body; someone must have killed the young guy and hid the body' -- but the 'killer' left his horse covered with blood out on a main road a mile or so from his house! (That is illogical.)  This event became front page news for many weeks! Within that time, "someone" accused a neighbor who was also related to the young man's family. Authorities searched this neighbor's farm and even his water well, so convinced that they'd find the "body".  The neighbor's family was maligned in the community; they lost customers; they had their business also destroyed and their reputations tarnished -- but no 'body' was ever found!  Like other "news", the story eventually faded from the newspapers.  Months later, the supposed dead young man wrote to the Editor in quite a jovial way, bragging how he wasn't dead at all but had killed a chicken, swiped blood onto his horse's saddle, left his horse on the main road along with his hat....and then walked to a railroad milk stop where he hopped the first train. He went to Manitoba Canada first, then worked his way down to California where we had family.  In the meantime, his unknowing parents had been distraught, and a neighbor-relative's life had been practically ruined.  All for a staged "death".  I always wondered if that young man (who was in his 20s) had a switch taken to his behind for all the strife he caused.  Of course, the newspapers fall silent about "the case" and any further details after the young man's Letter to the Editor.  Both the young man and the neighbor are part of my family history, and since all are dead, I can't get further information.  BUT, I know this much as a genealogist-researcher--- I should never judge someone or his/her life from what I read in a newspaper!     In my second example, I feel more personal pain because I'm a genealogist/ researcher and I am the deceased's sister, and the newspaper errors should never have happened. *I* gave the life details for my sister's obituary in 2003.  I know I told the correct information--she was my sister!  But, when I finally read the obituary months later, I saw the newspaper had printed NINE MAJOR errors-- including her former occupation and her burial site!  The newspaper had twisted so much, the details did NOT describe HER life.  There was no way to ask for corrections; it was too late.  ...  I've read hundreds of back issues of newspapers and have learned these lessons: (1) Never fully trust anything that is in print!  (2) Always consider a person or family in a larger way than anything in a newspaper article.  (3) All families / individuals may have complicated lives, with good or bad actions, or with instances of poor judgment.  (4) Judging someone's guilt or innocence is NOT something a researcher/genealogist should do, and even if someone did something "wrong" there is ALWAYS more to the story than what a researcher will ever, ever know!    Given all of what I've discussed in this long paragraph, the above newspaper articles are presented only for documentation of family relationships and names.  The surrounding story contained in the article is much less important for research-genealogy, but the the names and relationships are much more important from a research-genealogy point of view.


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