Friday, May 15, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 15

May 15, 1917 – Today, while in jail in San Francisco, Joe Redenbaugh confessed to murdering Alice McQuillan Dunn and Minneapolis Patrolman George Connery, and implicated Frank McCool as his confederate in both crimes. He also said that Mike Moore—the alleged go-between for Frank Dunn and himself—planned the murder and paid him (Redenbaugh) $1,500 out of the $4,000 Dunn gave to Moore.

Joe and Pearl Heitenkamp Redenbaugh1

Fear that his wife Pearl, who is not more than 18-years-old, would be implicated in the murder charges, led Redenbaugh to confess, he said.

According to Redenbaugh, the plan to kill Mrs. Dunn was first discussed last Oct., when he was approached by Mike Moore, bartender at Chickett’s Saloon, 210 W. 7th St., approximately one month after the Dunns were legally separated in Sept. 1916.

“Moore said there would be $2,000 in it,” said Redenbaugh. “I didn’t feel like it just then, so I went down to University Place, Neb., and did the bank job so I would have enough money to get married on. The day after the bank robbery, in which I got $1,981, I went back to Kansas City and married my wife.

“We planned that if anyone came to the flat looking for me, she should keep the front window closed. The day after we moved there, when I went home I saw the window closed, so I beat it to St. Paul.”

Redenbaugh says he then saw Moore again about killing Mrs. Dunn. Moore told him the Dunns were divorced and he wanted to get rid of her because he was paying her $70 a month in alimony.

The late Alice McQuillan Dunn and her husband Frank Dunn2

“I thought she was probably bleeding Dunn for a lot of money. On April 19, Moore and I went to a candy store, where he showed me Mrs. Dunn, so I wouldn’t be mistaken.

“(Moore) said she would probably be sleeping with her sister when I went to do the job, and he wanted to be sure I ‘bumped off’ the right woman. My wife came to St. Paul and we took rooms two blocks from the Cathedral.”

According to Redenbaugh, McCool agreed to do the murder with him for $1,500, which Moore told him he would get.

In the Ramsey County jail, Frank Dunn continues to claim no involvement in his estranged wife’s murder. He refuses to read any newspapers and does not want to hear anything about the case. Dunn spends most of his time upstairs in the jail in a larger cell room where he works on his business books.

St. Paul Daily News; “Dunn won’t talk about the Confession. Redenbaugh Charges Husband With Paying for Wife’s Death. Moore Denies Being Fixer. Confessed Murderer’s Story Is True, Says Chief J. J. O’Connor. Seek Extradition of Redenbaugh. California Governor Asked to Turn Over Confessed Slayer of Mrs. Dunn.”; May 15, 1917; pp. 1 & 4.

The Bismarck Tribune; “Confesses to Dunn-Connery Double Crime. Joe Redenbaugh, Nineteen Years of Age, Says He Was Paid $3,000 for Deed. Frank McCool was to Get Half of Sum. Reveals Plot to Save Eighteen Year Old Bride From Suspicion.”; Bismarck, N.D.; May 15, 1917; p. 1.

1St. Paul Daily News; May 16, 1917; p. 1.

2St. Paul Daily News; April 27, 1917; p. 1.

Disappearance of Minneapolis Patrolman George Connery; see April 24, 2015 blog
Car Connery disappeared in found in St. Paul; see April 25, 2015 blog
Murder of Alice McQuillan Dunn; see April 26, 2015 blog

More than 1,000 volunteers join Minneapolis police in the search for missing patrolman; see April 28, 2015 blog
Connery and Dunn murders linked; see May 4, 2015, blog
Anonymous caller tells police where body of Connery is located; see May 5, 2015 blog
Second man in “death car” arrested in Omaha; see May 7, 2015 blog

Patrolman George Connery laid to rest; see May 8, 2015 blog

Frank McCool attacks a jailer when caught trying to escape Omaha jail; see May 10,2015 blog

Eddie Hamilton (aka Joe Redenbaugh) arrested in San Francisco; see May 11, 2015 blog

Eddie Hamilton admits to being Joe Redenbaugh; see May 12, 2015 blog


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