Sunday, April 26, 2009
ST CLAIR YOUTH ELECTROCUTED IN SING SING PRISON NEW YORK 1940
THE ELECTRIC CHAIR IN SING SING PRISON
I FOUND THIS STRANGE STORY IN THE POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN.
POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN FEB. 17, 1940
Only 17 minutes were required to complete the triple execution of three convicted murderers in Sing Sing Prison’s electric chair.
One by one and in alphabetical order, the condemned men sat down in the seat of death after hearing prayers of the rev. John McCaffery, a catholic Priest. Each man was pronounced dead four minutes after entering the death chamber.
First to go was Franklin W. Jenner 22, formerly of Newbury Vt. Convicted of bludgeoning to death with a chair Mrs. Florence Ames of Pompey New York. While burglarizing her home.
The other men electrocuted John Kulka 24, and Bertal Thingstead 28 convicted of shooting to death a New York City Police officer, Humbert Moruzzi in a Manhattan Night club holdup 10 months ago.
Kulka was second to go to the chair, he had no visitors yesterday, but his mother and brother , both from St. Clair, Pa. visited him last week.
Kulka last words declared:” I don’t deserve the rap[ I’m getting.”
SING SING PRISON
He resided while at St. Clair in the lower Arnots Addition, attended St. Clair schools and then for a time was employed by the St. Clair Coal Co. About four years ago he went to New York to get employment and fell in with a bad crowd. On the occasion of one return visit to St. Clair, he exhibited considerable money and said he was getting along fine in New York.
When arrested for the Policeman’s murder a gun was found in his procession but it had not been fired. He asserted he had no part in the killing.
His father died and his mother has since married.
Kulka was buried in the St. Mary’s cemetery the parish cemetery of Holy Trinity Greek Catholic church, St. Clair. the service took place from his late residence, Para St, in Arnots Addition.
Editors Note: I did some researching Kulka and found this about the murder.
DEWEY SEEKS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR THREE.
New York April 18, 1940
DA Thomas Dewey said today he would seek the death penalty for three men held ion the death of Officer Humbert Moruzzi shot during a Greenwich Village night club hold up.
Lt. Martin Owens said a hold up at the club Howdy last Tuesday was one of at least 13 major robberies stayed by a gang blamed for the officers death.
1st degree murder was charged against Harry Kochs leader of the gang and Francis Degnan and John Kulka.
A total of 614 men and women died in the electric chair in Sing Sing, and since 1914,all executions in New York State were done there. The last execution at Sing Sing Prison occurred on August 15, 1963.
KULKA WAS THE 958 PERSON EXECUTED BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK