AMAZING STORIES: WAR WORKER DIES STRANGELY IN HOME Police Sift 'Ingenious Suicide' or Murder of Sperry Man - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the June 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

AMAZING STORIES: WAR WORKER DIES STRANGELY IN HOME Police Sift 'Ingenious Suicide' or Murder of Sperry Man

Grand Avenue & Queens Boulevard 1942

New York Times • July 16, 1942 With his hands and feet bound and his throat encircled by a cord that had been stretched between two uprights of his four-poster bed, Walter Robert Shook, 21-year-old worker in the war materials plant of the Sperry Corporation at Garden City, L. I. was found dead at 4 P.M. yesterday in his home at 95-98 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, Queens.

Detectives of the homicide squad immediately began an investigation, both because of the unusual circumstances of the case and because it was at first reported that the victim had been a blueprint examiner at the Sperry plant, and hence a possible interest to saboteurs. At about 8 o'clock last night, however, the police inquiry was suspended, pending an autopsy today.

Deputy Chief Inspector John L Lagarenne and assistant Medical Examiner Richard Grimes said at about the same time that they believed the case to be an ingenious suicide rather than a homicide. Detectives at the Maspeth police station, meanwhile, listed the victim's employment as that of laboratory research worker, instead of examiner of blueprints.

The victim was last seen Monday night, when he asked Walter Terrell, a doorman, to awaken him next morning. Terrell told police that he tried for fifteen minutes Tuesday morning to carry out these instructions, but received no response from the Shook apartment.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shook, parents of the victim were out of the city. They discovered the body when they returned yesterday afternoon and called the police.

Detectives said that no notes were found in the room and that there was no indication of a struggle. Investigation showed that the victim had not reported for work Tuesday or yesterday. He had worked at the Sperry plant since last fall.

June 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

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