The First Ward III: Murderers, Scoundrels and Ragamuffins: Unsolved Murders Haunt Buffalo’s Inept Police Force by Richard Sullivan
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Overview: And So On It Continues… In The First Ward
At the beginning of the 20th Century unspeakable murders plague the city of Buffalo and expose the police department’s inability to solve any of them, causing much frustration for Detective Jim Sullivan and his life-long friend, Police Chief Michael Regan. Dysfunction within the department attracts nationwide ridicule and causes the citizenry concern about their own safety. Jim, who was present at the site of the assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan American Exposition, is determined to prevent any such repeat when President William Howard Taft comes to town.
Detective Sullivan’s younger brother, Alderman John P. Sullivan continues to be an absentee father to his ten children even as one of his young sons becomes the victim of a predator. The Alderman joins forces with “frienemy” Fingy Conners to rid the city of an honest political candidate who’s campaign promise is to take them both down. Meanwhile the Alderman directs the most wildly successful bash in the city’s history.
The Sullivan brothers’ mother Mary is recalled as the victim of a vicious character assassination at the hands of Buffalo Evening News proprietor Edward H. Butler.
Both tragedy and near-tragedy visit the Alderman’s home, leaving wife Annie reeling while bringing her closer to similarly-afflicted sister-in-law Hannah. Hannah Sullivan meanwhile makes friends with a fiercely opinionated woman with a dark past who helps her see the light.
Cousin John L. Sullivan, former heavyweight champion of the world, entertains as guest of honor at a Mutual Rowing Club celebration while earthy W.C. Fields impresses the Sullivan brothers’ sons. John L. reflects on the failures in his life despite his worldwide success.
Fingy Conners rises to greater heights financially and politically than ever before while boldly protecting his criminal friends and bulldozing over anyone who threatens to get in his way. Labor contractor Conners juggles his 6,000 employees even as he signs on as William Randolph Hearst’s campaign manager during Hearst’s run for Governor of New York and is rewarded handsomely. Fingy establishes a charitable fund for a hero’s widow and their three children, widely touted on the front page of his Buffalo Courier newspaper. After urging Western New Yorkers to contribute generously he subsequently hordes all the money, leaving the penniless family in the lurch. An astonishing revelation pertaining to the true cause of death of Fingy’s son and successor threatens to launch a “war in the streets.”
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs