Did any passengers ever break the law?


Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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I was wondering, either before or after the sinking, did any passengers ever break the law or got arrested? Especially the women.

Thanks

Andrew Maheux
 

Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Andrew,

I have come up with the following names so far:

1) William Mintram (Fireman - lost in the sinking) Arrested for stabbing his wife by accident during a drunken rage.

2) Robert Hitchens - 1933 for his attack on Harry Henley

3) George Brereton - 1933 for "swindling" J.T. Taylor.

4) Johan Niskanen - possibly twice

5) William T. Stead - for his radical opinions.

Hope this helps,

Regards,
Ben
 
C

Colin John James

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What is the story behind Hitchens attacking Henley in '33

After all he was THE man with his hand on the wheel at the time of the collision.
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Andrew,
Though I don't have proof, I suspect you'd find that Madame Aubart might have had an arrest in her past. And Fatima Masselmany was accused of some bad stuff by her husband although I don't think she was arrested.

Also, Edward Dorkings, is another who was in jail several times and was once a candidate for deportation.

Harry Homer was also in trouble on numerous occasions that I know about--but his niece tells me she knows one crime he was responsible for that she won't elaborate on--just says that that information will die with her.

Luigi Finoli was in trouble just after Titanic for theft of a watch and had a reputation for being quite a nasty character--even the Red Cross refused to help him because of his behavior on Titanic and Carpathia.

There are good details available both on this site and in other publications about Robert Hichens' attack on Henley. Hichens' daughter-in-law has also given me some good information relative to him always having a weapon on his person and in his house. I hope to make all of that public in the Atlantic Daily Bulletin before the year is out.

Am sure there are other scoundrels but the above come to mind quickly.

Regards,
Phil
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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What about that woman who allegedly killed her baby and then became a nanny for the Allison's in First Class, which ended up with Trevor being saved and Lorraine and her parents perishing? Once and for all, can someone clear up the truth behind this story? Alice Cleaver....was that her name?

Regards

Sam
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Sam,
Alice Catherine Cleaver, the nurse that saved Trevor Allison, never murdered anyone. She was the daughter of a postal employee and married and had three daughters--at least one of whom is even a member of the British Titanic Society. She lived a normal life despite tales that had been told over the years about her. She died late in 1984 at the age of 95.

Alice Mary Cleaver, the child murderer, was an illegitimate child of an illegitimate child and herself had an illegitimate child that she killed. She was tossed around to different relatives as a child and never really had much of a chance at life. She was imprisoned, institutionalized, and shortly before her death was paroled to a sanitarium called the Hostel of God to spend her last days. She died on February 12, 1915 at the age of 26. The cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis (phthisis). She had no actual connection to Titanic whatsoever.

Unfortunately the story about the Titanic Alice Cleaver being the child murderer has taken on a life of its own and is not likely to go away--sort of like the Egyptian mummy.

Regards,
Phil
 
May 12, 2005
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Andrew,

Edith Rosenbaum, later Russell, was arrested by US Customs in 1917 on charges of smuggling foreign merchandise. She was actually jailed and held on a fairly high bond. It was claimed by officials that 5 designer gowns in Edith's luggage were not her own, as she had declared, but were purchases for clients of her import operation. In addition Customs seized $3,000 worth of apparel from her NY apartment.

It was proven in the course of her trial that the 5 dresses in question were in fact sold to a Madison Avenue retailer but a jury acquitted Edith as her counsel was able to satisfactorily prove that she was a non-resident of the US and so was not required to declare this merchandise. As to the gowns and accesories taken from her home, these were found to have been her own property or were legally imported customer purchases.

Whether or not Edith really should have been found guilty is debatable (she did maintain a residence on Long Island at this time so it's not clear how she got around that fact) but later in her career as a buyer/stylist, in the 1920s, it appears she engaged in a bit of business frowned on in the rag-trade, a little racket called "renting," by which buyers purchased designs from various fashion houses then re-sold them for higher prices to other buyers.

Randy
 
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Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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In May 1912 fireman James Thompson got one month for nicking a gold watch in Southsea. The owner claimed the watch was worth £8 but a sympathetic court marked it down to 25 shillings. Thompson was told that, having been lucky enough to escape the sinking, he should have the sense to stay out of trouble. See page 264 of Titanic Voices.
 

Brian Meister

Member
Mar 1, 2001
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Dave,

Although the article apparently mentions
"James" Thompson, the surviving fireman was
a John Thompson born in Liverpool. Several
theft stories have surfaced concerning pass-
engers and crew, but sometimes people posed
as Titanic survivors to beat the rap against
them.

Regards,

Brian
 
R

Richard Coplen

Guest
Hey all,
although I don't know if they were arrested - first class passengers Miss Elsie Edith Bowerman and her mother Mrs Alfred Benjamin Chibnall were active members of the W.S.P.U militant suffragette movement. Indeed Mrs Chibnall was assaulted and injured by a policeman during a riot in Parliament Square in London. As you know, the suffragette movement were forever breaking the law so I guess these two women would fall under the category of law-breakers!
Regards,
Richie.
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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Hi Phil,

Many thanks for clearing that one up....a pretty nasty rumour for Mrs. Cleaver to live down for so many years as well as all the conjecture regarding the deaths of the Allison's
In saying that, she didn't help her cause too much by calling herself "Jane" when she arrived in New York. Probably the frightened action of a woman trying to protect her good name, but it didn't seem to win her many friends...

Regards

Sam
 

Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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Wow thats facinating information and well looking further into. I had know idea that so many passengers and crew were later arrested, and some for stupid things. (The law back then, must have been hard).

Thanks

Andrew Maheux
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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So Thompson was a phoney! Can't trust anybody thse days either. I see on another forum that phoney survivors and relatives of survivors of the WTC are turning up. Wonder how many there'll be in 90 years' time.
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Hey Darren,
All three are living to the best of my knowledge. I believe the eldest is 81 but do not know the ages of the two younger ones.

Phil
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Hi Andrew,
While I'd never dispute that Hichens had a temper, in conversations with family members and viewing certain items (like a love letter to his wife after their first date), I've also seen another side of him. He did have a kind, compassionate and caring side to him as well. And one of the descendants gave me some really good quotes from him that deal with his opinion in later years of his encounter with Molly Brown. Another instance of there always being two sides to every story.

More to come--
Phil
 
Mar 15, 2001
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Thanks Phil. I find it strange that this story can still be perpetuated after all these years. Especially with Mrs. Cleavers family still living. One of my favorite books also tells of this untrue tale, Judith Geller's Women and Childen First. This seems like very poor research on her part. Has Alice Cleavers family ever taken legal action against any of this false information?
 

Phillip Gowan

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Apr 10, 2001
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Hey Darren,
Well, as a matter of fact they did try to take legal action but the suit was later dropped-I don't know any details. Don Lynch has been vilified for publishing the incorrect information and not verifying that his research was correct. But I've always found the silence concerning Judith Geller's propagating of the same information (misinformation) intriguing. This is a case of using incorrect information gleaned from another without verifying the information by one's own research.

Take care,
Phil
 

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