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letter, correspondence, army, World War II
World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army
Davis writes that he and Brady both have murder cases to work through. Brady has apprehended the two murderers but can not figure out which one fired the shot. Davis mentions that he and Brady have taken things that Brady found in the room of the house where one of the murderers had been hiding for four months. Davis describes another of Brady's cases about an EM being stabbed at a club. Apparently the man was so drunk he did not know he had been stabbed until he saw that his hand was bloody. Davis said that by superhuman effort Brady produced a likely suspect with no help from the victim who did not feel the wound or see who did it. Davis talks about Brady taking the man to the hospital in an attempt to learn what happened, but failing to get any information.
Agent R Davis
13 CID APO 170
% PM NY
U.S. ARMY POSTAL SERVICE A.P.O.
170 JUL 18 1946
VIA AIR MAIL
Mrs. R. L. Davis
We never solved this murder. We called it the “Mord an den Isar Anlogen” (^Polks)
12 JULY 146
I am tempted to relate my present case in a letter, to try to convey to you the maze of nothing in which I am, the wealth of my possibilities, the game of guess and counter-guess, the lack of clues, the lack of witnesses. In short, the whole mixed-up pot deal which has left your son, with the no. 1 priority case in Europe on his hands, in about the same position after 7 days that he was in on the second day.
Now, don’t think I am worrying myself to death over it. Its true I’ve solved every case up to now, but that was just luck that I didn’t get stuck with one of the bad ones. We never refer to such things as being able to solve every case, or one’s “record.” Because there are cases that are just unsolvable. Solving cases depends to a great extent on “gitting thar fustust,” of reaching the scene of the crime before while ^workable clues are still to be found. In our game, covering all of South Bavaria from Munich, we rarely have that valuable asset, the ^intact scene of the crime, to work with. We generally arrive 24-36 hours late, to find all the criminological evidence destroyed or so altered as to be worthless. From the set-up we there are just bound to be cases, which once stripped of scene-of-the-crime clues, can’t be cracked. One does the best one can, and forgets “records” and dick Tracy etc.
That’s what I’m doing on this case, the best I can. But we arrived on the scene of the crime, an open park in a pouring rain, 1½ hours after the crime itself. There were some 50 people there ahead of us. The MP’s, instead of roping off the scene, and not disturbing things, actually did every thing possible to confuse things. (1) There were 20 M.P.’s themselves there. (2) 6 autos were driven over the scene of the crime. (3) The two main witnesses were allowed to disappear, by the MP’s who “took charge.”
I left with one witness, the woman who was shot, who got only a one second glimpse of the killer. The two real witnesses, probably unwilling to testify against a German for an American murder, disappeared and in spite of our radio broadcasts on the German and American radios, have not shown themselves. The shell, that must have been ejected from the gun (An Italian Automatic, model BARETTA, caliber 9 m.m., we have determined from the slug taken from the GI’s body) was without doubt trampled into the mud. An intensive 2½ hr. search in a pouring rain the next morning (for the shell.) couldn’t dig it up. The only thing found on the scene of the crime was a fountain pen, which we believe the killer dropped. To make sure we wouldn’t be able to get fingerprints off it, the MP who found it picked it up with his fingers and carried it awhile before giving it to us. Isn’t that confoosin’?
The case is not hopeless by a long shot. I believe we’ll crack it. There are a couple of leads which we haven’t fully developed yet, and I think something must show up from one of them.
Anyhow, if the challenge is great, so will be my efforts.
A German Homicide Detective, Schmitt, and I are working the case primarily. Agent McKeon, who doesn’t understand German, trails rather unhappily behind us. If a GI angle comes in, then MacK. can help a lot more.
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