No. 338
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
September 22, 2017

Rogue's Corner: WILLIAM CONNELLY (51)
WILLIAM CONNELLY
alias: OLD BILL, WATSON
HOTEL THIEF
Description:
Seventy years old in 1886. Born in Ireland. Stout build. Married. Height, 5 feet 9 1/2 inches. Weight, about 200 pounds. Hair gray, head bald, eyes gray, complexion light. Stout, full face. Has a double chin. Mustache gray, when worn.

Record:
OLD BILL CONNELLY, or WESTON, as he is sometimes called, is considered one of the cleverest hotel workers in America. Of late years he has worked generally in the small cities, on account of being so well known in the larger ones. He has served two terms in prison in New York State, one in Philadelphia, and several other places.

He was arrested in the Astor House, New York City, on November 24, 1876, coming out of one of the rooms with a watch and chain (one that was left for him as a decoy). He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to four years in State prison on December 5, 1876, by Judge Gildersleeve, in the Court of General Sessions. His time expired on October 20, 1880.

Connelly was arrested again in the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, Pa., for robbing some French naval officers, who were about visiting the Yorktown celebration. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to three years in the county prison on October 28, 1881. He is now at large, and is liable to make his appearance anywhere.

Connelly's picture is an excellent one, although taken since 1876.
September 15, 2017 Previous


Source:
Byrnes, Thomas. Professional criminals of America. New York, N.Y: Cassel, 1886.

"We follow vice and folly where a police officer dare not show his head, as the small, but intrepid weasel pursues vermin in paths which the licensed cat or dog cannot enter."

 The Sunday Flash 1841

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