Re: How to get detail on a NYC Murder from 1938 #general

Pamela Weisberger

Moishe Miller asks:
"Can anyone offer guidance on obtaining newspaper and police reports for the murder
of Herman (Hersh Mylech) HECHT in Brooklyn, NY on April20th, 1938 at 8pm?"

The ProQuest newspaper databases are always the best place to start looking and
they are available for free at most public libraries and university libraries. I
found several articles on this tragic murder (74 year-old Herman Hecht was robbed
and beaten in his apartment which was above the mikvah that he operated for the
Jewish community.) The killers were captured a year later in the south and plead
guilty right before a trial was to start.) I'll send these to you separately.

If you have a home delivery subscription to the New York Times you can search their
historical newspaper archive for free. You just need to get a log in and password.
It's a great resource.

You can also search the NY Times archives online with keywords and view the first
few lines >from articles converted to text. If you think you have the right one,
you can purchase the single article for $3.95. Here is a link to the search
results when I entered "Herman Hecht" on the Times search engine as an example.
It brings up many "Herman Hechts" but the first and third articles are the ones you

I'm not sure if the police files going back to the 1930s have survived and/or are
accessible. The municipal archives has some selected old crime scene photos. In Los
Angeles there only seem to be the police logs going back that far, but you should
inquire directly with the police department to find out the status of their case

Other free newspaper websites to check out include "Old Fulton Postcards," which
are historical NY State newspapers ( and
the Brooklyn Eagle ( since they might have
covered the story. There are also paid newspaper search engines/

Pamela Weisberger
Santa Monica, CA

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