How to get detail on a NYC Murder from 1938 #general
Can anyone offer guidance on obtaining newspaper and police reports for the murder of
Herman (Hersh Mylech) HECHT in Brooklyn, NY on April 20th, 1938 at 8pm?
Here's how to get more information:
1. The easiest fruit to pick is the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which is now online and
searchable for the years around the time of this murder. Go to
http://newsstand.bklynpubliclibrary.org/ . Click on 'Search' and type in the name
'Herman Hecht'. Narrow down the search time period to 1938 to 1939. I found an
article dated 15 March, 1939 which describes the event.
2. Look for other newspapers available in the same time frame, most notably, the
Brooklyn Citizen. The New York State Newspaper Project
(http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/all/424.htm) tells where you can find various
historical newspapers (probably not online). The Brooklyn Citizen, for example, is
available at several places, including: the Brooklyn Public Library and the New
York Public Library (42nd St).
3. Look for a criminal court case at the NYC Archives (31 Chambers St). See:
Happy hunting and collecting.
Moishe Miller wrote:
Can anyone offer guidance on obtaining newspaper and police reports for the murder
of Herman (Hersh Mylech) HECHT in Brooklyn, NY on April 20th, 1938 at 8pm?
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 (http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html) and
the Brooklyn Eagle (http://newsstand.bklynpubliclibrary.org/) since they might have
covered the story. There are also paid newspaper search engines/
Santa Monica, CA