75 years ago- An execution in Charlestown
June 7, 1935- Irving Millen, Murton Millen, and Abraham Faber are executed in the electric chair at Charlestown State Prison a year after their convictions in the Dedham Court for the murder of a Needham police officer during a robbery at The Needham Trust Company. Faber and the Millen Brothers, all in their early twenties, had begun a short but violent crime spree in the fall of 1933 and winter of 1934, robbing banks and other businesses in the Greater Boston area and leaving four men dead.
The Needham robbery on February 2, 1934 was like a scene right out of a gangster movie, with sub-machine guns blazing and a terrified bank employee hanging on to the running board of the getaway car as it raced through town. Needham police officers Forbes McLeod and Frank Haddock were gunned down by the robbers; McLeood when he responded to the bank alarm and Haddock as he stood with a Needham fireman in front of the Needham firehouse.
After finding the burned out wreckage of the getaway car in a wooded area of Norwood, police were able to trace a battery repair job to Irving and Murton Millen and their friend Abraham Faber. Millen, his 19 year old wife and brother Irving manged to escape to New York, but were captured after a wild gun battle in the lobby of a New York City hotel. Faber was apprehended in Boston. While the brothers and Murton’s young bride rode the famed Yankee Clipper train back to Dedham to face justice, Abraham Faber began to talk. NEXT: The TRIAL