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

NY Times February 24, 1934

Explore posts in the same categories: History/Mystery

7 Comments on “75 years ago- An execution in Charlestown”

  1. Karen M ( Byrnes) Fuoco Says:

    Recently found through a picture of my husband’s Grandfather Chief John J. Cahill of Dedham. Ma. his part in this piece of history. A horrific crime. As he was also a part in the Sacco/Vanzetti trial.
    Can ypu provide me with any further information regarding Chief Cahill’s time as Chief of Police in Dedham. It is a piece of history we would like to document. Chief Cahill’s grandson, and son to his daughter, Marie Frances Cahill Fuoco, Maurice J.Fuoco Jr. ( my husband) carried on his Grandfather’s footprints and became a police officer in the town of Walpole. As well Maurice’s son, and great grandson to Chief Cahill, Kevin Michael Fuoco became a police officer as well serving in the town of Attleboro, Ma. A rproud history for our family. If you can fill me in on an further details regarding Chief John J. Cahill I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank You,
    Karen.M. (Byrnes) Fuoco


    • Jim Parr Says:

      Thanks for the comment- I’ll look into Chief Cahill and get back to you!


    • Maryann Says:

      So nice to learn of descendants of Chief John Frances & Helen Beatrice Mahoney Cahill! I’ve been building a family tree the best I can for an elderly in-law. Helen Cahill was his mother’s sister, so the Cahill children were his cousins. He didn’t know them, but it’s been good to learn that they existed! It seems Helen’s husband played an important role in Dedham during the gangster era of the 30’s and 40’s!


  2. child Says:

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.


  3. jan Says:

    My great grandfather was Chief John Cahilll. My Nana was his daughter Dorothy and my Mom is her daughter Janice. I too am trying to piece the family together so any help would be great. Email me at janplus3@gmail.com. I would like my ggf mothers name and fathers mane too if possible . Jan. N


  4. Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few
    of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its
    a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.


  5. email the pictures!


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