John Edward Love (#68)

John Edward Love (1844-1914), aka Johnny Love, Jack Love, James Long, John Lynch, James D. Wells — Burglar, Bank Robber

Thomas Byrne’s recitation of John Love’s record is accurate from 1879 forward, including the litany of infamous criminals whom Love accompanied on those jobs:

  • The robbery of the Post Office and the Warren Savings Bank in Charlestown, MA on December 4, 1879 with Langdon Moore (#22) and George Mason (#24).
  • The capture of the “Johnny Dobbs Gang” (Dobbs was Mike Kerrigan, #64) in Lawrence, Massachusetts on March 3, 1884, following a string of post office robberies in Massachusetts towns and in Concord, New Hampshire.
  • The capture of Love and four other nationally-known criminals in Elmira, New York, following the robbery of an Osceola, Pennsylvania bank on February 14, 1885. Two of the others involved were Charles Lowery and George Havill (#15). In Byrnes’s 1886 edition, Love’s portrait caption indicates that “Lowrey” was one of Love’s aliases, but that is not repeated in Byrne’s profile of Love, nor in any newspaper accounts; perhaps it was referencing the different man, Charles Lowery?


The chase of the Osceola bank robbers was even more thrilling than Byrne’s account. The February 14, 1885 edition of the Buffalo Commercial reprinted an account from Elmira:


Curiously, Byrnes omits mention of all of Love’s New York convictions:

  • in 1869 he was arrested under the name James Long for burglary, and sent to Sing Sing on a five year sentence
  • in 1875, he was arrested as John Lynch for burglary, and again sent to Sing Sing for one year
  • In 1882, he was arrested with Michael Kurtz for robbery of an Italian bank in New York, but was released for lack of evidence.

In his 1895 updated edition, Byrnes indicates that Love had reformed. Indeed, in 1892, New York’s Governor issued a restitution to Love of all his citizenship rights, setting aside his 1869 and 1875 convictions–an action that Love must have requested, indicating how much it meant to him. He spent his last two decades as a bookkeeper, living in the Bronx with his wife and two sons. Love, who came from a good family, left his sons a small fortune in a trust account, not to be available to them until they were thirty years old–Love apparently wanted to make sure his sons learned an honest trade.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s