Byrnes’s text: #62 John Mahaney

Link to REVISED entry for #62 John Mahaney

From Byrnes’s text:

DESCRIPTION. Forty-three years old in 1886. Born in United States. Married. Medium build. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, 140 pounds. Dark curly hair, dark eyes, dark complexion. A sharp, quick-moving fellow. Makes a specialty of driving away trucks loaded with merchandise.

RECORD. “Jack Shepperd,” the name he is best known by, is an old offender. This sobriquet he deservedly bears, for few thieves in America have such a record as a successful thief and jail breaker. His notoriety dates back fully twenty years. First he was a petty thief, whose exploits were only fitful and trifling, but he improved his opportunities, so to speak, and quickly ripened into a full-fledged burglar.

While plying the “jimmy” he one night fell into the hands of the New York police, and was taken to police headquarters. He was inside the building, in the very heart of the thief-takers’ hive, but Jack was not a bit appalled by official terrors, and he opened his custodians’ eyes, on April 9, 1870, when they saw him break away, dash through the door, clear the stoop at a jump, and go around the corner like a streak. There was a hue and cry and much hunting done, but Jack had escaped.

He next turned up in the West, and played the mischief with lock-ups and vigilance committees. He was in a tight strait many a time, but his eye was always open to chances, and he somehow managed to get out of trouble. He has not indulged much in burglary of late years, but has a process of operating which he himself might be said to have patented, to wit, driving away trucks and their valuable contents.

Mahaney was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1866, by a Boston officer, and taken to Boston, where he was wanted for the larceny of a wagon loaded with broadcloth, etc., valued at $5,000. He was convicted for this offense on March 12, 1866, and sentenced to five years in State prison, this time under the name of John Wood. He was discharged from prison there on January 19, 1871.

He was arrested again in New York City on May 5, 1875, charged by Henry Dobson (colored), a driver for Overton & Co., No. 34 Pine Street, with driving away a truck loaded with goods valued at $3,000. He was tried for this on June 30, 1875, in New York City, and the jury failed to agree. He was tried again on August 9, 1875, with the same result.

He was then turned over to the police authorities of Philadelphia, Pa., and taken there by requisition on August 14, 1875, charged with burglary in entering the store of Matther, Reese & Son, No. 325 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. He was also indicted for grand larceny on April 22, 1875, in Philadelphia, on complaint of Frank Stewart, of Bank Street, that city. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in the Eastern Penitentiary in one of the above cases, at Philadelphia, on September 15, 1875, by Judge Briggs.

Jack was arrested again in New York City on December 26, 1878, under the name of John H. Matthews, for the larceny of a truck from James Lynch, of No. 35 City Hall Place, New York, on July 9, 1878. On this date Jack engaged Lynch to carry off three bales of wool from the corner of Reade Street and West Broadway. A number of bales of wool had been left outside the establishment there, and Jack, on the truck’s arrival, superintended the work of removing them with quite an assumption of ownership; then he took a seat on the truck beside Lynch, who drove off. He induced Lynch to leave the truck for a minute and go on a message to the top floor of a house they were passing; he was only a short time out of sight when Jack caught up the reins, lashed the horses into a quick run, and was soon out of sight with truck and wool. The wool was unloaded and the truck turned adrift. Jack then hailed another truckman who was returning to New Jersey, the wool was taken to New Jersey, where it was afterwards found. Jack was finally discharged on December 28, 1878, as the authorities could not get the Jersey truckman to come to New York and identify him.

Mahaney was arrested again in Boston, Mass., in April, 1879, for driving away a truck load of goods. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced for this offense to five years in State prison, on April 25, 1879. This sentence expired on August 24, 1883. He was arrested again in Philadelphia, Pa., on July 19, 1884, for the larceny of a truck and three bales of Irish linen from G. B. Haines & Co., of Market Street. For this he was sentenced to three years in the Eastern Penitentiary on August 11, 1884. This time he gave the name of James Robinson. His time expires April 11, 1887.

Shepperd has also served time in Joliet prison, Illinois, from 1871 to 1875. His picture, although taken some time ago, is a fair one.

From Byrnes’ 1895 edition:

He was arrested again in Boston, Mass., and sent to the House of Correction for a burglary. He was discharged from there on February 11, 1889. Arrested again in New York City on January 13, 1890, for the larceny of a hundred shawls from a firm in Leonard Street. He pleaded guilty to this charge and was sentenced to five years in State Prison on February 14, 1890, under the name of Geo. Wilson.

On September 26, 1893, he called at the Detective Bureau, New York City, and stated that he was going to reform. He was, however, arrested again on June 16, 1894, in company of Mike Kurtz, alias Sheeny Mike, Charley Woods, alias Fowler, and George Malliard, alias Miller, three other notorious burglars, charged with having committed a number of burglaries. When arraigned in court on June 18, Sheeny Mike was held to await a requisition from Elizabeth, N.J., where he was wanted for till tapping. Woods was delivered to the Erie County Penitentiary at Buffalo, N.Y., from where he escaped in 1883, after serving a year of a seven years sentence. Mahaney and Malliard were discharged.

Arrested again in New York City, under name of Charles Harrington, on May 13, 1895, charged with burglarizing a cigar factory at No. 5 Burling Slip, N.Y., and stealing cigars valued at $600. George Malliard, who gave the name of Thompson, was arrested with “Jack ” in this case but discharged. Shepperd was committed in $3,000 bail for trial. The Grand Jury failed to indict him. He was discharged from custody on July 2, 1895.