Corporal Brady Clemens Paul

Corporal Brady Clemens Paul

Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, December 27, 1929

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Brady Clemens Paul

Corporal Brady Paul was shot and killed working a road block east of New Castle.

On December 27, 1929, Corporal Paul and Patrolman Ernest Moore set up a roadblock on the Butler Highway, three miles east of New Castle, Lawrence County, near Baldwin Hill, to stop a Chevrolet sedan bearing Ohio registration plates. The officers stopped the suspected vehicle, driven by Glenn Dague. With Dague were Irene Schroeder and her five year old son. When Corporal Paul asked Dague to step out of the car, Schroeder came around from the passenger side and fired shots at both officers. Corporal Paul was taken to Jameson Memorial Hospital at New Castle, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Patrolman Moore recovered from his wounds.

Escapees Dague and Schroeder were apprehended 19 days later in a shoot-out with a sheriff's posse in Arizona. They were extradited to Pennsylvania to face murder charges. A special prosecutor, the renowned Charles J. Margiotti of Punxsutawney, handled the Commonwealth's case. Both defendants were found guilty and were executed at Rockview Penitentiary on February 23, 1931. Schroeder was the first female to be executed at Rockview.

Corporal Paul had been with the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol for less than four years. He was survived by his mother.

Bio

  • Age 25
  • Tour 3 years, 11 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1931

Most Recent Reflection

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Slain state trooper recalled on 90th anniversary of his death
Posted on Dec. 29, 2019 The Herald Newspaper

NEW CASTLE – For almost 10 years, Lawrence County commissioner Dan Vogler and President Judge Dominick Motto have quietly honored the memory of Cpl. Brady Paul of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Sharing an interest in local history, the two were fascinated by the story of the state highway patrolman, which is now known as Pennsylvania State Police, who died Dec. 27, 1929, following a shootout with a couple suspected in a Butler grocery story robbery. For several years Vogler and Motto laid a wreath at the Old Butler Road/Old Route 422 monument that marks the site where the gun battle took place nearly a century ago.

“Most times it was Judge Motto, me and one or more state troopers, whoever was on duty at the time, and could get away,” Vogler said. Usually, he said, the service, where he or Motto spoke, took about 10 minutes. Often they stood under umbrellas or bundled up against the cold.

This year more than 30 current and retired state police members and other officials turned out to mark the 90th anniversary of Paul’s death. The weather cooperated at a balmy 57 degrees. Attending were all four sitting Lawrence County judges — Motto, J. Craig Cox, John W. Hodge and David H. Acker — officers representing all five stations that make up state police Troop D and current and retired members of the Brady Paul Memorial Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 54.

The stations include New Castle, Mercer, Beaver, Kittanning and Butler. Representatives formed an honor guard around the memorial marker, joined by John Herold and Jessica Titler, both of Butler. The two, dressed in 1930s-style uniforms, made up a a ceremonial unit. The two participate in ceremonies across Pennsylvania including memorial services, funerals and serve as color guard members.

The ceremony began at noon, which is when officials believe Paul, 26, and on the job for three years, sustained his fatal injury. Vogler welcomed those attending, noting that “many more than usual are in attendance, as it should be.”

“We are here to honor and remember Cpl. Brady Paul for his sacrifice and pleased to see so many here to honor him,” Vogler said.

On Dec. 27, 1929, Vogler said, state police were warned via teletype to look out for Irene Schroeder and W. Glenn Dague, suspected of robbing a grocery store in Butler, and driving a stolen car.

Paul, a motorcycle officer, and his partner Ernest Moore, who was riding in the sidecar, came out to Old Route 422 — then the main road between New Castle and Butler — and put up a road block, he said.

“Schroeder, 20, and Dague, 33, got out of the car and a gun battle ensued,” he said. Paul, fatally shot, was taken to Jameson Hospital, where he died. Moore, also shot, recovered from his wounds, Vogler said.

After the shootout, Vogler said, Schroeder and Dague continued toward New Castle past Blair Strip Steel where they hijacked a car at gunpoint.

It is believed the pair, traveling with Irene’s brother, Tom Crawford, 18, were thought to have been shot during the gun battle. Irene’s 4-year-old son, Donnie, was also in the car. The two were dropped off with relatives and the couple continued to drive west. They remained at large for about a month before taking hostage an Arizona deputy sheriff and becoming involved in another shootout on an Indian reservation where the deputy was killed.

They were returned to New Castle by train to stand trial and were convicted in separate trials in March 1930 and sentenced to death. After exhausting appeals, on Feb. 23, 1931, just days after her 22nd birthday, Schroeder became the first woman in Pennsylvania to die in the electric chair.

Vogler noted that the monument commemorating the shooting and Paul’s death, is older than many think.

“On Nov. 6, 1931, the same year the pair was executed, a stone marker was placed at the scene,” Vogler said. Some 300 attended the dedication, including 40 state police officers and family members. Paul, a native of Washington County, was buried in Hickory Village there.

Motto noted that two facts associated with the incident stand out in his mind.

“The amount of time from the shooting on Dec. 27, 1929, until the execution on Feb. 23, 1931, is 14 months,” he said. “And they went to Arizona where they were in another gun fight, returned to New Castle by train and there were two separate trials.”

The second fact, Motto said, is that the event drew national attention.

“The New York Times sent a cub reporter to cover the trials. That reporter was the Ed Sullivan.”

Motto also noted that Schroeder and Dague, while inmates of the Lawrence County jail, “were polite, courteous and thanked everyone for the good treatment they got while here.”

He also praised Paul for “making the ultimate sacrifice to keep his community safe. We appreciate the men and women of the state police who continue to make that kind of commitment.”

Cox also praised police Vogler and Motto for continuing to honor Paul.

“Often we forget the victims, especially those who die,” Cox said. “We remember the Bonnie and Clydes and John Dillingers, but no one recalls Brady Paul.”

Hodge and Acker echoed the sentiment.

“We offer a heart-felt thank you for the respect you have shown for men and women in uniform,” said Lt. Eric Simko, commander of the Kittanning station.

Dan McKnight, on behalf of the Brady Paul Memorial Lodge, thanked Vogler and Motto for placing a wreath each year. He also offered a prayer for the continued safety of the young troopers and good health of retired officers.

Paul remained the only Pennsylvania state police trooper killed in the line of duty in Lawrence County until the death of Trooper Albert Izzo who was shot and killed in a drug bust in Mahoningtown on June 13, 1979. In addition to the monument to Paul, erected on the site in Shenango Township, a monument to Paul and Izzo stands at the New Castle state police station on Route 18/Wilmington Road, in Neshannock Township.

The state police and highway patrol were separate organizations in the 1920s and 1930s. They have since merged.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

December 29, 2019

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