Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Corporal Brady Clemens Paul

Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, December 27, 1929

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Reflections for Corporal Brady Clemens Paul

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

Cpl. Paul,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Pennsylvania.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

December 27, 2019

One of the first police-drama radio shows, "Calling All Cars", had a story about this event and the other crimes of Irene Schroeder, which aired in 1935.

Corporal Paul was only 26 years old at the time of his death. Newspaper articles quoted his friends and colleagues as saying that he was a dedicated officer who truly wanted to serve and protect. His partner, Ernest Moore, recovered and traveled to Phoenix to identify Schroeder and Dague.

Corporal Paul, the memory of your service and the pride you had in your profession, will remain strong in our hearts.

Tina Lewis Rowe
Captain, Denver Police Department (ret.)
U.S. Marshal, Colorado (ret.)

February 18, 2017

I grew up near the site of this tragedy, and when I was old enough to understand what happened when I often walked by the memorial I gained an appreciation for your heroism that hasn't waned.

Chris Irwin

February 5, 2015

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 82nd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 27, 2011

Cpl. Paul,
On today, the 79th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Pennsylvania. It took another two years, but your murderers finally got the justice that they deserved.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous

December 27, 2008

YOU ARE REMEMBERED TODAY AND THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR SERVICE

VANDENBERGHE
MANCHESTER, NH

December 26, 2007

I reiterate my previous statement and wish you a restful and peaceful eternity. Merry Christmas sir.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

December 27, 2006

Your brother and sister officers just to the South of you will never forget you and the sacrifice you made.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

September 22, 2006

Remembering you along with all the others on 12-27 who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Rest in Peace. You're not forgotten.

Anonymous

December 27, 2004

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