October 29, 1909
THADDEUS SEBASTIAN WILSON.
Accused of Writing Letter to R. A. Long Demanding $5,000 Under Thread Against His Home.
A bungling attempt to "black hand" R. A. Long out of $5,000 resulted in the arrest of a man at the general delivery window of the postoffice at 8:30 o'clock last night, just as he had been handed a decoy package, supposed to contain the money demanded.
At police headquarters the prisoner gave the name Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, who recently came to Kansas City from Garnett, Kas. He denied writing letters to Mr. Long asking for money, and at the same time making a veiled threat. Wilson was placaed in the holdover to be questioned later. Inspector E. P. Boyle said he had reason to believe that he had the right man.
When Mr. Long went to his office in the R. A. Long building yesterday morning, he found this letter on his desk, addressed and written in long hand, on plain stationary:
"Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 27.
"Mr. R. A. Long.
"Dear Sir: -- Say, old man, I am broke, and want some money. I have to help take care of my mother and sister. You know times are pretty hard on poor people and it is pretty stiff.
"I am trying to give my sister an education. If I had some money I would buy a little store for my mother, and I would work. We could make and save money that way.
"Now, I have to have some money, and I am not going to knock some poor devil down to get it. I want you to send me $5,000 at once. I don't want you to give it to me. I will pay it all back with interest.
"You get up $5,000 in bills of different kind and wrap 'em in a package like goods from the store. Wrap them up good so they won't be tore open. Then you mail it like store goods. It will come all right.
"Now I must have the money. I want to be honest so I ask you for it. No guess work or foolin, nothin but the dow will do. Send it today. Sure now. Say I've made n o threats. I have not been foolin either. I have lots of friends that will stand by me.
"You send me $5,000.00 as soon as possible today, as I told you konw. I guess you understand. Now get busy if you want us both to prosper. You needent say nothing to anyboydy, either. For the love of your home send that money as soon as you get this. This is more important. Let your work go.
"Waiting for results. O. B. VANDELLER.
Mr. Long read the letter over, then tossed it to his secretary to make a copy. He did not give it a second thought.
R. A. LONG.
But a second letter was received at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This was more insistent. The writer in his first letter had apparently feigned illiteracy, but in the second the language was pointed and written in the best of style. There were none of the misspelled words that had appeared in the first.
"Kansas City, Mo., October 27, 1909.
"Dear Sir -- Now the best, cheapest and healthiest, and the most satisfacaotry way for you to do is to send along that $5000. No fooling goes much longer. You'll get it all back within three years. Now mind, $5,000 in the postoffice by tonight. Quicker the better; cheaper and healthier way is to send it along. I'll send you a note duly signed for the amount.
"Earnestly, O. B. Vandaller.
"P. S. -- You send a letter also.
Mr. Long notified the police about 4 o'clock and Detectives Jo Keshlear and J. J. McGraw were assigned to watch the postoffce.
When Wilson went into the postoffice he appeared very nervous. He looked around the rotunda before he took courage to step up to the general delivery window. Finally he edged in among a small crowd of peole and in time reached the window. He went into his pocket and from a notebook handed a sheet of paper to the man at the window.
By that time McGraw and Keshlear knew he was the man after the Long decoy package. Before the clerk could hand it to him, however, Keshlear arrested Wilson. He made no resistance, but became more nervous. The slip of paper, which he handed the clerk and the window has been taken from a loose leaf note book in Wilson's pocket. On it was written, in identically the same hand as that of the Long letters:
"Give man my mail. -O. B. Vandeller."
The package which Wilson would have received, had he been given time, was a twelve-ounce bottle in a cigar box. The package was wrapped in newspapers with plain wapping paper on the outside.
To Inspector Boyle Wilson denied that he had written a letter demanding $5,000. Just a brief statement was taken down in shorthand at first, and the prisoner, who gave his name as Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, was locked up to think the matter over.