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"Law and Order" in San
THERE is probably no record of any important criminal case wehere a verdict of guilty was returned on the evidence of such a degenerate melee of underworld scum as in the Billings case, first of the bomb cases to be tried. It can only be ecplained by the damning fact that the same grasping, degenerate influences control the District Attorney's' office in San Francisco today as in 1907 in the famous "Graft Trials".
"Behind the expert lawyers of the trolley magnates," wrote the S. F. Call of September 26, 1907, referring to the trial of Tirey L. Ford, street railway chief counsel, "troops a motley train of gun-fighters, professional plug-uglies, decoys, disreputable 'detectives,' thugs, women of the half-world, and the wolfish pack of gutter journalism. It must be indeed a hard case that needs such bolstering."
Writing of one of these trials (Calhoun's), Franklin Hichborn says in his book, "The System," page 434: "There followed one of the most extraordinary scxenes ever recorded of a court of justice: The defendant's attorneys, the District Attorney, and even the prisoner at the bar openly and contemptuously defied the judge (Judge Wm. P. Lawlor) on the bench."
The District Attorney referred to Is. Charles M. Fickert, the same Fickert who in 1916 outrages justice by endeavoring to hang five labot people because the unionism of San Francisco still successfully resists the onslaughts of the Chamber of Commerce. Those who cowered before the outraged citizenry 1907, of Francis Heney and the dynamiting of Supervisor Gallagher's home in Oakland (a witness against the United Railroads), are duplicated by the killing of the pickets, Tom Olson and Lewis Morey today, the convenientt bomb explosion to discredit unionism and the penning up for slaughter of five innocent labor people.
The eloquent description by the Call of the Calhoun-Ford-Mullally follwing of 1907, quoted above, applies precisely to the personnel of the witnesses and the hidden wire-pullers of the cases now on trial here. The sewers of the underworld were grappled for human ghouls, without a vestige of honot ot shame, all under the thumb-screws of the police, to swear "to order" so that four working men and one woman could be cruel-fled on the Chamber of Commerce cross of greed.
Let us examine the prosecution forces - one by one:
1. District Attorney Charles M. Fickert. Lickspittle of the Calhoun-Mullally United Railroad gang, whom he refused to prosecute on his assumption of office in 1907, and who now demands Tom Mooney's life because he tries to organize the employee of this same United Railroads.
2. Martin Swahson, chief detective of the Pacific Ga and Electric Co. and other public utilities, including the United Railroads, who, prior to the explosion was offering a $5,000 bribe to anyone who would help to "job" Mooney. Both Billings and Weinberg were made-and refused-his offer.
3. Estelle Smith, "star witness," chcarged with the murder of Irene Smith in Los Angeles on April 2, 1913. Frequently arrested in "red-light" raids in the same city. James L. Murphy, her uncle, in San Quentin Penitentiary for murder. D. J. Kidwell, her stepfather, in Folsom Penitentiary for forgery.
Affidavit of Miss Suzanne Dean, socail worker of Fullerton, Orange Country, California, states:
"I know Mrs. Estelle Smith and frequently saw, read to and conversed with her (the Estelle Moore) in Los Angeles County Jail during the summer of 1913. She was then charged with complicity in the murder of Irene Smith at 1066 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, on or about April 2, 1913. Prior to this date Estelle Smith was reputed to have lived with a man named Bohanon. I have information and believe that Bohanon becamse infatuated with Irene Smith; that in a quarrel engendered by this fact that Irene Smith was killed; and that there were present at the killing Estelle Smith, Bohanon, James L. Murphy, uncle of Estelle Smith, and the victim. Murphy was convicteed of the murder and is now serving twelve years at San Quentin. Sfter being released Estelle Smith lived in the underworld of the city of Los Angeles, and was frequently arraigned in the police courts of said city on charges of prostitution. During my acquaintance with Estelle Smith I became very well informed of her gene!
ral reputation in the jail and city of Los Angeles. Said reputation for truth and veracity was very very bad, and she was generally reputed to be utterly depraved and beyond the reach of any good influence."
4. Chief of Police David White. Former employee of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
5 and 6. Lieut. Duncan Matheson and Sergt. Charles Goff. Heads of Police Traffic Squad, controlled by the United Railroads in their fight against the Jitsey Bus Union, of which Israel Weinberg, one of the defendants, is a prominent member.
7. Detective Steve Bunner, "star witness" is in frame-up of Dowdell was sentenced to fifty years' imprisonment as the result of a police plot. His innocent was established after long years of imprisonment, which broke down his health.
8. John McDonald, drug user. Operated on three times on account of his addiction to drugs. Graduated from a five-cent waterfront coffee house to a $3 a day police jackal. Related that Chief of Police White told him, "Stick to your story, Mac, and you'll go back to Baltimore on the cushions with plenty of change in your pockets." Said he saw Billings place the bomb "as in a dream."
9. John Crowly, Sneak thief and frequenter of Barbary Coast saloons where soldiers pick up other male perverts for unspeakable orgies. On probation for watch stealing when District Attorney Fickert used him in the Billings case.
10. Mrs. Kidwell, mother of Estelle Smith. Billes as star witness, too, but withdrawn when the defense published a letter written by her, showing a deal with the District Attorney whereby her forger husband was to be paroled in exchange for her testimony.
11. Earl R. Moore. Traffic policeman and former United Railroads strikebreaker.
12. Rominger. Ex-private detective of Spokane.-Shades of Wm. Burns!
Such are the pillars of "law and order" in San Francisco today. Would you convict a dog on the testimony of such people?
Yet they hold the linves of five unionists in the hollows of their hands. Are they to be hurled into eternity on the gibberings and perjuries of loathsome degenerates of the Smith and Crowly type? Do your part in frustrating this contemplated series of legal murders by holding meetings, distributing and displaying literature and sending funds-at once-to Robert Minor, Treasurer, 210 Russ Building, San Francisco.
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DEFENSE LEAGUE,