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The Sacco-Vanzetti Case and the Grim Forces Behind It


well, and he took oath that Boda had owned and drive an Overland car, but never to his knowledge had driven a Buick.

Milkman Sees Boda "Wave Head"

Finally, however, the prosecution summoned Napoleon Ensher, a milkman, who said he didn't know Boda by name, but that he knew who was meant, and that he had once seen Boda driving a Buick -- maybe four weeks ago, maybe eight weeks ago. There was no showing that Ensher had any knowledge of different makes of automobiles, nor any explanation of how he happened to notice what kind of car was being driven by a man whose name he didn't know -- a man who simply passed one day a long time ago, passed "waving his head." Other makes of automobiles might easily be confused with a Buick by a person unfamiliar with their differences.

Vanzetti denies he was with Boda on the night of May 5, and declares he never knew him. Boda has vanished. Chief Stewart had him in his hands on April 20, five days after the South Braintree murders, and let him go. On the same day, the man with whom Boda lived, Feruccio Coacci, was deported by the federal authorities without any protest from state officials.

Subsequently, District Attorney Katzmann expressed the belief that Coacci took to Italy the $18,000 loot from the second holdup. But Coacci's ship did not reach Italy until May 5, and Coacci's detention in port could have been accomplished by wireless had the authorities wanted to halt him.

By inference the state tried to make the jury believe that the bandit car escaped to the Coacci home on December 24. Assistant Prosecutor William F. Kane promised in his opening statement that he would prove this, but he never go closer to proof than the use of suggestion. That inference was based solely on a statement by one John King, who said he looked out his window on Grove street, Bridgewater, at 7:30 that morning and saw a Buick car speeding in the direction of Prospect Street.

It is more than two miles from this point to the Boda-Coacci house by the winding roads which must be traveled. Those roads follow a detour around the Great Hockamock Meadows. A dozen other routes were just as likely for the bandits' getaway.

Mrs. Johnson's powers of observation may be gauged by the fact that she later identified an Irish policeman as one of the Italians who had visited her home. She has already received a two hundred dollar reward and will be rewarded further if the murder trial results in conviction.

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