(Reefer Madness Era)
POLICE TROOPER KILLED BY MARIHUANA ADDICT
Name: Alcide Benoit / (Victim) Richard Hammond - Location: - Michigan - Date: - Jan 22, 1937
What the Narc’s were claiming
Perhaps you remember the young desperado in Michigan who, a few months ago, caused a reign of terror by his career of burglaries and holdups, finally to be sent to prison for life after kidnapping a Michigan state policeman, killing him, then handcuffing him to the post of a rural mailbox. This young bandit was a marijuana fiend. -- American Magazine “Marijuana, Assassin of Youth” By H.J Anslinger - July 1937
In Michigan, a teen-age kid kidnapped a state policeman, killed him, and then handcuffed his body to a mailbox. -- True Story (Magazine) Dec. 1948
Then again, the case of the young desperado in Michigan who, a few months ago, caused a reign of terror by his career of burglaries and holdups, finally to be sent to prison for life after kidnapping a Michigan state policeman, killing him, then handcuffing him to the post of a rural mailbox. This young bandit was another marihuana fiend. -- INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL DIGEST – Sep, 1937
In Michigan, a marijuana addict manacled a trooper to a mail post and put a bullet through his head. -- FORUM AND CENTURY – Jan. 1939
In Michigan, Alcide Benoit, after forty robberies and two murders, was accused during his trial for murder of having committed every one of his major crimes while under the influence of marijuana. In his murder of State Trooper Richard Hammond, Benoit knocked Hammond unconscious, fastened him to a post with his handcuffs, then calmly waited for him to regain consciousness before shooting him through the head --- COLLIER’S - June 1949
In Michigan, a marijuana-crazed ex-convict manacled a state trooper to a rural mailbox and then shot him through the head. -- Narcotics: America’s Peril by Will Oursler (1952)
GETTYSBURG TIMES - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
[S-Jan 22, 1937 pg. 2] (Picture of ALCIDE Frenchy" BENOIT) gore file
[S-Jan 23, 1937 pg. 5] “Slayer of Trooper Sentenced to Life” Gore File
[See Reefer Madness Newspaper Index pamphlet for more (many more) references]
[Key-finder - Case#MI01_AlcideBenoit]
About ALCIDO “French” BENOIT - The Legend and the Myth
Via the National Archives (College Park, Md.), we’ve been able to obtain the following documents related to the Alcido Benoit case. By any accounts Frenchy himself was no-ones poster boy for anything, but note that it was his partner John Smith, who was making the claim that Frenchy was a marihuana addict and NOT Frenchy himself.
[Note photo's seen here have been doctored for shorter download time]
January 27, 1937
Mr. Ralph H. Oyler,
Dear Mr. Oyler:
I have read several newspaper articles regarding one Alcido “French” BENOIT, “dope-mad slayer of a State trooper, the ‘brains’ of a ruthless kidnap-robbery gang of paroled convicts which he actually recruited behind the walls of Ionia Prison.” He was recently sentenced in Detroit to life imprisonment.
The stories feature the fact that he was a MARIHUANA addict. Please send me a report of the facts in this case, giving in particular any information confirming the statement that he was a Marihuana addict.
Very truly yours,
BUREAU OF NARCOTICS
OFFICE OF DISTRICT SUPERVISOR
DISTRICT No. 8
STATES of OHIO AND MICHIGAN
Toledo, Ohio, February 1,1937
Mr. Ralph H. Oyler,
In Re- Alcido ‘Frenchy’ Benoit
In compliance with your instructions contained in letter dated January 29,1937 in reference to the above captioned principal please be advised that I interviewed County Prosecutor, Mr. Travers T. Ready and Sheriff Joseph T Baisley of Monroe County Michigan.
Mr. Raedy advised me that a written statement was not taken from John H. Smith, partner of Alcido Banoit but that Smith had told during questioning that he knew from observation that Benoit was a smoker of marijuana and that he obtained his supply of marijuana from a smoke shope in Detroit, Michigan. I am further advised that this information was turned over to detectives of the Detroit Police Department who came into the case and that they were investigating the matter. Smith denied that he either used narcotics personally or smoked marijuana. A statement taken by Sheriff Baisley, unsigned, from Benoit in reference to the actual crime is quoted in this report.
January 31, 1937 I proceeded to Jackson, Michigan where, through the courtesy of Warden Jackson, I was permitted to interview Smith who at the time was in solitary confinement serving a ten to fifteen year sentence for kidnapping and robbery armed. Smith had every appearance of being a drug addict although no indications were found by the prison authorities substantiating this belief. He denied to the investigating officer that he had ever smoked marajuana although his physical condition would indicate that he had used considerable of the weed.
Smith stated that Benoit a user of marajuana adding that ‘where the hell would he have got the courage?’ He stated he served a sentence in Ionia Reformatory wherenhe met Benoit and that shortly after their release both embarked on a series of crimes. He stated that be lived with Benoit and was constantly in fear of his life as Benoit threatened him on several occasions if he did not continue with him on his criminal career. He further added that upon rising in the morning and during the day Benoit would brag about his bravado and stand in front of the mirror in their room brandishing his pistol and commenting on how he delighted in killing anyone connected with law enforcement.
Smith would not amplify his statement that Benoit was a user of marijuana by explaining how long Benoit had been smoking the weed nor the place nor manner in which he obtained it. He stated however that Benoit was exceedingly foud of the opposite sex and constantly bragged in their presence how tough he was. His female associates were of the moronic type and from what I could gather were perhaps also marijuana smokers.
Benoit’s statement to Sheriff Baisley is as follows”
January 20, 1937.
Attached please find photographs of both subjects.
“My name is Aleid Benoit. I went to that second hand car dealers and told him I wanted a car and then when we drove away, I told the man that I just wanted it for transportation when we started for River Rouge. I asked him If he had any money on him when we started. I then put my gun, a 44 caliber Smith-Wesson, on him and told him I would have his hand wired up and then we drove up to got some gas and asked if he had any money to pay for the gas. He had $5.00 and that paid the expenses. From there we then went to Toledo and drove around a little bit and I then left him off in Toledo where someone would find him. It turned pretty cold and so I didn't want him to freeze. My buddy and I then drove around down town and I was looking around for something than I said to him I am going to drive back to Detroit and we stopped at a gas station to look at the oil. The license plate on the back didn't look right to the officer who stopped us and he asked for my credentials on the car. I fussed a little as if looking for them in my pockets and said that I had my Dad's car and must have left them home. The officer frisked us down and didn't find anything on me. I got my gun in a hole in my overcoat pocket. He said get in my car I get in and my buddy got into our car with the other officer. He had trouble getting it started but after we got it started and went a few blocks I told him to slow down. He didn't like the idea of slowing down. ‘I mean business' I said and told him to turn around. I then hit him with the butt of my gun. So we turned around (don’t know ehere we were). Anyway, he drove on and I told him then to drive ahead anyway cause the other car had turned around and we turned off to the right and drove about a mile and a half on a dirt road so from there I took his rod and fired three shots. So from there I was going to put him out where someone mould pick him up. Drove over there and asked him how much money he had. Told me 35 cents. Got out of the car and got his arm around a post-dont know as yet, how I got his other arm strapped but be fought with me. Had no intention of shooting him, as I wouldn't have left him where someone cold pick him up. From there on I had taken the car and drove around. Didn't know the way back to the highway. I was looking for another car when I saw a police car. Couldn't do anything so I started to turn around but the rear wheels went off the pavement and got stuck. I ran into the field and laid down. I saw the spotlights from the Police oars and when they turned to the other side I got up and went further into the field and laid down.
I passed two or three roads and went about 69 rods further. I kept under cover and laid around until daytime. I could helve made it but the farmers would hare reported it so just stayed there until about 5.00 at night. I left there and asked a man if he had a car down there as I was stuck and needed some helps. When we got outside I told him I needed a car only for transportation. I talked to the man about an hour before I could got it in his head as he couldn't talk very good English. Finally told him what I wanted and he said it would be o.k. if he did what I told him and drove the car myself. At the red light there was a couple of scout cars so turned right at the corner and drove right past him. Police car followed us. They fired a shot. It would be useless for me to fire back. I had the officers gun and my own.”
Charles A. Burrows
February 4th, 1937
Transmitted to the Commissioner in reply to his letter of January 27, 1937, requesting a report of the facts in this case,
Photographs of Smith end Benoit enclosed.
Ralph H. Oyler,
BENOIT AND SMITH MUG SHOTS
Try as we might, these are the best mug shots that we were able to locate. We will leave it up to the reader to determine if Mr. Smith story about "Frenchy" (again no poster-boy) being a Marihuana Addict is true or not.
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