(Reefer Madness Era)
Name: Tylczak - Location: Marquette State Prison Michigan - Date: June 9, 1932
What the Narc’s were claiming
"Sometime ago the silence of the state prison at Marquette, Michigan, was shattered by the sound of fusillade of pistol shots and an hour later a kindly prison doctor lay dead and beside him lay the trusty who had given his life trying to save his friend the doctor. An investigation developed that arms and ammunition had been smuggled into the prison in the false bottoms of herring containers and that the MARIHUANA from which Tylczak, the murderer of the doctor and trusty, had derived his demoniac courage, had also been smuggled into the prison." --- The pamphlet "the Drug Demon" 1940
Michigan. Some time ago some Marihuana was smuggled into the state prison at Marquette. At the same time a gun and ammunition were also Smuggled in. From the effects of the drug one prisoner named Tyczak, shot and killed the prison doctor and a trusty. --- Finger Print & Identification Magazine March 1938 pp3
A recent one-man riot in the Michigan State Prison at Marquette, staged by a prisoner named Tylczak, was due to marihuana and firearms smuggled into the prison. When the smoke from the gun of the marihuana-crazed prisoner cleared, the kindly prison doctor lay dead. Beside him was the body of a trusty who gave his life trying to protect his doctor friend. The gun, ammunition and marihuana had entered the prison in false bottoms of herring buckets. -- Inside detective Nov 1937
Some time ago the silence of the state prison at Marquette, Mich., was shattered by the sound of a fusillade of pistol shots. An hour later a kindly prison doctor lay dead and beside him lay the trusty who had given his life to save his friend, the doctor. --- An investigation developed that arms and ammunition had been smuggled into the prison in the false bottoms of herring containers. -- It was found further that the marihuana from which Tylezak, the murderer of the doctor and the trusty, had derived his demoniacal courage had also been smuggled into the prison. -- Denver Post – Feb 24, 1935 Sec 3 pg 2
THE MICHIGAN CASE
The following has all been taken from our sister webpage:
Note that this is part of the "Holiday of Horrors Affair" (1936) that occurred when a reporter (his name was actually Halliday) asked Anslinger for some proof that a group of his gore file cases were actually true. Specifically, he wanted newspaper account dates, etc. Which needless to say, Anslinger was hard pressed to turn any up. Especially in one case (the Eureka Axe Murderer) which as it turned out had been totally fabricated. And as the reader can see, this very case, although touted by Ansliner as proof of Marihuana’s evil affects, also seems to fall into the fake category.
"Sometime ago the silence of the state prison at Marquette, Michigan,
was shattered by the sound of fusillade of pistol shots and an hour
later a kindly prison doctor lay dead and beside him lay the trusty who
had given his life trying to save his friend, the doctor. An
investigation developed that arms and ammunition had been smuggled into
the prison in the false bottom of herring containers and that the
MARIHUANA from which Tylezak, the murderer of the doctor and trusty, had
derived his demonic courage, had also been smuggled into the prison.”
Here without comment is the feedback given back to Anslinger regarding the investigation.
BUREAU OF NARCOTICS
OFFICE OF DISTRICT SUPERVISOR
November 14, 1936
Re: State Prison,
Commissioner of Narcotics,
Washington., D. C.
Attention: Legal Section
Replying to your letter of October 30, 1936, in which you mention an
article which appeared in some newspaper regarding a prison break in the
State Penitentiary at Marquette Michigan, in which the prison physician
and a trusty were murdered by an inmate, allegedly under the influence
of: MARIHUANA, and in which you requested this office to
ascertain. The date and name of the newspaper when and in which
it appeared, you are informed that upon investigation we find that an
article referring to this episode appeared in the Detroit Free Press of December 4, 1932.
We were unable to obtain a copy of this paper for the reason that the Free Press had no extra copies.
In addition to the foregoing, this office addressed a letter to the
present, Warden of the Marquette Prison, asking for complete details
regarding this incident, but to date no reply has been received.
As soon as we hear from the Warden, a copy of his reply will be
forwarded to the Bureau.
Ralph H. Oyler,
N.B. We have just received a reply from the Warden at Marrquette, two copies of which letter are attached hereto.
STATE HOUSE OF CORRECTION AND BRANCH PRISON
In other words, yet another one of Anslinger’s (much prized) gore file
cases had just been dis-proven. And Anslinger must have been
quite worried by this point.
November 12, 1936
Walter F. Gries
U.S. Narcotic Office
804 Federal Building
Attention: L.J. Ulmer
Acting district Supervisor
My Dear Mr. Ulmer:
Reference is made to your letter of November 6 in which you quote an
item from a newspaper brought to your attention by Commissioner
Anslinger at Washington.
I am sorry that I do not know the name of the newspaper carrying that
story. As a matter of fact, the story is not entirely correct.
Undoubtedly this newspaper story refers to the killing of Dr. A. W. Hornbogen
in our Prison Hospital here five years ago. I was at that time a
member of the State Prison Commission, and Warden Corgan was the Warden
here. We spent several months unraveling the smuggling in of
The guns did not come in herring containers with false bottoms, but they
came in Hormel chicken cans, and the guns were sealed in the cans in
Detroit, brought up here and secreted under a little bridge over a river
near the prison property. The cans were then brought in by a
trusty truck-driver who was threatened from the inside.
We were never able to prove definitely that Marihuana had anything to do
with the men who were concerned in the plot which looked like an effort
to escape. We have always surmised that they did have
Marihuana, but we were unable to find any at the time.
Briefly, at this particular time four inmates had secured guns through
outside assistance; their names were Germano, Roxbury, Buver, and
Hohfer. The first three named succeeded in getting into the
Prison Hospital on “Sick Call” when Dr. Hornbogen, who was filling in
while the regular physician was on vacation, questioned Germano about
his illness. After being ordered to take his shirt off Germano
drew his concealed gun from his trousers, shot the Doctor, and an inmate
nurse by the name of Oligschlager intercepted and tried to help the
Doctor, and he was also shot. The Doctor died immediately; the
inmate nurse died that night.
These men had no intention of killing the Doctor as far as we are able
to determine, but the Doctor became the obstacle of the moment, and as
we surmized(sic) they were somehwat(sic) under the influence of
Marihuana, they simply shot him and came down the stairs into the
Rotunda, where they took the keys away from the Rotunda guard and went
out into the prison yard, and from there to the third floor of the
industrial building, where the first three named inmates shot
themselves. Hohferm who did not succeed in getting out of his
cell, took his own life there.
That birefly(sic) is the story of the incident which happened here five years ago in August.
The name Tylczak enters into the picture as the man who made
arrangements for the smuggling in of the guns from the outside.
He was finally arrested after some very good work by
Lieutenant-Detective Van Loomis of the Michigan State Police.
Tylczak was afterwards tried and convicted. Some time later he
was returned to Detroit to be a witness in some other case, and while
there escaped from the officers in the court room. Some time
later it appears that his body was found somewhere in Wayne county or in
the neighborhood, and it is supposed he was shot by some members of his
Every once in a while a new version of this happening appears somewhere
in the papers. Each time the story is a little different, and it
seems gets farther away from the original.
If we may be of further help to you in this connection please do not hesitate to write us.
Very truly yours
Walter F. Gries
BENTON HARBOR NEWSPALLADIUM
[S]- BentonHarborNewsPalladium1933-07-08p10- “Marquette Convict, Witness in Murder Trial, Escapes jail”
[S]- BentonHarborNewsPalladium1933-07-11p10- “Detroit -- short
The Highland Park city council last night offered a $500 reward for the capture of Walter Tylczak, long term Marquette branch prison inmate who escaped from the Highland Park police station early Saturday. He was held there as a witness in a murder trial.
[S]- IronwoodDailyGlobe1932-06-09p1- “Indict 2 Inmates in Gun Smuggling”
INDICT 2 INMATES IN GUN SMUGGLING
[S]- IronwoodDailyGlobe1932-07-14p2- “Hold 3 Men charged With Doctor’s Murder”
Marks End of Investigation into Marquette Prison Break
Marquettc, June 9—(AP)—Two prison inmates and a Detroit tinsmith ,today were under indictment for alleged participation in a gun smuggling plot at the Marquette prison last August.
With weapons brought into the prison several inmates tried to break out and in the futile attempt killed Dr. A W. Hornbogen, acting prison physician, and Frank Olischlager, a trusty attendant.
Those indicted are Stanley Podolski, serving 20 to 40 years in the Marquette prison for bank robbery; Walter Tylczak, now in the Jackson prison, and Stanley I, Sczitko, alias Sam Sceatko, the Detroit tinsmith who is held in the Marquette county jail.
The Indictments were returned by Judge Victor E. Sprague of Cheboygan and the three men were taken immediately before Justice Theodore A. Thoren for arraignment.
The indictment marks the end of seven months investigation by Van A. Loomis, state police detective Sczitko is accused of having sealed the weapons in cans of chicken taken into the prison kitchens.
The connections of Podolski and Tylczak with the plot were not revealed.
The four convicts who shot the physician and attendant committed suicide.
HOLD 3 MEN CHARGED WITH DOCTOR'S MURDER"
[S]- IronwoodDailyGlobe1932-08-23p1- “Prisoner is Found Guilty of Murder”
Marquette, July 14.—(AP)—Three men charged with murder in connection with the death of Dr. A. W. Hornbogen, physician at the Marquette prison slain in a riot, yesterday were bound over for trial July 27.
The three men are Walter (Red) Tylczak and Stanley (Big Stack) Podolski, prison inmates, and Sam Szczitko, Detroit tinsmith.
Szczitko is accused of having sealed weapons into cans of chicken and the other two men, sentenced subsequently on robbery charges, are charged with having delivered the cans to the prison.
Four convicts killed Dr. Hornbogen and Frank Olischlager, a trusty last August. When cornered they committed suicide.
PRISONER IS FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER”
[S]- IronwoodDailyGlobe1932-12-13p2- “Prison Inmates Freed of Slaying Charges”
Given 20 to 40 Year Sentence For Slaying of Dr. Hornbogen
Marquette, Aug. 23.—(AP)—A circuit court jury yesterday returned a verdict of second degree murder against Walter (Red) Tylczak, prisoner in the northern branch state penitentiary here who was tried' in connection with the slaying of Dr. A. . Hornbogen, acting prison physician.
The physician was killed Aug. 27, 1931, by three prisoners; trying to break from the institution. Later they committed suicide.
Tylczak was accused of helping the slayers smuggle pistols into the prison. Judge Frank A. Bell sentenced him to serve 20 to 40 years. He is already a, prisoner, serving a long term.
Tylczak's co-defendants, Stanley Szezyiko, Hamramack tins-smith, and Stanley Podolski, a prisoner, were acquitted.
The three convicts who made the attack on Dr. Horrbogpn, Andrew Germano, Martin Duver and Charles Rosbury reported for sick call, believing they could break out of hospital quarters. They killed the physician and Frank Oligschlager, prison hospital attendant. The prisoners were cornered in the industrial building and killed themselves when prison guards subjected them to a gas attack.
PRISON INMATES FREED OF SLAYING CHARGES
[S]- IronwoodDailyGlobe1933-01-21p9- “Convict Deported”
Marquetle, Dec. 13. (AP)—Two prison inmates and another man were freed yesterday on charges of slaying Frank Ollgschlager, a nurse at the Marquette prison hospital, when judge Frank A. Bell dismissed the case.
One of the accused men, Walter Tylczak, was convicted in August of slaying Dr. A. W. Hombogen, prison physician, and the other two, Stanley Podolski, a prisoner, and Stanley I. Szczitko, a tinsmith of Hamtramck, Mich., were acquitted.
Since the second charge was the same as the first, Prosecuting Attorney Clarence E. Lett recommended dismissal.
Oligschlager was killed when he went to the defense of Dr. Hornbogen during an attempted prison break. Tylczak was sentenced 20 to 40 years.
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-06-09p1- “One Man Jury At Marquette Indicts Three”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-06-09p2- “One Man Jury At Marquette Indicts Three”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-08-17p7- “Murder Trial Opens”
MURDER TRIAL OPENS
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-08-18p1- “Gun Smuggling Trial Advances”
Marquette—Thirty-seven persons, in addition to those on the regular panel, have been called for jury duty in circuit court Monday morning when three men, jointly charged with the murder of Dr. A. W. Hombogen at the Marquette branch prison last August, go on trial.
Stanley "Big Stack" Podolski, Walter "Red" Tylczak, both inmates of the branch prison here, and Staniey.I. Szczitko, alias Sam Sceatko, iamtramck tinsmith, the defendants, will be represented by L. E. Garvin, appointed by the court to act as the trio's counsel, and the prosecutors for the state will be I. A.. Capizzi, assistant state attorney General, and Clarence E. Lott, Marjuette county prosecutor.
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-08-18p3- “Gun Smuggling Trial Advances”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-08-19p2- “Changes Story At Marquette”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-08-20p2- “Defense Rests At Marquette”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1932-12-13p2- “Trio Held For Murder Freed”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1933-07-09p1- “Prison Inmate Makes Escape”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1933-11-29p1- “Escaped Marquette Convict Killed”
Escaped Marquette Convict Killed”
[S]- EscanabaDailyPress1933-11-29p11- Gang Bullets Find Mark in Red Tylczak
Gang Bullets Find Mark in Red Tylczak
Police At Detroit Expect More Shootings
Detroit. Nov. 28. (AP) -- Gangland’s guns, long quiescent in this area, spattered bullets today for the second time this week and claimed their third “ride” victim -- 26 year old Walter (Red) Tylezak, escaped convict upon whose head was a $500 reward “dead or alive.”
Tylezak’s body, a bullet through the head, was found this morning in a ditch on a lonely road in Macomb county, apparently tossed from a speeding automobile. Two days earlier police had found the bullet-torn bodies of Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher, one-time members of the Detroit Purple gang, slumped in their automobile on a byroad in Oakland county, not many miles away.
Officials saw no connection in the slayings, except the indications that, for an undetermined reason, gangland activities were stirring again. They said they expected further shootings, and at once made preparations to cope with them.
Tylczak, police said, was one of the most dangerous criminals with whom they have tried to cope. He had served numerous sentences, was shot twice by police before he was 18, and twice escaped from jail. His last escape was from the Highland Park Mich, jail, after he had been taken there from the Michigan branch prison at Marquette to testify against a man held in a murder case. It was to this case that the police looked for clues to his murder.
In Hornbogen Murder
Tyylezak was sentenced to prison several years ago on a robbery armed charge, and was transferred some time later from the Michigan state prison at Jackson to the branch prison at Marquette. On Aug, 27, 1931, several of the most desperate prisoners in Marquette attempted to escape. They were armed with pistols and Dr. A.W. Hornbogen, acting prison physician, and a trusty were slain by the prisoners, four of whom later killed themselves when they found escape impossible.
Tylezak, prison officials said took no active part in the break but in the investigation which followed it was discovered tht Tylezak had guns smuggled into the prison and allegedly delivered to Standley “Big Stack” Podelski, who, it was said, distributed them to the four inmates. Tylezak was later arrested and charged with the slaying of Dr. Hornbogen, a circuit court jury finding him guilty and he was sentenced to an additional 40-year term. Podlski and Sam Szezitko, alias Sceatko, of Grand Rapids and Hamtramek co-defendants, were acquitted.
Escaped in July
Later he was returned to Detroit as a witness against William Sudomier, accused of killing Martin Durke, manufacturer’s agent, in a holdup attempt in Detroit three years ago. Sudomier and Tylezak were prisoners together, and Tylezak accused Sudomier of the slaying.
Returned to Highland Park as . . .
[S]- LudingtonDailyNews1932-08-25p7- “Must Stand Trial Again in Marquette Prison Break Case”
[S]- LudingtonDailyNews1933-11-28p4 - “Escaped Convict Is Taken for Ride”
Escaped Convict Is Taken for Ride
(Continued from Page 1)
who later shot and killed themselves, escaped from the jail while he was being held as a witness against William Sudomier, charged with slaying Joseph Burke, manufacturers' agent, in a holdup attempt.
Macomb county deputies, who identified Tylczak by means of fingerprints, believe he was one of the men who participated in the slaying of Dr. Julius C. Harris, Detroit dentist, in a gambling resort Saturday night.
Tylczak's body was found lying along the roadside by a farmer who passed the place at 7:20 a. m. He had been shot through the head and apparently tossed from an automobile into a ditch. Ten 38-calibre cartridges were fourth in his pockets, together with a bunch of keys which the police said might have been used to pick locks. All identification apparently had been carefully removed from his clothing and it was several hours before the body was identified by fingerprints.
[S]- MarshallEveningChronicle1932-06-09p1- “Marquette Prisoners Indicted”
[S]- MarshallEveningChronicle1933-11-28p1- “Detroit Gunman Shot to Death”
[S]- MarshallEveningChronicle1933-12-02p5- “Seven Held For Death of Tylczak”
WANT TO KNOW MORE:
Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed. If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum. All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.