– Case Description
On a Saturday afternoon in June, three young boys took their shoe shine business to the local police station. It was a cop’s duty to have shiny shoes, and the hungry boys were looking to make money. What they found instead was an opportunity for trouble.
Two brothers, 11 and 13, along with their 13 year-old friend had weaseled their way in the Jamaica station when they stole a loaded police revolver from an officer’s coat. They used the gun in a failed holdup, and later that night, a murder.
The boys used the pistol 3 times after they stole it from the police station. They brandished it once in a failed holdup, fired it once on a dare, and ultimately used it to shoot a man point blank when he refused to wake up from his drunken slumber. Twelve-year-old Frank shot William Walsh in the head and the boys left him for dead. Walsh was found by a city worker the next morning, alive, but only hours from death.
While the victim’s widow wanted the boys to “go to the chair,” charges of murder against Frank Damato, 13 years old; Julius, 11, his brother and Lisbon Lawrence, 13, were dismissed after the grand jury refused to indict them. The case was referred to the Queens Children’s Court.
Frank and his brother Julius were ordered to the New York Catholic Protectory in Westchester County,
Libson was sent to the New York State Training School at Warick.
New York Times
June 17, 1935
BOYS STEAL PISTOL IN POLICE STATION, ROB AND KILL MAN
June 18, 1935
THREE BOYS HELD ON MURDER CHARGE
June 19, 1935
THREE BOY SLAYERS ARE FINGERPRINTED
June 29, 1935
THREE BOY SLAYERS FREED OF MURDER CHARGE
June 30, 1935
BOY SLAYER FACES LOSS OF 2 FINGERS
July 19, 1935
BOY SLAYERS SENT TO REFORMATORIES
June 23, 1935
CHILDREN NURTURED IN WAYS OF CRIME
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
June 17, 1935
THREE BOY KILLERS GRIN IN COURT; BAIL IS DENIED
June 26, 1935
JURORS PONDER ON BOY KILLERS
July 10, 1935
BOY KILLERS’ CASE IS PUT OVER FOR JULY 18 HEARING
July 11, 1935
VICTIM’S WIDOW URGES CHAIR FOR BOY KILLERS