ROY MORRIS HIRSHBURGER - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Source: (both articles from an Ancestry family) The Palladium-Item Richmond, Ind Tuesday March 26, 1957

Sheriff Edward Cordell said early Tuesday morning Miss Ethel Wise, 30 years old, Belleview Heights, Centerville in a verbal statement admitted the fatal shooting late Monday night of Roy Hirshburg, prominent Richmond photographer. No details were immediately available. Hirshburg had earlier been reported in the company of Miss Wise and Mrs. Anna McFarland, 41 years old, Hagerstown shortly before the shooting. Roy Hirshburg, nationally known Richmond photographer was shot to death late Monday night on the sidewalk nearly in front of his studio at 710 Main Street. Police were seeking the assayler (?) who was believed to have escaped in a car. Details of the killing were spotty. Hirshburg apprently was alone. Two Centerville men, John Kempton and Clayton Whirley, told a Palladium-Item reporter they heard a woman scream and at the same time saw a body lying in the gutter. They said they saw a car being driven away at high speed and run a red light at the intersection of 7th and Main Streets. They said they chased the car north on 7th but lost it. No reason for the shooting was immediately learned. He apparentsly died almost immediatley. Police said they found three .22 caliber shells near Hirshburg's body. One report said Hirshburg was leaving Wheeler's restuarant with another man when a woman on the sidewalk fired three shots at him from a rifle. The report said the woman then ran to a car parked nearby, got into the driver's seat and sped away. Dr. H.D. Hill, Wayne County coroner said preliminary examination showed Hirshburg was shot once in the heart and once in the head. Police were looking early Tuesday morning for a 1955 red and white Chevrolet convertible. A sign on Hirshburg's studio door read, "Closed all day Monday, open rest of week." Mrs. Zella Wroe, an employee at Wheelers said Hirshburg stopped in the restaurant a few minutes to see about a key for his studio that he had made arrangements to be left there. She said he met Ray Mitroine, brother of Police Chief Dan Mitrione there and left with him after about 15 minutes. She said the two talked on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant a few minutes after which Hirshburg walked west in the direction of his studio and Mitrione crossed the street. She said a few minutes later Mitrione rushed into the restaurant and called to her to call the police. Hirshburg was about 64 years old. He opened a studio in Richmond in 1921 and formerly operated one at Greencastle. He achieved international fame for his photography and often was called upon to judge photo shows. In 1955 he was named as one of the top 20 photographers in the US by Paul Lindwood Gittings of Houston, Tex, president of the Photography Association of America. Hirshburg, who also was widely known for his wit and humor, at one time said he "mugged" everybody from one president of the US to tramps and one notorious gangster. Hirshburg, who was divorced from his wife, has a daughter, Henrietta Hirshburg, New York.

Source: The Palladium-Item Richmond, Ind June 22, 1958

Miss Ethel Mae Wise Friday night was sentenced to two to 21 years at the Indiana Women's prison a few minutes after a Wayne Superior court jury found her guilty of manslaughter. The verdict was returned after the jury had deliberated 3 hours and 35 minutes. The finding of guilty ended the 10-day trial of the 31-year-old woman who had been indicted for first degree murder for the March 25, 1957 rifle slaying of Roy Hirshburg, local photographer. Manslaughter is the least of the 3 degrees of a first degree murder charge. The sentence of two to 21 is mandatory. Miss Wise seemed unmoved by the report of the jury foreman, Jack Fisher, who had announced to Special Judge John W. Goddard at 8:10 p.m. that the jury, composed of 10 men and two women, had reached a verdict. This was the second jury trial for Miss Wise in a little over six months. Her first trial, which ended last December 19 in the same court, resulted in the jury being unable to reach a verdict, thus resulting in the second trial. The verdict was not announced in the courtroom until 9:05 p.m. as it was necessary to await the arrival from Fountain City of the court reporter, Mrs. Martha Thomas to record the proceedings. Both Prosecutor Bert Keller, Jr. and the defense counsel, David W. Dennis said they had "no comment" on the verdict. When the verdict had been announced by the court, Judge Goddard asked the defendant if she wished to have sentence pronounced now. Her attorney said she did. Miss Wise was taken to the women's prison in Indianapolis Saturday morning by Sheriff Edward C. Cordell. Immediately after court was adjourned, Miss Wise talked with members of her family. She was smiling and smoking a cigarette. Her twin sister, however, broke down and wept loudly upon announcement of the jury's finding. About 50 persons were in the courtroom in the courthouse when the verdict was announced. A member of the jury said, after the 12 members and the alter Judge Goddard read his instruction to the members, telling them of the law and punishment provided by same in each of the phases of the indictment. A first degree murder indictment, also included second degree murder & manslaughter. Under Indiana law, a first degree murder guilty finding carries a penalty of either death of life imprisonment, to be determined by the jury. Second degree murder carries a penalty of life imprisonment. The prosecution had asked the jury for a verdict of murder in 1st degree. No demand had been made by the prosecution for a death penalty if a first degree murder finding was returned, however. The courtroom, remained crowded Friday afternoon as the case was put into the hands of the jury to determine the fate of the 31-year-old woman. During the evening hours several persons continued to await a report by the jury. Miss Wise, who had taken the stand for over six hours in her own defense during the trial remained calm prior to the time the case went to the jury for deliberation. She was indicted for the murder of the local photographer May 21, 1957. She had entered an innocent plea to the charge, resulting in the two trials. Miss Wise had contended in her testimony that Ann McFarland, 42-year-old state witness, her former friend and close companion had actually shot Hirshburg. The defendant testified she at first took the blame for the shooting to confuse the police and to protect her friend. She said on the witness stand she had never told that to anyone but to her lawyer until she took the stand in her own defense during the first trial. The trial, which drew overflow crowds each day, lasted over 9 and 1/2 days including the selection of a jury and presentations of evidence and final arguments. The trial started June 9. Members of the jury included Forrest Smith RR 1, Hagerstown; John Heacock, RR 2, Hagerstown; Roy Cully RR 1, Richmond; Fran Baker, RR 2, Richmond; Mrs. Mary Harrison, 1007 Sylva Nook Drive, Richmond; Mario Lindsey, RR 1, Hagerstown; Mrs. Alma Charles RR, Economy, Jack Fisher, Spring Grove; Marvin Jeans, RR 4, Richmond, Philip A. Thomas, RR 2, Richmond, Robert E. Ross, 9 Waterfall Rd, Spring Grove and Keith C Brown, 1015 Sylvan Nook Drive, Richond. The alternate juror was Mer O. Brown, Webster.

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