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Edward H. Ruloff – Murderer

From the autobiographical notes of Captain Charles Albertson regarding the time he served in the New York City Police Department and other adventures.


When a lad, I left home to visit several friends in Broome County, N.Y., and while waiting to change cars at Binghampton, two officers came up the Erie tracks from the east with a prisoner, who did not have any shoes on. The night before three burglars had forced an entrance into a store and while there shot and killed an employee of the firm who was sleeping there named Merritt [Mirick?]. The three burglars escaped from the rear of the store and tried to swim the Chenango River. Two of them were drowned and their bodies eventually recovered. Three pairs of well worn shoes were found near where the murder had been committed. The right shoe of one pair showed that the wearer had the big toe missing.

The prisoner Edward H. Ruloff who had been found secreted in an empty car, was the man with the missing toe. That fact convicted him of murder in the first degree in Court in Binghamton. On appeal, he obtained a new trial and change of venue and was tried the second time at Elmira where he was again convicted for murder in the first degree, and later hung in Binghamton. It was alleged at the time of his arrest and trial which was about 1870, that he had killed his wife and daughter and buried them in Cayuga Lake.

There appeared in an Ithaca, N.Y., paper dated April 11, [unreadable] a statement by one Amelia Crum whose father [unreadable] C. Crum was informed by Ruloff’s lawyer on this death bed that Ruloff confessed to him before being executed that he had murdered his wife and placed the body in a box weighted with iron and put it in Cayuga Lake near Minghanneck Falls. The daughter was brought up by a family in Pennsylvania and at the time of his execution was married to a government employee in Washington.

Ruloff was a highly educated man and had worked for many years upon a dictionary which specialized in giving the derivation of the words. This manuscript was given to his counsel to pay for his services, as he had no money. It was complete din prison. I do not believe it has been published for I have had it in mind and looking for a copy for 50 years.

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