~ THE GREAT ICE HOUSE CAPER ~
PART II - THE TRIALS
Source - Marlborough Enterprise News August 14 thru August 18, 1923 Editions
Researched and portions written by John Buczek
Photos enhanced by John Buczek
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 1923
HUNDREDS SEEK ADMITTANCE TO
Hugo Baldi and Bernardo Martino Brought Here From Cambridge Jail to Stand Trial for Alleged Murder of John B. Girourd on Night of August 13th
Hugo Baldi of Somerville and Bernado Martini of Newtonville charged with murder of John B. Girourd late of this city were arrainged in the local court this morning before Associate Justice Edgar M. Weeks and at the request of Attorney Felix Marcella, representing Martini, the case was continued for hearing until Aug 31st. The prisoners were heavily guarded and recommitted the Cambridge jail without bail.
Spectators were lining up in the early morning hours and by 7:00 AM the District Court located in the Central Fire and Police Building on the corner of Main Street and Bolton Street started to fill up. A special police detail was set up to keep the noisy crowd from filling up the corridors and stairways. Among the prominent citizens were the widow and sons of the slain man. Every seat in the courtroom was occupied and hundreds of others lined the street. The officers refused to allow anyone to stand and only those who could be seated in the Court Room were admitted. Those who could not gain entrance stayed outside hoping to hear some news as the proceedings where held.
The picture above is the court room in which the arraignment occured
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 1923
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION IN LOCAL COURT
PRISONERS HERE AT EARLY HOUR TO STAND TRIAL
By request of Assistant Attorney Warren L. Bishop and Attorny Kenny and Marcella counsel for the defendants a conference was held with Judge James W. McDonald in Chambers previous to the hearing. Upon the opening of the court, Judge McDonald by request of the counsel made a brief statement in substance as follows where as defendant counsel that in behalf of their clients, a preliminary examination before the District Court would be waived. Judge McDonald stated thatat the conference certain questions of law based upon certain suposed evidence were discussed. Counsel could not come to an agreement as to what facts would be proved.
Above is the Judges Chamber were the brief meeting was held
Hugo and Bernardo were rousted out of their bunks at the crack of dawn, fed their breakfast and were brought to the awaiting state machione to make the trip to Marlborough. As they traveled out of the City of Cambridge and through the country side of Weston, Wayland, Sudbury and finally to Marlborough along the old Boston Post Road. They must have seen the open fields with cows grazing over the open land and farmers going about their chores. It had to enter their minds that they may never see these scenes again and probably longed for the upcoming trial to be over with. As they entered Marlborough they could see the court house just after they rounded the corner at Parmenter Square and the hundreds of towns folk standing about awaiting their arrival. The machine pulled into the back parking lot which was held open by the special Police Patrol and were escorted to the building. They were immediately brought to the holding cell where they were locked up.
Above is the cell block number two in the Central Fire and Police Station in downtown Marlborough
After a lengthy wait, while Judge McDonald and their cousel discussed legal matters, they were again handcuffed and chained and were escorted up the stairs to the courtroom. This was not a friendly place, nor was it meant to be. The cells were cold and offered little comfort. A long flat steel bench was their seating place, often used as a bunk for those who spent the night in jail. The walls were cinderblock and steel and the ceiling was also steel with no lighting.
The stair way to the court was also one which was meant to keep crimnals in check, made of steel and surrounded by cinder block walls and steel rails, the though of escaping would not enter any ones mind.
To the left is the stairway Hugo and Bernardo walked. This view is looking down to the area were the cells are and were they were escorted from.
Upon entering the court room, the defendants were immediately advised by their counsels to waive the hearing for probable cause which would give them a the benifit. The trial lasted but minutes and was postponed to the following week. Hugo and Bernardo where again whisked away to Cambridge, where they would wait in jail for their upcoming trial.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1923
MURDER CASE POSTPONED FOR ONE MONTH
Detectives Working on New Clues In Case
Delayed by Work on More Recent Mystery Case at Tynsboro
At the request of District Attorny Arthur K. Reading, the hearing before the Grand Jury in the cases of Hugo Baldi of Somerville and Bernardo Martini of Newton, charged with the murder of John B. Girourd of this city was postponed for one month.
Once again, Hugo and Bernardo would be forced to wait asdetectives look for more clues and other detectives are removed from the case to work on another case in Tynsboro.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1923
MURDER HEARING CASE CONTINUED BY GRAND JURY
City Marshall Amadeen Gardner, Sergeant P. Frank Crotty, Officer Eugene Mullane and Mortorcycle Officer Albert H. Boudreau attended the Grand Jury hearing in the cases of Hugo Baldi of Somerville and Bernardo Martini of Newtonville who are charged with the murder of John B. Girourd of this city on the night of August 13.
The above named officers where required to travel to Cambridge to attend the hearing. The two suspects were still being held in the Cambridge jail pending a trial. After a brief questioning session, the case was again postpone to a later date which was not given at that time.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1923
PAIR HELD ON MURDER CHARGE ARE BAILED
Hugo Baldi and Bernardo Martini Indicted on Other Charges
and Admitted to Bail - Have Been In Jail Since August 15, Charged
with Murder of Local Iceman
Hugo Baldi of Somerville and Bernardo Martini of Newton who have been in the Cambridge jail since August 15 charged with the murder of John B. Girourd, president of the Peoples Ice Co. of this city on the night of August 13 were bailed Saturday their indictments of murder having been changed due to evidence presented to the Grand Jury.
Well, here it is.... Baldi is now released on $5,000 bail and Martini on $10,000 bail both charged now with being accessory before the fact to murder and accessory after the fact to murder. No new evidence has been found and the District Attorny now claims that "much information found will be sprung at the trial". What really had happened is the Commonwealth found no evidence linking them to the actual murder and has conceded that the two men are not the actual murderers; further more, the case is falling apart. Neither Baldi nor Martini would admit to the crime nor would the implicate any one else.
The "heat" has been on in Marlborough however, there were raids on homes and establishments every week since the time of the incident. It seems that a week wouldn't go by with out the Marlborough Police finding bootlegg liquor in some ones house or establishment. Lake Ave, Elm Street, Gibbon, Howe and Lincoln Street areas were favorite targets. The Highland House on Lincoln Street was raided and suspicious bottles were found, many were arrested but few were convicted. Marlborough had become the bootlegg capital of Massachusetts.
Much evidence was collected, such as that which was recovered in the Ice House Murder.... 29 cases of booze and $2,900.00.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 1924
GIROUARD CASE ON TRIAL WEDNESDAY
BALDI AND MARTINO CASE ON TOMORROW
Charged With Robbery in Connection With Killing of Late
John B. Girouard Last Summer - Many Witnesses to Be Called
City Marshal William H. Finn Jr., City Marshall Amedee Gardner, Sergeant P. Frank Crotty, Officers Eugene Mullan, Albert Boudreau, John J. Slattery all of the Marlborough Police Department will appear as witnesses in East Cambridge Court tommorrow when Hugo Baldi od Somervilee and Bernardo Martini of Newtonville will be tried in Superior Court on charges of being accessories before and after the fact of robbery, and of receiving stolen goods. They are implicated indirectly or otherewise in the battle between two alledged gangs of hijackers staged at the Peoples Ice Company this city the night of August 13, 1923.
Finaly, the real trial begins.... evidence was brought forth and the trial proceeded. Several material witnesses were brought forth including Moses Phaneuf of Marlborough in an attempt to link these two men to the robbery and ultimate death of Mr. Girouard. According to the Police, Baldi was the driver of the car in which and Richard F. Worthern and Dennie Meehan rode in. They alledged that they were set upon by another gang, thier auto stolen also the booze and the money. How could this be? The stolen car was found and in it was a card with Martini's name and address on it, the Police went to Martini's house and found the booze and the money. Ohh what an evil web they spun... lies, nothing but lies. And what about Baldi, how was he implicated in this therory? And where were these other "gang" members?
Now all of a sudden, the District Attorney, the City Marshal and others hold a conference and the day ends. It is stated that "The outcome is watched with great interest".
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 1924
ICE HOUSE MURDER CASE OPENS TODAY
TRIAL REVEALS REAL KILLERS NOT CAUGHT
Melodrama Unfolds Details of Rum Running Business
That Ends in Death of Prominent Marlboro Citizen
Some of Captured Men Testify For State
EAST CAMBRIDGE April 25 - With all the stage setting of a melodrama, outriviling a movie "thrill" rum-running, hi-jacking, robbery and even murder inches in the background, the trial of Hugo Baldi and Bernardo Martino (Martini) is in full swing in the Middlesex Superior Court here today.
From it's opening yesterday afternoon until the principal witness for the state closed his testimony this morning, the story related by County Prosecutor and on the witness stand is one of the most colorful ever recorded in the local tribunal.
Assistant District Attorney Robert T. Bushnell outlining the case of the government against the two defendants charges each with accesory after the fact of murder, conspiracy to steal and Baldi with the actual theft of $2,900.00 and 24 cases (24? - were there not 26 at one time?) of scoch whiskey from Dennis Meehan a Lawrence Rum Runner.
"Woven in the fabric" of the case that the government is pursuing is the murder of Mr. Girouard. The state claims that Mr. Girouard unwittingly came upon the hi-jacking while getting his car at the Peoples Ice House. They further promote the theory that there were several "gangs" of "yeggs" involved in this incident. When the rubber hits the road, the Government has nothing on these guys but heresay and innuendoes, some guns, supposedly stolen money and "24" or "26" cases of booze. They had previously charge Baldi and Martini with murder and couldn't get those charges to stick, so they went another course which was not going very well either. The government further promotes the theory of additional bootlegg booze being involved, 40 to 50 cases, from Lawrence and to be delivered to Waltham with some being transported to Marlborough for further disposition.
The jury for this trial composed of a Teamster from Marlborough, a Maynard undertaker, a forman, an operative, rubber worker, insurance agent, two clerks, a chaufer, bookkeeper and two truck drivers.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 1924
HI - JACKING CASE GIVEN TO JURY TODAY
LEADERS OF GANG AWAIT THEIR VERDICT
Indictment of Murder of John B. Girouard, Was Dropped; But Hugo Baldi
and Bernardo Martino Showed Signs of Nervousness as Case Came to Climax
EAST CAMBRIDGE, April 29 - Shorn of the indictments charging them with being accessory after the fact of murder, the cases of Hugo Baldi and Bernardo Martino, charged with hi-jacking and robbery was given to the jury today in Superior Court here by Judge Frederick Fosdick.
The state makes a dramatic plea to the jurors and asks that they, Baldi and Matini (o), be found guilty. The evidence of the stolen booze and the transactions were stricken by "Fearless" Fosdick and any witnessess to the evidence were excused. The jury was dismissed while the state and the counsel for the defendants discussed the "quashing" of all the indictments.
When the jury returned, the counsel for the defense brought in Louis Salvatore a druggist who stated that he had known Baldi for several years and the he (Baldi) was an upstanding, honest member of the community. Two other witnessess, both Italians, declared that Baldi's reputation to be good; their cross examination by the state was "brief".
Bernardo Martini's counsel then called their witnesses who gave testimony of his, Bernardo's, upstanding reputation and good all around person.
When all was said and done, the case went to the jury for their decision.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1924
HI-JACKERS SENTENCED 5 TO 10 YEARS
REFUSE TO TELL NAMES OF MURDERERS
Hugo Baldi and Bernado Martino of Boston Begin Sentence With Hard Labor, as Culmination of Only Arrests Made in Connection with Murder of Marlbroro Man.
Hugo Baldi and Bernardo Martino, the two hijackers from the South End, Boston who were convicted of conspiracy to rob and in the case of the former, robbery, were sentenced to from 5 to 10 years at hard labor yeaterday.
Eight months after the robbery and shooting of Mr. Girouard, the end is near for Hugo and Bernardo two really nice guys from the Boston area. The Honorable Fred "Fearless" Fosdick announced the sentence.... 5 to 10 each. Meanwhile, the Police are still seeking two other assailants who were thought to be involved.... they are still amongst the missing today. Of the 5 to 10, how much was served by each is unknown.....
.....but it is know that John B. Girouard is now serving the maximum, for he now lays at rest at the top of the hill in St. Mary's Cemetery.
AND....... finally the conclusion......