CRIME: Whitewash in St. Louis

No one was outraged or even curious when a petty thief named Edward Melendes died in a cell at St. Louis Police Head quarters on July 27, 1942. A chunky, good-natured, shiftless Mexican, Melendes had been arrested three nights earlier in a raffish nightclub (one with women hostesses and rooms upstairs). He had admitted his part in a $40 robbery. His cell mate and partner in the crime, Andrew Brinkley, testified at the perfunctory in quest that Melendes had fallen off his bunk, cracked his head on the concrete floor. The coroner's...

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