CRIME: Brothers Murdered Lingle?

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One midnight last week Chicago newshawks and photographers assembled in a bare room at the call of Chief Investigator Pat Roche of the State's Attorney's office. Before them was led a tall, thickset, wavy-haired young man named Leo V. ("Buster") Brothers. Investigator Roche proudly introduced him as the hired assassin of Alfred ("Jake") Lingle, the racketeering Tribune crime reporter, who, while walking through a pedestrian's subway beneath famed Michigan Avenue, was plugged with one neat .32 bullet in his head head head (TIME, June 23). Chicago's best murder mystery of a decade and one of the stenchiest of its many stinking scandals was, according to Chief Roche, solved.

Newsmen pelted Mr. Brothers with questions which he ignored. His smoky blue eyes stared at them disdainfully. On his rather good-looking face—a face resembling James Joseph Tunney—was no flicker of emotion. But Chief Roche was amply voluble about Mr. Brothers. Said he: "The toughest man I ever encountered! I don't believe he has a nerve in his body. If he didn't kill Lingle, then Lingle is still alive today."

Mr. Brothers, a St. Louis "heavy man" (hired gang killer), had arrived in Chicago in July 1929. By long secret sleuthing Chief Roche had linked him with the Lingle killing, was convinced he was the actual murderer long before putting eyes on him. Under the alias of Bader, Brothers was living in retirement in a middle-class apartment house. In the same building, just across the hall from "Bader's" apartment, lived a Miss Rose Huebsch whom Roche knew. After an attempt to capture Brothers on a railroad train had failed, Chief Roche enlisted Miss Huebsch's aid and a trap was laid in her apartment house. Early on the Sunday morning before Christmas, Brothers, called by a ruse to a down stairs telephone, was seized in the hall by Roche and his aids who issued, pistols pointed, out of Miss Huebsch's door. In his room was found a .45 automatic.

For more than a fortnight Brothers' capture had been kept a secret while he was questioned by State's Attorney Swanson who insisted he was ready to stake his professional reputation on Brothers' guilt. Not until he was dramatically flashed before the Press last week did the public know that another Lingle suspect was held.

What Chief Roche did not explain, what set ugly rumors flying was the question: Who hired Brothers to shoot Lingle? Conjectures were plentiful because the Tribune reporter was too deeply enmeshed in underworld affairs not to have made many a gangster enemy.

One story authoritatively circulated by the reliable United Press was to the effect that Alphonse Capone himself had supplied the tip to Roche which led to Brothers' capture. The theory behind this report was that Lingle had been murdered on orders of the North Side Aiello-Zuta gang, that consequent police activity had damaged Gangster Capone's vice and gambling business on the South Side and that the "turning up" of Brothers was simply a Capone device to smooth public outrage and deflect police scrutiny.

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