National Affairs: Society v. Kidnappers

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¶Held captive for 23 days in an apartment bedroom, John J. ("Butch") O'Connell, nephew of the politically powerful Brothers Edward and Daniel O'Connell of Albany, N. Y., was released unhurt on a street corner in The Bronx after his uncles had paid $40,000 ransom. The kid nappers, apparently unnerved by news of the death sentence of Walter McGee and by the nation-wide anti-crime movement, had speeded up negotiations at the eleventh hour, abandoning their demand for $75,000 when Daniel O'Connell insisted that $40,000 was all they would get. Aware that the money was marked, the extortionists threatened to kill young O'Connell and "dump him on the doorstep" unless they were given opportunity to exchange it at a New York bank. The uncles acquiesced.

¶In Oklahoma City, rich Oilman Charles F. Urschel, whom gunmen snatched from a family card game on his own front porch, turned up after nine days captivity. His family admittedly paid ransom, kept silence for eight hours to let the kidnappers get away.

*Twelve states provide the death penalty for kidnappers: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

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