The Radio Burglar

Thief Turned Cop Killer in 1920s Queens


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SKU: 9781476689746 Categories: , , Tags: , , , ,
Imprint or Series:Exposit Books

About the Book

In the midst of gangland activities during the Roaring Twenties, a thief plagued the New York City area by breaking into people’s homes and stealing radios, possibly the costliest thing a family could own. Not only did the crimes deprive families of property and security, but they also resulted in the injuries of three NYPD officers and the death of officer Arthur Kenney.

Based on interviews and trial transcripts, this book documents the search for the Radio Burglar, which turned into a wide-spread manhunt. Initially perplexed by the case, authorities eventually overcame great odds to achieve a conviction that has received praise in the following decades. But nine years later, the devastating effect on his family and friends of Arthur Kenney’s loss was prolonged when they were involved in a second murder trial that riveted the attention of the city and country.

About the Author(s)

John T. Aquino is an attorney, journalist and author in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has served as editor of three national trade magazines, has written several trade books, short stories, and over 4,000 bylined articles for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and websites on entertainment law, intellectual property law, and other issues. He is a member of several state and federal bars, and the National Press Club and the Mystery Writers of America.

Bibliographic Details

John T. Aquino
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 185
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8974-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4757-9
Imprint: Exposit

Table of Contents

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments ix
1. A Flicker of Light in a Dark House 1
2. From Ireland to Manhattan to Police 5
3. Politics and the City 14
4. Searching for the Radio Burglar 19
5. Two Officers Down 27
6. “The Man We Are Looking for Has a Warped Mind” 33
7. And Then He Just Died 39
8. Bringing Artie Home 42
9. Pawn Tickets in the Name of Ebert 51
10. Caught for the Love of the Game 56
11. “I only shot to get away” 65
12. Investigation Launched, Hilton Arraigned 69
13. Defense Argues “Intervening Cause” 76
14. “Give this man a square deal” 85
15. “If Kenney hadn’t been shot, he wouldn’t be dead” 89
16. “Killing that man isn’t going to bring my Artie back” 92
17. “An instantaneous impulse to preserve his liberty” 97
18. From the “Dance Hall” to the Chair 104
19. Forced to Leave, Forced to Marry 113
20. The Last Crime of the Radio Burglar 119
21. Mistrial and Delay 124
22. “But I am still innocent” 131
23. Afterwards 138
Appendix I. State of New York Police Officers Memorial Roll of Honor 155
Appendix II. Radio and Television Versions of the Radio Burglar Story 157
Chapter Sources 163
Bibliography 171
Index 173