Uncle John’s True Crime

Uncle John’s True Crime by Bathroom Readers’ Institute Read Free Book Online

Book: Uncle John’s True Crime by Bathroom Readers’ Institute Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bathroom Readers’ Institute
pipe be built from the company’s smelting plant to Long Lake in Illinois. For a decade, from 1986 to ’96, that pipe dumped potentially fatal concentrations of waste into the lake. After the pipe was discovered, Feron was indicted for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act but fled (reportedly) to Belgium before his trial began. If captured, Feron faces a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Chemetco, meanwhile, went bankrupt, and the facility is likely to become an EPA Superfund toxic cleanup site, meaning it’s one of the most polluted places in the United States. Feron remains at large.
    ***
    “The biggest corporation, like the humblest private citizen, must be held to strict compliance with the will of the people.”
    — Theodore Roosevelt
    After Japan’s biggest bank heist ($5.4 million), the bank got a thank-you note from the robbers .

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JUDGE CRATER
    We first ran this mysterious story in our 1999 edition , Uncle John’s Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom . In subsequent years, a new piece of evidence has been uncovered that may finally reveal the culprits responsible for one of the most-talked-about unsolved disappearances in American history .
    J UDGE JOSEPH CRATER
    Claim to Fame: Newly appointed justice of the New York Supreme Court—a shoo-in to win reelection in November, and a potential appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court
    Disappearance: Crater and his wife were vacationing in Maine on August 3, 1930, when he received a phone call from New York City. Clearly disturbed, he announced to her that he had to go “straighten those fellows out.” Then he left for New York.
    Crater was apparently taking a break from business when, on the evening of August 6, he bought a ticket for a show and arranged to pick it up at the box office. Then he went to Billy Haas’s restaurant, where he ran into friends and joined them for dinner. Later, he took a cab to the theater, waving from the taxi as it disappeared. Someone did pick up the theater ticket...but no one knows if it was Crater—he was never seen again. Nine days later, his wife notified the police, and a massive manhunt began.
    What Happened: Police searched Crater’s apartment and found nothing suspicious. They offered rewards for information...but not even the taxi driver came forward. Even after interviewing 300 people—resulting in 2,000 pages of testimony—they still had no clues to his whereabouts.
    But as the investigation continued, police—and the public—were astonished to see Crater’s carefully constructed facade unravel. It turned out, for example, that he’d kept a number of mistresses and had often been seen on the town with showgirls. More surprising however, was his involvement in graft, fraud, and political payoffs. Crater was a player in two major scandals, which came to light after he vanished. It also seemedas though he’d be implicated in the Ewald Scandal, which involved paying for a city appointment; there was even evidence that Crater had paid for his own appointment to the bench.
    Of the 8,000 or so cases filed with the Supreme Court each year, only about 150 are heard .
    Crater’s fate was hotly debated by the public. Some were sure he was murdered by gangster associates. Others—noting that the judge had removed files containing potentially incriminating evidence from his office just before he disappeared—speculated that political cronies had killed him to shut him up. Or maybe a mistress who’d been blackmailing him had done it. Then again, perhaps the judge had committed suicide rather than watch his career crumble because of scandal. Whoever was responsible, and whatever happened to the body, it was assumed Crater was dead.
    Postmortem: Crater’s wife suffered a nervous breakdown and didn’t return to their New York apartment until January 1931. There, she found an envelope in the top drawer of her dresser. It contained $6,690 in cash, the judge’s will, written five years before

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