Tales from the Morgue

A man was murdered and police had no clues. When a store was robbed several weeks later, however, things turned out a little better.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 11, 1908:

                         STORE ROBBED
                              EARLY MONDAY


Mrs. Flemming's Place On Scott Avenue Visited By a Burglar Who Took $150.00 Worth of Laces and Silks


The millinery store of Mrs. Flemming on Scott avenue was burglarized yesterday morning and a quantity of goods valued at about $150 was stolen. It consisted of dress waists, laces, silks and other articles used in the business.

Every drawer had been pried open and the thief had evidently desired primarily to secure money. Luckily it had all been removed by the proprietor before the advent of the burglar. There is no clue to the identity of the marauder except the foot-print of a No. 7 shoe. The robbery was first discovered in the morning when the lady went down to open up. It was the second time that she had been similarly burglarized, the other occurring about a year ago.

Again, no clues to the identity of the perpetrator. But this time, the crook in question made a mistake.

From the Star, Feb. 12, 1908:

                    FLEMING STORE
                         ROBBERS TAKEN
                              LAST EVENING


Arrest of Two Persons Implicated In the Affair In Jail; another Said To Be Sought For By Officers


Sheriff Pacheco and Officer Tom Mills made an important arrest shortly after 6 o'clock last evening when they captured William Harkins and wife, both of whom are said to be well known in Tucson, especially so the woman.

During yesterday afternoon the man and woman stepped into the Bonanza store and offered several pairs of gloves for sale, the goods being accepted at the store at nominal figures. The proprietors of the store suspected something wrong and immediately advised Sheriff Pacheco, who summoned Officer Tom Mills to join him in a search for the suspected couple. Shortly after 6 o'clock they found Harkins and wife at a restaurant.

The couple were taken to jail, and following this course of procedure the officers repaired to the house where Harkins and wife have been living. There, after a diligent search, they discovered a considerable quantity of the goods described as having been taken from Mrs. Kate Flemming's Scott street store early Monday morning, as reported in Tuesday's Star. The loss, as later reported yesterday by Mrs. Flemming, is stated at $200.

A third person is suspected of engaging in the burglary and the officers are looking for this party. It is thought by the officers that Harkins and wife and this person yet to be apprehended have been engaged in other burglaries.

In subsequent articles, the name William "Harkins" is correctly given as William Hawkins.

What does this have to do with the murder of Albert C. Leonhardt? Stay tuned.

Contact Johanna Eubank at jeubank@tucson.com