Camden Evening Courier – January 17, 1928
Mrs. Katherine Rosalie Denies She is “Chick’s Girl” or “Anybody’s Girl,” But Thinks Flannery and Cimini May Have Used Her as Excuse for Starting Fatal Fight.
The suspected “love motive” in the Sixth Ward Republican Club slaying broke down today under the glaring light of investigation. It was the second time within two weeks that the investigation behind the killing of Joseph Cimini, otherwise known as Joseph Gannon, had been seemingly explained only to have the explanation rejected.
First, Camden city detectives had affirmed their belief that the fatal shooting was the aftermath of a hold-up attempt by Joseph “Mose” Flannery and Cimini. This theory went by the boards when the statements of witnesses, taken by Prosecutor Ethan P. Wescott disclosed no hint that any such hold-tip had been attempted.
Then came the confident introduction by authorities of the “love motive.” Charles “Chick” Hunt, former South Camden pugilist and one of those present at the time of the slaying. Mr. Hunt argued with Cimini over a girl the detectives hinted, and this had precipitated the battle.
Woman Reverses Story
But today, from the Cupid”s bow lips at pretty Katherine Rosalie there issued a statement which wrecked the suspected love triangle in the case, so prominently put forward yesterday as “the real solution.”
“I never knew this Cimini,” declared Mrs. Rosalie.
“I’m not Chick Hunt’s girl,” added the 22-year-old brunette who, up until that moment, had been called “Chick’s sweetie” by investigators.
“I’m not anybody’s girl,” she asserted positively, her dark eyes flashing in a manner that proved to interviewers she certainly would encounter no difficulty in attaining the status she so decisively denied.
It was yesterday, shortly after Joseph Deven had been committed to jail without bail on a murder charge, that Rosalie went to the County Courthouse and told her story to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow.
Search for Husband
Immediately thereafter, County Solicitor Walter Keown, attorney for Deven, Hunt and two of the other witnesses who are ranged on the side of “Polack Joe” in the case, declared his belief “the shooting came as a result of a plot between Cimini and Rosalie, because Rosalie was jealous of Hunt.”
Accepting this version, Varbalow announced that a search would be made for John Rosalie, husband of the young woman who was called “Chick”s girl.” The inferential theory, according to Varbalow, was that Cimini was a friend of Rosalie, and that he had taken up his friend”s cause by calling Hunt to “shoot it out” A melee had ensued, according to this theory in which Deven had taken Hunt’s side. Then, to continue this line of deduction, Cimini had struck Deven with the butt of a gun and Deven had fired another gun. killing Cimini.
Some of this may have been true, according to Mrs. Rosalie”s assertion. But she does not believe that her husband’s jealousy, linked to his possible acquaintance with Cimini, was the real cause of the shooting. She has heard, she says, that Flannery and Cimini used a previous argument with her husband as “an excuse” to precipitate the argument which resulted in Cimini death. But she believes that it was only an excuse.
Denies Knowing Pair
Thus the picture changes and, according to the latest theory, Flannery and Cimini entered the Sixth Ward Republican Club on Saturday and picked a fight with Hunt—ostensibly because of the latter”s acquaintance with Mrs. Rosalie, but actually because of previous ill-feeling between “Mose” and “Chick.”
“I did not know either Flannery or Cimini,” Mr. Rosalie told the Evening Courier in an exclusive interview today, “In fact, I have never seen either of them and did not know who they were. It”s true that my husband and my brother-in-law, had an argument with Chick Hunt. I have known Hunt for only a short time. Since meeting him I have regarded him as a personal friend, but I certainly do not like the imputation that I’m “Chick’s girl.” I am not anybody’s girl.
“When I read in the newspapers that they were looking for Chick Hunt’s girl, however, I remembered the argument my husband and my brother-in-law had with Hunt. I did not see how this could have any bearing on the shooting, but I decided to go to the prosecutor’s office and tell them what I knew in the event that it might be some help to them.”
Heard of Old Feud
“I have read that, when Cimini and Flannery went into the club on Saturday morning, they started the trouble by claiming that Chick was crossing up a friend of theirs. I have heard it said they started the argument by recalling an argument between Chick and my husband.”
“If they did this, it was without foundation, as far as I know. I believe that, if this Is what they did, they were merely using the argument between my husband and Chick as an excuse to get into a new argument with Hunt. In fact, I have heard that there had been ill feeling between Flannery and Chick long before I ever met Hunt.”
Varbalow said Mrs. Rosalie, who lives at 311 Cooper Street, told him of the jealousy which her husband bore toward Hunt. She and her husband have been estranged for eight months, Varbalow says she told him. For a little more than two months, she has known Hunt. Some weeks ago, she underwent a blood transfusion operation and, when her husband came to the hospital to visit her, he found Hunt there. Later, Rosalie and Howard Churchill, his brother-in-law, set upon Hunt outside Mrs. Rosalie’s former apartment at 500 Broadway and beat him, according to the statement Varbalow says the girl made to him.