Joseph V O’Connor, aka Joseph Connors, was born in Pennsylvania around 1902 to Michael and Della O’Connor. His parents were both born in Ireland, Michael O’Connor coming to the United States in 1894, Della in 1900. Joe O’Connor was the oldest of at least five children, coming before John, Raymond, Mary, and Francis. The family moved to Gloucester City around 1906. The O’Connor family was residing at 825 Market Street in 1910. By 1914 they had moved to South Camden.
The 1914 City Directory shows the family at 1037 Locust Street in Camden. When father Michael O’Connor registered for the draft in September of 1918 the family was living at 241 Mount Vernon Street. By January of 1920 the O’Connors had moved 125 Broadway in Gloucester City, New Jersey. Michael O’Connor supported his family during the late 1910s and early 1920s by working as a foreman, at a cold storage facility in Philadelphia, and by 1930 at the Welsbach Gas Mantle factory in Gloucester City, which later became a Superfund site due to radioactive thorium. By 1920 both Joe and John O’Connor were working as ship-fitters in one of the nearby shipyards.
Working in the shipyards wasn’t necessarily Joe O’Connor’s idea of how to make a living, and he soon found other ways to do business. In April of 1929 Joe O’Connor was shot and seriously wounded by John Doris, who, despite O’Connor’s refusal to testify against him, convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for this crime.
By April of 1930 only Joe, his brother Raymond and sister Mary still were living at home. The 1930 Census states that two brothers were ostensibly iron workers, but appears that Joe O’Connor still earning his money in other ways. He married some time after the April 1930 Census and moved to 520 Walnut Street in Camden.
Joe O’Connor and his wife Louise were still living at 520 Walnut Street in Camden when he was again shot, this time while walking near South 5th Street and Walnut Streets, on November 13, 1930. He died as a result of this shooting on November 25, 1930.
Hover or click on marker for additional details
Within a span of 17 months, from late September 1928 to early April 1930, Flannery, O’Connor, and Doris were all murdered in gangland hits.
Joseph V. O’Connor, aka Joe Connors, was a Camden ship-fitter who was caught up in gang activity and later killed by gunshot.
Frank Doris, among other crimes, shot and killed a Philadelphia police officer and was later executed by electric chair.
John Doris was murdered at Trenton State Prison in 1930, after a fight where he shot a local gangster. His murder was never solved.
Joseph ‘Mose’ Flannery was a political figure in Camden in the early 1900’s, also involved in organized crime. He was murdered, as was his suspected murderer.
A detainer against Russell “Buck” Sage, held in Gloucester on a hit-run charge, was lodged last night by Camden police.