Thursday, January 3, 2013

1942 Slaying of Two Girls

Brutal child-killing teen meets a shocking end after killing girls

Eddie Haight dies in electric chair after killing Helen and Margaret Lynch in 1942

Eddie Haight said he killed two little girls - Margaret and Helen Lynch - for no particular reason.

Daily News front page in 1942 covering the brutal child killings.

The daughters of Margaret and Patrick Lynch of Bedford, N.Y., had to learn to be big girls earlier than most kids.
With three toddlers at home, Mrs. Lynch was quarantined at a tuberculosis sanatorium after the birth of her fourth daughter in 1936. Infant Mary was sent to live with relatives, while Anne, Helen and Margaret were raised by their father outside Bedford Village.
Patrick Lynch, 46, was a busy salesman for the Donald Brush Co., but he found time to dote on his girls as years passed with no improvement in his wife’s condition.
By 1942, the Lynches had developed a cute habit. The girls often would wait in town for their father to pass after work, then pile into his sedan for a ride home before supper.
On Monday afternoon, Sept. 14, 1942, two of the girls — Helen, 8, and Margaret, 7— waited as usual. But their father did not arrive. At 6 p.m. they headed home along Stamford Road, believing they had missed their dad. At Indian Hill Road, witnesses saw them climb inside an unfamiliar station wagon.
Patrick Lynch arrived in town minutes later and learned his daughters had broken a big-girl rule: Don’t take rides from strangers. He went to the police, who issued bulletins for the station wagon.
The next day, diners at a Stamford, Conn., beanery — 20 miles from Bedford — listened to a teenager named Eddie Haight brag about a joyride he took on Monday in a hotwired jalopy.
“What kind of car?” someone asked.
“A station wagon,” Haight replied.
A diner dropped a dime.


Haight raped and mutilated the Bedford, N.Y., girls after hotwiring a car and going joyriding.

 Haight, a ninth-grade dropout who mowed grass for a living, had never been arrested, though he had crime in his bloodline. His father, Arnold, was a zigzag dad: He couldn’t go straight.
Please note that he had no criminal hx.  
He built a rap sheet as thick as a Dagwood and spent the 1930s locked up for a chronic case of breaking-and-entering. While he was jailed in 1939, his wife died in a house fire at their place on Wildwood Road in Stamford, north of the Merritt Parkway.
After parole, Arnold Haight slapped together a two-room shanty on the site of the fire, and he was living there with his four teenagers when police came to question son Eddie.
The youth shocked cops by admitting that he had abducted, molested, mutilated and killed the girls.
Describing acts so depraved they made detectives retch, he had “the nonchalance of a schoolboy on a picnic,” as one newspaper put it. A prosecutor called him “bumptious.”
When a reporter asked why he had done it, he replied, “No reason I can think of.”
Haight was still a few days shy of 17 when he went off the moral rails.
Driving the stolen car that morning, he forced a woman motorist to the shoulder on the Merritt Parkway but was scared off by the dogs in her car. At midday, he tried to entice several women and girls into the car in Stamford. By 6 p.m. he was cruising Bedford, where he failed at smooth-talking a teenager before finally succeeding with the Lynch kids.
There is murder, and then there is murder.


Daily News front page in 1942 covering the brutal child killings.

Haight subjected Helen and Margaret to pathological cruelty as he traversed rural Westchester

 County. He bound, gagged and raped the girls, then mutilated their bodies with a knife.

At Pound Ridge, he threw Margaret from the moving car for being “restless.” He had second 

thoughts, picked her up, then pitched her still alive into a brook near Bedford. She drowned.

He killed Helen by laying her in the road and mashing her with the car, rolling back and forth several times.

He dumped her remains into the Kensico Reservoir near Armonk.

Haight led cops on a field trip to reenact his pitiless acts, chuckling his way through the gruesome

 travelogue. County Prosecutor Elbert Gallagher, steamed by Haight’s demeanor, vowed a “swift trip

 to the electric chair.”

This was not an idle threat in that era, with America consumed by World War II. New York had long 

been a national leader in the use of capital punishment, and executions spiked here during the war

 years — 18 carried out in 1942 and 20 in 1944.

Capital punishment, viewed as potential distraction from the war effort, was handled briskly, often 

months after the precipitating crime.

At trial, Haight’s sanity was an issue, but his age was not.

A defense analyst said the teen was pathological, demented, a sexual deviant, anti-social, sadistic and

 psychopathic. A prosecutor’s shrink countered that Haight was sane though “abnormal.”

If he was looking for mercy, Haight did not help himself. He snickered through the proceedings, 

whistling popular songs like “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” and “Kalamazoo.”

Fifty-two days after the murders, he was convicted and rushed to Sing Sing to die. After rote appeals

 failed, Haight was bundled with two other teens for a triple execution on July 8, 1943.

William Diaz and Benitez DeJesus were both 18 on Oct. 3, 1942, when they stabbed to death a

 young soldier, Edwin Berkowitz, during a $6 mugging in Harlem.

Haight is believed to have been the youngest of the 695 men and women who died in New York’s

 electric chair. His execution was sandwiched between the Harlem killers, all carried out in fewer than

 15 minutes: at 11:01, 11:06 and 11:12 p.m. It was a model of wartime efficiency.


Apple said...

Good riddance

dadgum said...

bumpticious means rude,offensive, self assured in a way that puts people off.

Interesting how now this criminal would have supporters, experts to testify that his mother's death and having to live in a shack on the same site made him 'unbalanced'. It would be said he is a product of society's ills, and not responsible for his actions. The ones he is proud to admit and relive.

Frannie said...

Loved the read. Nitty and gritty - real life. Not the PC crap that gets published now. AND, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the swift punishment. Now-a-days he would have lived on death row for another 30 years with all the bleeding heart lib lawyers making appeals.

Malaise said...

What a leap from no criminal history!

Trigger said...

It's a good thing that they were executed. It saved other victims from the repeat behavior that would have followed a parole board's release somewhere down the line.

Trigger said...

I wonder what answer Anthony Bennett gave to the question, "Why did you do it?"

I can just imagine his answer.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

The extensive list of words used to describe this 1942 child killer would fit neatly in Anthony Bennett's criminal profile.

Jaimee Chamberlain seems to get all tingly by cruel men like these.

Tania Cadogan said...

The reason execution cost millions for each case is due to all the delays, appeals and so on, they should be allowed one appeal in each court and if it fails bye bye.
This should apply in every case where guilt is certain such as forensic evidence such as DNA, eyewitnesses or video evidence, confession (verified by SA)

It would cut out all the crap and delays by attorneys seeking to milk the state for every cent they can.

it may also cut crime if the guilty knew they would be executed in say 30 days rather than 20 years plus down the line

Anonymous said...

"Certain" confession verified by Statement Analysis? Not possible. Statement Analysis is considered to be junk science, if that, and there's no proof that it isn't.

Has it ever been allowed into a court of law? Don't think so. And likely never will be.

As far as I know it has only ever been used in training sessions to assist in detecting possible deception. Or, do you think you know something I don't?

Lemon said...

Is it possible Hobs could know something you don't?

A.n.o.n., you're the gift that just keeps giving.

Anonymous said...

Lemon, tee hee!

Lis said...

They made sure he would never do it again. End of story.

BostonLady said...

I didn't think it was possible to have such an expedited trial and death in this country. We have come very far from anything that is expedient. Drag their feet, file briefs, delay delay delay. 30 years later, they don't move forward with the execution because the convict is grossly obese and it is cruel.

Cruel. But what about the victim? By then the victim is long forgotten.

The cost of keeping said prisoner is outrageous and contributes to our overcrowding of the prisons.


Lemon said...

"Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent."
- Adam Smith

Anonymous said...

Just another thing that was great about "the old days"...swift and oh so deserved punishment...

Anonymous said...

I think we should resume the medieval practices. A prisoner had to be supported by family or friends or they had to beg in the streets. Financial support was not provided by society. Being behind bars shifted no responsibility for one's own upkeep.

Habundia said...

It keeps amazing me how those during the war who killed millions of people could die through old age and never have been prosecuted for any of their murders, while in those same years teenagers have been send to deathrow and executed.
It shows how sick this world is made by those who "make the rules" (read government)!
I will never understand!