One evening in Haddonfield in the middle of 1930
in the 200 block of Mountwell Avenue, Curt Dobbins sat reading in the
room of his parents’ home. He was alone in the house. Curt
was a bachelor, a graduate of Drexel Institute where has had been an
center on the basketball team. In his senior year he had been an
All-American Center. When the front doorbell rang Curt answered
and when he opened the door he was confronted hy a man holding a
Curt ducked back and threw himself down but not before he was struck in
the body by a bullet. The man ran from the porch and
Crawling to the phone, Curt called the Police Department. (I
out since I wrote this that Harry Githens was the cop.) Curt was
taken to the West Jersey Hospital with a serious stomach wound.
Stan Davis was called, a long time personal friend of Curt’s.
Tule, another friend from boyhood was also called, along with several
in case transfusions were necessary. Dr. Everett Hemphill later
the operation performed on Curt that night by Dr. Davis was the talk of
the hospital. Many perforations in the intestines had been made
the bullet which had to be closed, which took hours. When Davis
out of the operation room crying he told Carl Tule that he had done
he could but that Curt was going to die. The end came soon
and Haddonfield was grieved. Curt’s father, Mr. Dobbins, was a
Jersey State Parole Officer. The first suspect was a parolee who
had bee employed by Mr. Dobbins to work on the lawn. The man’s
found a gun in the oven of her gas range over in Philadelphia.
knew this was wrong and reported her find to the authorities.
questioning of the suspect revealed that he and a girl friend had been
around Jersey the night of the murder. The girl wouldn’t
He was imprisoned in the Haddonfield jail as positive proof of guilt
not been revealed by questioning, until one evening Sam Orlando, Camden
County prosecutor and Haddonfield resident, talked to the girl
He fabricated; he told her how the man had told them all about what
when he was parked at a gravel pit out on the Berlin Road near
She was furious and told the story. She said they had been
and when they were in Haddonfield - she didn’t know exactly where - he
parked the car, went around the corner on foot, returned a short time
and took off in a hurry. The man was tried and convicted for
in Camden County Court and electrocuted in Trenton. Mr. Dobbins
up to witness the execution. Thus the only known Haddonfield
was solved. Sam Orlando’s story that he told the girl was a
but it worked perfectly and justice was done..
There was just one other murder in Haddonfield
back in the era of 1905, but no town residents were involved. Mr.
Herb Gleeson was just a kid at the time, but he remembers that when his
father’s house was being worked on, at West Cottage Avenue and
Road, two Italian workers got into an argument. One hit the other
over the head with a pick axe. No other particulars were known.