Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case

By Francis Russell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINETEEN
AUGUST 1927

Governor Fuller continued hearing witnesses until the end of July. Obviously he was not going to draw his own conclusions or even appear to have drawn them before taking his cue from the Lowell Committee. In an interview with Jackson and Felicani he asked them flatly how he could be expected to believe Vanzetti's alibi that he was selling eels on December 24. "I am a businessman," he told them. "I am used to proof before I decide anything. There isn't a single document in the case proving that Vanzetti sold eels. There's only the word of his Italian friends."

Spurred by the governor's disbelief and furnished with a sketch map by Vanzetti, Felicani and Ehrmann made the rounds of the waterfront wholesale fish dealers. Finally, at 112 Atlantic Avenue, they found that one of the partners of Corso & Gambino remembered shipping fish to Vanzetti in 1919. The firm had then been Corso & Cannizzo. Ehrmann and Felicani dug away for hours among Corso's dusty account books until at last they uncovered what they had almost given up hope of finding, an American Express Company receipt showing that on Saturday, December 20, 1919, a forty-pound barrel of eels had been shipped with C.O.D. charges of $21.79 to B. Vanzetti, Plymouth.

The eels must have been delivered either on Monday or Tuesday. Mary Fortini, Vanzetti's landlady, had testified they arrived "either the twenty-second or the twenty-third, I do not remember exactly." She said the expressman had brought the barrel at about half-past nine in the morning, when Vanzetti was out, and as she had no money to pay him he had taken it away and come back later. "After one Monday Vanzetti and the express came back" was the awkward way the interpreter translated her explanation. Ehrmann took "after

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Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology vii
  • Chapter One The Tragedy in Dedham 1
  • Chapter Two 10
  • Chapter Three April 15, 1920 28
  • Chapter Four Bridgewater And West Bridgewater 49
  • Chapter Five The Night of May 5 60
  • Chapter Six The Men and the Times 71
  • Chapter Seven 93
  • Chapter Eight The Year Between 107
  • Chapter Nine The Trial: I 129
  • Chapter Ten The Trial: II 158
  • Chapter Eleven The Trial: III 176
  • Chapter Twelve Post - Trial: I 216
  • Chapter Thirteen Post-Trial: II 237
  • Chapter Fourteen The Confessions 270
  • Chapter Fifteen More History, Written And Otherwise 302
  • Chapter Sixteen 1926 326
  • Chapter Seventeen 1927 349
  • Chapter Eighteen 380
  • Chapter Nineteen August 1927 404
  • Chapter Twenty Aftermath 451
  • Index 471
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