- Publisher: New York: Norton (1967)
- ASIN: B00005VYW7
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3.8 cm
(There's even electronic surveillance in this story: seems that Federal agents had a dictaphone in the DA's office. In 1918.)
This book's appendix is particularly valuable. Having told the story of how two innocent men served 23 years for a bombing they never committed, Gentry asks, Whose Bomb? He reviews a number of theories (various -- and doubtful -- confessions, accusations about Mexican insurgents or the DA himself, labor activists, &c.) One finger points at the Imperial German consulate, and German espionage was a very real threat during that war.
I recommend Richard Frost's "The Mooney Case" because it goes into more detail on the legal intricacies of this case. Gentry and Frost complement each other because Gentry pursues the trial-by-press and multiple-suspects parts; Frost the law history. Both are useful.
Preparedness Day parades that year were business sponsored, pro-Republican party, anti-Wilson, and anti-labor. It could mean the European War, the Invasion of Mexico, or an attack on Democrats, Progressives, organized Labor, Socialists, pacifists, or supporters of President Wilson (p.12). The parade went on with unaccustomed silence from the crowd. At 2:06PM the bomb went off, killing 10 people and wounding may others; over forty were hospitalized. Glass from broken windows fell on the people below. When DA Fickert arrived, he used a sledge hammer and crowbar to create more damage! Photographs on page 28. Five people were arrested for this crime, when there were no warrants and no evidence to connect them to it.
Thomas Jeremiah Mooney's father was a coal miner and union organizer. His early death left the family poor, and they moved to Massachusetts where they had relatives. Tom became involved in union activities (p.34). The Panic of 1907 saw him travelling to find work across the country. He found work in Stockton, and joined the Socialist Party. Salesman Mooney went out to sell pamphlets rather than wait for customers to call. Tom became a militant organizer for industrial unionism. He then joined the IWW and its "direct action". Tom often criticized the union leaders as much as corporate employers; he made enemies of those who should be allies.
The early life of Warren Knox Billings saw him moving from job to job. One of his jobs was at a struck factory, where he sabotaged the work (p.54). He then became part of the Mooney family. Page 60 explains how the frame-up racket worked. Tom seems to have had too much arrogance and pride. Page 66 tells how the president of United Railroad looted the company of millions, not unlike today's scandals. Tom tried to organize a union there but failed. Page 70 tells of another attempted frame-up: they hired a look-alike to carry suitcases to where bombs would be set off!
This book is important as it documents prosecutorial tricks repeated at other political trials. Single, double, and triple agents do not occur only in wartime! Part One is their personal history. Part Two is about the trial. Part Three is about the efforts to free them. Part Four tells of their release. The appendix discusses the solutions to the crime. Henry Landau's "The Enemy Within" tells of German espionage in America during that time. His "Secrets of The White Lady" tells of his intelligence work in occupied Belgium and France.