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Frederick W. EDEL





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1926 - 1927
Date of arrest: March 27, 1928
Date of birth: ???
Victims profile: John Mastriano (innkeeper) / David Dudley (male acquaintance) / Emeline Harrington (a wealthy divorcée)
Method of murder: Shooting / Beating
Location: Connecticut / New York, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 1930. Commuted to life, 1931. Deported to Germany on parole. Died there at age 72

Edel, Frederick W.

An ex-convict and habitual criminal, Edel was charged with the gunshot murder of innkeeper John Mastriano at Meriden, Connecticut, on December 24, 1926.

Tried and acquitted on that charge (though prosecutors still maintained his guilt), Edel was also a prime suspect in the murder of a friend, David Dudley, found shot to death near Meriden on March 23, 1927.

Police were still looking for leads in that case when Edel claimed his next victim, on December 27. Invading the New York apartment of Emeline Harrington, he beat the divorcee to death and dumped her body in the bathroom before looting the flat.

Discovered on December 29, the victim's body was identified by her ex-husband two days later. Edel's downfall came about on January 2, when he absconded from a hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, leaving his bill unpaid.

A search of the room turned up Emeline Harrington's coat, some stolen letters addressed to the victim, and an iron bar identified as the murder weapon. An all-points bulletin was issued for Edel, and he was arrested on March 27 in Hopkins, Minnesota, charged with forging postal money orders.

Two days later, the 38-year-old fugitive admitted possession of Harrington's clothing but denied her murder, insisting that the dead woman "sent" her jewels and clothing to him as a "gift." Another year elapsed before Fred Edel came to trial, in March of 1929.

Convicted of first-degree murder on March 7, he was sentenced to die in the electric chair at Sing Sing. Appeals delayed his scheduled execution for eleven months, and on March 29, 1930, Governor Franklin Roosevelt commuted Edel's sentence to a term of life imprisonment. Upon parole, he was deported to Germany, where he died at age 72.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers



MO: Petty criminal; shot an innkeeper and a male acquaintance; bludgeoned/robbed a wealthy divorcée.

DISPOSITION: Acquitted on one count, 1926; condemned 1930 (commuted to life, 1931); deported to Germany on parole; died there at age 72.



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