Thursday, September 22, 2011


Here's another tragic story from inside the gates of Jewish Waldheim Cemetery:


Louis Lakin, 18 years old, of 1206 North Kedzie avenue, 1931 captain of the divisional champion basketball team of Tuley High school, was shot and killed last night by Alexander Roney, 50 years old, a special policeman on the premises of the Dr. Herzl Community home at 1335 North California avenue.  The youth, graduated from Tuley High last June, was planning to enter the University of Illinois.  He had gone to the recreation center last night to play basketball.

Stories conflicted as to the shooting.  However, it grew out of an attempt by Lakin and a dozen companions to join a dance in the community hall.  Some of the boys scaled the fire escape and were seen by Louis Vargo, 51, of 3425 North Nena avenue, the janitor.  He summoned Roney, who ordered them down.

According to statements made by seven of the youths to Lieut. John Buckley of the West North avenue station, Vargo paddled each of them with a club as they alighted from the fire escape.  Lakin was the last to descend.  Julius Echeles, 16, 4008 Monroe street, a student at Crane Junior college, charged that Roney fired at Lakin point blank.

Roney’s story was that he and Vargo ordered the boys down and that they “rushed him.”  During the scuffle he was kicked and struck, he said.  He drew his revolver to frighten the boys, according to his statement, and one of the youths struck him from behind, causing the weapon to be discharged accidentally.  He did not intend to fire, he asserted.  Vargo told a similar story, but said he was so occupied with the boys at the time of the shooting he did not see the actual firing of the pistol.

Both men were taken to the station.  Seven of the boys were also taken into custody.  They were later allowed to go home.  Besides Echeles they were:  Frank Goldstein, 1543 North Homan avenue, Joseph Selden, 2405 Division street, Jack Salzman, 648 Crystal street, Irving Shenker, 1826 Evergreen avenue, Martin Brooks, 1739 North Francisco avenue, all graduates of Tuley High school, and Harry Rosenberg, 1336 North Kedzie avenue, Crane college student. 

Lakin was described by his family as a model boy, and never troublesome.  Since graduation, he had been taken into the tire relining business by his father, Abraham.
Chicago Daily Tribune – January 18, 1932
Louis Lakin is buried in Gate 216 - Zemach Zedak.  May his soul rest in peace.  

Louis Lakin

Louis Lakin

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