Whyos: March 6, 1884

THE ESCAPE OF THE “WHYOS”
(New York Times, March 8, 1884)

Two of the members of the “Whyo” gang, recently committed by Justice Duffy for six months as vagrants, made their escape Saturday night from Hart’s Island. Their escape was discovered about 9 o’clock. They swam to a boat anchored in the Sound and rowed to the city. Mr. Porter, Commissioner of Charities, and Correction, on Monday made an investigation as to their escape, which resulted in the dismissal of the two guards on duty at the time. Justice Duffy, who committed the “Whyos,” despite the earnest efforts of certain politicians to secure their discharge, learned of the escape Tuesday through private channels, and was also informed that they were at their old business of robbing drunken men on the Bowery. Justice Duffy says that the escape has some queer features, taking into account the influence brought to bear to prevent the sentence of the prisoners. He has requested Capt. McCullagh to keep a sharp watch for the runaways.

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Max Sparber

Max Sparber is a playwright, journalist, and history detective in Omaha, Nebraska.