FRANK TRUAX was born on September 12, 1882 to Mr. and Mrs. John Truax in Camden NJ. His father was a trainmaster, grandfather Clayton Truax had served two one-year terms as Camden's Mayor in the late 1850s.

The 1900 Census shows John Truax and family living at 636 Mount Vernon Street in Camden's Sixth Ward. Frank Truax was by then working as a machinist. He was still following that trade when the 1910 Census was compiled, boarding at 1048 South 4th Street, then working in a shipyard. He married around 1912. On April 12, 1917 Frank Truax secured an appointment to the Camden Police Department. When he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918 hr was living with his wife Linda at 296 Mount Vernon Street

A Detective by the end of 1927, he was often partnered with Detective Joseph Caputi Sr.  The 1929 Camden City Directory shows that Frank & Linda Truax were living at 1139 Kenwood Avenue in Camden's Parkside neighborhood. He had been promoted to Sergeant on April 9, 1930.

Frank Truax passed away in July of 1932. His widow was still living at 1139 Kenwood Avenue according to the 1947 Camden City Directory


Philadelphia Inquirer
September 11, 1918

Frank Truax- Jacob Ballerstein - Dr. Rowland Ivins Haines
South 2nd Street - 140 Kaighn Avenue - Rebecca Hoffman Baring Street

World War I Draft Registration Card
Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Daily Courier - January 23, 1922


Accused of breaking a window of the confectionary establishment of Nathan Katz, 1022 South 10th Street and stealing a quantity of candy, four boys were held by recorder Blackshear today for the Juvenile Court.

The young prisoners are Elwood Trotman, 8 years old, 824 South 5th Street; Edward, his brother, 14 years old; Wilbur Applegate, 14 years old, 226 Sycamore Street; William Hernisey, 14 years old, 219 Walnut Street.

A man passing by the store informed Frank Truax, a policeman, they boys were inside.

Camden Courier-Post - May 16, 1922

Daniel Washington
O. Glen Stackhouse

Mount Vernon Street

Camden Courier-Post
November 22, 1927


John Golden
William Dolan
Rox Saponare
Frank Truax
Anson Kelley
Ralph Bakley

John Potter
John Skolski
William Whaland
James Clay

Camden Courier-Post - January 7, 1928

Loot Valued at $2000 Taken From Broadway Shop;
Second Visit of Thieves

Climbing to the roof of a shed in the rear of the Greenetz & Pellicoff jewelry store, 833 Broadway, burglars entered the shop early today and carried away $2,000 in loot. 

At noon today, Joseph Shapiro, 29 years old, 215 South Fifth Street, a clerk in the store, was being grilled by Detectives George Ward and Thomas Cheeseman, after being booked at police headquarters as having been arrested “on suspicion.” 

August 29 four suspected robbers were captured by police only a few minutes after they had smashed the plate glass window and snatched a tray of jewels at the same store. 

Policeman John McTaggert reported the burglary this morning. He is the brother of Policeman James McTaggert, who participated in the capture of the four suspects last August. 

Included in the loot of the burglars this morning were 35 watches left at the shop by their owners for repairs. At the shop it was said the owners of the watches would be reimbursed. Other articles stolen included 26 bracelets, 12 diamond bar pins, 15 pair of earrings, three fountain pen sets, and six strings of beads. 

At 7:30 this morning, Patrolman McTaggert noticed several men standing in front of the jewelry store. He learned that they had just discovered an open window and, investigating, found the shop had been robbed. 

The watches and other articles of jewelry were taken from trays and showcases. A safe in the store was left untouched. 

The building next to the jewelry store at 831 Broadway is unoccupied and it was through this structure that the burglars entered. They climbed to the roof of a shed at the rear, entered a second story window and followed a corridor to an inner door of the jewelry store, forced open the door, and entered. 

The capture of the four men at the store more than four months ago resulted in commendation from Chief James E. Tatem for the three officers who participated. With Policeman Edward Smith and Frank Truax, Patrolman James McTaggert took the four men at revolver’s point. The men arrested at that time, still awaiting trial, are James Toner, 54 years old, 1204 Vine Street, Philadelphia; Mervin Campbell, 24 years old, 2309 Carlisle Street; James J. Kelly, 25 years old, 2121 Brandywine Street; and Frank MacCrossan, 33 years old, of 1328 Pearl Street. 

The proprietors of the store are Joseph and Michael Greenetz, 1468 Haddon Avenue, and Abraham Pellicoff, 1417 Haddon Avenue.

Camden Courier-Post
January 27, 1928

Window of Store Smashed by Trio of Radio Robbers

Antonio Biasi
South 4th Street

Camden Courier-Post - January 28, 1928

See Man Fleeing After Missile Crashes Through Window of Home
Crowded Merchantville Trolley Fired on But No Pellet is Found

Camden’s “phantom sniper” has been seen.

The man who had terrorized occupants of motorbuses, drivers of automobiles and residents of homes upon which he has fired during the last two months is no ghost, but a man of flesh and blood.

He is tall, fleet of foot, and he knows a man named “Louie” .

This at least is the description given to Camden police today by two young girls, who escaped the “ghost gunner’s” latest bullets this morning.

The girls were asleep in their bedroom, in the Centerville section, when the “sniper’s” shot sped through their window.

A short time before a bullet-like missile had crashed through the window of a Public Service trolley car, bringing the total number of occasions on which the “phantom” has appeared to 11.

The girls, through the window whose bedroom a bullet sped at 4:45 o’clock this morning are the Misses Redempta and Jean Napier, 25 and 20 years old respectively, daughter so Peter Napier, former Camden Prohibition agent, who is now in the south.

Jean, youngest of the sisters, is a former Camden High School student and widely known as a participant in amateur theatricals here and in Philadelphia.

That incident marked the tenth occasion on which the sniper has fired upon vehicles in Camden and the fourth attack he has made this week. He fired a bullet through the windshield of a Pennjersey bus on the Camden side of the Delaware River Bridge, struck a bridge policeman with a large marble fired from a slingshot or powerful air compression gun, and fired a shot through the store window of Gottlob Mayer, Twenty-seventh Street and Hayes Avenue as his activities for the week.

It was no “blue marble” such as that which struck Bridge Policeman John J. Rogers on the Camden bridge a few days ago that crashed through the Napier girls window. It was a leaden bullet. This latest appearance of the “ghost gunner” is notable for the fact that the bullet was found. Only in the first of the cases in which former State Senator Albert S. Woodruff was fired upon in his automobile has the bullet fired by the “phantom” been discovered afterward.

The bullet which entered the girls’ room was of .32 caliber. It penetrated the glass of the window, boring a hole about an inch in diameter. It struck a curtain at the window, which acted as a buffer and the bullet fell to the floor.

Aroused by the breaking glass, Redempta and Jean leaped from bed and ran to the window.

“We saw a man with a gun, standing across the street” the former said today. “He was looking up at our window. As we looked, he broke into a run. He reached the corner and I heard him say to another man: ‘It’s all right now, Louie.”

City Detective Frank Truax was assigned by Camden police to investigate the latest appearance of the “phantom sniper.” The leaden bullet found on the floor of the girl’s bedroom was turned over to him.

Meanwhile, several agencies began investigations of the “phantom’s” firing upon a trolley car this morning.

The mysterious shooting by the “ghost gunner” at the trolley car this morning, marked the tenth occasion which the “sniper” has fired upon vehicles and the fourth attack he has made this week. He fired a bullet through the windshield of a Pennjersey bus in the Camden side of the Delaware river bridge, struck a bridge policeman with a large marble fired from a slingshot or powerful air compression gun, and fired a shot through the store window of Gottlob Mayer, Twenty-seventh Street and Hayes Avenue as his activities for the week.

The motorman, George Washkruz, of 1114 Louis Street, and the passengers heard the bullet crash through the front window of the trolley car. A clean hole larger then pencil showed where the bullet had pierced the window. No report of a gun was heard and police believe the shot was fired by an English compressed air gun.

United States Commissioner Wynn Armstrong was a passenger on the trolley when the bullet tore through the window. He was on his way from his home in Merchantville to his of­fice at Third and Market Streets in Camden.

“A short time before,” Commissioner Armstrong said,” a coupe driven by a woman skidded and crashed into our trolley car as it was passing Morris Street. Naturally the passengers were excited about the accident. Luckily no one was injured.

“The car was proceeding again toward Camden when suddenly there was aloud “ping” and we saw the motorman jump. He stopped the car and looked at the window. There was a bullet hole in the window but we searched the car but were unable to find the bullet or where it had lodged after entering the car.

“We looked all around outside the car but was unable to see any person who might have fired the shot. We heard no report of a rifle or revolver accompanying the crash of the bullet.”

When Washkruz reached the Market Street ferries, he reported the occurrence to the police. Several policemen hurried to the scene and reached the neighborhood but found no trace of the sniper. As in nearly all the other cases the bullet was fired from a southerly direction.

“I didn’t know what happened.” Washkruz said. “I heard the bullet strike the window and I heard it sing as it passed by my head and go into the Interior of the car. I saw no one who might have fired the shot.’

George Rothery, manager of the southern division of the Public Service Transportation Company, said the company would start an investigation independent of that being made by the police in an effort to capture the sniper. The attack marks the first time a trolley car has been fired upon during the sniper’s reign of terror.

Captain of Detectives John Golden said police would start a campaign to capture the fiend who Is endangering the lives of citizens.

“We have received no report so far from the Public Service about the sniper’s activities this morning.” Captain Golden said,” but I will detail several plain clothes men immediately to run down this half-wit and take him into custody before he kills somebody.”

Chief of Police Linderman. of Merchantvllle, said he would make an investigation into the shooting..




January 30, 1928



Camden Courier-Post - March 25, 1930

Three Proprietors Assessed $100 Each! Two Disorderly Houses and Restaurant Hit

A weekend of raiding in which 59 men and women were arrested in two disorderly houses, and a restaurant dispensing beer enriched the coffers of the Camden city treasury yesterday by $1005.

Proprietors of the three establishments were fined $100 each by Judge Garfield Pancoast on charges of violating the city disorderly act. An inmate of one of the disorderly houses was sentenced to three months in jail, having ignored a warning to leave town.

The raid on the Blue Hour Luncheonette, 1282 Liberty Street, early Sunday in which 43 were arrested is said to have been the largest of its type in the city in more than a year.

Frank Kerr, 40, proprietor, pleaded guilty to charges of violating ordinance 422, while Parker McGonigal, of 1240 Morton street, facing similar charges, said he only worked in the establishment and received a suspended sentence.

Security of $10 was returned to Florence Williams, 22, of 312 North Third Street; Teresa Kelly, 21 of 3013 Constitution Road, and Charles Mengalie, 24, of 314 Stevens Street, who proved that they had not been in the restaurant but were picked up on the street outside.

Thirty-eight others required to post $10 for appearance as material witnesses forfeited their security.

The disorderly houses raided were located at 818 and 1219 Locust Street.

Two colored women and six white men were arrested in the first establishment and three men and five women in the second.

Pearl Williams, an inmate of the establishment at 818 Locust street, was sentenced to three months in jail, while Mary Young, proprietress, and Leona West, proprietress of the second establishment, were each fined $100.

All of the men arrested were either fined $25 or forfeited securities of $25 each.

The establishment at 1219 Locust Street, raided late Sunday night by Sergeant Frank Truax and detectives is said to be the most luxurious of its kind found in this city. 

Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930

Rhone Reported ready to Make Five Patrolmen Sergeant

Reports that five members of the Camden police department will be promoted to sergeants tomorrow were circulated, today after announcement that two sergeants  had been appointed lieutenant.

Those who, according to rumors, will be elevated to sergeant are Nathan Petit, of the second police district, to be assigned to the traffic squad; Gus Koerner, detective bureau; Walter Rowand, first district; Frank Truax, Second district, and Edward Hahn, third district.

The two new lieutenants who took oath of office yesterday are Samuel Johnson and Thomas Cunningham. The former was a sergeant of police attached to the detective bureau and will continue in that department, while Cunningham, while a sergeant, was acting lieutenant in day command at the fourth district. He remains in that district, The appointments were announced yesterday by Commissioner David S. Rhone, director of public safety.

Both were immediately administered oaths of office by Dr. Rhone's secretary, Bayard M. Sullivan, at the director's office, Lieutenant Cunningham is already eligible for retirement, having served more than 20 years on the city police force.

The two appointments complete the seven lieutenancies created n by a city ordinance. Ten members of the police department passed civil service examinations for the post, which pays an annual salary of $2500. Each must serve one year as lieutenant before becoming eligible to take examination for captaincy.

The five previously appointed lieutenants are George Frost, now night commander of the fourth district; Walter Welch, third district; Charles Laib, a sub-commander of the traffic bureau under Captain Charles T. Humes, traffic Inspector; Ralph Bakley, second district; and George Ward, first district.

The other three candidates who passed the examination, Sergeants John Potter, Herbert Anderson and Harry I. Newton, did not receive lieutenancies, although Potter had the highest percentage in the tests.

Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1936

Camden Courier-Post - January 11, 1928

Revelation Comes after Police Inquire Into Family Stabbing Affray

Waiving reading and hearing of a warrant charging him with committing a serious offense on his 14-year old niece, a South Camden man this morning was held in $1500 bail for grand jury. 

Joseph Pennino, 50 years old, of 14 South South 3rd Street, a hot-dog vendor who has a stand at Third and Arch Streets, went to the county jail ion default of the bail fixed by Judge Bertman in police court. 

Evidence which City Detectives Frank Truax and Joseph Caputi Sr. obtained from their questioning of Anna Bongino*, of 325 Walnut Street, and which they say involves her uncle, will be presented to a grand jury later. 

Pennino’s arrest yesterday followed a day’s investigation of a knife slashing at the Walnut Street house.

George Bongiono, 48 years old, Anna’s father, is being held by police charged with assault with intent to kill Peter Di Pise, his brother-in-law.

Di Pise is recovering from knife wounds at Cooper Hospital, where he was treated following the fight of Sunday night.

Although police had said that Bongiono would be given hearing today, his case was not called in police court.

* Spellings are as they appeared in the article

One year Later

It was reported in the Bucks County Courier-Times, on January 17, 1929 that Annie Bongiorno was murdered by her uncle. The paper reads: 

KILLER-SUICIDE: Photo shows Pietro de Piso, of Camden, N. J. Who, angered by an argument with his niece Annie Bongiorno, 15, seized a pistol and shot her to death

Camden Courier-Post - February 11, 1928

Samuel J. Edwards

CAMDEN COURIER-POST - January 31, 1928


Youth Accused by Child of Luring Into House is Held for Trial

After little 10-year-old Mamie Zimmie, 1181 Morton Street, finished telling a story of how she had been lured into a house, and had escaped by leaping to the ground from a porch roof. Police Judge Bernard Bertman this morning held Samuel Osler, 18 years old, 1450 Mount Ephraim Avenue in $2500 bail for the Grand Jury.

In default young Osler was committed to the county jail.

Facing a courtroom, crowded with spectators, and showing no sign of fear or excitement, Mamie, while on the witness stand, turned toward the youth, six years her senior, and declared, "That’s the boy who tried to hurt me.”

Detective Frank Truax testified that he arrested Osler yesterday afternoon in his home at the Mt. Ephraim Avenue address, after the Zimmie girl had accused him.

On the stand and the object of the stare of those who packed the courtroom, Mamie dramatically recited the events of yesterday afternoon which led to her leap from the porch roof and her removal to the West Jersey Hospital, cut, bruised and lame.

The girl's leap had been witnessed by Frank Clark, of 1006 South Ninth Street who picked her up and took her to the hospital. She was treated for cuts and bruises and allowed to go home. Her father, William Zimmie, testified that his daughter had complained of pains in her back, all night. On the stand in his own defense, Osler said that Mamie had followed him into the house and up the stairs. “When I went into the bathroom to get some money, she jumped out of the window, I did not know her,” he declared .

Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928

Camden Evening Courier
December 11, 1930


Lewis H. Stehr  - Dr. David S. Rhone - Charles V. Dickinson
Arthur Colsey - George A. Ward - John Kowal  - Donald Swissler
Clarence Phifer - Archie Reiss - John Skolski - Herbert Anderson
Thomas Cheeseman - Harry Kyler -  George Nowrey - Frank Truax
Ralph BakleyClay W. Reesman - Clifford A. Baldwin
Winfield S. Price - Clifford A. Flennard
Camden Local No. 35, P.B.A. -
Cooper HospitalB.C. Schroeder
Broadway - Royden Street

Camden Courier- Post December 12, 1930

Lewis H. Stehr  - Dr. David S. Rhone - Charles V. Dickinson  
Arthur Colsey - George A. Ward - John Kowal  - Donald Swissler 
Clarence Phifer
- Archie Reiss - John Skolski
Herbert Anderson - Thomas Cheeseman - Harry Kyler
George Nowrey - Frank Truax - Ralph Bakley  - John J. Breslin 
Cooper Hospital - Rev. Edward T. Weeks
Union Methodist Episcopal Church

B.C. Schroeder - Broadway - Royden Street
Sixth Ward Republican Club

Camden Courier-Post - October 27, 1931

2 Wives Give Same Block Duplicate Murder Scares
And Two Hubbies on Warpath, Both Brandishing Knives,
Subdued by Same Cop; Will
Tell It to Same Judge Today

Two wives, within two hours, excited the neighborhood of Chestnut Street in the 200 block by running into the street and calling "murder."        .

In both instances Motorcycle Patrolman Earl Wright was summoned to subdue ferocious husbands.

The first call came from 290 Chestnut Street. Wright used jujitsu to stop William Passio, 24, from breaking up the furniture and threatening his wife, Catherine, with a bread knife. The cop arrested Passio and confiscated one case or 48 half-pint bottles of alleged whiskey and a punchboard. Sergeant Truax and Policeman Devine assisted.

The second call came from 254 Chestnut Street. Wright and Sergeant Petit found George Hall, 28, at the back door with a carving knife up his sleeve.

His wife, Hazel, said he attempted to kill her. Wright drew his pistol- Hall handed over the knife.

Both men were given "suites" in the city jail pending arraignment today. Both were charged with "threats to kill.'

Camden Courier-Post * June 6, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - Roy R. Stewart - T. Harry Rowland
Charles V. Dickinson - Arthur Colsey - Clifford A. Baldwin - Samuel M. Shay
Austin H. Swackhammer - Manle J. Steyer - WIlliam Sharkey - Dr. C.N. Mason
Gustave Huseman - John Uboldi - Albert Cohen - James Jordan - Herman Romaine
Harold Nickturn - Howard C. Franklin - Arthur "Gyp" Del Duca
Charles Fanelli aka Charlie Mack - Harry Fleisher - John Cernivo - Thomas Gibbons
Walt Mills - Edward J. Walsh - Owen Sweeney - William Marshall - Conrad Bittner
Harry Underwood - Frank Truax - Walter Kennedy aka Walt West
Harry Willingmeyer - Fairview Street - Penn Street - Rand Street
Louis Ward - Dean Kessler - Pasquale Massi - Jacob Melzer - Frank Atwater
Louis Scott - Edward Brady - Carl Pisco - Joseph Pisco - Jim Jackson
Woodrow Jackson - Frank Mucci - W.H. Seckel - Davis Keese - Gustave Seletos
Roland Davic - William Bopergola - Tony Basile - Jospeh Gogenti - Frank Garafalo
Edward North - Joseph Carboni - Geoge Huber - George Walters

Camden Courier-Post * June 8, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - John Tumulty - Charles Rubenstein
T. Harry Rowland - Charles V. Dickinson - Arthur Colsey - Clifford A. Baldwin
Samuel M. Shay
- Austin H. Swackhamer - Frank Truax
A. Harry Moore - David Baird Jr. 

Camden Courier-Post - July 1, 1932

Second District Officer Had Been in Service Since 1917

Police Sergeant Frank Truax of the Second Police District died at last night in Cooper Hospital of a complication of diseases. He was 50 and resided at 1139 Kenwood Avenue.

Sergeant Truax was admitted to the institution at 8:55 PM. Five minutes later he was dead.

He was considered one of the most efficient officers of the police department by his superiors, and his death was a shock to his friends and acquaintances.

He had been a member of the police department since April 12, 1917, having been appointed by former Mayor Charles H. Ellis. After 13 years of "pounding a beat" he was promoted to sergeant on April 9, 1930, by former Director of Public Safety David S. Rhone.

Shortly after dinner last night, Sergeant Truax complained of feeling ill. He had been in ill health for the past few weeks.

His wife, Mrs. Linda Truax summoned Dr. H. G. Stimus and Dr. Rhone. They ordered him removed to the hospital at once.

Besides his wife, Sergeant Truax is survived by a sister, Mrs. Viola Wilkinson of 701 Royden Street. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.  

Camden Courier-Post - July 6, 1932


Police Sergeant Frank Truax, who died Thursday night from a complication of diseases, was buried yesterday in Harleigh Cemetery.

More than two score policemen, as well as city officials, attended services at the funeral parlor of Frank J. Leonard, 1451 Broadway. Rev. E.M. Munyon, pastor of Eighth Street M.E. Church, officiated. More than 50 cars were in the procession that wound its way to the cemetery. A patrol wagon was used to carry the flowers sent by numerous individuals and organizations.

Pallbearers, all policemen, were John Cole, Joseph Leonhardt, John McTaggart, Andrew Truman, William McGrath, Paul Jackson, Joseph Mardino, and Clarence Boyer.

Sergeant Truax was 50 and resided at 1129 Kenwood Avenue. He died five minutes after being taken to Cooper Hospital. He had been a member of the police department since 1917, and was made a sergeant in 1930. He is survived by a widow, Linda, and a sister, Mrs. Viola Wilkinson.