WILLIAM JOSEPH "SHOOEY" BONNER was born in Pennsylvania in late 1900. His parents were both born in Ireland. He appears to have come to Camden after January of 1920. William Bonner married Mary Weber around 1922, and by April of 1930 their were five children, Catherine, Eleanor, Elsie, William, and James. William Bonner and family are listed in the 1924 and 1929 City Directories at 907 North Front Street in North Camden. His occupation is given as "watchman". The 1930 Census states that the Bonner family owned a home at 907 North Front Street in April of that year. William Bonner gave his occupation as "commercial traveler" dealing in "notions", i.e. a traveling salesman. This apparently was not the case. Shortly after the Census was taken in April of 1930, the Bonners moved to 916 North Front Street.

Newspaper articles of the era indicate that William Bonner was involved in various criminal enterprises in and around Camden in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Along with his brother James, he was picked up and questioned in September of 1928 after the gangland slaying of Joseph "Mose" Flannery at the former Hotel Royal saloon at 101 Kaighn Avenue. James Bonner himself had been the victim of a shooting a few months earlier. Although many were questioned, no one was ever prosecuted for the Flannery killing. "Mose" Flannery refused to talk, telling doctors that if he lived he would settle things, and if he died "my gang will take care of that". 

In October of 1930 William J. Bonner was arrested at 98 Erie Street, where he allegedly was operating a speakeasy. There was enough money in that for Bonner to buy a cabin at Lake Cotoxon, near Medford, New Jersey.

By the fall of 1931 an ex-con named Eddie Metelski had come to Camden and aligned himself with Bonner. Both would come to bad endings. 

William "Shooey" Bonner was shot to death in November of 1931. He was buried at New Camden Cemetery on November 25th. He was 31 years old.

Although a number of people including William Pernier and Jimmy Rogers were picked up as material witnesses, apparently the crime was not solved. Eddie Metelski, along with, William Pernier and Frank Bunker  was picked up in December for a series of burglaries. Metelski was sent to prison. A few years later he was executed for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper. Pernier, Rogers, and other Bonner associates would continue to command the attention of local law enforcement throughout the 1930s.

Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928



David Hunt - Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith - Rox Saponare
John W. Golden
- Howard Pike Samuel Johnson - Lewis Stehr
William Beottcher
- George Ward - Louis Shaw - Frank Malec
Lawrence T. Doran - Samuel P. Orlando
Louis Shectman - Mrs. Mary Brown - Polack Joe Deven - Frank Smith
Walter Selby - Walter Wartmann - Charles Foulk - Mrs. Edward McGrath
Father John J. Henry -
Joseph "Mose" Flannery"  Joseph Moll - James Bonner
William Bonner  - James L. Hawkins - Walter Novak - Joseph Novak
Garfield Del Duca - Eugene Murphy - Russell Sage - Patrick Driscoll
Joseph "Cuzzy" Scarduzio

Evening Courier

September 18, 1928

Camden Evening Courier - September 19, 1928




John Kowal -
Lewis Stehr
John Skolski -
John W. Golden 

James Hollis
Clarence Arthur 
Frank Moll
Clarence Bunker
Thomas Cheeseman

Sylvester McGrath
Lawrence T. Doran
Dr. David S. Rhone
William D. McDonaldson
Frank Leonard
Father McCorriston

Front Street - Kaighn Avenue - Fairview Street - South 3rd Street
Camden High School - West Jersey Hospital - Sacred Heart Church
Joseph "Mose" Flannery
  - Joseph Moll - James Bonner - William Bonner
Rita Leslie  - James L. Hawkins - Hotel Royal - Walter Novak - Joseph Novak
Garfield Del Duca - Eugene Murphy - Russell Sage - Joseph "Cuzzy" Scarduzio
Patrick Driscoll

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 14, 1931

Regina Boskowski - Chestnut Street - William Bonner

Bridgewater Courier-News * September 11, 1931

Edward Kenney - Louis Shaw - William Pernier - William J. "Shooey" Bonner - George Leventhal
William Hall - Lawrence T. Doran

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 23, 1931


Harry Hawkins - William Bonner

Camden Courier-Post
November 23, 1931

William J. "Shooey" Bonner

Bridgewater Courier-News
November 24, 1931

William J. "Shooey" Bonner
James "Jimmy" Rogers
William Pernier

Camden Courier-Post - November 25, 1931


William J. "Shooey" Bonner - Carroll P. Stanton - North Front Street - Walter Rowand - Albert York
James "Jimmy" Rogers
- William Pernier - Herbert Genz - Gospel Hall - John Opfer - James Wilson
Father Thomas J. Whelan - Holy Name Roman Catholic Church 

Camden Courier-Post
June 1, 1932

South 4th Street
Harry Metzler

William "Shooey" Bonner

Haddon Avenue
Albert E. Morton
North Camden
Austin H. Swackhammer
James Cranston
Edith Cranston
North 3rd Street
Frank Bunker
Charles Hurtz
Ralph Murphy













Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1933

Pal of Shooey Bonner Jailed on Gun-Carrying Charge

Despite his plea that he was still suffering from a gunshot wound received October 30, William Pernier, 32, of 293 Liberty street, was sentenced to serve from two to three years in the state prison for carrying deadly weapons. Pernier's wife, Edith, screamed and was led from the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced by Judge Samuel M. Shay

Pemier, former pal of the slain William "Shooey" Bonner, was arrested by three policemen who found him lying wounded and holding a revolver which they said was "still hot" at Locust Street and Kaighn Avenue.

When tried in Criminal Court, Pernier's defense was that he had been wounded by gunmen and that he had picked up the revolver dropped by a one of his assailants. A jury deliberated only 12 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty after a short trial on January 24. Request for postponement of sentence was made at that time by Julius Sklar, Pernier's attorney.

Judge Shay remanded Pernier to jail to await sentence after setting yesterday as the date when he should learn his fate.

Camden Courier-Post - August 15, 1933

Whisky and 65 Bottles Also Seized by Cops in Segal Street Speakeasy

Modest Moonshinery Found in 'Empty' House

James "Jimmy" Rodgers, 28, former boxer; fell into the hands of police again last night when they raided a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street, allegedly operated by him.

One gallon of whisky and 65 pint bottles were confiscated by the raiders, who were led by District Detectives Walter Smith, Marshall Thompson and Harry Kyler.

Three others were arrested. One of them, James Greer, 35, of 332 North Second street, placed a charge of possession of stolen goods against Rodgers when police unearthed some articles stolen from Greer two months ago.

Others arrested were Thomas Spencer, 33, of the Segal Street address, and John D. Wood, 35, of 928 Kimber Street.

Rodgers has fallen afoul of the , law on numerous occasions. He has been arrested several times for operating speakeasies. He was also arrested as a material witness in the "Shooey" Bonner murder two years ago.

He will be given a police court hearing today,

Detectives raided a vacant dwelling at 225 Chestnut Street last night and seized a "moonshine" plant consisting of two stills, 36 barrels of mash and oil and gas stove cookers.

The place had been under observation by Detective Vernon Jones for two weeks.

No one was inside when Jones and Patrolmen George Hemphill and John Houston entered. A 50 gallon still was on the second floor and a 35 gallon still on the first floor.