Grimsby Newspapers
Case Springstead choked to death by condemned man
Grimsby Independent, 3 Dec 1919, p. 1,5

Media Type:
Item Type:
Newspaper located at the Grimsby Museum
Date of Publication:
3 Dec 1919
Date Of Event:
29 Nov 1919
Personal Name(s):
Springstead, Case ; Kowalski, Paul ; Trembluck, Ammat
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.20011 Longitude: -79.56631
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Full Text

Running amuck in the corridor of Hamilton jail on Saturday morning, Paul Kowalski, condemned to die on December 19th for the murder last spring of Ammat Trembluck, killed his death watch, County Constable Case Springstead of Stoney Creek and seriously injured Turnkeys Awty, Lourey and Berry, Awty's injuries proving fatal, he dying on Saturday night. Kowalski had been allowed out of his cell into the corridor as was customary to exercise after breakfast. In an unguarded moment he jumped on Springstead and being a very powerful man soon knotted a handkerchief around his neck and twisted it with a spoon until he had choked his watch to death. Then with the strength of a maniac he tore the window casing loose and securing the heavy window balance weight crushed in his victim's skull. It is presumed by many that he did this deed between 7 and 8 o'clock. When Awty and the other two turnkeys went to the corridor at 10 o'clock they were met by Kowalski with a knife or a spoon sharpened into a knife, and a desperate struggle ensued. Awty was severely stabbed about the body and head. Berry was soon put out of commission but Lowry lasted long enough to down the madman. Gov. Ogilvie hearing the noise put a hurry-up call to the police station and the patrol responded with five officers, who went into the corridor with drawn revolvers and soon trussed Kowalski up and tied him to the bed. Kowalski had a note on his person written in Russian which when translated stated that "He had to die anyway, and that as they were hanging an innocent man someone was going to die too."

In the death of A.C. Springstead, the Wentworth County constabulary loses one of its most fearless, faithful and trustworthy members; Stoney Creek loses one of its most respected citizens, and a wife and three sons and daughters a most devoted husband and father. The deceased had been a county constable for 35 or 40 years, and in addition to these duties was bailiff of the 5th division court at Stoney Creek. He was born in the Township of Saltfleet 65 years ago, and his father Stead Springstead, was for years a county constable. The dead officer was an adherent of the Methodist church and a Conservative in politics. Sheriff Middleton was much affected when he heard the news of the tragedy, and said he considered Springstead to be one of the most intelligent and active of the county force as well as the most respected. Springstead had been doing duty at the jail only a few nights, having taken the place of County Constable Bolton, who had been given a turn as death watch. The duty, however, was not new to him, as he had acted on the death watch staff of several condemned murderers at the Hamilton jail. The funeral of the late Constable Springstead took place from his home in Stoney Creek on Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock and was very largely attended by relatives, citizens of Stoney Creek and Saltfleet and by County and Township officials. Sheriff Middleton and many of the County Constables were present to show their last token of esteem to their fellow official. Services were conducted at the house and at the graveside in Stoney Creek Cemetery by the Rector of the Church of the Redeemer, the Rev. J.F. Carson. Many were the expressions of regret at the untimely and tragic death of the popular official.

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Case Springstead choked to death by condemned man