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||December 21, 1929
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Peter Kudzinowski (1903 – December 21, 1929)
was a Polish-born American serial killer who
committed his crimes in New Jersey.
Kudzinowski worked as a railroad section hand and as a miner. He
had a brother Julian who lived in Greenwood, near Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Kudzinowski killed three people:
- Harry Quinn, near Scranton, in 1924.
- Joseph Storella (1921-1928). Kuzinowski accosted two other
children at the same location, but they ran away. He met him on
First Avenue in New
York City, at about 5:30 in the evening. He took Joseph to a
movie then took him by the Port Authority Trans-Hudson
train to Journal
Square in Jersey City, New Jersey and
then walked him to the swamps in Secaucus. When Joseph tried to get
away, Kudzinowski knocked him down and hit him several times.
Worrying that the boy's cries would attract passing cars, he
slashed his throat, covered the body with the boy's overcoat, and
Kudzinowski was a suspect in the disappearance of Billy Gaffney,
who was vanished in 1927; Albert Fish would later claim to have
murdered Gaffney. Both serial killers worked in the same time frame
and in the same geographic area and killed children. He was also a
suspect in the murder of Irving Pickelny, who disappeared from Brooklyn in February
Kudzinowski was captured in Detroit,
Michigan, confessed, and was brought to Jersey City for trial.
He was found guilty of first-degree
murder on November 17, 1928. He was sentenced to be executed at the New
Jersey State Prison on February 24, 1929 and was executed in
chair on December 21, 1929 in Trenton, New Jersey.
- New York Times; December 8, 1928; Tried to
Lure Two, Boy's Slayer Says; Miner Admits He Sought to Get Small
Girl and Boy on East Side to Go With Him. Due Here Tomorrow.
Storella Lad's Body Brought Home for Burial Tomorrow. Grand Jury
Sits, Indictment Reported. Peter Kudzinowski, whose confession in
Detroit led Jersey City detectives to the body of Joseph Storella,
7 years old, who was lured from Manhattan on November 17 and killed
on the meadows near Secaucus, New Jersey, admitted
yesterday that he had tried to lure two other children before he
met the Storella boy.
- New York Times; December 11, 1928; Slayer
Confesses to Third Murder; Kudzinowski, Prisoner in Jersey City,
Admits He Strangled a 5-Year-Old Girl. Clears up Old Mystery.
Indicted for Killing Storelli Boy. Mother Berates Son as Police
Question Him. Peter Kudzinowski, confessed murderer of a 5-year-old
boy and a man, admitted early this morning having committed a third
murder, that of a 5-year-old girl, at Lake
Hopatcong, New Jersey, last August.
- New York Times; December 12, 1928,
Wednesday; Slayer Re-Enacts his Third Murder; Kudzonowski Shows
Police Spot at Lake Hopatcong Where He Killed 5-Year-Old Girl. Her
Body Sought in River. He Declares He Threw it Into the Delaware
From a Moving Freight Train. Unnerved While Confessing. Hunt Body
in River. Fail to Find Body of Quinn. After being questioned by Jersey
City police and Mayor Frank Hague until 4 o'clock yesterday
morning, Peter Kudzinowski signed a confession telling how on the
afternoon of August 19 he had lured Julia Mlodzianowski, 5 years
old, into the woods near Lake Hopatcong, murdered and ...
- New York Times; January 12, 1929, Saturday;
Finds Boy's Slayer in an Hour; Jury Returns Verdict of First Degree
Murder Against Confessed Kidnapper. Kudzinowski Is Unmoved.
Imposition of Death Penalty Set for Wednesday. Counsel Say They
Will Appeal. After sixty-three minutes' deliberation yesterday the
jury before Judge Egan in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Jersey
City, returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree
without a recommendation against Peter Kudzinowski, 26-year-old
railroad section hand, who confessed to the kidnapping and murder
- New York Times; December 21, 1929,
Saturday; Slayer of Boy Dies in Electric Chair; Kudzinowski Put to
Death in Trenton for Killing Joseph Storelli, 7, of This City.