Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dolly Mapp

"Let Me In, Dollree"

Sgt. Carl Delau, a vice cop in plainclothes, rang the buzzer of Mapps second story home. The woman looked out a window.

Sgt. Carl Delau
Sgt. Carl Delau
Delau said, Let me in, Dollree.

Mapp asked what he wanted, and Delau replied vaguely that he wanted to talk to her about something.

She said she wanted to speak with her lawyer first.

She called the Cleveland law firm of Alexander Kearns and Walter Greene, who had represented her in the lawsuit against Archie Moore. Greene advised her not to let the cops inside without a warrant.

She reported this to Sgt. Delau, who told Mapp he had a warrant, although he refused to produce it.

Mapp continued to refuse entry to Delau and the two patrolmen who accompanied him.

The cops believed Ogletree was in the house, and they were determined not to let him escape. But Mapp was determined not to let them inside unless she was allowed to read the warrant.

The standoff wore on for three hours.

At 4:30, four more cops showed up. They began to break down the door just as attorney Greene arrived on the scene.

The officers entered the house over the protests of the lawyer, who was restrained from going inside to witness the search.

What had begun as a simple police outing to pick up Virgil Ogletree had now been transformed into an ordeal that would take up most of the day.

The cops were not happy, and they resolved among themselves to find any evidence that could incriminate the stubborn Dolly Mapp, related to Ogletree and the King bombing or not.

Witnesses outside, including Greene, could hear shouting in the house as Mapp demanded again and again to see a search warrant.

At one point, Delau produced a piece of paper but refused to allow Mapp to read it. She grabbed the document and stuffed it down her bosom. Delau retrieved it.

Cops found Ogletree hiding on the first floor. He was arrested but would prove to be of no use in the King case.

Dolly Mapp, meanwhile, was handcuffed to a cop and held in her bedroom while police traipsed through the house looking for evidence of a crimeany crime.

The raid made the next days Plain Dealer, but the story barely mentioned Ogletree. The headline read:

Policy House Closed After 3-Hour Siege

The story identified the Milverton house as Mapps home, but wryly noted she had another address, depending on where she is staying. It made light of her refusal to allow cops inside without a warrant: Miss Mapp, they said, was stubborn about letting them inside.

The story said the police found a trunk full of slips and records from the numbers game. Cops hyped that seizure by crowing that they had found the policy house--or nerve center--of the California Gold numbers game, which would prove to be hollow hype.

The story included a single line about another police discovery at the house. As reporter Jerry Ballinger wrote, They also found a quantity of books, pamphlets and photographs they described as obscene.

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