Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Eddie Cudahy and Pat Crowe


Soon Crowe was living in Bowery flophouses, although he was lucid enough to send a clever telegram to Edward Cudahy Jr. when he married in 1919:

No one could wish you greater happiness in the hands of your new kidnapper than I do. Heres hoping you will cherish no ill will over out former escapade, and enjoy this one more. Signed, Your Old Kidnapper.

In 1925, after he was arrested for begging on the subway, Crowe treated New York police reporters to an impromptu press conference with a man the Times called one of the most picturesque bandits of his time.

Honesty is the best policy, Crowe advised the scribes, and it pays to advertise.

Crowe was found dead of a heart attack in a Harlem flophouse on October 29, 1938. He died broke and alone, surrounded by scrapbooks filled with yellowed newspaper stories about his crime exploits.

The Cudahys did considerably better in life. After the kidnapping, Edward Sr. relocated his family to Chicago. Young Cudahy volunteered for military service during World War I. He replaced his father as president of the family meatpacking firm in 1925 and had a long and prosperous career, retiring to Arizona in 1961, five years before he died.

Eddie Cudahy 1917, off to war
Eddie Cudahy 1917, off to war

In the 1960s, rural slaughterhouses began to undercut the prices of meat sold by Cudahy and the other Beef Trust plants, which operated with higher overhead in cities like Omaha. One by one, the old big five plants in South Omaha - multistory red brick behemoths--were shuttered then demolished. Cudahys Omaha slaughterhouse was closed in 1967. A year later, the old Cudahy mansion was razed to make way for apartments.

Edward A Cudahy jr, older
Edward A Cudahy jr, older

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'