State Correctional Institution - Rockview
|Cause of death||Capital punishment by electrocution|
Prison Cemetery, Rockview|
|Known for||Coverdale armored car robbery|
|Relatives||Sam Jaworski, Tom Pallas, Catherine Logan|
Paul Jaworski (born Paul Poluszynski, 1900, died January 21, 1929) was a Polish-American gangster born in Poland. He immigrated to the United States in 1905. Although born to Catholic parents, when offered the services of a chaplain before his execution Jaworski said:
"I preached atheism since the day I quit singing the choir. A man is yellow if he spends his life believing in nothing and then comes crawling to the church because he is afraid his death is near."
The first armored car robbery
He was the leader of the "Flatheads" gang, who committed the first-ever armored car robbery, on March 11, 1927. The gang stole over $104,000 from an armored vehicle on Bethel Road (now Brightwood Road), Bethel, (now Bethel Park) , 7 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The bandits placed 500 pounds of black powder (stolen the previous day from nearby Mine 3 in Molanaur PA) under the roadbed, and made off with money that was on its way to Coverdale, Pennsylvania for the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Company.
Detroit News payroll robbery
He was sentenced to death in Pennsylvania on January 2, but received a stay of execution, until a sanity evaluation could be completed. Jaworski was executed by electric chair in Pennsylvania for a separate payroll robbery which resulted in a murder. The execution took place on January 21, 1929.
- "Paul Jaworski Paid Supreme Penalty Yesterday; Body Unclaimed". Indiana Evening Gazette. Indiana, Pennsylvania. January 22, 1929. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Morton, James (2002) . "10: Cleveland". Gangland International: The Mafia and Other Mobs. pp. 235–236. ISBN 0-7515-2237-6.
Of course pre-war crime in Cleveland had not been wholly from the Italian and Jewish element. There were at least two major Polish-led gangs of robbers. One was the Flatheads led by Paul Jaworski. On 13 September 1928 when Jaworski and Frank "Whitey" Kraft were caught in a restaurant, Kraft ran out the back but Jaworski holed up in Chambers Avenue. He was driven out by tear gas and was shot. It was not thought he would survive, but he did so. He has already shot a prison guard escaping from Pittsburgh, and was said to have killed up to 26 people including a former gang member who was also a drug addict. Jaworski, rather than see him suffer, threw his body in the river. Returned to Pennsylvania where he was electrocuted." "Shortly before his execution, Jaworski sent his friends a postcard with his future address - 45 Hellsfire Road, 6/14 miles from Hell. Father Pat O'Brien would not have used him as an example. Frank "Whitey" Kraft was later killed by police in Detroit.
- Top 10 Inventions in Money Technology | ATM Marketplace Archived November 2, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- On-This-Day.com - March 11
- "Bandits Dynamite Armored Pay Car and Take $104,250". New York Times (March 12). 1927-03-12. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- The Great Detroit News Payroll Robbery, Detroit History, at detnews.com, 5/1/2000 Archived July 13, 2012, at Archive.is
- "Tests Sanity of Jaworski". The Morning Herald. Uniontown, Pennsylvania. January 5, 1929. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
- "Paul Jaworski to be executed this morning". The Morning Herald. Uniontown, Pennsylvania. January 21, 1929. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved January 10, 2009.