Adam Worth : biography
Adam Worth (1844–January 8, 1902) was an American criminal. Scotland Yard detective Robert Anderson nicknamed him "the Napoleon of the criminal world",
and he is commonly referred to as "the Napoleon of Crime."
Mistake and capture
In 1892 Worth decided to visit Belgium where Bullard was in jail. He had been working with Max Shinburn, Worth's rival, when police had captured them both. Worth heard that Bullard had recently died.
On October 5 Worth improvised a robbery of a money delivery cart in Liège with two untried associates, one of them the American Johnny Curtin. The robbery went badly wrong and the police captured him on the spot. Two others got away.
In jail Worth refused to identify himself and the Belgian police made inquiries abroad. Both the New York Police Department and Scotland Yard identified him as Worth, although the Pinkertons did not say anything. Max Shinburn, now in jail, told the police everything he knew. In jail, Worth heard nothing about his family in London but received a letter from Kitty Flynn, who offered to finance his defense.
Worth's trial took place March 20, 1893. The prosecutor used everything he knew about Worth. Worth flatly denied that he had anything to do with various crimes, saying that the last robbery had been a stupid act he had committed out of need for money. All the other accusations, including those by British and American police, were mere hearsay. He claimed that his wealth came out of legal gambling. In the end Worth was sentenced to seven years for robbery and was sent to Leuven prison.
During his first year in jail, Shinburn hired other inmates to beat Worth up. Later Worth heard that Johnny Curtin, who was supposed to have taken care of his wife, had seduced and abandoned her. She had gone insane and been committed to an asylum. The children were in the care of his brother John in the United States.
Release and last years
Worth was released early for good behavior in 1897. He returned to London and stole £4,000 from a diamond shop to get funds. When he visited his wife, she barely recognized him. He traveled to New York and visited his children. Then he proceeded to meet with William Pinkerton, to whom he described the events of his life in great detail. The manuscript that Pinkerton wrote after Worth left is still preserved in the archives of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Van Nuys, California.
Through Pinkerton, Worth arranged the return of the painting Duchess of Devonshire to Agnew & Sons in return for $25,000. The portrait and payment were exchanged in Chicago on March 28, 1901. Worth returned to London with his children and spent the rest of his life with them. His son took advantage of an agreement between his father and Allan Pinkerton and became a career Pinkerton detective.
Adam Worth died on 8 January 1902. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery in a mass pauper's grave under the name of "Henry J. Raymond". A small tombstone was erected to mark his resting place in 1997 by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
- The American Magazine (1905). American Illustrated Magazine. New York: Colver Publishing House.
- Nash, Jay Robert (2004). The Great Pictorial History of World Crime. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 1-928831-21-4
Category:1844 births Category:1902 deaths Category:English mobsters Category:British bank robbers Category:Union Army soldiers Category:United States Army soldiers Category:German Jews Category:American people of German-Jewish descent Category:Criminals of New York City Category:Burials at Highgate Cemetery Category:Art thieves Category:British mob bosses Category:Arthur Conan Doyle Category:Pinkerton National Detective Agency
Exploits in Europe
Bullard and Worth went first to Liverpool. Bullard had taken the identity of "Charles H. Wells", a Texas oilman. Worth was financier "Henry Judson Raymond", the name he would use for years afterwards. They began to compete for the favors of a barmaid named Kitty Flynn who eventually learned their true identities. She became Bullard's wife but did not disfavor Worth, either. In October 1870, Kitty gave birth to a daughter, Lucy Adeleine, and seven years later had another daughter named Katherine Louise. The paternity of these two girls is left up to debate. It is possible that Kitty herself did not know, but Bullard and Worth claimed each child all the same. William Pinkerton believed Adam Worth fathered both of Kitty's daughters.
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