Three Men Get Life Sentences for Thames Street Firebomb Deaths

Baltimore Sun headline
Baltimore Sun headline

This is a crazy story, and I’m sure it’s been lost to history. This is an article that we dug up in the Baltimore Sun from October 5th, 1947.

 Three men yesterday were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Maryland Penitentiary in connection with the fire-bomb murder of six seamen in a Thames street rooming house last year.

They are Walter Haas, 34, former official of a seamen’s union; Marty Vitko, 25, of Philadelphia, and Kennon W. Langham, 22, originally from Alabama.

The fire at Thames street occurred during a water-front strike. A week before a fire-bomb was set off in the house during the early morning hours a wrench had been thrown through a window of the house bearing a note which contained a threat against “finks” and “scabs.”

When Haas was tried and admitted throwing the wrench through the window, but denied he had any part in the fire, the prosecution showed that Haas left Baltimore a few hours after the fire in company with Vitko and Langham.


About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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