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Legs Diamond's court records now available online

Dec 08, 2020 5:30 am
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union the criminal court records of the notorious gangster and bootlegger John T. “Legs” Diamond are now available through the Rensselaer County Clerk Office's computerized records. With a date of 1931, it is the oldest criminal proceeding the pubic can find from a home computer. “There was a great interest. People were calling,” County Clerk Frank Merola said last week about the decision to post the records. The 29 documents can be found by searching "John T. Diamond." Anyone with a computer can view the materials for free. "That’s awesome. This is fabulous,” said Kathy Sheehan, the Rensselaer County historian and Troy city historian based at the Hart Cluett Museum. Diamond captured the nation’s interest during the 1920s, up until his death on December 18, 1931, in an Albany boarding house after his acquittal on kidnapping charges at the Rensselaer County court house. Diamond was originally indicted in Greene County, but the case received a change of venue and was tried in Troy. The records from Diamond's last court case have been out-of-sight for nearly 90 years. Those court papers give readers a view into Diamond's medical condition, how the State Police attempted to listen in on Diamond’s whispered conversations with his attorney, learn of the presidential commutation of his military sentence of five years of hard labor and read the charges listed in his criminal history. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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