Kate Shea, The Buffalo News

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Kate Shea


Thirty-nine-year-old Steve Solecki and his wife, Stella, always worked late on weekends. The industrious butcher was known to stay at his store – the Cleveland Meat Market at Main Street and Center Road in Angola – until well past midnight on Saturdays, tallying the prior week’s receipts and preparing meat for the week ahead. After finishing up one such late-night…

It was around 10:20 a.m. on the unseasonably temperate morning of Dec. 9, 1952, and Buffalo’s Main Street was bustling with activity: Christmas shoppers hurried past elaborately decorated store windows, while men and women weaved their way through the crowded sidewalks en route to work. In a city boasting a population nearly double what it is today, nobody noticed as…

On the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 10, 1911, schoolmates Joey Josephs and Gordon Pitton were playing together along Ridge Road in Lackawanna when a middle-aged stranger approached them. The well-dressed man chatted briefly with the two boys and offered to buy them both candy – an offer that 7-year-old Joey enthusiastically accepted. Joey hurried to purchase some swee…

In the early morning of Feb. 7, 1957, Irma Gill was enjoying a comfortable night’s rest in the small third-floor apartment she shared with her 19-year-old daughter in Buffalo’s Commodore Perry housing complex. Around 1 a.m., she was awakened by the unmistakable sound of screaming.   Jumping from her bed, Gill moved quickly to the nearest window and peered down at t…

On the early evening of Saturday, Aug. 21, 1948, 38-year-old Helen Lindeman – clad in a pink sleeveless housedress to combat the late summer heat – ventured out into her Kenmore neighborhood to run a few errands and to purchase a quart of milk. Lindeman was last spotted on Delaware Avenue at around 6 p.m. that night, walking just a few hundred feet from her h…

On the afternoon of Jan. 20, 1963, 38-year-old bar owner Howard Collins was at his home on Wallace Drive on Grand Island preparing for work when he got into a very heated argument with his 13-year-old son, James. The topic of their fight was something the pair had butted heads over many times before: James’ romance with their 16-year-old neighbor, Grace Muetel. Alban…

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on the morning of March 11, 1939, Buffalo firefighters responded to a call at 635 Plymouth Ave. on the city’s West Side. When they arrived, the back of the one-and-a-half-story residence already was consumed by flames that “burned through the roof and shot skyward,” The Buffalo Evening News reported later that day. Firefighters managed…

Nearly a decade before Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow captivated the nation with their notorious Midwestern crime spree, the criminal exploits of a different set of lethal lovebirds dominated local headlines: that of Baltimore’s Richard “Candy Kid” Whittemore and his wife, Margaret “Tiger Girl” Whittemore. The couple’s 1926 arrest in connection to a major ba…

On Sept. 16, 1979, after a Sunday spent tending to his many liturgical duties, Father George C. Pantelis returned to his office in Delaware Avenue’s stately Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. He had plans to meet with a student for a tutoring session, before heading home to his wife and two teenage sons. Pantelis telephoned his family just after 9 p.m. “I…

It was just after 3 a.m. Oct. 21, 1920, when five men, revolvers drawn and hats pulled low, stalked toward the rear passenger car of New York Central Railroad Train No. 15 as it sat idle on the tracks during a routine delay near Clinton and Lord streets on Buffalo’s East Side. Three of the bandits boarded the rear platform of the Pullman car after shooting railroad f…