Cincinnati Police Chief Deitsch ordered three of his best detectives to find and arrest Scott Jackson after getting the lowdown on the Pearl Bryan murder. Jackson was a student at the Ohio Dental College in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the time and they learned he lived in a boarding house at 222 West Ninth Street in the city.
He wasn’t in his living quarters so two of the lawmen took positions watching the street outside and the other went to Legner’s Tavern after learning it was one of his regular hangouts.
Chief Deitsch received a call saying Jackson was seen at a nearby hotel. He rushed to the scene and saw a young man who matched Jackson’s description. He notified his detectives and watched as Jackson walked down Ninth Street toward his boarding house. He paused outside but seemed uneasy and continued down the street instead of going inside. The detectives were sure he was their man so they quickly caught up with him.
“Is your name Scott Jackson,” detective Bulmer asked. “We need to talk.”
Chief Deitsch and the three officers took Jackson to the office of Cincinnati mayor John Caldwell in City Hall. The mayor asked his clerk to record the questions and answers during the meeting.
“We know about your association with Pearl Bryan,” Chief Deitsch stated up front to get to the heart of the matter. “When did you last see Miss Bryan.”
Scott Jackson wasn’t surprised to be interrogated by the police and the question didn’t surprise him.
“It’s been three months since I’ve seen Pearl,” he answered. “We dated for several months while I was attending dental school in Indianapolis. She lived in Greencastle, Indiana. My mother lived there too and when I went home for visits I would see Pearl. We broke up after I transferred over here to Ohio Dental School.”
“What about when she was here in Cincinnati recently. Did you see her,” Deitsch asked.
“If she was in Cincinnati recently I didn’t know it,” Scott answered.
Scott seemed to be holding up well but he wasn’t prepared for what came up next. The detective who looked for him in Legner’s Tavern, questioned the bartender and was told Scott left an item of luggage overnight and had picked it up the following evening.
“What about the item of luggage you left in Legner’s Tavern,” the officer asked.
Scott hesitated, then stuttered a bit before answering, “Yes, I left an empty valise there.“
“Where is it now,” Scott was asked. “I don’t know. I lent it to a friend,” he answered. ”Scott said the last name of the man he loaned it to was Hackleman but couldn’t or wouldn’t give the full name or address of the individual or how to reach or get in touch with him.
Chief Deitsch was highly suspicious and ordered that Jackson be booked into jail and held on suspicion of Pearl Bryan’s murder.
Deitsch and several detectives led the prisoner through the basement maze, an underground tunnel that connected the Courthouse with the Hamilton County Jail. As they trudged along several courthouse workers and visitors became part of the entourage. Newspapers carried updates on the murder everyday as the hideous killing of Pearl Bryan had the citizenry wondering what kind of person could do such a thing. They were anxious for the next snippet of information on the murder of the century in the Cincinnati area.
Jackson was subjected to a thorough search after arriving at the jail. Upon removing his undershirt dried blood was clearly evident. He claimed to have been bothered by bugs. There was also a deep scratch from his elbow down his forearm and a smaller scratch near his wrist. He wouldn’t offer an explanation but he did amend his statement about being bothered by bugs. “It was a rash that I had,” he volunteered. “I scratched it so much that it bled.”
One of the detectives found two trolley tickets in his coat. Although they weren’t for a horse and carriage taxi ride they did indicate Scott’s familiarity with the Central Bridge travel to Kentucky.
Soon after Scott was put in a cell with other prisoners he asked the jailer if he or an officer would sit in a chair outside his cell. Prisoners were somewhat perturbed by the murder and Jackson felt he needed protection.
The jailer moved a chair next to his cell and sat down. Soon the prisoner became quite talkative. As time passed it surprised the jailer when Jackson asked what he thought was a very important question.
“Has Alonzo Walling been arrested yet,” he asked.
The jailer couldn’t believe it. He stayed put, continuing to chat with the prisoner in case he said more. Finally Scott went to sleep and the jailer left to tell Police Chief Dietsch about Alonzo Walling.
Deitsch sent three men out to arrest Walling whose name had surfaced earlier. It was one of those occasions in law enforcement when everything goes right. They readily found and arrested Walling and had him back in a cell in the Hamilton County Jail before 3 a.m.
Jackson and Walling were both in the Hamilton County Jail on suspicion of murder but their jail cells were far apart. Copyright 2018 Jadon Gibson
Editor’s note: More information about the murder comes out in the next issue and the two prisoners turn on each other. Jadon Gibson’s stories are both historic and nostalgic in nature and can be read regularly at bereaonline.com. Don’t miss a single posting!
A Voice for God – a voice for good
My good Lord in Heaven has been so good to me. A lot of youngsters don’t live up to their parents hopes but my wife and I couldn’t be happier with how our three sons turned out.
My oldest son Richard showed his brilliance early and after earning a bachelors and masters degree he received a fellowship to study at a major west coast university. He stayed there as a faculty member for twenty plus years and played in two symphonies. Rich retired early this year but is talking of returning eastward and considering employment in industry or returning to teaching.
Number two son Robert was distracted by making music so he left college early and joined the service of our great country. Although he was a drummer, during the Desert Storm he carried a rifle instead of drumsticks. He retired after 21 years of proud service then proceeded to complete his bachelors and masters degree . Robert is now a teacher but is seriously considering enrolling as a PhD candidate. His wife just received her PhD in nursing. I failed to say that Robert is still involved with music and plays over 100 concerts yearly.
My wife’s son and my stepson, Remo Michael, retired after 24 years in the Air Force. His service was exemplary, becoming leader of his department. He immediately was employed as an IT with one of our major automotive companies and services corporate divisions around the world from his home base in Florida.
Best yet none of our three sons smoke, use drugs or take our Lord’s name in vain. To our Lord goes the glory but glory too to these valued sons.
Our good Lord in Heaven has been so good to us for allowing us to have Richard, Robert and Remo of whom we are very proud. They continue to amaze us with their zeal to learn and to serve.