Cornelius J. Burkinshaw1,2,3

M, b. 20 August 1896, d. 20 September 1955
Cornelius "Neil" Burkinshaw
ChartsJohn Dwyer Descendancy Indented Chart
           Cornelius J. Burkinshaw was born on 20 August 1896 at Meriden, Connecticut..4,5,2,6 He resided in December 1915 at Meriden, Connecticut.7 He marrried Helen Marie Slavin in 1924.3,8,9,10 Cornelius and Helen Marie Burkinshaw resided in August 1924 at 704 Edmond Building, Washington, D. C.11 Neil and Helen Marie Burkinshaw were found on a passenger list on 1 September 1924 at New York, New York, sailing on the S. S. Rousillon having left the port of Bordeaux, France on the 21st of August. (Might this have been their honeymoon?)12 Cornelius and Helen Marie Slavin resided on 16 March 1925 at 3100 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D. C.11 Neil and Helen Marie Slavin were found on a passenger list on 16 March 1925 at New York, New York, sailing on the S. S. Leviathan having left the port of Southampton, England on the 10th of March.13
     Cornelius J. Burkinshaw, age 33, appears as Neil J. Burkenshaw, head of household, in the census of 5 April 1930 in Washington, District of Columbia, with Helen Marie Slavin.14 Cornelius J. Burkinshaw and Helen Marie Slavin resided in April 1930 at 1710 Surrey Lane, Washington, District of Columbia.14 According to Ralph Phelan, Neil represented Bruno Hauptmann, but pulled out because he thought he was guilty.15 Cornelius J. Burkinshaw and Helen Marie Slavin were found on a passenger list on 10 October 1953 at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, eventually crossing into the US. Their original port of sail was from Bremen, Germany, on September 29th. The manifest shows their final destination to be Washington, D.C.16
     Cornelius J. Burkinshaw died on 20 September 1955 at Washington, D.C., at age 59.17

Family

Helen Marie Slavin b. 14 Oct 1897, d. 10 Oct 1967

Obituaries and Other News Articles

     The following article appeared in Time on 21 November 1927:
     First there was an oil lease. Then there was suspicion. Investigators followed suspicion. Suits, civil and criminal, followed investigation. Out of the civil suits came proven illegalities and the U.S. got back its "Teapot Dome oil reserve in Natrona County, Wyoming. Out of the criminal suit in the District of Columbia Supreme Court, to see if Albert Bacon Fall, onetime (1921-1923) Cabinet man, and Oilman Harry Ford Sinclair, were criminals or not, came more suspicious, more confusion, a mistrial.
     The Prinicpals, Albert Bacon Fall, his lungs congested, despaired greatly and wished that his criminal trial might begin afresh. But it could not begin afresh until January. Wrapped in a blue velvet bathrobe, Mr. Fall gathered strength to go home to New Mexico for Christmas. He reiterated his protests of innocence and said: "Unless doctors forbid me to return to Washington in January, I will come. But I must consider my family and, although I am old, perhaps I can remain with them a little longer before going across the Great Divide."
     Harry Ford Sinclair, although younger, stronger, bolder, far richer than Mr. Fall, had an even less pleasant time ahead. For it was upon him and his friends that the fresh suspicion had fastened- suspicion of attempted jury-tampering, the last resort of wealthy felons.
     But, just as the disrepute of Oilman Sinclair and friends momentarily overshadowed that of Mr. Fall, so, last week, did the disrepute of yet other "villains" in the story overshadow "the villainy" of Oilman Sinclair and friends.
     The "villainy" of Oilman Sinclair's friends was hiring detectives to shadow the jury that was trying him, the new "villains" were these same detectives and notably their chiefs-Detective William John Burns, his son Sherman Burns and their "chief shad-ower", one Charles G. Ruddy. Not only in the "villainy" of these three but in their collective stupidity was the public invited by the press to take special satisfaction as details were brought to light.
     The Friends. Oilman Siclair's friends and vice presidents-Henry Mason Day and Sheldon Clark- were "villains" from the start last week. They refused to tell the grand jury anything about the hiring of the Burns detectives. They said they were afraid of incriminating themselves. They were arrested, released on bail. Their hearings were put off until after Thanksgiving Day, while the government ran out other aspects of the case. "Hero" Burns. Detective William John Burns began last week in a heroic capacity. As soon as he heard that his 16 agents in Washington had been caught sleuthing the Fall-Sinclair jury, he announced that they had broken no law, "approached" no juror. He hurried down to Washington from Manhattan with a lot of papers, his face boiled red with righteous indignation.
     He told newsgathers that he was going to talk "long and loud" and started to do so. He willingly went before the grand jury. He told a hideous tale.
     "Hero" Burns' tale. There had indeed been jury-tampering, said "Hero" Burns, but not by Burns men! There had been tampering by an agent of the U.S. government!
     "Hero" Burns produced two affadavits by his "Operator L-36". This affiant, one William V. Long, swore that he had seen assistant Attorney Harris L. Lamb of the U.S. Department of Justice, follow Juror Norman L. Glasscock out of Washington to Potomac Flying Field and there converse with him for many minutes. Juror Glasscock expressed great surprise. He had never been to the Potomac Flying Field, he said. Assistant Attorney Lamb expressed surprise. He has never before heard of Juror Glasscock, he said.
     Nevertheless, "Hero" Burns' tale loomed large, until three things happened. First, it was noticed that "Hero" Burns had not filed his tale with Justice Lincoln Siddons, the Fall-Sinclair trial judge, until three days after Justice Siddons had decalred a mistrial at the request of the prosecution. "Hero" Burns' tale, dating back 11 days before the trial was ended, would, if true, have been ample ground for the defense to claim a mistrial, with the honors on their side.
     The second thing that happened to "Hero" Burns' tale was that "Operator L-36" failed to identify Assistant Attorney Lamb in court. Mr. Lamb's appearance in no way tallied with the jury-tamperer desired in the Burnsian afffidavits.
     "Villain" Burns. The emergency of "villain" from "Hero" Burns was dramatic. The third thing that happened to this tale was when it was turned inside out by "Operator L-36," alias "William V. Long," whose real name is William J. McMullin.
     "Hero" McMullin's Story. William J. McMullin, onetime U.S. Marine sargeant, was a Philadelphia insurance man until a few days before the Fall-Sinclair jury was sworn in, when he joined the detective forces. For a sleuth's reasons, he called himself William V. Long, with the presmission of a Philadelphia friend by that name who had been in the New Jersey State Police. He was ordered to Washington and set to trailing Juror Glasscock. It did not take him long to suspect the reasons of his employers, and his employers' employers, for shadowing Fall-Sinclair jurors. These disgusted him.
     He knew that Gifford Pinchot, onetime (1923-27) governor of his native Pennsylvania, was living in Washington, so he called on Mr. Pichot, told him his suspicions, and asked what to do. Mr. Pichot sent him to Lawyer Owen Josephus Roberts, U.S. Prosecutor. Mr. McMullin asked Lawyer Roberts what to do.
     Lawyer Roberts told Mr. McMullin to continue being a Burn operator and report his employers' doings to him and to Assistant U.S. District Attorney Neil Burkinshaw. Mr. McMullin did so, with some difficulty. He made reports to Attorney Burkinshaw, for example, when the latter's office was full of other Burns operators who supposed he was being quizzed like themselves. He detected detectives and reported on reports day and night.
     Came the mistrial. Came Wm. J. Burns to Washington. Mr. Burns took a fancy to "Operator L-36" (Mr. McMullin). The latter had a motor in which Mr. Burns enjoyed driving about Washington. "Chief Shadower" Ruddy saw a lot of "Operator L-36", too. One day, after the mistrial had been declared, "Chief Shadower" Ruddy gave "Operator L-36" some bogus reports to sign. One of these reports contained the story about Juror Glasscock being "tampered" at Potomac Flying Field. "Operator L-36" learned that this report had been fabricated at the Burns agency in Manhattan. This and three other reports were the basis of the bogus affidavits which, after conferring with the Government, Mr. McMullin swore to as "Operator L-36" and which Mr. Burns filed with Justice Siddons.
     Mr. McMullin told how Mr. Burns had assured him he would be "taken care of", had urged him not to weaken on the false affidavits before the grand jury. "Don't let that little runt bully you," said Mr. Burns, re-fering to Mr. McMullins' small but shrewd young friend, Assistant District Attorney Burkinshaw. Mr. McMullin did not weaken. He reaffirmed the false affidavits and when he came out Mr. Burns pattted him on the back. "attaboy, attaboy!" whispered Mr. Burns.
     Further Developments Pended. District Attorney Peyton Gordon took command of the investigation, but did not usurp credit for the work done by Assistant Attorney Burkinshaw and his colleague, Assitant District Attorney Walter M. Shea. Mr. McMullin predicted details "twice as sensational as those which you have read."
     Comment. What would happen to William J. Burns and his son and aides as a result of the McMullin sory depended less on any rebuttal they might offer, than on the ultimate authority discovered behind their bogus affidavits and on the grand jury's decison as to the gravity of the offense. Mr. McMullin said, " If that bunch had gotten away with the thing they had planned they should have been stood up in front of a firing squad." The New York Times, with unwonted editorial emphasis in its news columns, gave its definition of the offense as "...efforts of private detectives to 'frame' the United States of America." .18
     The following story appeared in the North Adams Transcript on 17 January 1936:
     Paul G. Clancy, editor of American Astrology, a magazine, announced today that he and his associates had hired Neil Burkinshaw and Nugent Dodds, Washington lawyers, to defend Bruno Richard Hauptmann.
     "We hired them," Clancy said, to establish justice."
     The editor disclosed that he had arranged to pay the lawyers $5,000 for their services. "We are going to this expense and trouble, "Clancy explained, "because we do not feel that Hauptmann got a fair trial.
     "It would be wrong to condemn the prosecution, because their job was to secure a conviction. Hauptmann just didn't get a break." Dodds and Burkinshaw argued Hauptmann's recent appeals to the Federal District COurt in trenton, N.J., and the U.S. Supreme Court.19

Census Records

DateLocationMemo
1930Washington, District of ColumbiaCornelius J. Burkinshaw, age 33, appears as Neil J. Burkenshaw, head of household, in the census of 5 April 1930 in Washington, District of Columbia, with Helen Marie Slavin.14

Residence Records

YearLocationDetails
December 1915Meriden, ConnecticutCornelius J. Burkinshaw resided in December 1915 at Meriden, Connecticut.7
August 1924704 Edmond Building, Washington, D. C.Cornelius and Helen Marie Burkinshaw resided in August 1924 at 704 Edmond Building, Washington, D. C.11
16 March 19253100 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D. C.Cornelius and Helen Marie Slavin resided on 16 March 1925 at 3100 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D. C.11
April 19301710 Surrey Lane, Washington, District of ColumbiaCornelius J. Burkinshaw and Helen Marie Slavin resided in April 1930 at 1710 Surrey Lane, Washington, District of Columbia.14

Citations

  1. [S953] United States Passport; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 31, 1925, Neil J. Burkinshaw, 3 November 1915.
  2. [S952] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, S.S. Rousillon Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1 September 1924; Microfilm serial: T715, shows his birthdate as August 20th-Meriden-Conn., Microfilm Roll: T715_3532as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  3. [S71] Questionnaire, Carol S. Maloney to Taryn L. Phelan, 30 November, 1998.
  4. [S951] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, S.S. Leviathan Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 16 March 1925; Microfilm serial: T715, shows Neil's birthdate as 20 August 1896 and his birthplace as Meriden, Conn., Microfilm Roll: T715_3620as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  5. [S933] Neil J. Burkenshaw household, 1930 United States Federal Census, Washington, District of Columbia, population schedule, Washington, D. C., ED 162, sheet 6A, dwelling 113, family 113, shows age 33 and birthplace as Connecitcut.
  6. [S934] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, Birte Hugo Stinnes Manifest of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, 1895-1954, 10 October 1953, shows age 57 and birthplace as Meriden, Conn., Microfilm Roll: M1464as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  7. [S953] United States Passport; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 31, 1925, Neil J. Burkinshaw, 3 November 1915; shows his current residence as Meriden, Conn.
  8. [S933] Neil J. Burkenshaw household, 1930 United States Federal Census, Washington, District of Columbia, population schedule, Washington, D. C., ED 162, sheet 6A, dwelling 113, family 113, shows that Neil was 27 when he married and Helen was 26.
  9. [S948] Historical Newspapers, Births, Marriages, and Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.Com, The New York Times, 20 October 1955; Neil Burkinshaw Obituary; shows he was survived by his widow, the former Helen F. Slavin.
  10. [S947] Historical Newspapers, Births, Marriages, and Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.Com, Helen Slavin Burkinshaw's Obituary; shows her to be the wife of the late Neil J. Burkinshaw.
  11. [S951] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, S.S. Leviathan Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 16 March 1925; Microfilm serial: T715, shows their residence, Microfilm Roll: T715_3620as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  12. [S952] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, S.S. Rousillon Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1 September 1924; Microfilm serial: T715, Microfilm Roll: T715_3532as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  13. [S951] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, S.S. Leviathan Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 16 March 1925; Microfilm serial: T715, Microfilm Roll: T715_3620as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  14. [S933] Neil J. Burkenshaw household, 1930 United States Federal Census, Washington, District of Columbia, population schedule, Washington, D. C., ED 162, sheet 6A, dwelling 113, family 113.
  15. [S1] Interview, Ralph Phelan.
  16. [S934] Neil and Helen Burkinshaw, Birte Hugo Stinnes Manifest of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, 1895-1954, 10 October 1953, Microfilm Roll: M1464as viewed on Ancestry.com.
  17. [S948] Historical Newspapers, Births, Marriages, and Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.Com, Neil Burkinshaw Obituary.
  18. [S946] Time, 21 November 1927.
  19. [S950] The North Adams Transcript, 17 January 1936, Front Page.