For several months we’ve been processing the correspondence of the County Attorney, mostly that of Harold Wallace who held that position in the 1930s and 1940s. We’ve found Arrest Reports mixed in with the other correspondence. Today’s blog shares the details of one of the more entertaining reports.
On July 17, 1937 at about 12:45 am, Edwin Bishop got into his Chevrolet Coach and left his job with Utah Construction in Bingham Canyon. He gave a ride to an acquaintance named George Demich. Demich was in Bingham Canyon looking for work and had gotten rides from Bishop before. They headed to downtown Salt Lake City. On the way they picked up a hitch-hiker near the Standard Garage. The hitch-hiker was 32-year-old Lawrence Walker. He agreed to be dropped off around 5th South State Street, near Bishop’s home, but when they got there he refused to get out of the car and pulled a gun on the other two men. Demich later said the gun was a black long-barreled six-shooter. Walker then demanded that they drive to Route 91 and head north; he would tell them where to stop.
Demich and Bishop did as they were told. Bishop stopped near Ogden and tried to convince Walker to get out of the car, but he refused and they continued north. At some point Walker asked the two men to give him their money. Bishop didn’t have any, but Demich gave him $1.80. Walker rambled on about being unemployed and discussed his job search. He was clearly intoxicated, he later told arresting officers that he didn’t remember anything after getting in the car and that he didn’t recognize the gun. He also tried to claim that the car was his and told police that he only got into legal trouble when he had been drinking and that when he got drunk he would “go nuts and usually stay drunk for a week at a time.”
During the drive, Walker also told his captives that he planned to kick them out of the car so he could take it, but he never got around to it. When they reached Brigham City at about 4am, Bishop and Demich realized that Walker had been quiet for a long time. They turned and looked into the back seat, where Walker was soundly asleep, the gun still sitting in his lap.
Entry contributed by Dr. Michaele Smith, Archivist, Salt Lake County Archives.