Cook Gang

In the first decade of the 20th Century, Dayton police had to deal with a the dangerous Cook gang of thieves and ruffians which had victimized Dayton-Springfield for years. In November 1902, a notorious killing was committed by one of the gang members, Charles "Dayton Slim" Stimmel, when he shot a clerk at a feed store on Wayne Avenue near Fourth Street. After the murder, he and his suspected accomplice, girlfriend Rose (Cook) Shafor, fled to Springfield and then further away.

In what was considered first-rate investigative work, Dayton detectives tracked the fugitives to New Orleans and then Denver where both were arrested and returned for trial. Only Stimmel was charged with the murder. He was convicted and executed in Old Sparky in 1904. After Rose Shafor dodged prosecution for the killing at the feed store, she went on to become one of the most infamous criminals in early Dayton history. She settled in North Dayton and soon developed the "Bungaloo" gang.

This gang of about 15 or more thieves and thugs was an even more active criminal enterprise than the old Cook gang. At this time in local history, a combined average of 10 to 15 burglaries and robberies were committed each year. Those numbers exploded by the criminal activities of the Bungaloo gang until Dayton Chief of Detectives Walter Hughes "got busy… [and] landed their records". He and the effective use of the Bertillon identification system "worked in rounding up these cases."


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