Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 27, 1930: John Hodaz

Today we learn about a lynching in Florida through the pages of the Wilmington News-Journal (Wilmington, Ohio) dated April 28, 1930:


Officials Believe 40 Year Old Man Lynched By Masked Men


TAMPA, Fla., April 28—(AP)—The body of John Hodaz, suspected of bombing a Plant City home, was found hanging from a tree 10 miles northwest of Plant City today by N. M. Davis, a woodcutter, according to Sheriff R. T. Joughin. The body bore numerous bullet wounds.

TAMPA, Fla., April 28—(AP)—John Hodaz, a 40-year-old white man, suspected of bombin[g] a Plant City residence, was taken from a deputy sheriff last night by a mob of masked men, who were believed by authorities, to have lynched him.

Deputy Sheriff Tobe Robinson said he arrested Holdaz, in a rooming house here and was taking him to Bartow, Fla., for safekeeping when accosted and overpowered by the mob south of Plant City.

Sheriff R. T. Joughin sent 12 deputies and bloodhounds to search for members of the mob and to learn what disposition had been made of Hodaz. no word had been received from the party today, but the sheriff said there was every indication that Holdaz had been lynched.

Robinson said Hodaz was handcuffed when he was taken by the mob and that its members fired four shots into the ground near his car after telling him to leave the scene quickly. He said the mob surprised him and pressed guns against his body body before he could resist.

The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated April 29, 1930:

Declares Mob Victim Handled Bomb Material

Fingerprints of John Hodaz, Alleged Dynamiter Who Was Lynched, Show That He Had Placed Unexploded Charge at Plant City Home, Tampa Police Department Says

TAMPA, Fla., April 28 (AP).—A coroner's jury today brought in an open verdict of death from gunshot wounds and strangulation at the hands of persons unknown after an inquest over the body of John Hodaz, 40, which was found near Antioch, northeast of here, today. The man, of Hungarian birth, was taken by a mob last night from Deputy Sheriff Robinson, who had arrested him here in connection with the bombing of one home last week in Plant City and an attempt to bomb another.

Almost simultaneously with the coroner's verdict, fingerprint experts of the Tampa police department announced that Hodaz had handled dynamite which failed to explode at the home of H. D. Wil[l]aford in Plant City.

Mrs. J. I. Waller, neighbor of Willaford, suffered injuries which may prove fatal when dynamite wrecked the back porch of her home and at Willaford's nearby.

Willaford accused Hodaz, saying both he and his neighbors had had trouble with Hodaz over the latter's trespassing on their lands.

Sheriff Joughin said Hodaz had confessed placing the dynamite at the Willaford place, but denied placing the charge which injured Mrs. Waller. He said discovery of the body had not ended the case and indicated he was looking for a possible confederate as well as members of the mob.

The Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) dated April 30, 1930:

White Man Lynched.

Tampa, Fla., April 30—Investigation of the lynching of John Hodaz, 40 year old Hungarian bachelor and bomb suspect, reached an admitted impasse here today, with no arrests made and none in immediate prospect. It was the first white lynching in 20 years.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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