Police Working on Erat Case

by Laurel | January 27th, 2014

24 January 1922

Julius Erat

Julius Erat

No Light on Whereabouts of Missing Mt. Tom Man —
Carried Large Amount of Insurance

Holyoke, January 23 — The disappearance of Julius D. Erat of Mt. Tom, driver of the automobile which crashed into the second level canal wall near Sargeant Street Friday night, became more baffling than over this afternoon when reports were received by the local police that he was heavily insured. A report emanating from Northampton was to the effect that Erat carried $37,000 worth of insurance and that about $35,000 of this amount had been recently taken out. It is understood that all of the insurance carries the double indemnity clause which means that if the insured meets an accidental death that the amount of the insurance is doubled.

Three Possible Theories

The police tonight were confronted by three theories, one that Erat fell into the canal while trying to push his car from the wall, another that he committed suicide and the third that  the accident was framed and that he voluntarily disappeared for reasons best known to himself. There is nothing definite as yet, however, to work upon but developments during the next few days are expected.

Erat’s father and brother, Adolph, conferred with Capt. Peter A. Cullen of the detective bureau late this afternoon. The father is unable to speak English, but Adolph gave some information which may be of use in working up a possible solution of the case. the missing man’s sister and a younger brother were at the police station but they had nothing new to offer. They still believed that he was the victim of foul play.

Brother Drove to Westfield

Adolph while at the detective bureau this afternoon said that on Friday night, the night of the accident, he left Mount Tom for Westfield about 8:30 and arrived there about 13:30. When asked why it took him such a long time to drive to Westfield he replied that he got stalled on the way. The car he drove was a Studebaker, owned by Julius.

This statement brings forward the question whether or not Julius drove the car, in which he left Mount Tom between 7 and 8 on Friday night, down Sargeant Street late that night. Patrolman John L. Sullivan, who previously stated that his saw the car driven by Julius a few minutes before the accident, positively identified the missing man as the driver today when he picked him out of a group photograph.

Adolph also made the statement this afternoon that there was $500 due today on the Studebaker. He also said that when Julius left home he was dressed in his best clothes, having put on silk stockings and a silk shirt among other wearing apparel. The police scout the suicide theory on the grounds that a man would not groom himself so carefully if he was about to take his life. Adolph also said that he had some time ago lost heavily in the stock market.

Adolph stayed in Westfield on Friday night and his father called him up by telephone the next morning to see if Julius was there .This was the first he knew of his brother’s disappearance.

It as learned tonight that Adolph was formerly employed in Holyoke by the Rolad T. Oakes Company. As far as could be learned here, Julius had not been employed in Holyoke. He said before leaving Mt. Tom on Friday that he was going to Holyoke to figure on a job. Before leaving he borrowed $5 from Adolph.

Carried A Good Deal of Insurance

The missing man’s sister this afternoon said her brother carried a good deal of insurance saying that she knew that he had one $10,000 policy and one for $5,000. Capt. of Detectives Peter A. Cullen tonight said that he verified one insurance policy for $10,000.

Adolph told Capt. Cullen this afternoon that he would come to the police station tonight to let him know just how much insurance his brother carried but he failed to put in an appearance.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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