[D0111AAI], Letter from Pinkerton's National Detective Agency to Thomas Alva Edison, June 3rd, 1901


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[D0111AAI], Letter from Pinkerton's National Detective Agency to Thomas Alva Edison, June 3rd, 1901





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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University


Thos A. Edison, Esq.,
Llewelyn Park,
Orange, N.J.
Dear Sir:-
Asst, Supt. G.S. Dougherty reports:
Sunday, June 2nd, 1901
"My theory of the letters alleged to be by the kidnappers has all along been that Vittoria Bianchi instead of placing the $600 in the grave in the St. Marks Cemetery, Orange, N.J., expended this money for some other purpose, which he desired to keep his wife ignorant of, and that when it became necessary to explain to her what disposition was made of the money which he was short of the amount received from the insurance company, i.e: $1110.00 that he concocted the plan of having his wife receive the letter asking for the $3000 to be placed where he had put the other $600.
Our investigation shows that Bianchi's house at Orange, N.J. was burned on December 18, 1899; that Mrs. Bianchi were in the house when the fire occurred, and that Bianchi collected from the Caledonia Fire Insurance Company $1110.00. We show by investigation that Altolina who heretofore had been in poor circumstances paid $100 (a one hundred dollar bill) for the rental of 115 Montgomery Street, Trenton at the rate of $45 per month, two months in advance; that he paid $112.50 to get his license. Altolina acknowledges that he got between four and five hundred dollars from Bianchi's experience in opening up a wine and liquor business a good many years ago, and that Bianchi has at all times been in some way or another indebted to Altolina.
When I interviewed Mrs. Bianchi at Philadelphia, at which time Altolina's name was first mentioned to me, she said that she thought all along, until her husband explained to her about the kidnappers, that he had loaned the $600 to Altolina, but she does not today know that this money was loaned to Altolina.
Bianchi never mentioned the fire to me, nor the insurance collected by him, especially when I questioned him to learn where he obtained the $600 which he alleged he placed in the grave. His wife accidentally told me about Altolina. Bianchi never mentioned the name of Altolina to me as his partner, until I picked this information out of his wife and son, and then he did not state that he set him up in business.
Early next week I propose to endeavor to get a statement from Altolina about this matter.
I have considerable suspicion that the origin of the fire in Bianchi's house was of an incendiary nature, and that the object of he fire was to obtain the insurance on the furniture. The above in face of our investigation thus far appears to be the only motive for the writing of these anonymous letters.
I have very little faith in the theory that Bianchi is spending any money on a woman outside of his family.
Yours truly,
Pinkerton's Nat'l Detective Agency
Robt A. Pinkerton
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