On Wednesday, I left off with Mary Brown testifying at the inquest into the death of Julius Levy.She pointed out Michael O'Casey as the man she saw beating Mr. Levy. Now it was time for Shirley Parsons to take the stand.
Three sports coats were shown to Parsons - the coats were found in O'Casey's room - and Shirley pointed to the one she said was identical to the one worn by the attacker that night. Unfortunately, she never saw his face.
The alibi given by O'Casey for the time of the murder was investigated by the detectives. Somehow, O'Casey had gotten the dates mixed up and the alibis provided by his friends were full of discrepancies.
The police were convinced that O'Casey was the killer but they had a problem. With the evidence they had, the police knew it would be difficult to convince a jury of this fact. The prosecution could not inform the jury of the man's criminal past and although Mary Brown identified O'Casey at the inquest, she didn't write his number on the slip of paper during the line up. His questionable alibi might raise doubts but it wasn't enough to warrant a guilty verdict.
What the detectives needed was someone else to identify O'Casey in the store that night. And it would have to be one of the two men who had shown up on the scene that night.
After numerous press appeals, the two men were located. Sadly, both men said they were unable to identify the attacker even though he had left the store and walked right by them as they stood in the doorway.
The day of the trial, prosecutor, Mr. Stewart McMorran, spoke again to the witnesses. The two men were insistent that they could not identify the suspect. McMorran knew the case was weak and there was a strong possibility the jury would not convict O'Casey.
McMorran spoke with the detectives before asked the Judge to grant a Stay of Proceedings. (This means the Crown is not prepared at this time to go to trial but, if further evidence is found, they reserve the right to proceed then.) The defence argued that the Magistrate should dismiss the case outright. The Magistrate refused the defence's argument, a decision which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
No further evidence ever appeared and O'Casey was never brought to trial. The murder of Julius Levy remains unsolved.
The really sad part of this story is that the two strong, healthy men didn't have the courage of Mary Brown and they just 'didn't want to get involved'.
Thanks to Joe Swan and his book, Policebeat, for the above information.
I hope you find the beauty around you.