First PA Game Protector killed-When! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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First PA Game Protector killed-When!


Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 3/2/1906

Weapon: Shotgun

Suspect: Executed in 1909

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Game Officer Seeley Houk was shot and killed by the leader of an organized crime ring in Hillsville. He was fatally shot while while issuing game violation citations to a group of immigrants.

After shooting Officer Houk the man weighted down his body and submerged it in the Mahoning River in Lawrence County.

The suspect was sentenced to death and hanged in October 1909.



Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/6722-gam...#ixzz3Qm2YcY9f

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

Folks,i saw this while surfing the net and thought "Man,thats 109 years ago!"
My next thoughts were how did he get there? It must have been a horse?
Then it says a organized crime ring? But there was only one man hung.
What were the laws were they being cited for? Were they killing Elk,deer or maybe bears?
I can't seem to find anymore out about it!
This has to be the most awful to get into history,bless Mr. Houk.

WILLY P
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 10:57 AM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...o_1909_CI.html
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 01:17 PM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

My hats off to the WCO,s.I hope the money becomes available to hire more.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 01:59 PM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

Quote:
Originally Posted by threeinchmag
My hats off to the WCO,s.I hope the money becomes available to hire more.
Totally Agree...these men and women risk their lives every day, just like all LEO's

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 03:17 PM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

Many years ago I believe there was an artical in the Pa Game News. I googled it but find no mention of that artical - I did find this though http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/warren-game.html A long read

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 04:00 PM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

1906 - In this year 14 game protectors were shot at -- 7 were hit; 3 were killed; 3 seriously wounded; 1 slightly injured; 1 citizen killed while helping Game Commission.

<span style="font-weight: bold"> More Info</span>

Rank: Game Officer
Panel: 63-W: 21
Department: Pennsylvania Game Commission
End of Watch: March 2, 1906
Cause: Gunfire
Age: 50
Years of Service: 4

Description: Officer Houk was ambushed and gunned down in the woods as he attempted to serve arrest warrants to members of the Black Hand Organization. Officer Houk was killed because he had shot a hunting dog belonging to the headman of the organization and he was not allowed back on the property. When he attempted to serve the warrants he was shot, and his body dumped into a local river

<span style="font-weight: bold">MORE; </span>

Rocco Racco (died 1909) was a Calabrian born mafioso, who immigrated to the United States and settled in the Pennsylvania area in the 1890s. Racco was known as an early American Black Hand leader, extorting fellow Italian immigrants through the use of anonymous letters, which were covered in cryptic images such as black hand prints, skulls and daggers, and threatened the recipient, and in most cases his family with death if the extortion payment requested was denied. Racco and an associate were responsible for the 1906 murder of a Pennsylvania Game Warden.

On April 24, 1906, the body of Pennsylvania State Game Warden Seely Houk was found in the Mahoning River in the western part of the state. Examination showed that Houk, missing since March 6, had been killed by a shotgun blast to the head. Authorities suspected that local mafiosi poaching in the area killed the warden. An investigation by Detective Dimaio of the Pinkerton Detective Agency suggested that the murderer was most likely already in prison.

Investigators made little progress on the case until an inmate named Candido wrote to Dimaio claiming that the killers were local Calabrian Honored Society boss, Rocco Racco and his brother-in-law, Jim Murdocca. According to Candido, Houk had caught the two men hunting out of season. As a warning to them, Houk shot and killed Racco's favorite hunting dog. In retaliation, the two men killed Houk. By the time Dimaio had reached the prison to interview Candido, another mafiosi named Surace had threatened Candido. Surace refused to cooperate until Dimaio allegedly whispered a password of the Calabrian "Societa Honorata" or Calabrese mafia. Surace immediately confessed that Racco had murdered Houk, which was corroborated by a second witness.

After acquiring the murder weapon from Racco's wife, Dimaio traveled to see the imprisoned suspect. Racco identified the murder weapon as his own and was indicted for murder. Moved to New Castle, Pennsylvania, the trial gained national attention due to constant death threats against witnesses. Thanks to Surace's testimony, Racco was convicted of murder and hanged at the New Castle prison in late 1909.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 07:44 PM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

As a warning for poaching Officer Houk shot their dog? Wow.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 12:25 AM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

Quote:
As a warning for poaching Officer Houk shot their dog? Wow
ya. that caught my attention also. if true, not a good way to handle a warning for poaching. not sure many folks today would take kindly to their dog being shot as a warning for anything. maybe mr. Houk overstepped his bounds ? who knows ? quite some time ago.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 12:42 AM
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Re: First PA Game Protector killed-When!

Quote:
Originally Posted by willyp
Folks,i saw this while surfing the net and thought "Man,thats 109 years ago!"
My next thoughts were how did he get there? It must have been a horse?
Then it says a organized crime ring? But there was only one man hung.
What were the laws were they being cited for? Were they killing Elk,deer or maybe bears?
I can't seem to find anymore out about it!
This has to be the most awful to get into history,bless Mr. Houk.
By 1909 the great woods of Pennsylvania was barren of game and the PGC was reintroducing deer into Pennsylvania.

Things like rabbits and squirrels, if you could find them, you could shoot them and nobody would say anything about it.
In a lot of places, the timber was clear cut and there was no woods for the deer to hide in and great fires ravaged the landscape and erased thousands of acres of woods per a year after the logging removed all of the trees.
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