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Gerhard Arthur Puff. By: Dana McDonald. Puff’s Life. B orn in Dresden, Germany and brought to America by his parents at the age of 13. May of 1934 at age of 20, became a Naturalized American Citizen through the Naturalization of his father. Lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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gerhard arthur puff

Gerhard Arthur Puff

By: Dana McDonald

puff s life
Puff’s Life
  • Born in Dresden, Germany and brought to America by his parents at the age of 13.
  • May of 1934 at age of 20, became a Naturalized American Citizen through the Naturalization of his father.
  • Lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Started committing crime at the age of 20, he was convicted of disorderly conduct.
  • Puff started an early life of crime that led to murder and his ultimate execution in 1954, was eventually listed as the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.
life of crime
Life of Crime
  • At age 20 he was conducted of disorderly conduct.
  • At age 21 he was sentenced to 1-5 years in the Wisconsin Penitentiary for stealing domestic animals.
  • Several months later he was transferred to the State Reformatory at Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • While at the Reformatory, Gerhard assaulted one of the guards and was sentenced to an additional 1-10 years
  • He was sent back to the State Penitentiary in February of 1937 and was finally released on

May 24th, 1939 after serving almost

4 years of imprisonment. He was now

25 years old.

life of crime1
Life of Crime
  • at the age of 28, he was sentenced for assault in the process of armed robbery, going back to the State Penitentiary in Wisconsin for 1-9 years.
  • He escaped at the age of 31
  • 15 days later he was apprehended in a stolen car and returned to Prison. He was discharged on November 19th, 1947 at the age of 33.
life of crime2
Life of Crime
  • 1948 at the age of 34, he was found guilty of breaking into a Warehouse at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
  • he was also charged with the 1945 Prison Escape. Receiving terms of 1-4 years and 12-17 months.
  • Between Prison sentences he worked as a Truck Driver, Farm Hand, and Machinist Helper. He enjoyed expensive clothes, big cars, dancing, sports, and gambling. To satisfy his costly habits, he returned to a life of crime.
life of crime3
Life of Crime
  • In 1951 was arrested by the Milwaukee Police in Wisconsin for armed robbery and lodged in the Milwaukee County Jail on a $3,000.00 Bond.
  • In jail Gerhard met a fellow inmate, a gun-crazed criminal named George Arthur Heroux.
  • In 1951, an unknown party through a Chicago Bonsman in Illinois posted a cash bond to have Puff released.
  • He was to report for trial on November 15th, 1951, but did not appear.
  • 8 days later, he robbed a Johnson County National Bank in Prairie Village, Kansas, escaped with $62,000.00. He had teamed up with George Heroux.

The FBI then got involved.

  • They caught George Heroux in Miami, Florida and he told the FBI where Puff was.
  • FBI waited in the lobby of his hotel where he shot and killed Special Agent Joseph J. Brock. Shooting him in the chest twice and taking his gun.
  • Agents waiting outside called for him to surrender, there was a short gun battle, Puff was injured and collapsed to the sidewalk.
  • He was treated at a nearby hospital then taken to the Prison Ward at Bellevue Prison, New York.
his end
His End
  • On May 17th, 1953, in New York at the age of 39, was found guilty of 1st degree murder and sentenced to death. On August 12th, 1954, at the age of 40, he was given his last meal, the two largest meals the Prison ever served, at Sing-Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.

Naturalization: (Of a foreigner) be admitted to the citizenship of a country.

  • Disorderly Conduct: Unruly behavior constituting a minor offense.
  • Apprehend: Arrest (someone) for a crime.
  • First degree murder: although it varies from state to state, it is generally a killing which is deliberate and premeditated (planned, after lying in wait, by poison or as part of a scheme), in conjunction with felonies such as rape, burglary, arson, involving multiple deaths, the killing of certain types of people (such as a child, a police officer, a prison guard, a fellow prisoner), or with certain weapons, particularly a gun. The specific criteria for first degree murder are established by statute in each state and by the United States Code in federal prosecutions. It is distinguished from second degree murder in which premeditation is usually absent, and from manslaughter which lacks premeditation and suggests that at most there was intent to harm rather than to kill.
  • Manslaughter: The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.