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John Barry

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As a patrolman and detective in the NYPD, JOHN BARRY made, or assisted in, 132 arrests in all Boroughs of New York City, except Staten Island. He was injured in the line of duty twice and received several commendations.


Born 1926 in NYC, John attended Parochial elementary and high schools in the Bronx. He worked many jobs for pocket money as soon as he could obtain working papers. As a radarman in the U.S. Navy in 1944, he was stationed on several vessels anchored on the West Coast. John sums up his service career as boring and completely undistinguished.


A graduate of Hunter College in 1950, John worked as a social investigator for the NYC Department of Welfare, joining the NYPD in 1951. John finished 65th on the Civil Service list of 25,000. He served as a patrolman on foot and patrol car in the 34th Precinct in Upper Manhattan. His good arrest record moved him to Detective Division where he was assigned to the Narcotics Squad, which eventually became the Narcotics Division. John resigned in 1959 after a rather violent disagreement with a superior officer. John Barry became a Long Island school teacher, retiring in 1987. John Barry is the author of Baskets of Eyes. 


According to the book description of Baskets of Eyes, “They were standing there in the drizzle. Some uniforms, policemen and women, and the detectives, precinct and homicide; Bronx Homicide because the woman’s body lay in the Botanical Gardens near the old Fordham Road entrance. All were watching the Medical Examiner who was kneeling in the pine straw working over the corpse. The ME murmured to a nearby assistant who scribbled in a steno pad. Finally, he stood, brushed his knees and spoke in a high firm voice to nobody in particular. “The deceased had her eyes ripped out, probably while alive. Death from a broken neck, and ruptured spinal cord caused by violent twisting. Present body temperature indicates death occurred approximately three to four hours ago.” The ME glanced at his watch. “Between five and six a.m. Ballpark.”

Baskets of Eyes: A Mystery of International Crime
John Barry  More Info

From the History of the New York Police Department

In this year also the vices of drunkenness and pauperism led the Aldermen to incite the Police to renewed efforts to suppress the same. They passed an ordinance for the severe punishment of such as were arrested, when the testimony of the officer or the views of the Magistrates warranted a commitment. The constable or other Police officers were directed to watch for and arrest habitual drunkards, person refusing to support their families, lewd women, able-bodied beggars, lodgers in the watch-houses, persons sleeping in out-houses, sheds, carts, or in the open air, and to being them before the Mayor, Recorder, or one of the Aldermen or Special Justices for examination.

 If convicted, in the generality of cases, they were sent to the alms house, where they were kept at hard labor for a period not to exceed six months. If old offenders, they were sent to the penitentiary. For a simple case of intoxication a fine of five dollars was imposed. The Police were also directed to enforce the ordinance prohibiting driving through the streets at a greater speed than five miles an hour, the carrying of a gun or a pistol for purpose of fowling on Sunday, or hawking and peddling through the streets, where licenses had not been obtained. Able-bodied beggars were obliged to pay for their board at the alms house or in lieu thereof serve a certain number of days at any hard labor designated by the Mayor. When an officer made an arrest on a charge of assault and battery he was protected if his prisoner was discharged, by the complainant being obliged to pay the costs of the proceedings or suffer imprisonment for not more than two days. Watchmen were also specially directed to arrest and bring before the Recorder all children found begging, so that they could be sent to the alms house to be educated, taken care of, and taught some useful trade in order to make them reputable citizens.

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