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Fred Burke Jail Ledger

Fred Burke

For many years, handwritten ledgers were used for inmate booking and releases. Several of these old ledgers were stored in a secluded and possibly forgotten part of the department. Some ledgers even dated back to the mid and late 1800's. Berrien County Sheriff's Department Historian and 911 Supervisor Chriss Lyon uncovered these ledgers with one in particular linking the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department with the infamous St. Valentines Day Massacre.

 

 

Burke fingerprints

 

 Burke Ledger

The jail booking ledger for March 29, 1931 shows inmate #6056, Fred R. Burke, being booked in. As you follow line #6056 across, you will see Burke’s age, place of birth, residence, occupation (which was left blank) and education.

 

Burke Ledger

The second page in the book lists the offense as Murder. Court Magistrate Collier sentenced Burke with conditions of commitment "to C.C.” (Circuit Court). The ledger continues with identifying the Sheriff’s Department as who received Burke in St. Joseph.

 

Burke Ledger

The third and final page shows line #6056 again. The date is April 28, 1931 and Burke has been transferred to Marquette State Prison for life.  He would later die there of a heart attack in 1940.

 

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