Today marks the 110th anniversary of Constantine Steiger alias Fritz Meyer, saddling up and riding the lightning at Sing Sing.
Three years previously Steiger was in the process of robbing the poor box in the Church of the Holy Redeemer on Third Street between aves. A & B when he set off and alarm. Two priest called for the police and two cops came to investigate. One of them, Patrolman Fred Smith walked in on him and Steiger, who was already wanted for the murder of a bell ringer (When's the last time you saw that on a resume?) for the Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Williamsburg Brooklyn, shot and killed the officer.
Officer Smith’s partner saw Steiger trying to escape by window and yelled to some pedestrians who captured him. Along the walk to the precinct house Steiger suffered many abrasions and contusions from neighborhood folk as well as, no doubt, from the boys in blue who just lost a pal.
When time came for the final walk Steiger received no sacraments from the church, not because they were bad sports simply because he was an atheist . He didn’t however object to being escorted to the chair by a priest. And it was to him that Steiger spoke his last simple words. “Good bye father Sander.”