Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani: Hanging in the Jail June 8th,1919

Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

Hanging in the Jail
June 8th, 1919

Gera Cassie, who went by the alias Julius Nemeth was in jail awaiting trial for charges of statutory rape with his twelve year old daughter.

The turnkey at the jail claimed that Gera was despondent, spending most of his time in his cell crying and not eating. The turnkey also stated that he wasn’t sure if the tears were tears of being wrongly accused or tears of guilt.

Gera was housed on the second floor with the other circuit court prisoners, due to the nature of his crime.

On the night of June 8th, 1919 Gera disassembled the rope used to draw the windows open and closed.  

Later that night, he climbed on the top bunk and tied one end of the rope to the metal frame of the bed and the other end around his neck.

He then took the second rope and hog tied his feet and hands together, stopping him from changing his mind at the last minute.

After Gera had all the ropes secure, he rolled himself off the top bunk.
He died instantly, waking the inmate in the bunk below him.

When the guards came, the thirty-four year old Austrian man hung from his bed with his hand and feet still tied behind his back.

The prosecutor took that as an admission of guilt.    

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at 

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