Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - Family Feud December 27th, 1927

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.

Family Feud
December 27th, 1927
After the birth of their youngest child, Jennie Herman left her husband Paul because of domestic problems that had been going on throughout her pregnancy.
Jennie left Detroit, where the couple lived, and moved her and her children into her mother’s apartment in Flint. Jennie then filed for divorce. Her husband Paul was contesting its merit.

Paul had recently been let go from his factory job in Detroit, and obtained anther factory job in Pontiac.

During Christmas dinner, Jennie and the kids were celebrating at her sister’s home on Coldwater Road in Flint, when Paul showed up uninvited and demanded that Jennie and the kids move back to Detroit with him. Jennie refused and the couple argued for some time until Jennie’s brother-in-law had enough, and made him leave.

The next day, everything seemed to be going good. Paul for the first time since the separation had made no contact with Jennie. The following day, December 27, was to be the divorce hearing. Jennie went to bed hoping the drama would soon be over.

Mary Malloy, Jennie’s mother had a three bedroom apartment. Jennie slept in the small room with the baby, Mary slept in another with two of the children, and the older children shared the third bedroom. With hopes of a better new year, the family went to sleep.

Around three in the morning on December 27th, Mary was woken to the sound of broken glass coming from the front room. She rushed to the bedroom door. There she was met by her son-in-law Paul who was holding a shotgun. He fired two shots, killing her instantly.

One of the two children was hit in the head with a buckshot and the other rushed to her grandma’s aid. Paul then took the butt of the gun and hit the child in the head, knocking him unconscious. Paul then saw Jennie and fired two shots. One missed her and the other blew off her left hand.

The neighbor who lived in the apartment above was woken by the gun shot. She quickly ran to the window and saw Paul get into his car and speed off. She called the police. The police arrived and found Mary dead and Jennie and two of the children in critical condition. The three were rushed to the hospital and treated for their injuries. All three survived.

The police then went on a chase for Paul. They arrived at his address on Cope Avenue in Detroit, where they found him intoxicated and having no recollection of what had happened. In his apartment, the police found the shotgun that matched the bullet casing found in the apartment in Flint.

They arrested Paul and he was charged and convicted of the murder of Mary Malloy, three counts of attempted murder, and violation of prohibition laws. He spent the rest of his life in prison.

~ 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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