Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - Confession of a Convict June 28th, 1923

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.

Confession of a Convict June 28th, 1923

In mid-1923 Earl Hammer was released from a prison outside of Michigan and decided to head back to Flint.

In May, he arrived in Toledo, purchased guns, and robbed a garage in town where he stole a car. From there he headed to Grand Rapid to meet up with some friends. While in Grand Rapids he spent time robbing gas stations and grocery stores.

Before his departure to Flint, he abandoned the car he stole in Toledo and stole a nice sedan. Hoping not to get caught, he put the Ohio plate from the previous car on the sedan.

Once he arrived in Flint he went on a robbery spree. He hit Crescent Sporting Goods store on Detroit Street, where he attacked the owner with a baseball bat; Abaham-Foss sporting goods store on South Saginaw Street; a gas station on South Saginaw Street, where he left with fifty dollars; another gas station on Beach Street, escaping with sixty dollars; and Hubbard Hardware Co. on South Saginaw Street.

Worried about getting caught, he left Flint for the day and drove to Saginaw to rob another gas station.

That night when he arrived back in Flint a motorcycle cop, Patrolman Hudson, noticed him speeding on Saginaw Street near Fourth Avenue.

Knowing he had a lot of stolen money and guns in his car Earl quickly turned on to Fourth Avenue and kept turning on different streets trying to lose Hudson.

The chase went on for some time.

Finally Hudson caught up with Earl on Richfield Road. As Patrolman Hudson was going to cut him off, Earl pulled out his gun and shot the patrolman three times. One of the shots killed him instantly. Earl sped off while Patrolman Hudson’s motorcycle crashed and rolled.

Patrolman Hudson was soon found by a reporter from the Flint Journal who saw Earl’s car drive away from the scene.

They gave a description of sedan to the police which helped them locate it at a boarding house on Stevens Street. 

Detective Bishop slowly approached the while several officers surrounded it to make sure he didn’t escape. When he knocked on Earl’s door, he heard another officer yell that he was trying to escape out a second story window in his room.

Hearing this, Bishop broke down the door to Earl’s room. Earl quickly grabbed his gun. They struggled. Bishop was able to divert Earl’s shots. After a long struggle, Earl regained possession of his gun, but before he could shoot, Bishop got his own gun out of the holster and shot Earl three times. One of the bullets severed Earl’s spinal cord leaving him fatally wounded.

Earl was rushed to Hurley hospital where the doctors said nothing could be done for him.

Earl accepted his fate and asked the doctor to get a Clergyman, because he wanted to die like a man even though he did not live like one.

He then proceeded to confess everything to the Clergyman.   

~ 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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