Before you get to the article…
On February 23, 2018, my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, who were two Brooklyn youth gangs from the 1950s, has been completed. It took 15 years of research and writing to complete Brooklyn Rumble: Mau Maus, Sand Street Angels, and the End of an Era. This book is roughly 6″x9″ and has 370 pages and includes a look at the characters in the Mau Maus and the details of a gang killing that happened in February 1959 in front of the iconic Brooklyn Paramount Theater (now Long Island University). If you want to buy a copy, click here and this link will take you to an online ordering page.
After the two murders in the Hell’s Kitchen Park on the evening of August 30, 1959, Salvador Agron and Louis Hernandez were not apprehended by police right away. They fled to the Bronx where they hid for awhile until they were eventually captured a few days later. During this time, the newspapers had been reporting heavily on the sensational news of the two boys killed in this gang murder. With the arrest of Sal, they had someone to put their sights on even though four other defendants had already been arrested. Sal didn’t disappoint — he was combative with the press and said things that newspaper editors dream about in order to sell more newspapers. For example, Sal was quoted as saying, “I don’t care if I burn, my mother could watch me.”
As could be expected, when Sal’s trial unfolded in 1960, it was reported on heavily as sordid details about the killing surfaced. People protested outside of the cell that Sal was being held in and there were death threats against Sal and Louis. In July 1960, all the defendants were found guilty and Sal was sentenced to death. However, shortly after the convictions Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in having Sal’s death penalty rescinded. In 1962, the conviction for Hernandez was overturned and he was re-sentenced, eligible to get out of prison in four years. Below is an interesting letter typed out on the top of a newspaper article about the case that was sent from a concerned citizen to the District Attorney: