Prettiest Check Passer Identified by Finger Prints, March 1926
Girl Crook Has Eight Different Names!
Though Anna Conwell is only twenty-three years old she has eight different names. She has traveled considerably, having been known as Maude Riley, Maudie Mogle, Anna Smith, Virginia Dela Falcon, Marzella Rothschild, Stella Rothschild and Maxine Dexter. As further proof of her popularity, she is wanted in Toledo, Ohio, Shreveport, Miss., and Milwaukee, Wis.
Anna is young and pretty and nicely dressed. She speaks with confidence and has the manner of one who is well educated. Perhaps that is why she's been so successful in her business of passing checks.
Anna came to Buffalo at the time of a teacher's convention and registered at the Statler Hotel as a school teacher. She cashed enough checks to purchase about $500 worth of merchandise which she shipped to Philadelphia.
In one store Anna presented a check bearing the name of a well-known Philadelphia drug concern and claimed to be a member of the firm. The cashier was suspicious and refused to honor the paper. The matter was reported to the police who set out to look for the girl since they had been receiving many reports of her operations.
When she was picked up Anna refused to divulge her identity. She did not care to appear at the "show up" either, but finally consented to making a public appearance and having her finger prints taken. It was the finger prints that gave away her identity as "Maude Riley," who had escaped from the Lucas County Jail in Ohio.
After James Connors, acting chief of the Buffalo Police Department Bertillon Bureau, had identified Miss Conwell as Maude Riley of Ohio, the girl broke down and told the truth. She said she had been arrested in many cities but had never been recognized. She escaped from the Ohio institution in September and has since visited nearly every large city in the United States, passing as many as 100 bogus checks in some places.
It is believed that she is a member of some well-organized gang of check floaters, although she denies this continuously.
The girl boasted to detectives that she could pass a check on any man she desired. "It's not so easy with the women," she admitted. "I always tried to steer clear of women. If I didn't try to have that store woman cash the last check, I'd still be free," she concluded.
1. "Prettiest Check Passer Identified by Finger Prints", Finger Print and Identification Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 9, March 1926, page 7.
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