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Man Who Confesses Assaulting Girl


Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 9/5/2019 at 16:23:02

Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
July 20, 1931, Page 4

Man Who Confesses Assaulting Girl, 9, Sentenced For Life

WATERLOO, July 20 (AP) -- James Freeman Hellyer, 27, today pleaded guilty to criminal assault of a 9 year old girl Friday night. He was sentenced to serve a life term in Anamosa reformatory by Judge A. B. Lovejoy.

Hellyer was to be taken to Anamosa later today.

The girl was in a hospital here today, her condition still serious.

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publication and publication date clipped

Assault Victim Claimed By Death

WATERLOO, (AP) --Juanita Green, 9, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Green, died Wednesday in a hospital here from a heart attack caused by diphtheria. She was the victim of a criminal attack Friday night by James Freeman Hellyer, 27, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Anamosa reformatory for the act. No murder charge will be filed against Hellyer, Burr C. Towne, assistant county attorney, said, because no greater penalty is probable. Mrs. Green was prostrated by the death of the girl. Her condition was said by attendants to be very low.

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The Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
Sunday, May 14, 1950, Page 1

Prisoner Makes Tape Recordings Of Secret Parole Board Sessions

DES MOINES, May 13 (AP) -- The case of a prisoner who used an "electric grapevine" to listen in on secret parole board sessions and ssmuggled wire recordings outside the walls set Iowa officialdom buzzing today.

Gov. William S. Beardsley, who said he was intrigues but not amused by the prisoner's feat, ordered an immediate investigation.

The governor said he was particularly interested in the question of how 47-year old Pete Hellyer, a life-termer, was able to smuggle out the spools of wire recordings.

The story was disclosed last night in a copyrighted broadcast by Jim Bormann, news director of radio station WMT at Cedar Rapids

Bormann interspersed his broadcast with excerpts of recorded interviews between parole board member and prisoners seeking clemency. He said he got the recordings from an intermediary for Hellyer in a Chicago airport rendezvous.

Entered Jail 19 Years Ago

Hellyer entered the Iowa reformatory at Anamosa 19 years ago to serve life for a sex crime. Later, he was placed in charge of the prison radio which pipes standard broadcasts through the insititution. In this shop he built a wire recorder and a powerful radio transmitter.

Months ago with the connivance of other prisoners, Hellyer's microphone was planted in the warden's conference office. His electric eavesdripping on parole board intervies was recorded on wire smuggled in to him.

When he was not busy recording, Hellyer was working on his radio transmitter and making hand-tooled leather bags which he was permitted to mnail to friends and purchasers. In some of these bags, Bormann said, the prisoner in geniously concealed the wire recordings.

Reformatory officials, meanwhile, apparently considered Hellyer a model prisoner.
Put In Solitatry

On the very day Hellyer planned to go on the air with his transmitter, he was caught, Bormann said. He said he had unofficial word that Hellyer was put into solitary confinement but that his reports indicate his full privileges were restored when he cooly told authorities about the recordings.

Bormann said he did not know why Hellyer was willing to take such a desperate gamble. He said he was told Hellyer had let other prisoners know "he was determined to tell the outside world" about reformatory conditions "regardless of the consequences."
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The Mount Pleasant News
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Thursday, August 17, 1950, Page 6

Take Steps To Prevent Prison Information Leaks

DES MOINES, (INS) -- Steps taken by the state board of control to prevent inmates at the men's reformatory in Anamosa smuggling information out of the institution have been announced today by Henry W. Burma, board chairman.

In an informal report on an investigation into the alleged smuggling of several spools of tape recordings out of the reformatory last spring by Pete Hellyer, 47-yerar-old inmate from Waterloo, Burma said public tours of the institution have been discontinued temporarily, two employees have been discharged and others resigned.

Prisoners have been denied the privilege of receiving gifts of candy or cigarettes, and a matron will be hired to search all women employees, he said.

Burma said the investigation showed no negligene on the part of Warden Foss Davis in connection with the smuggling of unauthorized wire recordings of sessions of the state board of parole.

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The Greene Recorder
Greene, Iowa

Gov. Hughes has commuted to 90-year terms the life sentences of two prisoners at the Fort Madison state penitentiary. The men thus become eligible for parole at a later date. The men are William Bell, Jr., 63, Des Moines, and James Hellyer, 59, Waterloo. Both have been serving sentences on rape charges.

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NOTE: James Freeman "Pete" Hellyer died August 30, 1976 and was interred at Leon Cemetery, Leon, Iowa.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2016


Cerro Gordo Documents maintained by Constance Diamond.
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