Robert L. Moody Ship Passenger Dies, Crew On Trial For Murder September 1, 1933, Time of Death 9:00.
Robert L. Moody, 24-year-old butcher, as a result of a basal skull fracture assertively suffered when he was “quieted” on board the City of Panama, brought an investigation by Department of Justice agents.
Moody was on a cruise to nowhere gambling ship with friends Norman Burgess and Edna Henke who is better known by her stage name Betty Lee, all were having a good time.
It seems the group were being loud and rowdy and they were asked to quiet down by John L. Costello, master-at-arms, and James Ford, first officer.
Moody’s friends say the two ship’s officers beat Moody to death after the group was told to quiet down and resisted.
Costello and Ford say that Moody died when his friends pushed him during a brawl, he fell and hit his head.
A jury heard the case of L. J. Ford and J. L. Costello, charged with the murder on the gambling ship, City of Panama. The pair were indicted by a federal grand jury and brought to trial before United States District Judge Cosgrave for the crime of murder on the high seas.
Their bail was set at $25,000 each, but neither could come up with the bail, and remained in jail during the trial.
Both men were acquitted by a jury in the death.