PRIVATE TIMOTHY KELLEHER
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE
END OF WATCH: September 14, 1907
Timothy Kelleher was born March 18, 1878, in County Cork, Ireland. He enlisted in the Constabulary on December 15, 1905.
While en route to the Reading Barracks to report for duty on September 14, 1907, he heard a woman’s screams. He saw two men beating a young woman and went to her rescue. During the struggle one of the men plunged a knife into Kelleher’s side. The assailants carried his body and tossed him over a railroad embankment into a dump. His body was discovered the following morning by J. Oscar Seidel, of Reading, a Pennsylvania Railroad employee.
The examining physician stated Kelleher died within minutes from severe lacerations. The woman, Bertha Bernhart, was located and stated that Kelleher had saved her life because the two assailants had threatened to kill her. One, Salvatore Guto, was arrested at Warwick, New York, and the other, Stefano Pucella, was apprehended at Graycourt, New York. The trial was brief, as Bernhart faced her assailants in court and identified them as the killers. On October 29, 1908, Guto was hanged at the Berks County Prison. Pucella was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in the Eastern Penitentiary.
Kelleher was survived by his father, Mr. Timothy X. Kelleher of County Cork, Ireland, and two brothers in Pittsburgh. Kelleher’s body was released to his brothers.