Documenting and Analyzing the History of Federal Executions
Gerhard Arthur Puff
FBI agents were waiting for Gerhard Puff, a German-born bank robber who had earned a place on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, when he arrived at Manhattan’s Congress Hotel on July 25, 1952. In an effort to avoid arrest, Puff shot and killed Special Agent Joseph John Brock and fled the hotel.
The shooting continued on the street. Puff was shot, allowing officers to apprehend him.
At trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Puff was found guilty of first-degree murder on May 15, 1953, and sentenced to death. After his appeal was rejected, he was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing on August 12, 1954.
I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa.
This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed.
Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.
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