|In the course of their investigations the police claimed to turn up numerous bombs and other weapons, including these two eight-inch pipe bombs now in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. Reports of these discoveries contributed to continuing public frenzy following the Haymarket riot and to unquestioning support of the aggressive police investigations.
According to the Historical Society's records, the source of these bombs was none other than Inspector John Bonfield. The records state that they were found in an anarchist's house. How these two bombs relate to People's Exhibits 134, 135, and 136, each of which each consists of four similar pipe bombs, is not clear. These exhibits include bombs supposedly found under a sidewalk on Sigel Street near Clybourn Avenue, and in a box in a trunk in the closet of Louis Lingg's room on Sedgwick Street. (For more on such exhibits, see the "Infernal Machines" entry in the "Bomb-Talking" section of Act I.)
In his testimony (see the "From the Archive" section of this Act), Captain Schaack discusses these bombs, as well as experiments he and other officers conducted with bombs in an uninhabited area in Lake View. The defense repeatedly pointed out that many of these bombs had no connection of any kind to Haymarket or to any of the defendants, with the possible exception of Lingg.
The police conducted their investigations and arrests, as a rule, without a warrant, and without regard for the rights, let alone the feelings or well being, of the many people whose homes and lives they invaded. The newspapers and the courts which heard the Haymarket case and its appeals believed that the police's methods were justified, despite the fact that innocent people were terrified and hurt in the process.
In his remarks before sentencing, Oscar Neebe bitterly criticized the unprofessional and bullying manner with which the police ransacked his house, frightened his wife (who died, apparently of heart disease and the stress of the trial, a few months later), and rejoiced wildly at their discovery of "evidence":
"On May 9, when I came home, my wife, who is delicate, told me that the patrol wagon, with twenty-five police, came to my house to search my house. I must be a very dangerous man to take so many police. They searched the whole house and they found a revolver. That is a deadly weapon and a dangerous weapon. I don't think anybody else has revolvers but Anarchists and Socialists and labor agitators. They found a red flag, too—a flag of that size [about a foot square] that my little boy played with, and my wife used at a masquerade ball. My wife told me that the police—these honorable men to protect law and order—when they got on that wagon they waved that flag and hollered and hurrahed just like a lot of wild Indians—and they were wild Indians in those days. They searched hundreds of houses, and money was stolen by searching houses, and watches were stolen, and nobody knew whether the police stole them or not."
"Captain Schaack knows it," Neebe added. "His gang was one of the worst in this city." Evidently this elicited an amused reaction from Schaack, since Neebe continued, "You need not laugh about it, Captain Schaack. You are one of them. You are an Anarchist, as you understand it."