State Killings in the Steel City: Stories from Pittsburgh’s Death Penalty


Rose Haber, a 35-year-old store clerk, was robbed and beaten after she exited a bus on a residential street in East Liberty on the night of July 12, 1941. With the help of bystanders, she made her way to a nearby drugstore where she reportedly talked about her assault and assailant with the police and others. Transported to Shadyside Hospital, she died the following afternoon. Little is known about what Haber was able to report. Surviving police and coroner records do not include a description of her assailant. The first newspaper account of the crime describes a “white man” wearing “light colored slacks, a white shirt and a sailor straw hat.” Subsequent press reports provide the same description without referring to race.

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