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Subject: Wow, I just discovered more about Vance's little known first husband from the 1930s, and what a page-turner; killed in a shootout with co-worker, just a few years after Vance's divorce! ...

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Date Posted: Monday, August 19, 11:30:35pm
In reply to: RIP 's message, "Poor Viv, after enduring a mastectomy in 1973, always puting the brave face forward, later quipped, "Now I can pose for Picasso"." on Sunday, August 18, 08:12:38pm

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On a balcony—narrow as a shooting gallery—two Detroit business men fought with pistols Thursday, each killing the other.

The bodies of Harry Levey, owner of The Wolverine Sporting Goods Co., and Joseph Danneck, manager of the Vandervoort Sport Equipment Co., were found at 9 a. m. in Levey's store at 231 Michigan Ave., less than two blocks from the City Hall.

Levey, who also was treasurer of the Detroit Basketball Association, lay crumpled beside his desk on the balcony. His pistol lay on his desk. Danneck lay on his back near the stairs where he had fallen back after a bullet had struck him in the right chest. His pistol had fallen between his legs.

From a paper beside Levey's body, police found the motive for the double slaying, the latest development in the feud between the two men. It was Levey's refusal to give Danneck recommendation for a bond.

Levey's brother Albert, of 2745 Cortland Ave. discovered the bodies when he came to work at 9 a. m. He found all doors of the store locked—usually the rear door is left open to employees. On the first floor, he found evidence of a struggle, merchandise strewn on the floor and displays overturned. On the balcony, less than four feet wide, he found the bodies of the two who had "shot it out."

Both Levey and Danneck had been at odds since the latter left Levey's employ a year ago, it was said. Recently, Danneck, seeking another job, applied for a bond, guaranteeing his honesty, from the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co.

It was Levey's answers which brought the bad feelings between the two to a climax, police said. Levey had answered that he didn't believe Danneck should be given the bond since, "he was too much indebted, had not paid money he owed, kept money and did not make an immediate account of money handled in his capacity as a salesman."

Police, attempting to reconstruct the scene at the time of the shooting, believe that Danneck, employed by Levey for four years and knowing his habits, came to the store shortly after 8 o'clock. Whether he arrived before Levey and lay in wait or walked in on him as he was alone in the store has not been determined.

That their argument started on the first floor was apparent. Several ash trays were overturned and merchandise was scattered about, giving evidence of a struggle, police said.

Levey, police believe, fled up the balcony stairs during the height of the battle and ran to his desk for a gun. When Danneck came up the stairs the two men confronted each other with drawn guns and shot it out, police believe.

The bodies lay about 15 feet apart, but there were no powder burns on either, which precluded any theory that one might have shot the other and then committed suicide. Danneck's gun was one from which the numbers had been filed. The keys to his automobile were clutched in his left hand. Levey had fired two shots and Danneck, three, examination of their pistols showed.

Levey told his wife Wednesday night that because of important business he would have to leave home earlier than usual Thursday morning. For the first time in years, she said, he set an alarm clock. Lucy Singleton, Negro maid in the Levey home, said that before he left, Levey was in unusually good spirits. He left about an hour before his usual time, she said.

Stanley, nineteen-year-old son, who customarily drove his father to work, did not accompany him Thursday. A pre-medical student at Wayne University, Stanley had to take final examinations in summer school sessions. Two other sons, Marvin, 14, and Milton, 12, are at the Y. M. C. A. camp near Holly, Mich. Levey was to bring them home this week-end. Levey was 50 years old.

Danneck was 27 years old and unmarried. The son of an oil driller, he came to Detroit several years ago after a migratory boyhood and youth with his traveling father. An amateur athlete, he became the good friend of Hal Shields, athletic instructor at Hamtramck High School, who married Danneck's sister.

For the last two years, Danneck had lived at the Amsterdam Apartments, 2665 Boston Blvd. According to the caretaker at the apartment house, Danneck came home Wednesday evening and indicated that he intended to remain at home for the evening.

"I had been decorating his apartment," the manager said, "and he came in, put his coat on the back of a chair and we chatted. Later in the evening, a woman inquired about him and waited for him in the lobby. I don't know whether he went out with her or not. However, I believe he was in his room during the night because the in-a-door bed was down when I went into his quarters this morning. On the other hand, he may not have been in, because his coat was still hanging on the back of the chair."

Until a little more than a year ago, Danneck was employed at The Wolverine Sporting Goods Co. Just a year ago, he became the manager of The Vandervoort Sport Equipment Co. store at 6503 Grand River Ave., a branch of Vandervoort Hardware Co., Lansing.

His clerk, Walter Jaros, an amateur baseball player whom Danneck hired because of his interest in amateur sports, said Thursday that his employer had had no recent quarrel that he knew about.

"I had heard that he and Mr. Levey disliked each other," he said, "but I would not have called them enemies, because Mr. Danneck didn't have any enemies as long as I knew him. When he left here Wednesday evening he seemed to be in good humor."

Jaros pointed out that Danneck's gun, usually kept in the store for protection against possible robbery, was in its accustomed place Thursday morning.

Published in the Detroit Free Press on August 2, 1935


Christian Science rites were held at 2 p. m. Saturday in the William R. Hamilton Co. Chapel, 3975 Cass Ave., for Joseph Danneck of 2665 Boston Blvd. Burial was in Grand Lawn Cemetery. Mr. Danneck, who died Thursday, was born in Van Buren, Ind., Dec. 1, 1904, and had lived here five years. He leaves his mother, Mrs. Kathryn Danneck, and a sister, Mrs. Harold Shields.

Published in the Detroit Free Press on August 4, 1935

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