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"Dapper Dick" Gallogly

Convicted Murderer and Oglethorpe University Student Richard "Dapper Dick" Gallogly in 1928 - Georgia State University Library
Convicted Murderer and Oglethorpe University Student Richard "Dapper Dick" Gallogly in 1928 - Georgia State University Library

Meet Richard Gray Gallogly, the rich and arrogant scion of one of Atlanta's most prosperous early families. His grandfather was successful Atlanta businessman and owner of the Journal Constitution, James Richard Gray Sr. His father was mortgage broker Col. James Gallogly, a West Point graduate decorated by the French for bravery in World War I. Unlike his father and grandfather, who both produced local headlines for business matters and acts of bravery, Richard Gallogly produced sensational newspaper headlines across the country in October of 1928 for two "thrill killings" and seven armed robberies in the Atlanta area.

Gallogly's story of moneyed indulgence and violent escapades not only relates to Atlanta history but illustrates the fascinating Jazz Age we currently see depicted in television shows and movies such as Boardwalk Empire and The Great Gatsby. Dubbed "Dapper Dick" by the press, Richard Gallogly was a spoiled youth, an Oglethorpe University student, an escaped convict, a criminal celebrity and a convicted murderer.

The Gallogly and Harsh case [more about George Harsh below] was compared to "Leopold and Loeb" the pair of rich and coddled University of Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 because they were bored [Read about Leopold and Loeb here]. Gallogly's story starts in Atlanta in 1928, when he was an 18-year-old at Oglethorpe University and was introduced to a gang of young men known for having fun at the expense of others. Led by a 21-year-old from Milwaukee named George Rutherford Harsh Jr., the notorious group aggressively sped around Atlanta to speakeasies and roadhouses, pulled fire alarms on the Oglethorpe campus, jumped in the Chattahoochee drunk and generally made a ruckus wherever their cars took them.


Like Gallogly, George Harsh also had unlimited money, inheriting what would be millions in today's dollars from his father... [Read the entire www.HistoryAtlanta.com story on "Dapper Dick" Gallogly here.]

When police caught up to Harsh he was on his way to a football game. When police questioned Harsh about his pants, they were surprised when he quickly confessed to seven armed robberies and murdering Smith, which all occurred "for the fun of it". In his confession he implicated only Gallogly. [It's important to remember the "pact" these boys made in the beginning.] While Gallogly later arrived for questioning with a group of well-paid lawyers, Harsh's lawyers were delayed long enough for a full confession from him, sealing his fate in trial. Harsh was quickly convicted for the murder of Smith and sentenced to life in prison.

Faced with an accomplice's confession and the incredible amount of physical evidence against him [the blood-stained pants and murder weapon], Gallogly arrogantly fought the charges, hiring the best attorneys in the state of Georgia. Two juries were deadlocked, but during the third trial Gallogly was convinced to plead guilty, and in 1930 he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Smith.

Harsh and Gallogly never implicated the others in the gang, publicly or in the courts, staying loyal to the "pact" they made with their fellow students. In March of 1929 Jack Mahoney, a fellow Oglethorpe student and tailor's son was arrested and brought in for questioning in connection to the robberies. But Mahoney was never charged. Other than Mahoney the rest of the Oglethorpe gang has been able to fade anonymously into Atlanta history.

But Harsh and Gallogly never faded into Atlanta history. In fact, they would both continue to fascinate the public and make waves through... [Read the entire www.HistoryAtlanta.com story on "Dapper Dick" Gallogly here.]

Stories similar to Richard "Dapper Dick" Gallogly and George Harsh are repeated throughout American generations; they were not the first or last out-of-control youths in Atlanta history. Financially empowered yet emotionally empty youngsters, bored with wealth and violently mixing with inner city music, dangerously fast automobiles and flowing illegal liquor. So while you're watching Boardwalk Empire or The Great Gatsby, remember some of Atlanta's youth perilously participated in this roaring, jazzy, opulent and rapacious time period in American history. [Read the entire www.HistoryAtlanta.com story on "Dapper Dick" Gallogly here.]

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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