Jack Diamond’s Sweetheart and ukuleles

A story from a New Zealand newspaper, The Otautau Standard, 1 September 1931 … but it’s about happenings in the USA.

Girl and a Gang Leader

Marion Roberts, the former show girl sweetheart of Jack Diamond, New York’s notorious gangster, has herself become the leader of a gang of gunmen who are operating throughout the New England States, according to police.

She has been identified as the leader of a gang which held up two assistants at a chemist’s shop at Middleton, Connecticut, recently, and escaped with all the money in the cash register as well as a banjo and a ukulele.

Marian Roberts, gangster and ukulele player

The former Ziegfeld Follies girl is known to have been very fond of the banjo and ukulele, which she played professionally. The two assistants state that a motor-car drove up to the shop and the girl and two companions got out and entered the shop. All three immediately produced revolvers and ordered the assistants to keep quiet. One of the robbers then forced the assistants into a back room while the girl and the other bandit looted the shop.

In 1931, the ukulele might have been of more value than the takings from the cash register… depression and all that, and … they sold ukuleles in chemist shops — for the medicinal benefits they provide.

PS. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 2 May, 1931 (page 2), reported that Marian might have been involved in the kidnapping and torture of two truckmen — a real sweetheart.

PPS. The New York Magazine of 14 November 1988 (pp. 47-48) tells of 4 attempts to kill Jack “Legs” Diamond’s made by his business rivals (only the last was successful — go figure). Apparently Marion’s nick name was “Kiki” — sweet.

PPPS. Just reading ‘Harpo Speaks’ and it seems that the first girl in a blonde wig that Harpo Marx ever chased across a stage was Jack Diamond’s girl friend — might have been Ms Roberts.

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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