Clarence Murphy was born to Irish parents in Salem in 1856. He began working as a clerk at the Salem Savings Bank in 1880.
He met and married his wife, a Boston girl from South Boston in 1893.
On Dec. 2, 1893, his bank bosses confronted Murphy about some peculiar entries that had been found in the bank's ledgers.
He made a "get away", taking $500 with him. He escaped using his horse and buggy to Lowell, Mass.
After over two years on the run, Murphy was apprehended in San Francisco.
He returned to Boston to be tried of his crimes. He admitted that he had been stealing from the bank for 18 months, crediting his downfall
to an addiction to poker playing. He was ultimately charged with embezzling $47,000 from Salem Savings Bank. "He was found guilty and sentenced to 10-15 years.
He was paroled in 1905 and his sentence reduced to 10 years for good behavior. He moved to the home of his brother in Beverly, where he lived the remainder of his life,"
according to Jen Ratliff in her blog "History by the Sea".
- History by the Sea J. Ratliff for Salem State University