Archive for June 29th, 2009

Murdered For His Harley

June 29, 2009


Murder Victim Buried

JACKSON, July 12 — The funeral of Roy Nye Shay, 19, who was found murdered in Dayton Wednesday afternoon, was held Saturday from the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Nye. The lad was a motorcycle messenger for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and was found lying along the bank of the Miami river; the body, it is thought, having been rolled toward the river by his assailant, and caught in a wire fence near the water’s edge.

The lad is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Shay, of Dayton, and is survived by his parents, one brother, Herbert Shay, and a number of more distant relatives.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 12, 1920


Believe Murderer Of Youth Passed Through This City

Detective Howell of the Dayton police department was in the city the first of the week investigating a report that Frank Mills, charged with the murder of Roy Shay, Dayton messenger boy, who was shot and killed along the river front in Dayton on the night of July 6th, had passed through Portsmouth on July 11th, and that he had separated from his “buddy” at one of the ferry landings here.

It has been discovered that Mills, riding the motorcycle which he took from the murdered lad, passed through the city, and that he did part with his comrade here on the night of July 11th. Further trace of him has not been found.

The murdered boy, Shay, was buried in Jackson, where his people at one time made their home and where relatives live. This murder startled Dayton and surrounding territory because of the apparent lack of motive and the brutality of the crime, Shay’s body being found along the Miami river bank, and his murderer gone with the motorcycle. The machine, a Harley Davidson, was much battered and worn out, and it was believed that Mills might have stopped here for repairs.

Chief Distel and the local police are still on the lookout for Mills, but believe that he has gone south.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 22, 1920


Held For Murder

DAYTON, Nov. 29. — Denying that he killed Roy N. Shay, Western Union messenger boy on the night of July 6, last, Frank Mills, gave himself up to Deputy Sheriff Harry Thompson this morning. Two days ago the police recovered a motorcycle, covered with blood and belonging to Shay in Greenup co, Kentucky.

Mills says he has been in that section for several weeks.

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Nov 29, 1920


Frank Mills, who is accused of killing his boy chum, Roy Shay, a messenger boy in Dayton, is on trial in that city. Mills was arrested here and the police say he had Shay’s motorcycle when apprehended.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Mar 23, 1921



DAYTON, March 29. — The weight of a bit of lead taken from the brain of Roy N. Shay, messenger boy murdered here July 6, may be the means of Frank Mills, 20, who’s defense started Monday, freeing himself from a first degree murder charge. The defense claims the weight of the lead is of a 22 calibre bullet and not of a 32 calibre, the size of the gun alleged by the state. The defense claims there was a 22 rifle at the Shay home and that on one occasion Joseph Able, a roomer, said “I did it and am going to the police and tell them all about it.”

Chronicle Telegram, The (Elyria, Ohio) Mar 29, 1921

scales of justice

Youth Found Guilty of Murder; Given Mercy

DAYTON, O., April 1. — After being out since 9 o’clock Thursday night, the jury in the case of Frank Mills 20, who has been on trial for the past two weeks in common pleas court on a charge of first degree murder for the killing last July of Roy N. Shay, 19, Western Union messenger boy, today at 6:20 a.m. returned a verdict of guilty in the first degree. Mercy was recommended.

Mills was jointly indicted for the murder with Fred Panstingle, now in the Mansfield reformatory. It was charged by the state, the two boys killed Shay in order to obtain his motorcycle to go to Lancaster, Ohio, boys’ industrial school to free Martin Wacher, a prisoner there, and a cousin of Panstingle.

Mills surrendered himself last December. His attorneys claimed that Panstingle alone killed Shay and then induced Mills to accompany him on the motorcycle, which was found in Mills’ possession when he surrendered.

Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Apr 1, 1921