CLEWS TO SPARE, BUT NO CODFISH
Missingone fish-shaped piece of pine wood, four feet 11 1/2 inches in length, covered with silver coating. Intrinsic value: none. Historical value: priceless. Known the world over as the immortal and sacred cod of Massachusetts.
Scouring the highways and byways of Greater Boston, with their paths definitely converging at Cambridge, State detectives last night continued their frenzied search for the hallowed sacred cod, stolen from the very hall of the Massachusetts House of Representatives sometime between 5:15 and 8 pm Wednesday nightthe first time for 30 years and more that mortal hands had ever touched the emblematic effigy of the first industry practiced in this country by the white man.
What has happened to the sacred Cod?….For one thing, Lieut. Detective Joseph L. Ferrari of the State Police had in his possession information that telephone inquiries had been made of Cambridge box factories regarding the sale of a paper box at least five feet in length. He soon traced this angle down until he had a good lead to followand the path led, he said, not far astray form collegiate circles.
Ferrari, on the obvious theory that fraternity activity might have sponsored the theft, directed part of his evening's work in talking with Harvard students, after he had obtained from both the Lampoon and the Crimson editors a flat and emphatic denial that they were connected in any way with such "a dastardly deed as stealing the cod"….
….At least two sections of the General Laws of this State provide penalties for stealing the codfish. Meeting for the first time since 1895 without the presence of the emblematic effigy, the House of Representatives yesterday stared at the vacant space over the clock and then poured into the law books, seeking all possible court action against the culprits….
Not in months has the hall of the Massachusetts House attracted so much attention as it did yesterday. Crowds poured along the fourth-floor corridor throughout the day, seeking to view the spot where once hung the cod in all his silver glory….
At least two youths were implicated in the theft of the cod effigy. There seems to be no doubt in the minds of the police that "the assault against Massachusetts' most hallowed replica" was carried out by the 6-foot youth who was seen lounging about the fourth floor corridors late Wednesday afternoon with a long box under his arm. Lillies were protruding from one end of this box, as if to give an excuse for the presence of the extremely over-sized parcel…
State detective Frank Hale was working on this and other angles last night, and it was his belief that college students, eager for a prank comparable with the Bank of England excavation hoax or the 5th-av traffic tieup stunt, were responsible for the theft.
"Or, maybe, it was a couple of students who had nothing else to do," he said….Boston Globe, April 28, 1933