Reported in the News Letter on October 24, 1928: Bandit brothers leave a trail of death and destruction

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Two desperadoes, brothers named Heidger, wanted for murder and theft, defied the entire police resources of Cologne on Monday night [October 22], when one shot his way to freedom through large police cordons, strings of police motor cars armed with machine guns and searchlights, and ambushes of armed police, who freely exchanged revolver and rifle shots with the bandits.

The men had resisted arrest on Saturday [October 20], shooting a detective dead, and wounding several police and civilians.

A hue and cry by police and a crowd of people on Monday night resulted in the criminals wounding some 10 more civilians. They jumped on to a tram, forcing off the conductor and driver, and, with the lights out, sped at high speed through the streets, one man driving and the other putting up a fusillade from the rear into the chasing motor cars.

A pitched battle with the police, who surrounded a field into which the men had bolted, followed. The younger Heidger was shot down after he had wounded several policemen, but the brother eluded the cordon of 400 police. He is still at large. The younger Heidger has died of wounds. Five police and civilians are dead, and four are dying.

The whole city is in a fever of excitement and until Heidger’s arrest many people will be afraid to venture into the streets.