78 Years Ago Today… The Gun Girl in Black…

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Daily News, February 16, 1937 (NEWS foto)

TOY PISTOL FAILS, COPS GET GUNGIRL
They got the girl in black yesterday, the soft-voiced brunette with the scarred lip who has been holding up restaurants with monotonous ease.
Her shiny toy pistol failed to scare three husky men – although it panicked a courtroom a few hours later when a policeman discharged it during her arraignment.
She said her name was Norma Parker. Police said it was an alias. She had been arrested four times on vice charges and had served two terms in the workhouse. She was at liberty in $1,000 bail on a charge of stabbing a girl friend at 134 W. 65th St. [Lincoln Center], last November, in an argument over a man.
Wore Familar Costume
It was 2 A.M. when she first appeared in a cafe at 75th St. and Columbus Ave. She was wearing the black seal coat and the small black toque…
She ordered two cups of coffee…
‘Give me another cup of coffee’ she ordered.
When it was half empty, she asked for change for a quarter. Hasapas opened the cash register and looked up into the muzzle of a nickel-plated pistol.
Three Men Grab Her
‘All right. Let’s have the rest of it,’ she said coolly. The counterman handed over $14 in bills and a couple of nickels. Just then the door opened. The gungirl turned around and Hasapas grabbed her arm.
Nicholas Billows… the customer, and George Meleos, the dishwasher, rushed to the counterman’s aid. Ignoring scratches, bites and kicks, they backed her into a phone booth and wrested the gun from her.
‘Please let me go! You’re hurting my wrist!’ she pleaded…
Denies Everything.
‘That’s the girl,’ said Albert Swank, the night manager.
In the police line-up, she faced the lights and microphone without the flicker of an eyelash. She denied everything, the holdup, the other jobs, even the stabbing…

Through it all the girl calmly chewed hew gum and drummed nonchalantly on the table top.”

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This is a Weegee photo, perhaps the other two are too…

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Screenshot from a museum website… Weegee’s photos of Norma Parker…

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