Murder of Alvin Dingman

Amsterdam NY
Montgomery County, NY

This account of the Alvin Dingman murder case was contributed by Dingman researcher, Rosemary Nadal.

Amsterdam Evening Recorder
June 16, 1924


Michael Carbone, Well Known Barber and Musician, Takes Life of Alvin Dingman
Following Sunday Night Dispute--Accused Man Held on Charge of First Degree Murder.

Alvin S. Dingman, aged 33, was killed in the bar-room of Edward Bigler's café on the corner of Wall street and Guy Park avenue shortly after 9 o'clock Sunday night, by Michael Carbone, who inflicted a stab wound in his right groin, which cut the arteries, death following within a few minutes.

Carbone stabbed Dingman as the two stood back of the bar, either in a clinch or exchanging blows at close quarters, during a fight which followed a rather lengthy altercation of words. Carbone fled from the place after the murder, but gave himself up without struggle to the police soon after at his home, 31 Garden street, where he went at once, telling his wife what he had done, and saying that he had a notion to kill himself. The rumor that he did attempt suicide is denied.

Dingman came to Amsterdam from Watertown last September and his family came eight weeks ago. Their home is at the corner of Glen avenue and Fairview Place. He was employed by the Chuctanunda Gas Light Co., working at the gas house. Carbone is very well known in Amsterdam as the proprietor of the barber shop at 3 Division street, near the corner of Market, and was the founder of Carbone's band.

The circumstances preceding the murder appeared this morning to be quite well established, although there was some conflict of statements as to who was the aggressor before the stabbing. One version has it that Dingman struck Carbone after the hard talk had died down, claimed, he went for a final drink, and peace had apparently been restored.

Alvin Dingman

Alvin Dingman

Young Man Slain in Sunday Night's Stabbing Affair--Studio Photograph Taken at Watertown, from Which City He Came to Amsterdam a Few Months Ago.

It is also said that just before he was stabbed he ran from Carbone, thus getting behind the bar, and shouting as he ran, asking if he had not a friend in the place to hold him off. If this be the fact, it would explain how he came to be killed back of the bar. On the other hand the arrangements of the place near the door would permit Carbone to be standing within the bar, where it was, as is the ensuing scuffle could well have taken place back of the bar.

The facts as obtained thus far, from which it appears that there will be little variation, are to the effect that Carbone entered the place at about 8 o'clock, or at least between 8 and 8:30. He went in alone, having been attending a wedding during the afternoon, and was rather drunk. Among those in the place when he arrived, were Dingman and George Stover, an employee of the Sanford mills, whom Carbone knows very well. Carbone and Stover became engaged in a dispute more in the nature of a burlesque than anything else. During this talk Carbone pulled a knife but did not make any attempt to use it. The bartender, John Armstrong, asked him what he was going to do with the knife. "Nothing," he said. "You better give it to me," Armstrong said, and Carbone did so. Shortly after this Stover and Carbone left the place intimating that they were going to fight it out. Shortly after they returned laughing and Carbone ordered another drink, and asked that his knife be returned. This was done and he placed it in the side pocket of his coat. The statements are to the effect that during the talk of Stover and Carbone, Dingman had taken exception to some of the latter's remarks, and had had something to say himself.

There is no dispute that there had been considerable loud talk before Stover and Carbone went out, and that those two and Dingman had been the three principal disputants. It was only a few minutes after the return that Carbone and Dingman were fighting. Which was the aggressor will probably remain a confused point until the testimony of the trial. The fight ended back of the bar with the two men standing chest to chest. Dingman suddenly shouted, "I'm done for," staggered out to the front bar and fell to the floor. Carbone had managed to get his knife out and had thrust the blade into Dingman's right groin as the two stood chest to chest.

Carbone then left the place. The police and coroner were called, receiving the summons about 9:15 o'clock. Chief Burns, Detective Humler, Detective Meagher and Officer Karaski responded, together with Coroner Timmerman. When they arrived Dingman lay dead on the floor of the saloon. He had bled so profusely that when the coroner examined the wound, he was compelled to lift a double handful of clotted blood from the crotch to expose the injury to sight.

The officers at once went to the home of Carbone whom they took to the city jail.

Affidavits of Witnesses.

Affidavits of witnesses taken this morning do not show much variation from the facts as gathered by the police and coroner immediately after the killing. The statements made by Stover and Armstrong, if accurate, tend to show that Carbone was the more aggressive, at least after actual hostilities had begun. Nothing was said this morning which would prove that Dingman made any hostile move, and the witnesses did say that they heard Carbone utter threats that he would "mark" Dingman.

MIchael Carbone

Michael Carbone

Reproduction of Widely Known Barber Held on Murder Charge, Enlarged from Group Picture With Wife and Children.

On the other hand the position of Dingman andCarbone behind the bar just before the stabbing would show that Dingman was chasing Carbone, since Armstrong says that Carbone was nearer to him than Dingman before the clinch, and Armstrong was in the middle of theback bar in front of the register cashing up for the day. He had just declared the place closed, and Dingman, Carbone and Stover had all gone out together, he said, this being a variation of the previous information that Stover and Carbone had gone out. Then when the three returned the trouble began so suddenly that no one is able to say exactly what was the act that led to the fight or which of the two committed it. At least that is what they say.

The Autopsy.

When Dingman fell, saying that he was done for, Stover rushed out to the Doyle confectionery store on the opposite side of the street, and telephoned to the police. When he got back Dingman was dead. The autopsy performed by Dr. Hicks, at the order of the coroner, showed that there was no chance for him to recover. The wound was about three inches deep, penetrating the groin in an upward direction, and severing the femoral artery. It is doubtful, the doctor said, that had a physician known that such a wound was to be inflicted, and had prepared for it and been upon the spot, whether Dingman's life could have been saved.

Jackknife Used.

The stabbing was done with an ordinary jackknife. This knife Carbone had out as stated, and Armstrong had put it in his pocket, giving it back, so he states, when he had told the three that the place was closed. He says, further, that Carbone did not have a drink in the place, but that he was drunk when he came in.

Carbone Taken to Jail.

Carbone will be arraigned late this afternoon in recorder's court charged with murder in the first degree. He will waive examination and will be held for the grand jury. Sheriff Jeffs and Deputy Sheriff Pawling were in Amsterdam this morning and will take Carbone to the Fonda jail, where he must await the action of the grand jury in September, a charge of first degree murder not allowing any bail.

Claims He Was Assaulted.

Carbone declared today that he had been hit by Dingman three or four times before he used his knife, and that Dingman had started the fight. The situation is further complicated by a story concerning a taxi driver who had been in the Bigler place before the killing and who had been engaged in a fight with those within and had received a cut on the hand. The police were looking for this man during the afternoon and expected to have him at headquarters to be questioned.

Sketch of Dingman.

Dingman was born at Fort Hunter December 23, 1890, a son of the late Addison Dingman. He is survived by his mother, now Mrs. Cornelius Finehout of this city, his wife who was Miss Eleanor Hamilton, of Watertown, where he married her six years ago; two children, [Note: small daughter and son's names omitted for privacy], as well as a sister, Mrs. Robert Murphy, all of Amsterdam.

The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the funeral house of Johnson & Lindsay, the Rev. W. Edgar Pierce of St. Luke's church officiating. Interment will be in Pine Grove cemetery, Tribes Hill.

Amsterdam Evening Recorder
Tuesday, June 17, 1924


Division Street Barber Held on Murder Charge for Fall Grand Jury's Action

Michael Carbone, who killed Alvin Dingman Sunday night in the Bigler café at the corner of Guy Park avenue and Wall street, was arraigned in police court late Monday afternoon, charged with murder in the first degree. Through his attorney, W. Arthur Kline, he entered a plea of not guilty, and was held for the grand jury, being taken to Fonda in the custody of Sheriff Jeffs and Deputy Sheriff Pawling. Shortly before the arraignment, one of Carbone's five children, a small boy who had been with him at headquarters a large part of the day, while the arraignment was pending, said to him, "Daddy, you're coming home tonight, ain't you?"

The investigations thus far conducted appear to have brought out all the facts which are obtainable. The contradictory statements and apparent confusion of those who will be the principal witnesses, are something which the trial must clear up. It has been determined that there was no third individual involved in any trouble previous to the killing of Dingman. A story was afloat to the affect that a taxi driver had been cut on the hand in some trouble occurring before the murder. This was investigated and the fact was found to be this: A young man employed in a garage returned there after the murder with a cut on his hand, and when asked how he received it he said he had got it up at Bigler's. He was at the time in condition to think this an apt and humorous remark, although the officers who spend considerable time in finding out the real fact do not think so. The remark, coming as it did during the excitement following the killing, led to all sorts of misunderstandings and rumors.

The present aspect of the case indicates that the indictment and final determination of the jury will depend upon what is shown as to who was the aggressor in the dispute which preceded the fight, and to what extent Carbone had been pressed in actual encounter, before he used his knife.

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