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Francis D. Ahern
of Arlington, Mass.

Francis D. Ahern
Francis D. “Happy” Ahern
1915—1934

If it be a man's work, I'll do it.
Francis D. Ahern was born in June 1915 to Timothy C. and Margaret A. (Tolan) Ahern. He grew up in a house at 52 Wyman Terrace, near Spy Pond in Arlington. At the age of 2½ he fell through the ice on Spy Pond but was saved by a young man who drowned in the effort. He was a boy scout in Troop 7, Sachem Council and was awarded Eagle Scout rank on 27 February 1931. He went to Arlington High School and graduated in 1933. He was President of the Student Council and a track and football star. He was a sophomore at Boston University's School of Business Administration when he died under strange and tragic circumstances in Mexico in November 1934.
Contents of this page
Saved From Drowning
Killed in Mexico
Buried in Arlington
Family of Francis D. Ahern

Saved From Drowning

LOSES LIFE SAVING DROWNING CHILD
George O. Gallerani Victim of Spy Pond Accident
Francis Ahern, Arlington, Suffering From Icy Immersion
   ARLINGTON, Jan. 18—George O. Gallerani, age 32, of 386 Massachusetts av. gave his life this afternoon to rescue Francis Ahern, the 2½-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern of Wyman terrace. On account of the Garfield edict [shutting down plants to save fuel for the war effort] Mr. Gallerani was out of work today and went to Spy Pond to skate. Mr. Ahern took his little son to the pond to see the skaters and walked to the platform in front of the Arlington Boat Club house. At this point there is a space of some 25 feet square kept open for the wild ducks that spend the Winter there.
   The baby ambled away from its father and fell into the open water. The shouts of those near attracted Gallerani, skating by. He dove into the icy water with clothes and skates on, caught the child and lifted it onto the ice. In trying to get out himself the ice broke and allowed him to slide back into the water again. He disappeared almost immediately and did not reappear. A long pole with a hook on the end was secured from men harvesting ice on the pond and with this the body of Gallerani was brought to the surface. Drs. Bruce I. Lawley and Ezekiel Pratt, summoned, worked in vain with a pulmotor. The body was taken to the undertaking rooms of Hartwell & Son.
   The baby, as the result of its experience, is in dangerous condition at the home of its parents.
   Gallerani was a powerfully built young man and had exhibited in many strong man acts. He was an expert swimmer. It is believed he was seized by cramps. He was born in Boston and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Gallerani. Besides his parents he leaves two brothers, Joseph and James Gallerani. The funeral will take place Monday.
The Boston Globe 19 January 1918
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ARLINGTON LOCAL NEWS
Drowning Accident
   A sad drowning accident occurred Friday noon, Jan. 18th, when George Gallerani, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vincenzo Gallerani of 386 Mass. Ave., Arlington gave his life rescuing from Spy Pond, Francis Ahern, the 2 ½ year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Ahern of 50 Wyman Terrace, Arlington.
   The young Ahern boy who had gone to the pond with two other children was playing on the ice near the canal cut by the ice company in front of the Boat Club, when he suddenly slipped in. Gallerani, who was skating on the pond, heard the cries for help and hurrying to the spot, jumped into the water, without stopping to remove his skates. He succeeded in pushing the Ahern boy up on the ice to safety but he himself slipped back into the water, probably overcome by the cold. Men from the ice house quickly launched a boat and with boat hooks located the body under the ice. The body was taken to the Boat Club and the police notified. Patrolmen Belyea and Nolan hastened to the pond with the pulmotor and they, with the assistance of Dr. Brace I. Lawley tried to revive Gallerani, but without success.
   That was the first time that the pulmotor has been called into use. Dr. Ezekiel Pratt attended the Ahern boy who was taken home. Gallerani who was a fancy skater, had been trying out a new pair of skates which he had just purchased. He was employed as a metal spinner by the American Soda Fountain Company, Boston, which was closed in compliance with the orders of the fuel committee.
   Funeral services were held Monday morning at St. Anthony's Italian Catholic church, Somerville, where a solemn high mass of requiem was celebrated by Rev. Nazarens Properzi, celebrant, Rev. L. Toma, deacon, and Rev. F. Berti, sub-deacon. The bearers were Harry Cooke, William Christie, Gino Paccetti, Anthony Bianchi, Anthony Montouri and William Lippi. The services were attended by a large number of friends from this town and Boston, and there was an abundance of beautiful floral tributes.
Lexington Minuteman 26 January 1918
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ARLINGTON LOCAL NEWS
On Jan. 18, George O. Gallerani of 386 Mass. avenue, lost his life while saving Francis Ahern, age 3 years, from drowning in Spy Pond, and in recognition of his deed a silver medal has been awarded by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, his family receiving the award.
Lexington Minuteman 16 November 1918
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Killed in Mexico

ARLINGTON BOY KILLED
BY MEXICAN POLICE

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SHOT FOLLOWING HOTEL ARGUMENT
   MEXICO, D.F., Nov. 20 (A P)—Francis Ahern, 19, Boston, Mass. died at 8 a.m. today with a bullet wound in the back. It was alleged to have been fired by police last night after an argument in the street. Policeman Jesus Gonzalez Lopez was held for examination. He said that he had fired a shot into the air, but denied that he had wounded Ahern.
   The proprietor of the Ensueno Hotel told the police that Ahern, who was a student at Boston University, arrived at the hotel at 11 p.m. stayed only about five minutes, and then tried to leave. The proprietor said he demanded rent for the room but that Ahern refused to pay and punched him, after which several policemen forcibly ejected the Bostonian. The argument, it was said, continued outside the hotel. Police said Ahern started to run away and that a shot was fired, Ahern falling mortally wounded. Before he died, police state Ahern said he did not know why he was being arrested and that he tried to escape.
   The youth came to Mexico as a tourist a week ago with his uncle, Daniel Ahern, also of Boston, who was prostrated at the Hotel Ritz and was unable to discuss the tragedy.
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SLAIN YOUTH ELDEST OF THREE CHILDREN
   The family of Francis Ahern, 19, Boston University student, was grief-stricken with the news, by telephone from Mexico City this morning that the boy had been shot and killed there last night. Maurice Ahern, an uncle of the Arlington boy, said today at his home, 20 Alton st., Arlington, that the call came through very early this morning from Mexico City, the speaker being his brother, Daniel Ahern, treasurer of the produce firm of Lord & Spencer, Inc., Fanueil Hall. Daniel Ahern left here about 10 days ago for Laredo, Tex., where he was called as a government witness in a court case and took his nephew with him as a companion.
   Francis Ahern, graduate of Arlington High School in 1932, was in his second year at the Boston University School of Business Administration. He received leave from the school to omit classes from Nov.13-23, explaining the circumstances of his uncle's trip to Texas and his wish to accompany him. Maurice Ahern said that he understood the business of the trip in Laredo was concluded Friday last and that Daniel Ahern and his nephew left for home, taking a side trip to Mexico City on the way. They arrived in Mexico City Saturday. Francis Ahern was the eldest of three children of the Timothy Aherns.
The Boston Globe 20 November 1934
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MEXICAN POLICEMAN KILLS U.S. CITIZEN
MEXICO CITY, Nov. 21 (UP).—Jesus Lopez, a policeman, was remanded for investigation today as the result of the shooting of Francis A. [sic] Ahern, 22 [sic], of Arlington, Mass., a suburb of Boston. Ahern was killed as he was leaving a hotel after an argument with the hotel keeper. Mexicans expressed great indignation at the shooting, and the newspaper Universal said editorially today: "Ahern was shot without cause. The boy was a victim of inconceivable cruelty and was treated as a criminal instead of a youth who was ignorant of the language."
Port Arthur News 21 November 1934

MEXICAN SLAYING LAID
TO ROW OUTSIDE HOTEL

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Body of B. U. Student Will Be Shipped Here—
American Consulate Opens Inquiry in Death

———
   MEXICO, D.F., Nov. 21 (A P)—The American Consulate tonight requested Mexican police headquarters to make a thorough investigation of the killing of Francis Ahern, 19-year-old Arlington youth and Boston University student who, died of a bullet wound in his back. The Consulate also opened a private inquiry seeking to determine the truth of various versions of the shooting given by police officers and spectators.
   The proprietor of the Ensueno Hotel told police that Ahern arrived at the hotel 11 p.m. yesterday, rented a room and then tried to leave. The proprietor said he demanded rent for the room which Ahern refused to pay. He said the youth punched him and several policemen forcibly ejected the young man. The argument apparently continued outside the hotel. Police said Ahern started to run away and that a shot was fired, Ahern falling mortally wounded.
   Ahern came to Mexico as a tourist a week ago with his uncle, Daniel Ahern of Boston, who was prostrated at another hotel and unable to answer questions.
   Policeman Jesus Gonzalez Lopez was held for examination. He admitted that he had fired a shot into the air, but denied he had wounded Ahern. Some of the witnesses to the shooting asserted there were at least eight policemen involved, while each of the four police questioned denied having seen any shots fired excepting one in the air. The afternoon newspaper Grafico said that Ahern was “hunted down by the police,” while Excelsior said he was a victim of “police savagery.”
   A business associate of Ahern's uncle said that, despite testimony of some witnesses, he is absolutely certain that young Ahern had not been drinking and that a doctor at the hospital where the boy died had borne out this belief. Police said that before Ahern died he said he did not know he was being arrested and that he tried to escape. A ballistics expert will attempt to fix responsibility for the killing.
   Friends were arranging to ship the body tomorrow to Arlington where Ahern's mother, father and two sisters are living.
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   ARLINGTON, Nov. 20—The body of Francis D. Ahern, who was slain by a policeman in Mexico City, will be brought to Boston by a train, leaving tomorrow afternoon or night, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern, parents of the boy, were informed tonight.
   They received this information from the boy's uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, who was on a trip with him when the shooting occurred. Members of the family said that the matter of protest to the State Department and any other actions arising out of the shooting would be left to the uncle, Daniel F. Ahern.
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Popular in High School
   Young Ahern, a sophomore at the Boston University School of Business Administration, was the eldest of three children. The family lives at 52 Wyman terrace.
   He was graduated from Arlington High School and while there he was very popular with the student body. He was president of the Student Council in his senior year and was a member of the State champion track team, coached by Dr. William T. McCarty. As a boy he was much interested in the Boy Scouts and held the rank of eagle scout.
   He was in the habit of travelling with his uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, treasurer of the produce firm of Lord & Spencer, Inc., Fanueil Hall.
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Granted Leave by College
   His uncle telephoned the family this morning about the shooting. Maurice Ahern, another uncle who lives at 20 Alton st., Arlington, told newspapermen that the telephone call came through very early this morning from Mexico City.
   Daniel F. Ahern and the boy left here about 10 days ago for Laredo, Tex., where the uncle was a government witness in a court case. Young Ahern received permission from the college to omit classes from Nov.13-23, explaining the circumstances of his uncle's trip to Texas and his wish to accompany him.
   Maurice Ahern said that he understood the business of the trip was concluded Friday last and that Daniel Ahern and his nephew left for home, taking a side trip to Mexico City on the way. They arrived in Mexico City Saturday.
The Boston Globe 21 November 1934
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AMERICAN SLAIN IN MEXICO
U. S. Consulate Asks Inquiry on Shooting of Francis Ahern, 19.
   MEXICO, D. F., Nov. 20 (AP).—The United States Consulate tonight requested Mexican police headquarters to make a thorough investigation of the killing of Francis Ahern, 19-year-old Boston University student who died of a bullet wound in his back.
   The proprietor of the Ensueno Hotel told the police that Ahern arrived yesterday, rented a room and then tried to leave. The proprietor said he demanded rent for the room and Ahern refused to pay.
   He declared the youth punched him and was then forcibly ejected by several policemen. The argument apparently continued outside the hotel. The police said that Ahern started to run away and that a shot was fired, Ahern falling mortally wounded.
   Policeman Jesus Gonzalez Lopez was held for examination. He admitted that he had fired a shot into the air, but denied he had wounded Ahern. The afternoon newspaper Grafico said that Ahern was “hunted down by the police,” while Excelsior said he was a victim of “police savagery.”
New York Times 21 November 1934
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PROBE KILLING OF B. U. STUDENT
————
Mexico, D. F., Police Officials Question Patrolman
In Ahern Shooting
   MEXICO, D. F., Nov. 20 (AP)—The American consulate tonight requested Mexican police headquarters to make a thorough investigation into the slaying of Francis Ahern, 19-year old Boston University student, who died of a bullet wound in his back. The consulate also opened a private inquiry seeking to determine the truth of various versions of the shooting given by police officers and spectators.
   The proprietor of the Ensueno Hotel told police Ahern arrived at the hotel at 11 p.m. yesterday, rented a room and then tried to leave. The proprietor said he demanded rent for the room which Ahern refused to pay. He said the Bostonian punched him and several policemen forcibly ejected the young man. The argument apparently continued outside the hotel. Police said Ahern started to run away and that a shot was fired; Ahern fallling mortally wounded.
   Ahern came to Mexico as a tourist a week ago with his uncle, Daniel Ahern, also of Boston, who was prostrated at another hotel unable to answer questions.
   Policeman Jesus Gonzalez Lopez was held for examination. He admitted that he had fired a shot into the air, but denied he had wounded Ahern. Some of the witnesses to the shooting asserted there were at least eight policemen involved, while each of the four police questioned denied having seen any shots fired excepting one in the air. The afternoon newspaper Grafico said that Ahern was “hunted down by the police,” while Excelsior said he was a victim of “police savagery.”
   A business associate of Ahern's uncle said that, despite testimony of some witnesses, he is absolutely certain that young Ahern had not been drinking and that a doctor at the hospital where the boy died had borne out this belief. Police said that before Ahern died he said he did not know he was being arrested and that he tried to escape.
   A ballistics expert will attempt to fix responsibility for the killing.
   Friends were arranging to ship the body tomorrow to Arlington where Ahern's mother, father and two sisters are living.
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BORN IN ARLINGTON
———
Francis Ahern Graduated from High School There in 1933
   Francis D. Ahern, 19, who was shot in Mexico, D. F., was born in Arlington in June 1915, and was graduated from Arlington High in 1933. He was on the track and football teams there. He was studying at the Boston University school of business administration, this being his second year there. He had obtained a leave of absence to take a trip to Texas with his uncle, Daniel F. Ahern of 20 Alton st., Arlington, who telephoned the dead boy's father, Timothy C. Ahern of 52 Wyman terrace, Arlington, yesterday morning, giving him a meagre account of the tragedy.
   The boy is survived by his parents and two sisters, Gertrude and Jean. Young Ahern was on the student council when at high school. He had also been interested in the Boy Scouts, and several years ago became an eagle scout, the highest honor in scoutdom. He was at that time a member of troop 7, Arlington.
Boston Herald 21 November 1934
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AHERN MURDERED,
PARENTS CLAIM

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Arlington Youth Shot Dead in Mexico City
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   ARLINGTON, Nov. 21—Frantic with grief, the parents of Francis D. Ahern, who was shot to death by a policeman in Mexico City while he was enjoying a vacation with his uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, tonight termed their son's death “outright murder” and called on the State Department to push the investigation to the limit.
   The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern, remained in their home at 52 Wyman terrace and they were consoled by neighbors and relatives who knew and loved the 19-year-old youth.
   “It was murder and nothing else,” Mrs. Ahern said through tears. Though in a daze most of the day, on the verge of prostration, she rallied at times to express her feelings.
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Calls Explanation Lie
   “This terrible story that my son quarreled about a hotel bill is a lie,” she said. “His uncle paid the hotels and, besides, my boy was not the kind who would have quarreled over a little bill. He never did anything to harm anyone in his life. There never was a sweeter son. He took his books along with him on this trip to study. He never drank or even smoked. There is something behind all this. They are keeping the real facts secret. I hope that the Government goes to the very bottom of this terrible thing. Nothing can restore our boy to us, but we at least should know the truth of how he died.”
   Neighbors confirm her assertion about the habits of young Ahern and said that he never even indulged in profanity. He had always been interested in the Boy Scouts and held the rank of eagle scout.
   According to a telegram received today by the fruit and produce firm of Lord & Spencer, Faneuil Hall Market, Boston, of which he is the treasurer, Daniel F. Ahern was to start back tonight from Mexico City with the body of his nephew. The telegram stated that he would leave Mexico City at 7:40 p.m. and would be due to arrive in Boston Saturday morning at 11 o'clock.
   Maurice Ahern, also of 20 Alton st., who has talked twice with his brother, Daniel F. Ahern, by telephone from Mexico City, heard nothing more from him today. His last telephone conversation was Tuesday night.
The Boston Globe 22 November 1934
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U. S. Student Slain
Francis Ahern
Francis Ahern
U. S. department of state officials are demanding an investigation into the slaying of Francis Ahern, above, 19-year-old college student, of Arlington, Mass., by municipal police in Mexico City. Thomas H. Bowman, American consul general who has been pressing charges, declared the killing of Ahern was "cold-blooded murder".
Corsicana Daily Sun 23 November 1934

BODY OF FRANCIS D. AHERN
EXPECTED HERE SUNDAY MORNING

——<•>——

No Time Yet Set for Funeral. Was Killed in Mexico by Police Bullet.
Conflicting Accounts of Death Discredited here.
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   The whole town was shocked last Tuesday to hear of the tragic death of Francis D. Ahern, who was that day shot and fatally wounded in Mexico. The various newspaper accounts coming out of Mexico were much confused, and those many Arlington people who knew the boy discredit them entirely. Francis was a quiet and modest lad, and it is felt that the stories concocted for the papers in this country were the products of the minds of Mexican police.
   Contrary to later Boston newspaper reports, the Ahern family intends to let the entire matter drop; they are not interested in any investigation, since they know that nothing which might be done would bring their boy back.
   The lad's father, Timothy C. Ahern of 20 Alton street, heard last night that his son's body had crossed the Mexican border and was on the way north. The train is expected to arrive in Boston Sunday morning at eleven o'clock. Aside from that the family has been unable to get any trustworthy information. They await the arrival of Daniel F. Ahern, of 20 Alton street, who was host to his nephew, Francis, while travelling in Mexico. Things are still so uncertain that no time has yet been set for the funeral.
   Francis, who was a student at Boston University had received a leave of absence to accompany his uncle on a business trip to Mexico, which was not unusual since Daniel Ahern does a great deal of travelling and has taken his nephew all over the country at various times.
   From Texas the Aherns went to Mexico City, where the elder had further business. News has been slow in coming out of Mexico because there is at present trouble brewing there. It is believed that Francis was attracted by a disturbance in the street and tried to run to cover when shots began to fly. It is very possible that he was struck by a stray bullet. last night, however, it was reported that “Cold-blooded Murder” was the charge of Consul-General T. H. Bowman after his own investigation.
   Francis D. Ahern was born in Arlington nineteen years ago last June and was graduated from Arlington High School in 1933. He was a member of the football and track teams and was on the student council. At the time of his death he was studying in the Boston University school of business administration.
   He has also been much interested in the Boy Scouts and several years ago became an eagle scout, the highest honor which the organization affords. He was a member of troop 7. Besides his father and mother, he is survived by two sister, Gertrude and Jean.
   The Advocate's sports reporter writes the following “Happy,” as he was called by his friends, is remembered by sports followers of Arlington High as a star halfback on the football team during the seasons of 1931 and 1932. in 1931, “Happy” received a severe neck injury which seemed destined to put a stop to his football career. However, he astounded everyone by reporting for football the next fall. Coach Ostergren was a little fearful of using Ahern in the games. Consequently “Happy” did not see much service that season.
   Last year he went to Boston University and became the star of the Freshman football team. In High School he also earned his varsity letter in track, becoming a good broad-jumper under the tutelage of “Doc” McCarty. Franny was one of the most popular boys in high school, and was elected President of the Student Council his senior year.
   Every athlete who came in contact with “Happy” mourns his death. He was a valiant player, clean, hard, and unflinching in his duty. “The Valiant taste of Death but once.”
Arlington Advocate 23 November 1934
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AHERN SHOOTING WILL BE PROBED IN MEXICO
MEXICO CITY, Nov., 23., (UP).—President-elect Lazaro Cardonas today started a personal inquiry into the shooting of Francis E. Ahern of Boston by a policeman. There was general anger in the capitol and it was demanded that the policeman who shot Ahern be punbished severely. Ahern was shot after an argument with the proprietor of a small hotel. The policeman who shot him, a recruit of three month's service, was arrested at once and a second officer was arrested yesterday.
The Port Arthur News 23 November 1934
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U. S. INVESTIGATES KILLING OF
LOCAL YOUTH IN MEXICO

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Town Shocked At Death of Francis Ahern—Reports From Mexico Say He Was Shot By Police Officer In Hotel Row—Story Likely Improbable—
U. S. Consul Charges Brutal Slaying—Body Expected Here Tomorrow—Youth Was Travelling With Uncle—
Was Student At Arlington High and Boston University
—————
   While United States government officials are investigating the circumstances into the death of Francis Ahern, 19-year-old Arlington youth who was shot and killed by a police officer in Mexico City, the body of the popular Arlington High and Boston University athlete is homeward bound. In this town, where the Arlington youth had countless friends, residents were shocked at the news of his sudden and tragic death this week.
   The young man, whose home is on Wyman Terrace, died of a bullet wound in his back, the shot being fired by Jesus Gonzales Lopez, of the Mexico City police force, it is alleged. The American consulate has already requested the Mexican police to supply all the details which up to this time seem vague as several versions of the killing have been reported.
Hotel Man's Version
   According to the proprietor of the Ensueno Hotel where young Ahern met his death, the Arlington youth arrived at the establishment at 11 o'clock last Monday night, rented a room and then tried to leave. The proprietor said he demanded rent for the room, which Ahern refused to pay. He said Ahern punched him and several policemen forcibly ejected the young man. The argument apparently continued outside the hotel. Police said Ahern started to run away and that a shot was fired.
   Ahern arrived in Mexico as a tourist a week ago with his uncle, Daniel Ahern, who was prostrated at another hotel and unable to answer questions. Policeman Lopez was held for examination. He admitted he had fired a shot into the air but denied that he had wounded Ahern.
Many Police Involved
   Some of the witnesses to the shooting asserted there were at least eight policemen involved, while each of the four police questioned denied having seen any shots fired excepting one in the air. Police said that before Ahern died he said he did not know he was being arrested and that he tried to escape. A ballistics expert will attempt to fix responsibility for the killing.
   Ahern was a second year student at Boston University College of Business Administration. He had obtained leave of absence from school authorities to accompany his uncle to Laredo, Tex., in a court case. Their business finished in Texas they went to Mexico City. Ahern was 19. He was graduated from Arlington High School in 1932.
Body Homeward Bound
   Up until yesterday afternoon no definite plans had been made for the funeral of young Ahern, according to his father, Timothy Ahern from whose home the funeral will be held. He had last heard from his brother, Daniel last Wednesday, when he received information that the latter was enroute to Arlington with is body which is due in Boston tomorrow at 11 o'clock.
   That the boy was brutally slain is the opinion expressed by the United States Consul Thomas H. Bowman [who] has requested the State Department to make a thorough investigation. According to the boy's parents, he was not the type who would run away from the police and the version of the killing seems improbable as the uncle, Daniel Ahern paid all the hotel bills himself. The youth is highly respected by everyone who knew him in this town.
Arlington News 23 November 1934
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BODY OF SHOOTING VICTIM REACHES LAREDO
LAREDO, Tex., Nov. 23.—The body of Francis E. [sic] Ahern of Arlington, Mass., who was shot and killed in Mexico City Monday afternoon by a Mexican policeman in a hotel lobby, passed through Laredo Friday Friday morning enroute to Arlington, Mass. Young Ahern was in Laredo last week with his uncle, D. F. Ahern, treasurer of Lord and Spencer, commission brokers of Boston, who had come here as a witness in the trial of Joseph Rosenblum in Federal court. After the court trial the uncle and nephew left on a side trip to Mexico City before returning to Boston.
San Antonio Express 24 November 1934

AHERN KILLING CALLED HOLDUP
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Uncle Arrives With Body of Arlington Youth
———
Denies Mexico City Story of Row With Hotel
———
Reports Watch He Gave Victim Is Missing
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   ARLINGTON, Nov. 25—Robbery—not a quarrel with hotel employes as first reported— was the motive for the slaying of Francis D. Ahern, Boston University sophomore shot in Mexico City last week, the boy's uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, said today when he returned with the body.
   Mr. Ahern said: “I did not see the shooting, but I am satisfied from all information available that someone tried to hold up my nephew and he resisted. A valuable wrist watch which I had given him when he was graduated from Arlington High School was missing. I don't know whether it was stolen, but there was no trace of it at the hospital. Any police story that my nephew had quarreled with hotel employes is preposterous. The hotel denied it and knew nothing of the shooting. As for quarreling over a bill, I was paying the bills and there was no reason why Francis would discuss them.”
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Police Officer Arrested
   Mr. Ahern praised the State Department at Washington for its immediate inquiry, which resulted in the arrest of Eduardo F. Moran, a Mexico City police lieutenant, as the slayer.
   He said that “the State Department should be highly recommended for prompt action,” adding: “Federal men assured me that they would make effort to see that there was adequate prosecution of the slayer of my nephew. If any lack of diligence is shown, they said that the State Department would bring pressure to bear.”
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Uncle's Own Story
   Explaining the circumstances which preceded the shooting, Mr. Ahern said that he and his nephew arrived in Mexico City a week ago Saturday night. A business friend took them for an auto tour of the city on Monday and about 8 o'clock they had dinner at a restaurant.
   “Then we went to our hotel, the Ritz,” Mr. Ahern said. “About 9 Francis said it would be a good night to study and went to his room. I wrote some postal cards and sent a telegram. I took the telegram to the Western Union office myself. Returning about 11 I went to Francis' room but received no answer to my knock. While I was inquiring at the desk, a telephone call came from the police, saying my nephew was in trouble. With two interpreters, I went to Police Headquarters but could learn nothing. On[e] of the interpreters suggested going to the City Hospital. We did so and reached there just as the ambulance bearing Francis drew up at the door. He had been shot through the left side with a 45-caliber bullet. He lived six hours.”
   Funeral services for the youth will be held Tuesday morning. There will be a solemn high mass of requiem at St. Agnes' Church at 9. The funeral will be from the home of his parents, 52 Wyman terrace, this town.
The Boston Globe 26 November 1934
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AHERN KILLED BY HOLD-UP MEN
————
B. U. Boy's Uncle Refutes Belief Student Was Slain by Police
   Francis D. Ahern, Boston University sophomore, was shot to death while resisting footpads in Mexico, D. F., his uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, said yesterday after accompanying the body home. With this statement, the uncle of the slain youth refused [sic] first reports that Ahern had been shot by police after an argument over a hotel bill.
VALUABLES TAKEN
   In substantiation of the theory that the boy was the victim of hold-up men, his uncle said young Ahern's wrist watch and other valuables were missing when dying, he was taken to a Mexico, D. F. hospital. Members of the grief-stricken family of the boy met the uncle and the boy's body yesterday on their arrival at South station.
   In relating events of the night young Ahern was slain, his uncle said: “My nephew said good-night to me, saying that he was going to his room to study and go to sleep early. Then he went upstairs to his room. I sat in the lobby writing postcards and a long telegram to my office. I am sure that Francis did not leave the hotel. The hotel lobby is small and the only exit was before my eyes. He could not have left. At 10 o'clock I stepped up to the clerk and asked him where the Western Union office was located. He told me and I stepped out to send the wire. I was gone from 20 to 30 minutes, going out at about 10:15 or 10:30, perhaps just between those times.
   When I returned to the room, Francis was not in the room. I rapped on his door and there was no answer. I got a key from the hotel clerk and went into the room and to bed. That was a few minutes before 11 o'clock. A few minutes later the telephone rang and the clerk told me that my nephew was down to the police station and in some trouble. I dressed and got a taxi and a couple of interpreters and started for the police station. At the police station they didn't know what it was all about. Someone said something about a hospital. We went there, and no one there seemed to know anything. In 15 or 20 minutes they brought Francis in. He was in a bad condition, with a bullet through his side. Although he was conscious for a time, it was impossible to get anything out of him. Doctors said they would have to operate and I told them to go ahead. He was given a blood transfusion, but died at 5:30 o'clock in the morning.
   I believe that someone tried to hold him up. He was an athletic boy and, no doubt, defended himself, and probably when the police came he struck some of them. He was unarmed, an American, unable to talk their language. He even had no hat on. I gave him a wrist watch some time ago. The clasp was not in good condition and he often held the watch in his hand. Someone may have been attracted by it. I think he walked out to look for me and was tackled on the street. I don't believe he was in another hotel, unless he was lured there on some pretext— perhaps that I was there.
   The United Sates consul in Mexico City is pushing the case, and I had a message of sympathy from the American Ambassador, Josephus Daniels. Three men are working on the case for the consulate and are keeping in touch with me.”
Boston Herald 26 November 1934
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ARLINGTON YOUTH SLAIN IN MEXICO
   Arlington, Mass., Nov. 26—(A.P.)—Francis D. Ahern, 19, lay dead in the familiar surroundings of his Arlington home today. Sorrowing parents were arranging for funeral services tomorrow morning. The Boston University sophomore was slain several days ago in Mexico City where he was visiting with his uncle, Daniel F. Ahern. A Mexico City policeman has been arrested in connection with the shooting.
   The boy's uncle, who arrived here yesterday with the body, praised the United States State Department for the immediate investigation following the shooting. "Federal men assured me," he said, :that they would make every effort to see that there was adequate prosecution of the slayer of my nephew. If any lack of diligence is shown, they said the State Department would bring pressure to bear."
   Describing the events which led to the slaying Ahern said, "I did not see the shooting but I am satisfied from all information available that someone tried to hold up my nephew and he resisted. "A valuable wrist watch which I had given him when he graduated from Arlington high school was missing. I don't know whether it was stolen, but there was no trace of it at the hospital."
   On the night of the shooting the youth said he was going to his room to study. After writing some cards and a telegram, Ahern said he went to Francis' room at about 11 "but received no answer to my knock. While I was enquiring at the desk, a telephone call came from the police saying my nephew was in trouble. With two interpreters I went to the police headquarters but could learn nothing. One of the interpreters suggested going to the City hospital. We did so and reached there just as the ambulance bearing Francis drew up at the door. He had been shot through the left side with a .45 calibre bullet. He lived six hours."
North Adams Transcript 26 November 1934
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Buried in Arlington

Francis D. Ahern
AHERN—In Mexico City, Nov. 20. Francis D., beloved son of Timothy C. and Margaret A. Toland Ahern. Funeral from family residence, 52 Wyman terrace, Arlington, Mass., Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 8:15 a.m. Solemn high mass of requiem in St. Agnes Church at 9 o'clock. Relatives and friends invited.
The Boston Globe 25 November 1934

FUNERAL OF FRANCIS
AHERN THIS MORNING

—————
   The funeral of Francis Ahern, popular Arlington High School athlete, who was shot and killed in a fight with police and civilians in Mexico City will be held this morning with a high mass of requiem in St. Agnes' church at 9 o'clock. A delegation of Arlington High School and Boston University students will attend, and the pall bearers will be the youth's cousins. The boy's body arrived here last Sunday with Daniel F. Ahern, uncle of the victim, and was taken to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern, 52 Wyman ter.
   During the trip to Mexico. Francis became friendly with a Pullman conductor and when Mr. Ahern arrived back in St. Louis with the body, en route to Boston, the conductor met him at the station with a large floral piece. Louis Weller of the American Refrigeration Transit Company of St. Louis accompanied Mr. Ahern to Boston and will attend the funeral.
   At the Alton st. home, Daniel F. Ahern told reporters that the boy was slain when an attempt to rob him was made. “I believe that someone tried to hold him up. He was an athletic boy and, no doubt, defended himself, and probably when the police came he struck some of them. He was unarmed, an American, unable to talk their language. I gave hime a wrist watch some time ago. The clasp was not in good condition and he often held the watch in his hand. Someone may have been attracted by it. I think he walked out to look for me and was tackled on the street. The United States consul in Mexico City is pushing the case, and I had a message of sympathy from the American ambassador, Josephus Daniels. Three men are working on the case for the consulate and are keeping in touch with me,” the uncle said.
Arlington News 27 November 1934
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Francis D. Ahern
   ARLINGTON, Nov. 27 — The funeral of Francis D. Ahern, Boston University student who was shot and killed in Mexico City a week ago yesterday, was held this morning in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern, 52 Wyman ter. In St. Agnes' Church a solemn high mass of requiem was celebrated by the pastor, Rev. Matthew J. Flaherty, with Rev. Leo J. McCann, deacon, and Rev. Justin C. Durocher, sub-deacon.
   The funeral was one of the largest that has ever been held in the church. Within the chancel were Rev. John Connor, assistant at St. Philip's Church in Boston, and Rev. John B. Creedon, S. J., regent of Boston College Law School.
   Delegations from Boston University, Arlington High School, and the Boy Scout Troop of which he was a member for several years attended. A detail from the R. O. T. C. at B. U. acted as honorary escort from the home to the church and thence to Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
   Bearers were Robert Glennon of Woburn, Robert Kelley of Arlington, Thomas O'Neill of Cambridge, Alfred Ahern of Dorchester, John Ahern and Philip Ahern of Arlington, all cousins of the young man.
   Music was by the church choir. Miss Mary [Mc]Farlane, organist. At the offertory, Mrs. John Driscoll sang “Pie Jesu” and at the close of the mass “De Profundis.”
   Many town officers attended.
   Escorting the cortege from the church to the cemetery, in addition to the R. O. T. C. detail was his former Boy Scout troop, Troop 7, George Wright, Scoutmaster. At the grave and at the close of the mass “Taps” was sounded by the bugler of Troop 7, Boy Scouts.
The Boston Globe 27 November 1934
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MORE THAN 2000 REVERE MEMORY
OF 'HAPPY' AHERN

———
Was Shot by Mexico City Police.
Dean Lord of B. U. Writes High Tribute.

———
   One of the saddest incidents in Arlington's history culminated Tuesday morning with the funeral and burial of Francis D. Ahern, who was shot and killed by the police in Mexico City just a week before. More than two thousand relatives, friends, former High School associates and classmates from B. U. taxed the seating capacity of huge St. Agnes Church to more than capacity. Those who were unable to enter the church followed the casket to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, where the burial service was read and was followed by taps blown by a small lad in uniform of Troop 7, to which Francis belonged. Francis was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank the organization affords.
   Floral tributes were unbelievably beautiful and profuse, and included more than fifty set pieces and twice that number of spiritual bouquets. Town officials were present as well as a unit from the Reserve Officers' Training Corp, in which Francis was a corporal in C Company.
   Solemn high mass of requiem was celebrated by pastor, Rev. Matthew J. Flaherty, with Leo J. McCann, deacon and Justin C. Durocher, subdeacon. Within the chancel were Rev. John B. Creeden, S. J., for many years president of Georgetown University and now head of Boston College Law School, and Rev. John Connor of St. Philip's Church, Boston. All those priests and curates who participated in the mass knew and loved the boy. The funeral was the largest that Arlington has ever seen.
   The music for the mass was played by Miss Mary McFarlane, Mrs. Anna Driscoll and John R. Hendrick were soloists. Six of the nineteen-year-old lad's first cousins were pallbearers. They were Robert Glennon of Woburn, Robert Kelley of Arlington, Thomas O'Neill of Cambridge, Alfred Ahern of Dorchester, John Ahern and Philip Ahern of Arlington. [Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill's mother, Rose Ann (Tolan) O'Neill, and Francis' mother, Margaret A. (Tolan) Ahern, were sisters.]
   Francis D. Ahern was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy C. Ahern who lived at 52 Wyman terrace, from whence the funeral started. Besides his mother and father he is survived in the immediate family by two sisters, Gertrude and Jean.
   It has been ordered by Lieutenant Colonel Ganoe, Infantry, that “In reverence and memory of Cadet Corporal Ahern, the colors of the Boston University Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit will be draped in mourning for one month, effective on this date”. (November 26).
   The Ahern family has received hundreds of messages and expressions of sympathy from a great variety of people. Some of those who wrote were the president of the Student Council at Arlington High School, which organization Francis himself headed in 1932-33; the president of the class of 1937, Boston University; the managing editor of the Boston University News, the commandant of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, the Arlington Board of Selectmen, Sarah J. Bullock, one of the best loved teachers at Arlington High School; the Governor-elect of the Commonwealth, James M. Curley; Dean Everett W. Lord of Boston University, and many other prominent people. The following is the particularly interesting and helpful letter of Dean Lord:
Mr. Timothy D. [sic] Ahern,
53 Wyman Terrace,
Arlington, Massachusetts
My dear Mr. Ahern:
   The news of the death of your son, in Mexico, has brought a profound shock to all of us at Boston University, and especially to all those who had any contact with Francis during his course here. I speak for all of the faculty and, without doubt, the students as well, in sending to you and his mother our sincere sympathy.
   I have been looking up the records, and I think you may be interested to know what comments were made on your son when he entered the College of Business Administration. First, looking back to the report from the Arlington High School, in answer to the question, “Do you recommend this applicant on the basis of character”, Mr. Gammons, the Principal of the School, wrote, “Yes—he is a fine young man,” with the “fine” underscored three times, and he added, “He has an excellent character and a fine personality.”
   At the beginning of the course every freshman has special conferences with two members of the faculty, who are asked to report their impressions of him. The reports on Francis which were given to me are, “Self-confident, wholesome youth of pleasant personality,” and “Very gentlemanly, keen-minded; has distinct qualities of leadership and should develop into a leader here.”
   In the short time that he was with us he gave reason to believe that these judgments were well founded. We looked for him to take a leading place among the students and in all his future activities.
   Knowing what I do about Francis I feel sure that there could be no excuse for the shooting. I cannot believe that he could have conducted himself other than a gentleman and a Christian, and I sincerely hope that his slayer may be brought to justice.
   I have thought much of you and Francis' mother and only wish that it were possible to assuage even in the least the grief that you must feel. Though I cannot do that I can at least share that grief with you.
         Yours sincerely,
                        Everett W. Lord
                                 DEAN
   The editor of the Advocate was fortunate Wednesday afternoon in a personal interview with the lad's uncle, Daniel F. Ahern, with whom he went to Mexico City. Mr. Ahern is a greatly saddened man and could barely control his grief during the interview, especially while he was showing pictures of his nephew taken with him at Atlantic City, which the pair had visited on a previous trip. That Daniel was more than fond of the boy is indicated by the fact that he has taken his nephew with him on trips all over the country, because he enjoyed his companionship. Francis was called “Happy” Ahern by his mates at Arlington High School, and he was well named.
   Concerning the details of the shooting, Mr. Ahern was able to throw little new light on the tragedy, since nothing further has been heard from Mexico. He wished to say, however, that he was extremely grateful for the courteous help given him all the way home. The railroad trip was shortened by many hours through the courtesy of business friends in the American Refrigerator Transit Company and the Missouri Pacific Lines. Mr. Ahern himself is treasurer of Lord & Spencer Inc., commission merchants in fruit and produce.
   The train bearing the body was met at every stop by friends of the bereaved uncle. Louis Weller, railroad traffic manager, met the train at St. Louis and accompanied the body to Boston for the funeral.
   About three weeks ago Daniel Ahern was summoned to Laredo, Texas, as a government witness in a court case. He invited Francis to go there with him and then on further business to Mexico City, which he considered one of the finest in the world. Young Francis had no difficulty in receiving a leave of absence from Boston University, since he is an honor student, but he took along a big suitcase-full of books that he might study while on the trip.
   After the pair had toured Mexico City all afternoon in the automobile of a business friend, Mr. Ahern sat down in the lobby of the hotel to write some cards and telegrams while Francis went to his room to study. After ten o'clock Mr. Ahern stepped out to dispatch his telegrams. When he came back he went up to the room which he shared with Francis only to find it locked. He procured the key from the desk clerk and was about to get into bed when he was called to the telephone. He was told that his nephew was at the police station.
   Mr. Ahern procured two interpreters and went to the police station, which was really a dungeon, he said, but no one there knew anything. From there he went to the hospital and arrived a minute or two before Francis was brought in, a little before eleven o'clock.
   The bullet had passed through the body just below the heart. Francis was conscious before and after the operation to remove the bullet, but he was unable to tell what had happened. Toward the end which came in the early hours of the morning he kept saying, “Cover that pass”, his mind apparently going back to the days of his football brilliance at Arlington High School.
   The whole tragedy must have taken place between approximate hours of twenty minutes past ten and twenty minutes of eleven. Francis probably came down from his room to look for his uncle, and when he failed to find him in the lobby, stepped into the street. He left his hat and coat in his room.
   After that no one knows exactly what happened, but it is a fact that his wrist watch and a valuable ring, both gifts of his uncle, were missing. And it is just as certain that since Francis was a strong, athletic lad he would attempt to defend himself if attacked.
   The Mexico City papers were violent in denouncing the police, calling the shooting “murder” and “assassination”. They also state that Jesus Lopez, a police officer, will be indicted. Lopez, who like the rest of the Mexican police, carried a rifle as well as side arms, claimed that he fired in self-defense. Young Ahern was, of course, unarmed.
   Mr. Ahern stated that he was most grateful to the American Consul-General, Thomas H. Bowman, and his assistants, who were Messrs. Wilson, Minor and Leavitt. Mr. Leavitt was formerly of the Kidder-Peabody Company in Boston. Consul-General Bowman did all in his power to make easy the transportation of the boy's body out of Mexico, and is still conducting a vigorous investigation of the shooting.
Arlington Advocate 30 November 1934
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Mexicans Freed In Death Trial
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Unable to decide which of two accused police officers was guilty of killing Francis Ahearn [sic], 19-year-old Boston university student, here November 19, 1934 a court released both prisoners today. Both officers denied shooting Ahearn in the back after the American was in a fight with a hotel owner so, "in order to avoid convicting an innocent man," the court absolved both.
Gallup NM Independent Evening Herald 25 March 1936
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