Two men executed for Hanover Township fatal assault in 1932

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Wilkes-Barre Record Nov. 24, 1932 -
Anthony Tetrosky -
Edward Stabinski -

Known locally as Malinowski’s Hill, a section of Saint Marys Road near Sans Souci Parkway in Hanover Township, the namesake came from the Malinowski family that lived in a brick two-story home on top of the crest.

What happened inside the home early in the morning of Nov. 12, 1932, captured headlines in the Times Leader, Times Leader Evening News and the Wilkes-Barre Record newspapers for years that followed and continues with folklore today.

Mary Malinowski, 45, was gravely beaten by two men, Anthony Tetrosky and Frank Stabinski, deemed by the Times Leader Evening News as the “Ashley Desperadoes” as both lived in Ashley.

Tetrosky and Stabinski went on a crime spree in November 1932 in Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Allentown ransacking businesses, houses, train cars and fatally shooting Peter Cutler, a hardware store merchant on East Market Street in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 15, 1932.

But it was the Malinowski home invasion and the woman’s death that led to their executions.

Mary Malinowski was sleeping in her bedroom on the second floor when she was awakened by Tetrosky and Stabinski.

Tetrosky and Stabinski carried a blackjack, wire cutters and a flashlight when they entered the house through a basement window at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 12, 1932, according to a story in the Times Leader Evening News on Nov. 27, 1932.

They bypassed a first-floor bedroom where the family patriarch, Emil Malinowski and his wife slept. Emil Malinowski was a prominent fixture in the Wyoming Valley as he co-owned a bank, owned a brewery and was an assessor for Luzerne County.

Once on the second floor, they entered Mary’s bedroom and told her to remain quiet.

As they left to enter the bedroom of her brother, John Malinowski, she screamed.

Tetrosky and Stabinski returned, bound her with a cord from a table lamp, gagged her mouth with a glove, and struck her head with a blackjack several times. They returned to John Malinowski’s bedroom where they bound him to the bed while demanding money and jewelry.

Mary Malinowski died at Nanticoke State Hospital on Nov. 27, 1932, the Times Leader Evening News reported the same day. She was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hanover Township.

Before she died, Tetrosky was captured in Allentown and Stabinski was arrested by Wilkes-Barre police as he walked on South Washington Street near Ross Street.

“Wyoming Valley residents rested easier with knowledge that Stabinski was behind prison bars. Fear of future depredations was allayed and police officials, who have been chasing Stabinski for ten days, breathed signs of relief,” the Wilkes-Barre Record reported on Nov. 24, 1932.

Stabinski admitted to the Malinowski home invasion and other crimes to city police and Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney John H. Dando. His confession was recorded by a police stenographer and read to jurors during his trial before Judge John S. Fine.

At Stabinski’s trial in late January and early February 1933, the third floor corridor was jammed with people waiting for a seat to open in Fine’s courtroom. The congestion was so great that another judge was forced to have sheriff deputies clear the third floor, according to a story in the Times Leader on Jan. 31, 1933.

Stabinski was found guilty of first-degree murder.

In a separate trial before Judge W. A. Valentine, Tetrosky was found guilty in Malinowski’s death.

Both “Ashley Desperadoes” were sentenced to death in April 1933.

On the same day they were sentenced, Tetrosky and Stabinski attempted to escape from the Luzerne County Jail on Water Street by overpowering two sheriff deputies. They were constrained when a third sheriff deputy jumped in to end the escape attempt, the Times Leader reported on April 28, 1933.

Tetrosky and Stabinski were transported to the Rockview branch of the Eastern Penitentiary near Bellefonte on Jan. 5, 1934, to be executed by electric chair. Four automobiles were used in the transport.

Stabinski was executed first on Jan. 8, 1934. His family claimed the body and a funeral was held at his family home on Hartford Street in Ashley, and later buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, the Times Leader Evening news reported.

Tetrosky smiled as he was led into the execution chamber and resisted guards from placing a mask over his head as he was strapped to the electric chair. No one claimed the body and he was buried in the penitentiary’s cemetery, the Times Leader Evening News reported on Jan. 8, 1934.

Wilkes-Barre Record Nov. 24, 1932 Record Nov. 24, 1932

Anthony Tetrosky Tetrosky

Edward Stabinski Stabinski

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]