A Not So Amusing Domestic Incident
By Patricia M. Salmon
During the past several years I have researched and documented more than two dozen murders involving Staten Island and/or Staten Islanders. Many have been quite unique. The following is a killing that occurred in Manhattan with the killer attempting to utilize a series of Staten Island transports in an effort to permanently discard of the body. While his explanations for committing the crime and his actions were certainly exceptional, it is here once again proven that unreciprocated love will lead many individuals to behavior that is neither rational nor amusing.
Victim disposal is problematic for members of the killing community. Now here was a novel idea. Slay someone in Manhattan. Bind their lifeless body in cords and drapes. Hail a cab. Board the Staten Island Ferry. Disembark on said island. Hail another cab and head for the Elizabethport Ferry. Go aboard another ferry, this time sailing for New Jersey. All of this while lugging a recently deceased dead body—borough to borough no less. An interesting detail, or one of the more interesting, and odd, details of this narrative is that no one questioned the man’s carry-on luggage until he arrived at the Elizabethport dock (today known as Howland Hook, corrupted from the Dutch name of Holland Hook).
This man’s bundle held Blossom Martin, an attractive, thirty year old nurse in the employ of Drs. George and Gervais MacAuliffe, a father/son physician team that practiced and lived at 26 West Eighty Seventh Street in Manhattan. While Blossom worked as a nurse for the doctors, Eulogio Lozado was their house servant. A native of the Philippines the twenty three year old Lozado was described by one newspaper of the day as “undersized, morose, and slouching…”[i] According to detectives the droopy house servant had repeatedly harassed Miss Martin. He was in love with the lovely lady and had apparently thought badgering and stalking were fine methods for enticing Blossom into a lifelong marriage. On June 8, 1923, the frustrated “would-be groom” strangled Blossom Martin in the basement stairway of the McAuliffe residence. When brought to the precinct Lozado confessed to the killing and his haphazard method of attempting to permanently hide the body. Lozado’s narrative came with a twist. He countered that the nurse had repeatedly harangued him to marry her. So pestered by Miss Martin was he, Lozado solved the “problem” by slaughtering her. Alas when police searched his room they located letters authored by Eulogio pleading with Blossom to marry him so as to relieve his desperate life of loneliness. In one correspondence Lozado informed Blossom that he had selected her to be his wife and he was so distraught by her lack of interest he remained sleepless every night. He begged her to “please be merciful” and accept his proposal.[ii] After authorities confronted him with these descriptive dispatches he uttered “I choked her for half an hour. Then she was dead.”[iii]
Eulogio Lozado emigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1909. Upon his arrival in the United States he enlisted in the Navy where he served four years. Around 1920, Dr. George McAuliffe hired him through an employment agency. Enraptured with Blossom Martin, the more she expressed disgust at his overtures, the more he obsessed about obtaining her love.
The packaged body of Blossom Martin weighed approximately 140 pounds. When unpacked by the police she was fully clothed. Blossom was doubled up, trussed with a clothesline rope, covered in brown paper and wrapped in the portiere torn from a window of the McAuliffe home. One cab driver was so concerned about Lozado’s hefty package that he offered to help the burden bearer. Lozado declined the suggestion. The killer’s original intention was to drop the body over the side of the Staten Island Ferry as it crossed the New York Harbor, but so many people stared as he struggled with his load he abandoned this scheme. It seems Lozado had boarded the “Theater Boat” which included a throng of day trippers returning from Broadway performances. When he arrived at Saint George Lozado sought and found a cab to bring him to Holland Hook. Stepping onto the boat he headed directly to the rail where he began to heave his load over the side. Ticket collector Anthony Maffe, who had been observing the little man and his big bundle since he exited the cab, ran up and prevented Lozado from releasing his burden. Maffe claimed that the look of fear on Lozado’s face informed him that a body was in the wrapping, so he pinned the man’s arms behind his back and yelled for assistance. Several deckhands responded, a rope was located, and Lozado himself was bound and nicely wrapped to await the police.
Odd reports about the entire incident circled before the facts of the case were known. One tabloid exclaimed that Miss Martin’s legs and arms were sawed off to facilitate packing her body—but this was untrue. Newspapers were quick to display the ever present prejudice of the time by declaring that the dark skinned Lozado had a “negroid complexion” and by referring to him as an “ape-man.”[iv] Early in the investigation the Brooklyn Standard Union (a newspaper that described Lozado as a “squat, coffee colored Filipino”) claimed that Blossom’s mother believed her daughter was attempting to Christianize Lozado owing to her interest in missionary work.[v] According to the newspaper Blossom’s so called attempt to bring religion to Lozado made her “a victim of her own desire.”[vi] One upstate New York paper wrote that Lozado’s affection for Blossom had been known to the doctors and their family for some time but that it was regarded “in the light of an amusing domestic incident…”[vii]
Blossom’s mother, Mrs. Harvey Martin of Troy, New York, told reporters that during a recent visit her daughter had confided that Lozado threatened to kill her with a revolver or by strangulation. Lozado had in fact fired a shot at her prior to the murder. When Blossom reported the event to Gervais McAuliffe he replied that he would take the gun from Lozado. Furthermore, he informed Blossom that there was no need to report the incident to the police. The medical practice did not need that kind of publicity.
In addition to his other heartaches concerning Blossom Martin, Lozado was greatly disturbed by a male suitor who often took the young woman on auto drives and other outings. He was indignant about the relationship and often “scolded” Blossom for seeing the man. The Filipino denied that he murdered Blossom because he was jealous of this relationship. Instead he claimed to have killed her while she was attempting to stab him with a knife. Lozado insisted it was self-defense. But Lozado was in fact so fixated on Blossom Martin that he had bought her a three hundred dollar diamond engagement ring. Even though she had spurned all of his romantic advances the deranged man still believed Blossom would marry him.
With the arrest of Eulogio Lozado police questioned whether he was responsible for the death of seventeen year old Ream Constance Hoxie. The teen was murdered by a man who answered an ad for a room rental at her West Eighty Ninth Street residence during February 1920. Miss Hoxie was cruelly slammed over the head with a club or crow bar and then strangled in the same manner as Blossom. The murderer also bore a keen resemblance to Lozado while the office and home of Dr. McAuliffe was not far from the Hoxie address.
Eulogio Lozado’s murder trial was launched on October 22, 1923. He seemed to not have a care in the world and grinned at all involved as he patted his tie down to keep up a tidy appearance. Lozado’s confession was introduced as evidence to the court, but the defense insisted that police had beaten it out of him while also burning his skin with lit cigars and cigarettes. Furthermore, it was claimed that they threatened him with death and the electric chair if he did not confess to Blossom’s execution. At trial the alleged killer said that he was simply having his dinner at the McAuliffe residence when Blossom entered the kitchen and demanded to know why he would not speak to her? “Too tired” was his response.[viii] Lozado maintained that Blossom then picked up a kitchen knife and chased him around the room until he grabbed her neck. For the next thirty minutes he admitted to clutching her throat—an action which he did not believe would kill her. Lozado denied that he was infatuated with Blossom Martin. He denied that he ever bought her candy and an engagement ring (he claimed the ring was for his sister) and he denied that he ever made improper or unwelcome advances to the nurse. The defendant’s attorney argued that his client and Miss Martin had “intimate relations” (a term that was historically presented to discredit and denigrate women—especially in court). When put on the stand Lozado was handicapped by not speaking understandable English so his testimony was halted until an interpreter was located. On the stand he described his claim of police brutality by announcing that “they tied my hands through my legs just as I had tied Miss Martin. They tied my feet and hands to my neck.”[ix]
The jury refused to accept Eulogio Lozado’s account. After ten and a half hours of deliberation at 2:30 a.m. on November 3 they announced that the house servant was guilty of murder in the first degree—a decision that brought an automatic death sentence.
Eulogio Lozado was not smiling now. A tortured man he was incarcerated at the Sing Sing Death House. The nurse killer refused to sleep. He was hallucinating that his captors would take him in a slumbering state to the execution chamber. To avoid this end he believed he had to stay awake. The only rest he realized was when his eyes would no longer stay open and he passed out. In response a lunacy examination was called for to determine Lozado’s sanity. Investigators determined that he was sane. On June 3, 1924, the Court of Appeals upheld Lozado’s conviction. The death sentence would take place. Lozado was now taking his situation in good stride or he really was insane. His mood having taken another turn Lozado’s spent his days laughing for hours.
Before removal from his cell for electrocution guards discovered a magazine bound with string and fastened at the ends with hardened chewing gum. Lozado refused to divulge his plan for the tool but prison staff firmly believed it was a bludgeon that could, if used, inflict damage. In the end Lozado’s chuckling and chortling had ceased, and he was calmly escorted to his electrocution. He even ate a hearty dinner. A few hundred dollars and a paltry number of possessions were included in a last minute will compiled by the killer. Near the end he told Father Cashin “I am poor and a dark man, so I don’t think there is much hope for me.”[x] Eulogio Lozado was belted into the electric chair and pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. It was July 24, 1924.
On the anniversary of Blossom’s murder commencing around 1959, her brother Charles took out a memorial notice in the Times Record of Troy, New York, Blossom’s hometown. Each year the memorial featured poetry or acknowledgement of the number of years since her demise. In addition, Charles always expressed his love for Blossom and the fact that he missed her. These notices were published until at least 1973, the fiftieth anniversary of her murder. They always appeared on June 8, the day Eulogio Lozado brutally strangled Blossom Martin.
Albany Journal. “Murdered Girl Was Formerly of Troy.” June 9, 1923.
Binghamton Press. “Murderer Lugs Victim’s Body Aboard Ferry.” June 9, 1923.
Brooklyn Eagle. “Blossom Martin Slayer Executed.” July 25, 1924.
Brooklyn Eagle. “Facing Death Chair in Fortnight Lozardo [sic] Laughs.” July 7, 1924.
Brooklyn Standard Union. “Girl Strangled by Filipino.” June 10, 1923.
Brooklyn Standard Union. “Nurse Slayer Stays Awake Lest He Be Electrocuted Asleep.” April 13, 1924.
Buffalo Courier. “Mad Rage Leads Filipino ‘Ape-Man’ To Strangle Girl Who Spurned Him.” June 10, 1923.
Evening Express. “Filipino Unshaken in Tale of Killing.” October 30, 1923.
Evening Telegram. “Beauty Slain by Filipino Whose Love She Spurned.” June 9, 1923.
Evening Telegram. “Lozado Smiles As His Jury is Picked.” October 23, 1923.
Naples Record. “Filipino Strangles Nurse to Death.” June 13, 1923.
New York Times. “Says He Slew Girl to Save Own Life.” June 10 1923.
New York Times. “Tells of Capture of Alleged Slayer.” October 25, 1923.
The Sun. “Filipino Murderer Dies in Electric Chair.” July 25, 1924.
The Sun and the Globe. “Filipino Found Guilty of First Degree Murder.” November 3, 1923.
The Sun and the Globe. “Martin Girl’s Slayer to Have Speedy Trial.” June 11, 1923.
The Sun and the Globe. “Read Filipino’s Tale of Killing.” October 25, 1923.
[i] Evening Telegram, “Beauty Slain By Filipino Whose Love She Spurned,” June 9, 1923.
[iii] Naples Record, “Filipino Strangles Nurse to Death,” June 13, 1923.
[iv] Buffalo Courier, “Mad Rage Leads Filipino ‘Ape-Man’ to Strangle Girl Who Spurned Him,” June 10 1923 and New York Times, “Says He Slew Girl to Save Own Life,” June 10, 1923.
[v] Brooklyn Standard Union, “Girl Strangled by Filipino,” June 10, 1923.
[vii] Binghamton Press, “Murderer Lugs Victim’s Body Aboard Ferry,” June 9, 1923.
[viii] The Sun and the Globe, “Read Filipino’s Tale of Killing,” October 25, 1923.
[ix] Evening Express, “Filipino Unshaken in Tale of Killing,” October 30, 1923.
[x] The Sun, “Filipino Murderer Dies in Electric Chair,” July 25, 1924.
* Patricia M. Salmon is a retired Curator of History from the Staten Island Museum. A Staten Island resident for almost fifty years, she was a Naturalist/Historian at Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve in that borough for eight years. Ms. Salmon has authored the books Realms of History: The Cemeteries of Staten Island, The Staten Island Ferry: A History, Murder & Mayhem on Staten Island and Staten Island Slayings: Murderers and Mysteries of the Forgotten Borough. A board member of the Tottenville Historical Society, she is an adjunct professor at Wagner College in Staten Island and a guest contributor to the “Memories” column of the Staten Island Advance.