From The Vault: Bank robbers kill four women in Cabinet Supreme Savings and Loan in Delhi in 1969

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DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Joe Huebner and his wife Helen stopped at an S&L on Delhi Road in 1969 so she could cash her paycheck. He waited in the car.

When he saw three men run out, he rushed inside to check on her. He found his wife shot to death in the vault along with the teller,  Lillian Dewald, and two other customers sisters Luella and Henrietta Stitzel. 

The four murders at the Cabinet Supreme Savings and Loan that Sept. 24 still shocked Robert Chetwood almost a half century later.

“I knew this had to be something I never wanted to see again in my life,” said Chetwood, a retired Delhi Township police officer. “It was a horrific sight. Enough to affect your life forever.”

 

 

The three robbers -  John Leigh,  Watterson Johnson and Robert Kassow - had vowed not to leave any witnesses, so Leigh shot them until he ran out of bullets. He said he shot Dewald four times "because she kept screaming."

Johnson and Kassow had cased the bank a month earlier and Dewald had told her husband, a Cincinnati traffic cop, that she feared they were going to rob her. He told her to call Delhi police, and they kept surveillance on the bank for several days.

But the killers waited to strike.

The three men got away with all of $275, but not for long. Kassow was caught the same day. The other two made it to New Mexico and were arrested four days later.

 

Their death sentences were commuted to life in prison, but  every time they came up for parole, the community wrote thousands of letters to oppose it. All three men died in prison. Kassow was the last to die - 46 years later - in 2015.

"Good riddance. He was a piece of crap," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said after Kassow's death. "He executed innocent women. It was the most sickening thing I saw in my entire career."

The notorious murder case, which happened less than two months after the Manson family murders in California, captured the nation's attention. Reporter Kate March and former Delhi Police Chief Howard Makin published a book detailing the crime and its effect on the community.

The S&L has been torn down, and Chetwood said he was "glad" that the last of the killers was gone, too.

“He should have died in the electric chair numerous years ago," Chetwood said "There’s always one incident that sticks out in your mind, and this was the one that still is in my mind today.”

SEE more video and stories about Tri-State history in our "From The Vault" series.

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