"Old Sparky" now a shocking new exhibit at Toledo Police Museum - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

"Old Sparky" now a shocking new exhibit at Toledo Police Museum

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

There’s a new exhibit at the Toledo Police Museum that some people might find shocking.

It’s a replica of ‘Old Sparky’, Ohio’s electric chair.

The chair is on loan for one year from the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society.

“We thought it would be an interesting item to bring the replica chair up here. But also put it in the context of the cases that were involved in Toledo,’ said Shirley Green of the museum.

Here you’ll learn the stories of 17 individuals from Toledo and Lucas County whose convictions led them to the electric chair at Mansfield between 1904 and 1958.

Each case is uniquely tragic and hauntingly compelling.

17-year-old Bernard Schreiber was the first teenager in Lucas County to be executed.

In 1954, he raped and killed a 17-year-old girl.

“Definitely shocking to the community, shocking to the parents of the victim and shocking to even Bernard’s parents,” said Ms. Green.

The biggest case involved Toledo gangsters Frank Vacchiano and Albert Bruno.

They got their appointment with ‘Old Sparky’ after murdering a hotel clerk.

Police were desperate to catch them.

“Especially since they had to put out an All-Points-Bulletin to different parts of the state of Ohio and Indiana was also involved,” said Ms. Green.

So how did ‘Old Sparky” work?

Each prisoner was given three jolts of electricity over a one minute period of time.

“Primarily the first jolt would kill the individual but they wanted to make sure that in the whole 60 seconds the heart would stop,” said Ms. Green.

The Toledo Police Museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and private tours are available.

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