The Official Historical Society of Schuylkill County

The Kelayres Massacre

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by Stephanie Hoover

Description: Politics in Kelayres turned deadly on November 5, 1934. When republican boss “Big Joe” Bruno sensed his grip on PA anthracite coal region slipping away with the night’s election, he and a few family
members opened fire on a peaceful democratic parade passing Bruno’s home. Five men gunned down and nearly two dozen other victims wounded but alive. Convicted and sentenced to the Schuylkill County Prison, Bruno quickly escaped. It took authorities eight months to put him back behind bars. Author Stephanie Hoover delves into this true story of politics, murder and deceit.