News & Politics

A Chess Homicide in the Village


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June 8, 1960, Vol. V, No. 33

Chess Homicide in the Village

The even-tenored world of Chumley’s was hardly ruffled last week despite the fact that one of its regular patrons was killed on the premises a few days earlier. There were a lot of questions right after, but things quickly settled down.

Chumley’s, a famous and inconspicuous old Village bar at 86 Bedford Street, had been the scene of an apparently accidental killing by a seaman who had wandered into the place for the first time.

Michael George, the seaman, arrived at the bar shortly after midnight on June 1. On seeing bartender Ray Guillano and freelance writer Lauren Disney engaged in a game of chess, he began challenging them to a game. He offered to bet sums ranging from $10 to $200.

Disney finally agreed to play him for nothing, and won. When the game was over, George then started arguing with Clinton Curtis, a free-lance editor, who proceeded to knock him down. When he got to his feet he hit Curtis; the glass in his hand smashed and severed the editor’s jugular vein.

Curtis, a local resident, was pronounced dead when the doctor arrived shortly after. George is being held on a homicide charge.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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