Edward M. Conway

Edward Conway, an officer with the Pittsburgh Police Department, was shot and killed when he and his partner responded to a robbery in progress at a wholesale grocery store on June 27, 1939.

Immediately after the killing, police in East Liberty put out a dragnet, arresting at least 25 black men. The manhunt “was one of the most thorough in the history of the city.”

Among those arrested were William Walker and Benjamin Ginyard. Walker confessed, pled guilty, and testified against Ginyard, whom he identified as the shooter. Walker was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ginyard pled not guilty. He was convicted of first degree murder in October 1939 and sentenced to death. He was executed on January 29, 1940. Walker was paroled in 1960.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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