Indian Creek gangster burial

On the evening of July 6, 1938, “a dapper little man” by the name of Charles E. Hoehler led a group of law officers through the sand at Indian Creek, paused about 20 feet from the shore and said “Dig here, it ought to be here.”

The body of Joseph Zimmerman, a 44-year-old Toledo underworld figure, was thus unearthed from a shallow grave into which he’d been dumped some two months earlier. Hoehler told detectives from Toledo and local law enforcement officials that he and a companion searched the lakeshore from Ashtabula to Conneaut on the night of May 24 to find a suitable place to bury the body that was in the luggage compartment of their car. They found the perfect spot along Indian Creek, east of GOTL.

Zimmerman, Hoehler and the companion had tried to knock off the Toledo stockyard that morning, but a gun battle with a watchman erupted. Zimmerman was killed, possibly by bullets from both sides, and the thugs had to dispose of his body. Hoehler was later arrested and led police to the burial site 2.5 feet under the sand.

Fragments of the victim’s clothing – part of a black jacket and fragments of blue coveralls – were retrieved from Indian Creek the following day by Coast Guardsmen. Zimmerman was dressed only in his underwear when his body was exhumed.



Our guests remember:

Chestnut Grove

My extended family and I vacationed at Chestnut Grove from 1948-1964. Being from McKeesport, it was a dream come true to go there every summer. I currently live in Michigan but go back occasionally. Not too long ago, I found a post card of some of the cottages where the swings and horseshoe pit were and a local artist is making me a 24×36 painting of it. I can't wait to see it! So many wonderful memories and so few things left as reminders. It is nice to know that others still remember and care.

Michelle Turner ( a Chestnut Grove Kid)


We vacationed every summer at Idle-A-While in the late '50s and early '60s, partially because my aunt was the receptionist there. I often got to ring the bell summoning guests to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, which was staffed by co-eds from various universities. Evenings were spent playing bingo, fascination and other games on the strip or bridge and poker back at Idle-A-While. Great memories.
John Bloom

Read more memories or submit a memory.

Share a memory