Historically Yours : Local police officer, kidnapping and a morder

It was an honor for me in the late 1960’s to be appointed Judge of Hillside’s (N.J.) Municipal Court. One day, Arthur L. Seale, a Hillside police officer of the highest integrity, who rose to the rank of Deputy Police Chief, advised me that his son Arthur D. Seale, joined the Hillside Police Department. Months later, Arthur D. appeared before me, having issued a ticket to an elderly black woman, for allegedly driving 80 miles an hour westbound on Route 22 at 5 P.M. on a work-day. In fact, Route 22 westerly, was as one of the most crowded highways in New Jersey. The woman testified, “I couldn’t even drive five miles an hour. Traffic was bumper to bumper” My decision, “Not Guilty.” Over the following months, three of Arthur D’s almost identical cases to the prior case, came before me. I found all three, “Not Guilty.” Arthur L came to see me, “Bob,” he said, “What are you doing to my son?” I asked him if he was ever in court to hear his son’s cases. He said, “No.” I asked him to “please sit in the last row of the courtroom in your son’s next case, where you probably would not be seen.” His son’s new case came on and it was almost identical to the prior cases. Again, “Not Guilty.” Arthur L came to my house, almost in tears, about his son’s wrongful behavior.

He spoke about whether his son should even remain a police officer. In 1977, Arthur D. left the Hillside police force with a disability claim, however he also left with a poor record of personal suspensions and fines. The Mayor said, “His leaving was mutually beneficial to the force.”

In January 1991, Arlene and I retired to Aventura. On April 29, 1992, a front-page story hit nation-wide newspapers, involving a man and a woman kidnapping at gunpoint Sidney J. Reso, the president of Exxon International. The kidnappers were Arthur D and his wife Irene. It took place as Reso was leaving his home in Morris Township, New Jersey. Arthur D’s handgun discharge cause minor injury to Reso, as he was being forced into a pine box, then underground in small metal storage, giving him very little food and water. Reso soon die from heat and exhaustion. They dumped his body into a river. On Jun 19, 1992, as Exxon was putting together the ransom demand of $18.5 million dollars, Irene, facing the death penalty, gave herself up to the police. She pleaded guilty, but cooperated in return for a reduce prison sentence. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison but was released on 2009. Arthur D was arrested, pleaded guilty and received a life penalty.


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