Jersey City 'mystery' safes contain extension cord

Jersey City 'mystery' safes contain extension cord

Posted: Updated:

By KATIE ZEZIMA

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The two large safes sat in an old vault turned storage closet, unopened for years, a footnote in the colorful, occasionally corrupt history of Jersey City city hall.

No one paid any attention to them — or wondered what was in them — until the city's new mayor, Steven Fulop, decided to hire a locksmith to open them.

Theories abounded. Was it a stash of money? Old documents? Human remains? Something sinister that legendary Mayor Frank "Boss" Hague stashed away decades ago?

The mystery was solved Tuesday and it was a letdown. Inside was nothing but musty air and one power cord.

Fulop said he had imagined having an "Geraldo moment," referring to the 1986 TV special when Geraldo Rivera pumped up a viewing audience before opening a vault in Chicago's Lexington Hotel linked to Al Capone, only to reveal a few bottles and a sign.

Fulop imagined he would reveal — or not reveal — something for the cameras Tuesday. He even stuck his arm in each safe, making sure nothing was stashed deep inside or the safe didn't have a false back.

"If I put something in there, I wouldn't put an extension cord," Fulop said.

A locksmith estimated the safes were installed sometime between the late 1930s and early 1950s, and Fulop said he thought it would be fun to put the mystery to rest. He contacted Jersey City's surviving former mayors, but no one knew what was in the safe mainly because no one had bothered to ask.

"People would say they assumed there was money because of the nature of corruption here," Fulop said, noting that they were talking about the '40s and '50s and not his current administration.

A spokeswoman for Fulop said the city spent between $1,000 and $1,500 to hire a Long Island locksmith, one of the few people who knew how to open such old safes. The locksmith, Elaad Israeli, said it took him about 25 minutes to open one and an hour to unlock the other.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Revel Casino Hotel starts closing in Atlantic City

    Revel Casino Hotel starts closing in Atlantic City

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:16:28 GMT
    Photo by Arun Kristian DasPhoto by Arun Kristian Das
    The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City's 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel.
    Atlantic City's newest casino and its costliest failure has begun its two-day shutdown.
  • Man to face murder charges in mother's slaying

    Man to face murder charges in mother's slaying

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:08:57 GMT
    Murder charges are pending against a northern New Jersey man who allegedly stabbed and beat his mother to death.
    Murder charges are pending against a northern New Jersey man who allegedly stabbed and beat his mother to death.
  • Why is Atlantic City collapsing?

    Why is Atlantic City collapsing?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-09-01 00:38:30 GMT
    AP file photoAP file photo
    For decades, making some quick cash was the main drive behind so many who took the ride down the parkway to Atlantic City. But with so much to choose from nowadays, it looks like Atlantic City is in a lot of trouble.
    For decades, making some quick cash was the main drive behind so many who took the ride down the parkway to Atlantic City. But with so much to choose from nowadays, it looks like Atlantic City is in a lot of trouble.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices