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Detective William Lonchar, Detective John Doyle, Merle McCurdy, and Norman Stern (left to right).

Described by Gerald (“Jerry”) S. Gold, a prominent Cleveland defense attorney, as “smooth as silk in the courtroom”, Gold had his first murder trial against McCurdy. McCurdy won the trial and Gold’s client was convicted of murder. Gold would later file a motion for a new trial and convinced the Judge to reduce the charge to manslaughter, which angered McCurdy. Regardless, they became close friends and played golf regularly at Cleveland’s Highland Park golf course.

Years later the two would find themselves again working together, this time on the same side. In 1960, McCurdy served as Cuyahoga County’s first Legal Aid Public Defender. Gold was asked if he might be interested in the Chief’s Assistant’s job. Although a significant reduction in pay, Gold accepted the chance to work with Merle.


Gold, G.S. by Dana, R. (Personal Communication, April 2015).

Miller, C. (2006). A Passion for Justice: A History of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, 1905-2005. Cleveland, OH: Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.


Courtesy of the Plain Dealer. Permission to use granted for use on Digital Commons.

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career, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Cleveland


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