Paul Davis Newey

Date: June 25, 2021

Did you know that an Assyrian man worked as a detective in Chicago in the mid-20th century?  Paul Davis Newey was perhaps best known for working as the chief investigator for the Cook County’s State Attorney (Cook County is where Chicago is located).  However, during his career, he also worked for the United States Secret Service, the Federal Narcotics Bureau, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).


Paul D. Newey was born to the Reverend Paul S. Newey in 1914.  His Assyrian parents came to the United States from Urmia, Persia (Iran), where his father had served as an educator in both the villages of Gulpashan and Geogtapa.  However, Paul Newey, Sr. eventually came to the United States to attend the Chicago Theological Seminary, in order to become a pastor.  After graduation in 1913, he married Mary Yonan, whose family was originally from Tkhuma in Turkey.  In 1919, Newey, Sr. founded the Assyrian Congregational Church on 4447 Hazel St. in Chicago and served as the pastor there for the majority of his life.


The Reverend Newey’s son first became interested in detective work after watching crime movies.  He dreamed of becoming an FBI agent, so earned a law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1940.  According to his August 24, 2001 obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Newey’s application was not accepted by the FBI because of his “ethnic” appearance, so he had to find work elsewhere.


While working as the chief investigator for the Cook County’s State Attorney, he busted illegal gambling establishments, such as one run by Al Capone’s cousin, Rocco Fischetti.  He also detected a group of Chicago policemen involved in a robbery ring and a group of Traffic Court workers who were taking the money from traffic fines for themselves.  Sometimes, Newey used controversial methods in his investigations, such as hypnosis, which he actually studied at the Hypnotism Institute of Chicago in 1958.  In 1959, he controversially used hypnosis on a woman so that she could identify her kidnapper.


Beginning in 1961, Newey started his own private practice in law and detective work.  He often helped churches and senior citizens for free.  Newey passed away at the age of 87 in 2001, and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois.



Written by Esther Lang



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