But Wait, There’s Moore

By Clarence George on December 12, 2014
But Wait, There’s Moore
She claimed that Archie Moore “assaulted her and had backed out of their marriage plans.”

For the want of a successful betrothal (admittedly to the greatest light heavy of all time), the course of American jurisprudence was forever changed…

“I had to leave him or kill him, and I wasn’t ready to kill him.”—Dollree Mapp on Jimmy Bivins

I know of Mapp v. Ohio, the landmark 1961 Supreme Court case that extended the exclusionary rule to the states. But I knew nothing of the person behind the name; didn’t even know it was a woman.

On May 23, 1957, Dollree Mapp became “belligerent” when police officers demanded entry to her Cleveland home, seeking a suspected bomber. Mapp was handcuffed, and her home searched. No sign of the suspect, but pornographic material was found and seized, and the lady of the house arrested.

Four years after her conviction on obscenity charges, Dollree’s case was taken up by the Supreme Court, which ruled six to three that her “conviction should be thrown out, and that all state courts must suppress evidence gathered through police misconduct in certain kinds of cases,” writes William Yardley in his December 9 New York Times article on Dollree.

But Mapp, who died October 31 at age 90 or 91, should also be known for her trinitarian relationship with the Sweet Science.

The bombing the boys in blue were investigating took place at the home of Don King. The future boxing impresario ran a numbers game in those days, and ran afoul of Shondor Birns, a tough Hungarian Jew who didn’t look kindly on King’s reluctance to let him wet his beak. Virgil Ogletree, a known Birns associate, is the guy the cops were looking for when they came across Dollree’s porn stash.

In addition, Dolly the Doxy was married to near-great light heavyweight and heavyweight, and Hall of Famer, Jimmy Bivins, who fought from 1940 to 1955, winding up with a record of 86 wins, 31 by knockout, 25 losses, five by knockout, and one draw.

“The Cleveland Spider-Man” beat a veritable who’s who of tough and worthy opponents, including Charley Burley, Anton Christoforidis (twice), the first man to beat him after 19 consecutive victories, nine by stoppage, Teddy Yarosz, Buddy Knox, Curtis Sheppard (four times), Billy Soose, Gus Lesnevich, Joey Maxim, Joe Muscato, Tami Mauriello (twice), Bob Pastor, Lee Savold, Ezzard Charles, Pat Valentino (twice), Melio Bettina (their second fight resulted in Bivins’ only draw), Lee Q. Murray (three times), Oakland Billy Smith, Omelio Agramonte, Johnny Shkor, Turkey Thompson, Willie Bean (three times), Clarence Henry, Ted Lowry, Coley Wallace, and…Archie Moore.

“The Old Mongoose,” that legendary light heavy, the man who challenged Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali for the Heavyweight Championship of the World, who scored more knockouts than any other boxer in history, fought from 1935 to 1963, racking up a phenomenal record of 185 wins, 131 by knockout, 23 losses, seven by knockout, and 10 draws.

A partial list of those who came up short against the Grand Old Man of Boxing includes Johnny “Bandit” Romero, Cocoa Kid, Holman Williams, Curtis Sheppard (twice), Oakland Billy Smith (three times), Ted Lowry, Alabama Kid (twice), Bob Satterfield, Harold Johnson (four times), Clarence Henry, Joey Maxim (three times), whom Moore decisioned for the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World on December 17, 1952, at the Arena in St. Louis, Nino Valdes (twice), Bobo Olson, Willie Bean, Yolande Pompey, Tony Anthony, Charley Norkus, Yvon Durelle (twice), and, yes, Jimmy Bivins (four times).

But where Bivins was married to Dollree (until tiring of her feeding him fatty foods in an apparent quest to derail his career), Moore succeeded in resisting the cuddlesome Clevelander’s siren song…he was only engaged to her. She sued him for $750,000 the year before her pornography was discovered, er, privacy was invaded, claiming that “he had assaulted her and had backed out of their marriage plans,” reports Yardley of the Times.

Maybe Dollree was still in an ill temper the following year, when the coppers tapped their nightsticks upon her door…perhaps that explains the testiness. Think of it: For the want of a successful betrothal (admittedly to the greatest light heavy of all time), the course of American jurisprudence was forever changed.

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Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

Mapp v. Ohio---AP Gov Fall 2012

Archie Moore vs Jimmy Bivins

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  1. Clarence George 03:13pm, 12/14/2014

    Much appreciated, Mike.

    Your opinion of Bivins is eminently defensible.  I can tell you that I struggled with that “near-great,” but ultimately couldn’t quite categorize him as “great”—missed it by a millimeter or two.

    A boo-boo I’d like to take this opportunity to correct, if I may:  Bivins’ draw against Bettina came in their third and last fight, in ‘45, not in their second.  Bettina won in ‘41 and Bivins in ‘43.  Errare humanum est, to quoth the Bard…or somebody.

  2. Mike Silver 02:50pm, 12/14/2014

    Great stuff Clarence. The amorous adventures of many of our legendary ring greats probably rivaled their phenomenal ring records. They were super athletes in more ways than one—for sure!  I only take issue with one sentence of this terrific piece. Anyone with Bivins’ ring record (as recorded in his prime) is unequivocally “Great”—certainly not “near great”.

  3. Clarence George 05:37pm, 12/12/2014

    Thanks loads, Pete.

    Yes, Dollree does indeed come across as…formidable.

    If I remember the results of my research correctly, her lawsuit didn’t go anywhere.

  4. Pete The Sneak 03:55pm, 12/12/2014

    Another gem indeed CG..Thoroughly enjoyed this…That’s one tough looking lady though…If pictures generally speak a thousand words, her is just saying 4 things…Don’t Eff with me.”...That mug shot has a slight combo of Mona Lisa sprinkled in with a little Dutch Schultz. By the by CG, did that law suit against the old’ Mongoose ever come to anything?...Peace.

  5. Clarence George 10:25am, 12/12/2014

    Was that a song?  I’m getting the faintest ringing of chimes over here.

  6. Eric 10:20am, 12/12/2014

    She almost weighed a buck sixty. Did she double as a sparring partner for Bivins & Ancient Archie. She was a big woman, big woman, and her name was Bertha, Bertha Butt, she was one of the Butt sisters.

  7. Clarence George 10:18am, 12/12/2014

    Thanks very much, Irish.

    I think you’re right about the type of porn.  Dollree, by the way, claimed that it belonged to a previous tenant.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:58am, 12/12/2014

    Clarence George-Really great stuff here….the porn at issue here was more than likely the run of the mill black and white photos of heterosexual hi-jinks with or without the faces of the actors “redacted”....doesn’t say whether Dollree was one of the “actors”....if so….I’m betting she could put on quite a performance.

  9. Clarence George 09:39am, 12/12/2014

    When it came to obscenity, Eric, I think the laws varied by state.

    By the way, if this doesn’t prove that the Sweet Science is the nexus…

  10. Eric 08:21am, 12/12/2014

    In 1957 you could be arrested for having porn stashed in your house? What? Was it child pornography? Didn’t realize Don King was that old. Dandy Don doesn’t look that bad to be an octogenerian.

  11. Clarence George 08:15am, 12/12/2014

    Thanks very much indeed, Bob.

    Yes, Archie made the right choice there, as Dollree reminds me a bit of Lupe Velez.

    As you know, Jimmy was abused in later life by a daughter.  Dollree’s?  I wonder.

  12. Bob 07:55am, 12/12/2014

    Clarence: What a phenomenal piece of investigative journalism. I saw a small obit about Ms. Mapp in one of the newspapers, and was familiar with Mapp hearings, but had no idea she had so much relevance to the boxing world. She changed American jurisprudence, and I’m sure was a handful to the men in her life. Have to give the Mongoose respect for being as smart in such romantic endeavors as he was in the ring. Dollree sure looks like TROUBLE.

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