Roy J. Frisch

Frisch, circa 1934

  • Missing Since 03/22/1934
  • Missing From Reno, Nevada
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/01/1887 (136)
  • Age 46 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8 - 5'9, 175 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A dark gray Society suit with the label "Burks and Short" and Frisch's name on a label inside the inner pocket of the suit coat, a size 16.5 shirt with a collar, suspenders, a light gray fedora hat, vici kid black Stacy Adams oxford shoes with rubber heels, in a size 9A or 9AA. Frisch's chest measurement was 41 inches and his waist measurement was 38.5 inches.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Frisch has a large burn scar on his left forearm and pitted scars on the right side of his upper lip.

Details of Disappearance

Frisch was last seen in Reno, Nevada on March 22, 1934. He left his home in the 200 block of Court Street at 7:45 p.m. and walked to the Majestic Theater, where he saw a movie. After the film a friend saw Frisch at the corner of Sierra and Court Streets. He never arrived home and has never been heard from again.

At the time of his disappearance, Frisch lived with his mother and two sisters and worked for Riverside Bank of Reno as a cashier. He was supposed to testify against William Graham and James McKay in an upcoming mail fraud case. Graham and McKay were noted in the area for their involvement in organized crime. In January 1934, Frisch had testified against four other suspects thought to be involved in the fraud case. He disappeared before he could testify against Graham and McKay, however.

The gangster George "Baby Face" Nelson is a possible suspect in Frisch's disappearance. He was a former driver for Graham and frequently visited Reno. He is known to have arrived there on March 20 and to have left on March 22, the dsame day Frisch disappeared, and later said he had "done a job" for Graham and McKay.

In 1935, one of Nelson's associates, John Paul Chase, confessed he was with Nelson and witnessed Frisch's murder. He said Nelson waited for Frisch on the street, then beat him on the head with his pistol, took him to a garage and shot him in the head. Chase tweice tried to direct FBI agents to the mine shaft where he said Frisch's body had been dumped, but it was not found. He was brought to New York to testify about the murder before a grand jury, but refused to repeat his story in court.

Nelson was killed in a gun battle with the FBI on November 27, 1934. Graham and McKay were convicted of mail fraud in 1938 and sentenced to nine years in prison. Several years later they were pardoned and returned to Reno. They were never charged in Frisch's case.

Authorities believe Frisch was murdered to prevent his testifying. His body has never been found.

Investigating Agency

  • Reno Police Department 775-334-2175

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 16, 2024; casefile added.