Man killed during Southside Masonic Lodge secret initiation ceremony
(03/09/04) PATCHOGUE - Police say a man is dead after he was shot during
an initiation ceremony at a Patchogue social club.
Police say 47-year-old William James of Medford was participating in an
induction Monday night at the Southside Masonic Lodge. The ceremony
supposedly used a gun with blanks. However, a lodge member pulled out a
real gun instead of a fake and shot James in the head. James was
pronounced dead at the scene.
The alleged shooter, 76-year-old Albert Eid of Patchogue, was
arrested. He was arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Central
Islip. Eid pleaded not guilty to the charge of second degree
manslaughter, and he was released on $2,500 bail. Cops say he had a
permit for his pistol, but they believe he pulled out the wrong gun
during the initiation ceremony. Eid is due back in court on April 26.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, the lodge's grand master said
there had been no formal Masonic ceremonies scheduled for Monday
night. He said guns did not play a role in any officially sanctioned
The Masons have been in existence in America since the 1700's, but many
of their rituals are still very secretive. Fourteen United States
presidents, including George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt, were
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