About Lou Hebert

Lou HebertI’ve  been reporting and writing broadcast news in the Toledo area for four decades.   A native of nearby Genoa, in Ottawa County, my love and respect for the culture and history of this region was nurtured an early age and never stopped.  I most recently “retired” after working in recent years as a reporter-photographer  for WNWO-TV in Toledo.  My background, however, also includes  time spent asa  reporter and manager with WTOL-TV, and a long tenure as an anchor  in Toledo radio news, starting in the 1970’s.  The journey of my career was kind enough to take me to places I may never have seen or experienced had I chosen another path in life.  As a result,  I was able to talk my way into jobs with stations in several other cities including Denver, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, DC.  Lots of moving, lots of new cities and lots of new and cool stories.  Never a dull moment. There are very few types of stories I didn’t get to cover, including a taste of war reporting from the brief Falklands War in Argentina in 1982, to the political battles of presidential politics at home.  Forest fires, earthquakes, crime of all kinds, tornados, jailhouse interviews, weather disasters, and even one of the early  Apollo missions at Johnson Space Center. The big carousel of journalism never stopped, and what a ride it has been.  I have even been fortunate enough to be honored with several Emmy awards for reporting and a George Foster Peabody Award.  But some of the most memorable stories I’ve covered have been the stories, not of the new, but of the past. “Yesterday’s news” if you will.  Uncovering those gems of the past that are rich in history and hiding beneath the surface of time, just waiting to be told again.  This is my new job.


54 responses to “About Lou Hebert

  1. Larry Daley

    Mr. Lou Herbert:

    While looking for something lighter to lighten the account mix in my book of memories “Love and War in Cuba” I ran across and liked your article on Satira.

    Two questions

    1): do you have access to good photo of Satira

    2) Do you know what happened to John Gentile (from Youngstown or Toledo I do not remember which) after he left Cuba and supposedly a stay at Joliet. I knew John when he was in Cuba during the unsuccessful fight against Castro. He, I recall well showed me how suppressors (that is silencers) work. He was interested in my younger sister, Leonor, but my family dissuaded him from that enterprise, so apparently he I would later find out got another friends sister pregnant. The last time I saw him was in 1961 around the time of the Bay of Pigs he was hiding in full sight, dressed in a Castro militia uniform riding the buses all night …

    Eventually the Castro people caught up with us John, Leonor and I all ended up in prison …

    Larry Daley (Garcia-I~niguez Ramirez)
    Professor Emeritus

    • Larry,

      Please tell me more about your book. Is it published yet? Also, did you know Captain William Morgan from Toledo who was later executed by Castro? He fought alongside the Castro forces as an American mercenary from Toledo. He gained favor with Fidel, until the Castro’s became suspicious of his motives. He was arrested for espionage and executed in 1963.


      • Laurence Daley Garcia-I~niguez


        First my apologies for not noticing your kind response earlier. ‘

        Although I did know of William Morgan, as did all in Cuba at that time, we never met. There is a photograph of Morgan at the funeral of those who died in the March 1960 La Coubre explosion. He is marching in the funeral procession in the front row with Castro, Guevara etc. That is the same day that the Korda photograph of Guevara was taken…

        My book “Love and War in Cuba” is now, after perhaps 15 years, is almost complete. It deals with memories of my family, and myself in Cuba. It tells of my far more famous ancestors and also my self during the War Against Batista and then the following resistance against the communists that followed.

        There is a chapter in preparation about John Gentile (who was close to Morgan). Gentile, when we were both part of the resistance to communism, once told me how to make silencers (suppressors). He then was a brave, and reckless fighter against Castro


  2. Anthony Pinciotti

    Mr. Hebert:
    I read with nostalgic delight your recount of that
    memorable first time at the Town Hall….I remember
    it almost exactly that way! I was wondering if you had , or know of any access to any pictures of that place….the ones in my mind are a little foggy these days……….

    Thanks for sharing,

    Anthony Pinciotti

  3. Barb

    Have you been to the Police Museum in Toledo? I am trying to locate a picture of a man by the name of Harry Zillick. He played a minor role in the Mail Robbery. Later he robbed a bank in Galion, Ohio (June, 1927) and was sentenced to the Ohio Pen. He was a great Uncle by marriage to my G Aunt Hattie. I have an Uncle that lives in Akron who remembers his gang dropping off Hattie to visit family in Dorset ,Ohio. The kids were not permitted near the house she stayed at. My Uncle said that the boys would sneak out at night when they say the cars arrive.The men would open the trunks of the touring cars and show them the machine guns. Hattie would always bring candy to the kids. Times were hard in Dorset during this period and she was remembered fondly by all.

    •     Barb,       I am on the board at the Museum and will do some checking around to see what others know about Harry Zillick. Do you know if he was ever charged in the robbery? Or if he was ever arrested in Toledo on other charges? If so, there could be a mugshot somewhere in the files. I’m also wondering in the Galion police have a mugshot in their old files from his bank robbery conviction? I will do some research and get back to you?  Do you live in Ohio?   P.S. We are going to produce a video about this bank robbery later this Spring, so any information you have would be helpful.   Thanks, Lou Hebert    

      • Barb

        I wou,d be happy to come to Toledo and let your use all the newpaper articles about the Robbery. I spent weeks coping them and have them all in order in a notebook. Yes , I live in Wooster, Ohio. I spent several day in Galion tow summers ago and copied the newpaper articles and took pictures of the inside of the courtroom. Beautiful with a stainglass dome. I have some copies of Ohio Pen records that I found at the Ohio Historical Society. I do not have a picture of Harry. I have a picture of his wife , my great aunt when she was about 16. He was a rumrunner and had owned a cigar store and a few other businesses. His family were Germans who moved from Brooklyn, NY to Toledo. His testimony at the Galion courthouse mentioned quite a few arrests in Toledo and the area in the past. You may use all the information that I have researched.

      • Barb

        Thought you might need the alias’s that Harry Zillick used.
        I found these in the Dayton Ohio workhouse records from 1926. Harry Zillir(Zillix?).Harry Edward Zillick, Harry Zillith,Harry Zelleg,Harry Zellick,Harry Sells.,Harry Zelling and Harry Selick. I am assuming he had previously been arrested under theses names. While he was in the workhouse he hit a guard and then was returned to the Pen. ( according to my Uncle Leo) His father’s names was Edwin Zillich.

  4. Pamela

    Greetings, Lou.

    First, thank you for administering this web site. I love getting the emails alerting me to stories from The Toledo Gazette. This web site is a hidden gem in our community.

    Second, I was digging in the Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center’s archives and came across a copy of a Toledo Blade article from August, 1930. It’s caption is “Toledo Stage Star Stricken Early Monday: Beautiful Actress Dies in Hospital Here as Sudden Illness Proves Fatal”. The actress is Kae Caroll (Mildred Schaefer Ryan) and she was a star of Ziegfeld Follies and Earl Carroll’s Vanities. She seemed to have an interesting life but being a Toledo native, I’m surprised that I have never heard of her. Do you know anything about her? Her picture in her obituary is quite pretty and I found another picture of her on the Internet standing next to Earl Carroll. Would love it if The Toledo Gazette did a story on Kae…

    • Thanks Pamela for the tip. I will check this one out. It sounds like a good story and the type that would make for some interesting reading. Over the years, I have found that Toledo was home to a number of stars of the stage and theatre. Many of their names and stories have been forgotten, and that’s one of the reasons for this blog. A place to excavate those worthy but neglected characters and episodes in this city’s history, and give them new life.

      I’ll see what more I can find out about Kae Caroll. Thanks again,


      PS..Later this year, I am also planning to do a story on Frank Burt, the man who built the old vaudeville theatre on Jefferson which later became Ceasar’s showbar.

  5. Pamela

    Lou, that would be a great story. According to old family stories, I had a few relatives who played the piano as back-up music at the old vaudeville theatre! Thanks, again!

  6. Lou. Thanks for the articles about these giants. Would you know where I can find their possible location(s) here in Ohio? I’d like to get a video of them for my website. Thanks.

  7. Deb Gabel

    Lou-What can you tell me about the Babcock Dairy in Toledo, Ohio?
    Deb, Wauseon, OH

    • Deb,
      The only thing I know is that they were located in West Toledo near Berdan and Martha and their smoke stack and building are still standing. They were founded in 1891 and when they closed down in 1984, they had to layoff about 30 workers. At one time they were Toledo’s largest dairy with well over 150 workers. Some else may know more about how it continued distributing the Babcock products in later years and if its any connect to a Babcock Hall Dairy in Wisconsin. Thanks for asking, I’ll keep looking for answers.

  8. Dear Lou,

    I have been doing research of Charles Dixon and his museum and found your post on him. I have his obituary, death certificate, a couple of entries from the Toledo Polk City Directory, and, now, the News Bee article you mentioned. Have you discovered anything further about Dixon since your original post?


    • No I have not. But haven’t really dug much beyond the articles I found in the News Bee. The only other fact I did discover is that his “museum” may have also been a front for other less-than-legal activities in the notorious “Tenderloin” district.


  9. Bill otterbeck

    Mr Hebert:

    I found your piece on the Toledo postal robbery of February 17, 1921 this morning. Nathan Otterbeck is my great grandfather. We had heard of family stories about some sort of major crime and we know he was incarcerated at Alcatrez. I enjoyed reading your well written article. Is there any way of accessing the original articles on the case? Any help is appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Bill Otterbeck
    Benicia, CA

  10. Martha Dykes

    Mr. Herbert,
    I just ran across the fascinating article about Marie Lillie Bowers who was kidnapped and found 14 years later in Genoa.
    I am a member of the Ottawa Co. Genealogical Society & feel that this would be a great article for our quarterly newsletter Marshland to Heartland. How can I go about obtaining permission to publish it in our newsletter?
    Martha Dykes

    • Please let me know what you find out about West Sister island and its history. I have not written anything about the island specifically, but am always interested in such things and have gathered some notes over the years about its background.


  11. Martha Dykes

    Mr. Herbert,
    I am currently researching and writing a book about West Sister Island which is located in Lucas County. Have you published any stories about West Sister Island?
    Martha Dykes

  12. Daniel


    I enjoyed your short article about the “Human Bicycle” but wanted to provide that it was actually the “Human Wheelbarrow” and I have a post card (unused of both gentlemen with the Human Wheelbarrow from NY to LA).

    If you could send me an email: delsass2000@yahoo.com OR daniel.elsass@eu.navy.mil I can send you a scanned image of my postcard.

    I use the photo as sort of a battle cry for the Navy folks I work with and decree “One Team, One Fight” and explain that neither of the two could have done this without the other and it required teamwork.

    Kind regards, Daniel

  13. spawlow6

    Hello Lou, The piece you wrote about Laddie Boy is wonderful. I am compiling a book of Quetschke and would like to include your writing in the book; of course, the proper citations acknowledging you as author would be noted. May I do so? My email address is provided if off-list communication is needed.
    Warm regards,
    Shirley Quetschke Pawlowski

  14. Charmaine Glassco

    Hello Lou, I recently read your article, “Round the Clock”, memories and questions linger. I too visited Lillian Pasco Tailford Belt as a child. I found your article while doing a Google search of my birth mother’s name. My mother was a close friend of Lil’s, and mentioned in your article. If you would like to hear details of my connection to your article, please let me know. I have photos of some of the individuals mentioned in the scandals. A few of them include a world famous boxer. I believe a few other photos are tied to a scandal involving an individual shot down on a golf course in Cleveland, Ohio. Wow, I can’t believe some of the information I learned.

    • I assume you have seen the update with the information about her later years of life. It is a fascinating story, and I am always interested in more information if you have any to share about her.

  15. Steve Karam

    Thank you for doing this. It’s a lot of fun to read. The office of Sheriff has had many colorful people fill the position however, I can not find many of their stories. The Toledo Police always seem to make the headlines. Please direct me to a site where I can read about these forgotten lawmen in Toledo

    • Steve, Are you looking for information on the Sheriff’s Deputies or Toledo Police? One great resource for the Toledo Police is the Toledo Police Museum on Kenwood Blvd and their website at ToledoPolice Museum.org. If you are looking for anything specific, let me know and I’ll work to get you the info. As for stories in general about local law enforcement, I hope to publish a series of such stories in the near future on the Toledo Police website and Facebook page. Lou

  16. Dear Mr Herbert,
    Can you please tell me the name of the local barber that was arrested in 1966 while cutting hair and drinking. Please email me back at helferssharon@gmail.com I will be looking for your answer.

  17. Rick

    Mr Herbert

    If one may take a few minutes of your time and consideration?

    You did a article on a Nick Haupricht (March 22 2011) who claimed Gilbert Gaul paintings are missing and still owned the Toledo Zoo or City?

    Is that still the case with these paintings?

    Thank you for your time and consideration


    • The Gilbert Gaul painting in question that reportedly hung at the Toledo Memorial Hall was “Charging the Battery” 1882. It was considered one of Gaul’s most important paintings and won numerous awards at a Paris Arts show in 1889. After further research, I am not convinced that Toledo ever had the “orginal” and it was more than likely that a “print” of the famous painting is what was owned by the Toledo Memorial Hall and its members. The orginal I have discovered is now at the New York Historical Society Museum in New York City, acquired in 1954 as a gift from Donald Johnson. The exact provenance from its orgination in 1882, I do not have. Although I did discover that the iconic painting had made its way onto the fine art auction block in the early 1900’s and was sold to a private owner for a record price at the time. The other Gilbert Gaul painting, Battery H at Cold Harbor, which was unveiled at the old Memorial Hall in Toledo in 1894 has been recently restored and on display at the Toledo Museum of Art, on loan from the Oregon History Museum. Hopefuly you find the information helpful.

  18. Edward Foley

    great and interesting writing. Can you tell me what happened to Wayne Babcock of Babcock Dairy, he ran it for 40 years until sold in the 80s. I can find nothing about him.

  19. Bob Ladd

    Hi Lou,
    You may not remember me but didn’t you report news on WOHO under the name Craig Edwards years ago? If so you recorded some liners for the station I owned at the time, WNRR in Bellevue, Ohio.

    In reference to your story about the great train wreck at Republic Ohio you might want to follow up on that by checking into a story in a series of books called Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodword or Woodyard. In one she talks about a group of boys camping near the tracks fifty or so years later seeing an apparition of the train pass by one night. The story describes the soon to be killed passengers as they unknowingly head to their deaths.

    Good luck love the newspaper.

    Bob Ladd
    Marco Island, FL

    • Bob,

      I do remember you and thanks for sending me a note. Actually, Craig Edwards was a different person. He was my mentor many moons ago at WOHO, first person to hire me for a news job. And Craig is still hangin’ in there, living in Portland Oregon these days. Just saw him last year and he is doing well. I’ll check out the train wreck story. Great to hear from you. Stay in touch!

  20. Hi Lou, I really love your long form stuff. Weren’t you a crony (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) of Chase Clements – WTOD, WOHO, WSPD-TV, The Blade? It might just be (well, it was) that he knew everybody and everybody knew him, but your name sounds really familiar, and not just from listening to the radio/watching local news.

    (I do a little site called toledohistorybox.com mostly for my own amusement and did want to thank you for the ‘blogroll’ add. That’s what I really wanted to say…and then I noticed.)

    • Yes,

      I knew Chase very well. We never worked together but always ran into each other on the streets covering stories and had many mutual friends. I think we also played softball together on the WCWA team back in the 70’s. Great guy. Fountain of local knowledge. I like the Historybox, keep it up.


  21. Brent Dickson


    Thank you for your work through the years and documenting so many great memories from Toledo’s history. I wanted to inquire if you have run across any information about the following families in your research of northwest Ohio:

    1. The Leybourn fruit and dairy farm between Hillcrest and Sylvania from 1825-1909, founded by John Leybourn, the 1st person to receive US naturalization in Lucas County in 1836;

    2. The Broadway Gypsy family that camped in Adams Township before settling the area, beginning in the late 19th century and whose descendants include David Broadway (salon owner) and TPD Officer Harry Broadway;

    3. The Dickson brothers and their wives, Robert and Daisy, and Harvey and Pearl, who were trick horse riders in the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West show (Robert was also the cowboy Santa at downtown department stores in the early 1900’s).

    Brent Dickson

    • Brent, do you have any information on the woman named Ganey Broadway.(said to be from the Broadway Gypsies) She was married to the nightclub owner Chester Marx who was gunned down during the 1930’s. Thanks Lou

  22. KT

    Just read your article from 2011 about the tragic death of Owney the famous postal dog. You ended the article asking for readers to share any additional information on his travels and death. I was wondering if you got any additional information.

  23. Kathi

    Mr. Hebert. Are you the same Lou Hebert who was on the radio with Bob Kelly some years ago?

  24. Lou,

    Your site is fascinating! I came across it while searching the Toledo Blade archives for ongoing reportage in about 1947 of the disappearance of a 5- to 7-year old girl just about my own age. I was just learning to read at that time and followed the daily stories with shock and horror that someone like me, who even lived near me on Georgia Street near McKinley School, could just disappear and might even be dead. I haven’t been able to track down the stories in the Blade or the eventual outcome but I’m interested because people frequently assert now that “life was so much safer when we (oldsters) grew up. My theory is that through the internet and social media we are exposed to more now, but I don’t know. What do you think?

    • Jane,

      I agree.
      My experience with reading “old” newspapers tells me that our homey notions of a “wonderful” life of the “early days”, is more a delightful myth than a reality. Crime was probably about as common as it is today, but wasn’t as amplified and echoed by the non stop blizzard of news and social media. Kidnappings were not uncommon and many newspapers filled their front pages with sordid takes of grisly murders and mayhem. Sex crimes, rape and abuse were pervasive, but largely went unreported. Even if they were reported, often the news media would “bury or peg” the stories because they offended the “sensibilty” of a particular community.
      Car accidents are another example of how life was far more dangerous to everyday living,. Some 50-80 years ago, traffic accidents accounted for taking far more lives every year,; this before the advent of seat belts, car seats, drunk driving awareness and better enforcement of traffic laws. Stories of horrific highway tragedies were all too common. Also common were stories of children being poisoned, or drowned, or being shot accidentally by guns; or falling victim to the steel fangs of farm machinery. Workers also died at alarming rates in many factories and industrial settings. Industrial accidents were commonplace. Standards for safety were lacking at best. Death from disease was another lurking danger as families did not have the advantages of today’s modern health care. But things have improved dramatically over the decades. One wonders what panic would ensue in our nervous social media today if we were to experience some deadly and debilatating malady such as the polio epidemic of the 1950’s. And god forbid we should ever be confronted again with the scourge of smallpox and diptheria that indiscriminately snuffed out lives by the hundreds in years past.

      I guess I am of the belief that the danger level to our kids and to society in general is probably no greater today that it was years ago. If anything, it was likely more a much more ominous world back then. We just worry more today.

  25. Dan Davis

    Hey Lou just checking out the site. Looks great and you help many people!

  26. Lisa

    Why would Pringles mention your name as a clue in a contest they are having right now?
    Can you think of any connection you might have with a new flavour of chip being released in Canada?

    • My guess is that they are talking about Louis Hebert who was the “first farmer” and pharmacist in Canada. He came over with Champlain in the early 1600’s to settle in Quebec. A statue of him presides near the Parliament building in Quebec City holding a shock of wheat. I may be related, but most of the Hebert’s from Canada, including our family were connected to two brothers Ettienne and Pierre who settled in Acadia(now Nova Scotia) in ther 1620’s.

  27. Bill Van Osdol

    Mr. Lou Hebert,

    A while back you wrote in the Toledo Gazette about Rose La Rose in “A Summer’s Night in Downtown Toledo”. You used an image of Rose La Rose (it was in a reddish color).

    I am writing a childhood memoir and am mentioning the time I saw Rose La Rose perform and would like to use that image (advertisement) about her. I am wondering if I need permission from you to use the image?

    Thank you,
    Bill Van Osdol

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