Although the police knew who the culprit was, they were slow to respond to the tragedy. William Gordon, editor of the black newspaper, The World, was outraged and decided to send a delivery truck to the poorest black neighborhoods with a megaphone, broadcasting a warning about the liquor.
The case drew national attention. Life Magazine wrote it up as “The Bad,Bad Whisky Blues”. Hardy claimed that – despite the warning labels – he hadn’t known the methyl alcohol was dangerous. But his business partners testified that when people started falling ill from the first batch of bad whiskey, he merely retrieved those barrels, poured them into new ones, and sent them out again.