In July 1926, Donald Mellett's short reign as the editor of the Canton Daily News ended abruptly in his garage with a gunshot to the head. On the job less than a year, he was already making good on his promise to make the paper profitable. He had boosted circulation by publishing stories about the corruption between the Canton Ohio police and the gangsters that ran the town. After Mellett's death, widespread outrage expressed by other newspapers helped bring in a private detective who solved the case. The police detective who arranged Mellett's murder went to prison for life, along with the trigger men. The police chief, initially accused by his detective of ordering the murder, went free.
In 1927 the Canton Daily News was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Mellett's work, but the paper also folded that year.