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Washington County, Illinois

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Murder Mystery
as related in newspaper articles
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 50
Monday, February 7, 1927, Pages 1 & 2
SEEK MEANS OF CLEAN-UP
Conference of Officials Being Held to Devise Plan for Halting Warfare
INQUEST ON PRICE
      Nashville, Ill., Feb. 5 --(U.P.)-- Officials of two southern Illinois counties and state highway patrol officials today will meet in an attempt to work out a method of stopping the bloody guerilla gang warfare which claimed its 13th victim in southern Illinois last week.
      The latest victim was Lory Price, state highway officer, whose mangled body was found tossed at the side of the road hear here.
      A posse, made up of American Legion members and many farmers, this morning will search through the underbrush along the Okaw river in an attempt to find the body of Mrs. Price who is believed to also have been a victim of the gang feud.
      Both Mrs. Price and her husband disappeared from their homes at Marion more than two weeks ago. They were said to be friendly to the Birger gangsters.
      The conference today was ordered by Governor Len Small after a report of the Price murder was given him. Chief John Stack of the highway police immediately called a conference here with State's Attorney H. H. House of Washington county; Sheriff Petrie of Washington county; State's Attorney Arlie Boswell and Sheriff Oren Coleman of Williamson county.
Is Next To Williamson
      Washington county, where Price's body was found, adjoins Bloody Williamson county.
      It was along one of the main highways, just a short ways removed from a roadhouse, that the body of Price was found. He had been shot and beaten by his abductors and parts of his uniform torn from his body.
      Price and Mrs. Price who was a teacher for several years in the Williamson county schools disappeared shortly after the roadside arsenal of Charley Birger was dynamited and burned about three weeks age. Shortly after the place was burned it was learned that Price had been asked to appear before an investigating board to tell what he knew of the fire.
      Soon thereafter it was found he and his wife were missing from their home. Telephone wires leading into the house were severed and there were indications of some struggle.
      A search was made for the two but no trace was found of them until Price's body was found at the side of the road late Saturday.
      The Shelton brothers, leaders of the Shelton faction in the gang war, are at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth after having been convicted of robbing the mails at Collinsville, Ill., while Charley Birger, leader of the opposite faction, has been in federal custody for the past week as a witness against the Sheltons.
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Price Inquest Held
      Nashville, Ill., Feb. 7 --(U.P.)-- Without reaching any definite conclusions to how Lory L. Price, state highway patrolman who was found murdered Saturday, met his death the coroner's Jury today continued the hearing until Saturday.
      More witnesses are to be summoned in an effort to learn how the popular ex-service man was slain. He is believed to have been a victim of the vicious gang warfare which has already resulted in at least 12 deaths.
      Price's body -- which was badly mutilated -- has been started to Marion with an escort of American Legion members.
      Spectators were excluded from the court room after testimony of a few minor witnesses had been heard and the inquest continued in secret.
      The coroner had previously granted permission to remove Price's body to Marion for burial, explaining that members of his jury had viewed the remains and they would no longer be needed, he said the inquest might last several days since witnesses who refused to testify voluntarily would be subpoenaed.
      The reference to witnesses who might not testify voluntarily was interpreted to mean that some of the southern Illinois gangsters generally believed responsible for Price's death were to be called. The coroner, however, refused to comment on this possibility.
      Meanwhile the search for Mrs. Price continued. She disappeared at the same time as her husband three weeks ago and is generally thought to have suffered the same fate. Price was friendly to Charlie Birger although not a member of any gang.
      The patrolman's body was found face down in a field adjacent to a concrete highway by Joe Waldman, a farmer. Parts had been eaten away by carnivorous animals. The torso was riddled with bullets.
      Identification was made by the uniform and badge of a state officer. Search of surrounding territory revealed no trace of Mrs. Price but two men's handkerchiefs were found which may help establish the murders.
 
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Birger Is Back Home
      Harrisburgh, Ill., Feb. 7. --(U.P.)-- Charlie Birger, victorious gang leader, was back at his home here today and reported ready to give himself up to authorities.
      Following his testimony against the Shelton brothers at Quincy last week, the testimony which resulted in their conviction on a mail robbery charge, Birger was taken to Springfield and later brought here.
      Two United States marshals accompanied the gangster at his own request. He is at liberty under bond on a federal charge of conspiracy growing put of the same mail robbery for which the Sheltons are serving 25 year sentences.
      Now Birger is believed ready to give himself up to Franklin county authorities who hold a warrant for his arrest on a charge of complicity in the murder of Joe Adams, former mayor of West City.
      It is a crisis in the hectic career of the genial gangster. If he can extricate himself from present legal entanglements, Birger's victory will be complete. If not, he may share the fate of his mortal enemies the Sheltons.
      Birger's present position is by no means secure. Besides the threat of the law, there is the constant menace of Shelton partisans, embittered by the sentencing of their leaders. Every precaution has been taken to meet any sudden attack.
Is Constantly Armed
      Birger is constantly armed and wears steel armor similar to that now used by Williamson county deputies.
      Although fearing no further extensive gang activities, Harrisburg was apprehensive today of another outbreak occasioned by Birger's presence and the embers of feud poked into life by the murder of Lory Price, highway patrolman.
      Price was a friend of Birger and had been one of the last to leave "Shady Rest," Birger's country fortress, on the night it was attacked and bombed and four occupants killed.
      Before his disappearance from Marion, Price had told friends of a warning given by one of the Shelton brothers and a gang was thought to have abducted him. Finding of his bullet riddled body gave support to the original theory.
      Now southern Illinois is awaiting developments anxiously. Birger, the sole free survivor of the bitter warfare which has been waged for months, is the center of attention.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 87
Tuesday, March 22, 1927, Page 1 & 8
GANG WAR IS NOT HALTED
ATTEMPT MADE LAST NIGHT TO BURN HOME OF CHARLIE BIRGER, GANG CHIEF IN LITTLE EGYPT
      Harrisburg, Ill., March 22 --(U.P.)-- The trusty machine gun of Charley Birger, southern Illinois gang leader, today frustrated an apparent attempt to fire his home.
      According to Birger, five men stopped a large automobile about a block from his home and crept undetected to the house. There they scattered gasoline preparatory to setting a fire.
      Just before they could touch it off, according to Birger, he was aroused and started, firing with two revolvers. When they were emptied he opened up with the famous Birger machine gun.
      Four of the men fled to their automobile and drove away, leaving behind the fifth, apparently believing him dead. The fifth man walked to a restaurant in the down town district, called a taxi-cab and was driven to Franklin county.
 
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Police Resume Hunt
      Nashville, Ill., Mar. 22 --(U.P.)-- State highway police resumed their investigation of the Lory Price murder here today, after a week-end respite but the exact nature of their operations could not be learned.
      Jack Crews, former henchman of "machine gun" Charlie Birger, was still in Washington county jail. It was believed that the highway police were searching for persons said by him to have knowledge, ot the crime.
      Price, a highway patrolman and friend of Birger, was abducted with Mrs. Price from their home in Marion on January 17, and found murdered almost a month later near Duquoin. Mrs. Price has never been found.
      Rumors circulated here that Mrs. Price has been seen since the finding of her husband's body could not be verified. The reports were that she had been seen at St. Charles, Mo., in company with Mr. and Mrs. Art Newman.
      The Newmans left southern Illinois after the trial and conviction of the three Shelton brothers, Birger's mortal enemies, for mail robbery. Newman and Birger were witnesses for the state.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 119
Thursday, April 28, 1927, Page 8
Sheltons Are Going to Seek for New Trial
      Springfield, Ill., Apr. 28 --(U.P.)-- Attorneys for Carl, Karl Shelton, leaders of the Shelton gang of southern Illinois serving 25 year sentences in the Leavenworth penitentiary for mail robbery, are expected late today to file motions to vacate the judgment of guilty and seek new trials.
      The motions will be based on affidavits that false evidence was given at the trial at Quincy where the three brothers were convicted on charges of robbing the mails at Collinsville.
      Harve Dungy, Benton, who appeared as a government witness against the Sheltons is said to have made a statement in this city yesterday that his testimony that he saw the Sheltons near Collinsville on the day of the mail robbery was false.
      The attempt to reopen the Shelton case may renew activities in southern Illinois regarding the mysterious death of Highway Policeman Lory Price, who with his wife was kidnapped from their home near Marion. The mutilated body of Price was found some time later in Jefferson county but Mrs. Price has not been found, in spite of the search in southern Illinois and adjoining states.
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Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois
Volume 55, Number 122
Tuesday Evening, May 24, 1927, Page 2
CLUE LEADS TO GRAVEYARD IN HUNT FOR BODY
(By United Press)
      Pinckneyville, Ill., May 24. -- Evidence that may establish the fate of Mrs. Lory Price, wife of the slain Illinois highway patrolman, was in the hands of Perry county authorities here today.
      It is a brow n silk dress and tattered remnants of other clothing believed to have been worn by the woman on the night of January 17, when she and her husband disappeared from their Marion, Ill., home.
      The rags were found by Deputy Sheriff Billy Davidson, DuQuoin, after a search of the old Kerlee grave yard, four miles due south of the field where the bullet riddled body of Price was found.
      The dress was stained and tattered from exposure. Sheriff P. H. Thimmig said some of the spots appeared to be bloodstains and that several holes in the dress might have been made by bullets.
      Search of the old grave yard was instituted after a St. Louis woman visiting at a nearby farm reported seeing the body of a woman while plotting the abandoned burial ground. No trace of a body was discovered, however, only the garments.
Fail to Find Body
      Sheriff Hal Smith of Jefferson county searched the grave yard yesterday, digging in several places where the body might have been buried but without result. The Kerlee cemetery is in Perry county. Price's body was found in Washington county.
      Authorities were reluctant to estimate the significance of their discovery but said it appeared the most promising clue so far found to the fate of Mrs. Price. They refused to comment on the gruesome possibility that, the woman who first visited the graveyard actually saw a body which, was later buried.
      State highway police under Chief John Stack have been investigating the apparent murder of Price and abduction of Mrs. Price ever since the couple disappeared but have made only one arrest, a young Birger gangster.
      Altho Price was known to be friendly to Charley Birger, gang chieftain now awaiting trial on a murder charge, the theory has been advanced that Birger men were responsible for the patrolman's death.
      Art Newman a Birger lieutenant, arrested Sunday in California, will be questioned in connection with the Price slaying, Stack has announced.
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Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois
Volume 55, Number 136
Friday Evening, June 10, 1927, Page 1
STILL HOPES TO LOCATE BODY OF MISSING WOMAN
(By United Press)
      Benton, Ill., June 10. -- Altho rumors concerning the whereabouts of Mrs. Lory Price, wife of a slain Marion highway patrolman, have led him on one wild goose chase after another, Deputy Sheriff Harry Weaver, back here today after a trip to Washington county, was still determined to solve the mystery of her disappearance.
      An unsigned letter from East St. Louis, Ill., statting that the woman's body could be found in a ravine near a certain cemetery in Washington county, led Weaver lo make a thoro search of the designated neighborhood, but no trace of Mrs. Price was found. Previously he had made a similar search in Hardin county.
      Except for Weaver, authorities have virtually given up hope of locating Mrs. Price 's body. Her husband was found shot to death in a field in near Duquoin. They believe she, too, was killed but that her body was either buried or so carefully concealed that it never will be found.
      The Prices disappeared from their home in Marion on the night of January 17. Officials believe they were killed by gangsters. In that case, they point out, Mrs. Price's body could not be identified now even if it were found.
      Weaver, however, is hopeful of finding some trace of the body. He plans to continue running down rumors in the belief that some time one of them will prove well founded.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 156
Saturday, June 11, 1927, Pages 1 & 7
CONFESSES TO MURDER
STORY OF KILLING OF LORY PRICE AND HIS WIFE TOLD BY MEMBER OF THE BIRGER GANG
      Nashville, Ill., June 11--(U.P.)-- Mr. and Mrs. Art Newman have confessed that members of Charlie Birger's gang killed Lory Price, state highway patrolman, and his wife. John Stack, chief of the Illinois state highway patrol, and H. H. House, state's attorney of Washington county announced here today.
      The announcement was made simultaneously with the reconvening of the Washington county grand jury which will be asked to return murder indictments on the basis of this new evidence. Officials believe that Newman's confession will solve the Price murder, a mystery since the couple disappeared from their home at Marion on January 17.
      According to Stack, Mrs. Price's body was hidden in a mine near Marion which has since caved in. Efforts will be made at once to locate the body. Price's body was found in a field near Duquoin several weeks ago and buried at Marion.
      Newman was returned to Illinois last week after he had been arrested at Long Beach, Calif., on a charge growing, out of the slaying of Mayor Joe Adams at West City. He is being held in jail at Benton. Mrs. Newman was arrested by Stack in East St. Louis last Tuesday.
      Although arrested on a murder warrant, Mrs. Newman is not believed to have any part in the slaying of either Price or his wife. It was her knowledge of the crime told to Stack, however, which led to Newman's confession that he was with the gangsters who killed the Prices.
 
Say Birger Is Concerned
      According to Stack and House, Newman and his wife have told the complete story of the two slayings, implicating Charlie Birger and several members of his southern Illinois gang -- Freddie Wooten. Connie Ritter, Ernest Bue and Riley Simmons
      Newman's story is that Birger coaxed Price to go with him for a ride on the night of his disappearance. Price got in the car and they drove to Newrnan's home in Harrisburg. At Harrisburg, Birger got out of the car and went to his home for a revolver. Jack Crews and Frank Shrader were in the house at the time.
      Then the car in which Birger was riding with Price and several other gangsters followed by another which Newman drove, returned to Birger's roadhouse which had been destroyed by fire a few days previous. There Birger shot Price four, times, according to Newman, abusing him all the time for "talking too much."
      Price, according to Stack, knew that Birger and some of his gangsters had taken part in the Pocahontas bank robbery and that they had destroyed their own cabin, killing four persons.
      "My god, you're shooting him and his wife knows he is with us," Newman is quoted as saying to Birger after Price had been shot, but not fatally wounded.
      "You needn't worry about the woman; Ritter said, according to Newman's account, "We did away with her."
      Wounded and bleeding, Price was then placed back in the automobile, according to Newman's story. At this point Newman said he told Birger he would have nothing to do with the affair. Newman said Price was shot before his automobile arrived at Shady Rest.
 
Begged for His Life
      The two automobiles, one bearing the wounded highway patrolman, then started for Carbondale, Newman said. Price was still conscious and begging for his life. Birger riding in another car became ill. Ritter stood guard over Price.
      "I can kill him, but I can't ride with him," Birger said, according to Newman's "confession!
      Near Duquoin according to the confession Birger ordered the two automobiles stopped and went to a nearby mine to see if they could dispose of Price there, but a watchman was, on duty.
      They went on farther north in Washington county and three men virtually carried Price into a field near the road. Birger followed with a machine gun, Newman told Stack, and riddled Price with bullets as he lay helpless on the ground.
      Newman said he and Freddie Wooten remained in his automobile on the road.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 157
Monday, June 13, 1927, Pages 1 & 6
FIND BODY IN MINE SHAFT
Story of the Killing of the Prices Is Corroborated By Find This Morning
BAD FOR BIRGER
      Marion, Ill., June 13 --(U.P.)-- The body of Mrs. Lory Price, wife of slain Illinois highway patrolman,was found this afternoon in the shaft of an abandoned mine near here.
      Discovery of the body appeared to bear out the testimony of Art Newman, former henchman of Charlie Birger, that Mr. and Mrs. Price were slain on the same night by members of the Birger gang.
      Price's body was found in a field in Washington county last February where Newman said it was left after Birger pumped it full of machine gun bullets.
      The head of the body was first uncovered. Four workmen were in the pit at the time. When it became visible they called Coroner George Bell and Sheriff Oren Coleman into the shaft. Everyone else left.
      The two officials examined the part of the body exposed and announced they were certain of the identification. They ordered that the work of removing the remains be started at once.
      The body was badly decomposed The hair was drawn far back from the forehead. The rest of the remains were still under cover. The body lay face up, apparently as it had fallen when thrown into the shaft.
      Tin cans, parts of an automobile and other refuse covered the body as Newman has said in his confession. He told authorities that the assassins spent a half hour throwing debris into the shaft over the body.
      A crowd of approximately 1,000 persons was at the pit when the discovery was made. Officers promised that fellow townsmen of Mrs. Price would be allowed to file by the pit and view the remains before they are removed by the coroner.
      Dale Jones, of Ozark, Mo. Mrs. Price's father, arrived late this morning and will claim the body for burial.
 
      Marion, Ill., June 13 --(U.P.)-- Unemployed miners who volunteered their service to Sheriff Oren Coleman of Williamson county, continued working in shifts at the Carterville district mine near here today in an effort to find the body of Mrs. Lory Price, supposed murder victim.
      Their labors lighted by carbide miner's lamps, the workers carried on operations throughout the night despite a drizzling rain. Many of those who remained at the mine had worked all day without sleep.
      Necessity of timbering the shaft to guard against a cave-in delayed the actual digging. Progress was slow in the mud at the bottom of the abandoned pit. Only four men at a time could dig. Dirt was hauled to the surface in buckets.
      A steam clamshell shovel was brought from Johnston City yesterday evening to hasten the work.
      Work of excavating mud and debris from the mine shaft went forward more rapidly this morning with a crane long enough to extend over the pit operating from a nearby railroad spur. First efforts were slow due to inadequate equipment.
      The Carterville mine was the only one in this vicinity to work during the 1910 strike. Samuel Goodall, then its operator, signed a special agreement and kept the diggings in operation.
      The mine was closed in May, 1912 when a fire starting in the mule barn within the workings killed all the animals and several men. It has been closed since that time.
      The old shaft, where Art Newman a Birger gangster, told authorities Mrs. Price's body was thrown after she had been shot to death, is 108 feet deep. It was abandoned 15 years ago and has since caved in. Workers were approximately 50 feet from the surface.
 
Will Dig Whole Shaft
      Sheriff Coleman said he would dig to the bottom of the shaft if necessary and then if Mrs. Price's body had not been found would search every other shaft in the neighborhood.
      The Marion Red Cross supervised the feeding, of workers. Camp Fire Girls operated a free lunch counter where sandwiches and coffee were served. Food was donated by Marion merchants.
      Thousands of motorists visited the mine shaft yesterday. Deputy sheriffs worked to keep the roads open in the vicinity of the mine. The area surrounding the shaft was roped off to keep back the crowd.
      John Duford of Scottsboro, stepfather of Lory Price, slain highway patrolman, was one of the workers in the shaft. Mrs. Mary Duford, Price's mother, waited on the surface most of yesterday.
      Everywhere interest in the search for Mrs. Price's body was intense. There were more volunteers than Sheriff Coleman could provide with work. Most of those whose services were accepted are miners thrown out of work by the strike which started April 1.
      A large crew of men was at work over the week-end at the Centerville district mine where Mrs. Price's body was said by Newman, to have been concealed. The shaft has caved in since Mrs. Price's alleged murder and several feet of dirt and debris must be removed. Hundreds of curious gathered around the shaft yesterday to watch the workers.
      Outcome of the search at Marion for Mrs. Price's body was awaited with intense interest here. Some authorities express doubt concerning the truth of Newman's story. They said parts of it failed to hold water.
      As an example, they cited Newman's failure to mention the rope gag on Price's mouth when his body was found.
      If Mrs, Price's body is found at the spot designated by Newman, however, authorities consider the circumstance will be strong in bearing out his story of the crime. He said the four men indicted with Birger killed Mrs. Price and dumped her body in the mine shaft while Birger was wounding Price at Shady Rest, his wrecked road house.
      The four men later joined Birger, who was accompanied by Newman and Freddie Wooten, according to Newman's story, and took Price to a field in Washington county, where Birger shot him to death with a machine gun. Price's body was found in the designated field last February.
      The slaying of the Prices as recounted by Newman was the most heinous of all the crimes blamed to southern Illinois gangsters. Price was a friend of Birger. The explanation for his killing was that he had "talked too much," according to Newman's story. His wife was killed merely because she knew Price was with Birger and might have been a harmful witness.
 
Birger Is Indicted
      Nashville, Ill., June 13 --(U.P.)-- Charlie Birger, one time ruler of southern Illinois' most notorious gang, was under indictment here today with four of his followers for the slaying of Lory Price, a state highway patrolman, and Price's wife.
      A Washington county grand jury quickly returned the indictments after hearing the testimony of Art Newman, former Birger lieutenant. Newman repeated before the grand jury the story previously told authorities that Birger himself shot Price to depth and ordered his wife murdered on the night of January 18, when the Prices disappeared mysteriously from their home in Marion.
      Newman was not indicted. The men named with Birger were Connie Ritter, Ernest Blue, Leslie Simpson and Riley Simmons. Simmons is now serving a term at Atlanta federal penitentiary. The other three still are at large and are being sought to answer to the murder charges. Newman is held for safekeeping in an unknown jail.
      Birger, who was held in Franklin county jail at the time Newman's story became known, was moved to Sangamon county jail at Springfield when public resentment against him reached a pitch considered dangerous by officers. Mob violence was feared if the gangster remained in southern Illinois. Birger also faces trial for the slaying of Mayor Joe Adams of West City.
Venue Charge Is Denied
      His attorneys were denied change of venue on the Adams charge and agreed to set the trial date here Tuesday The trial probably will be started within the next two weeks in Franklin county circuit court.
Dungy Confirms Story
      Marion, Ill., June 13 --(U.P.)-- Harvey Dungy, one of the first Charlie Birger's former followers to betray the gang ruler, today corroborated Art Newman's story of the Price slaying.
      Dungy told an interviewer he provided authorities several weeks ago with the names of all but one of the men implicated in the crime, by Newman's confession. John Stack, chief of Illinois highway police, verified this statement.
      Stack said Dungy gave him more information leading to solution of the Price mystery than any other one person. Dungy, however, was not with the party alleged to have killed the Prices and had no first hand information.
      Dungy said he was confident he could, if released from the Williamson county jail, find Mrs. Price's body. He is held here on a charge of automobile theft.
      It was Dungy's admission that he perjured himself at the first trial of the three Shelton brothers for mail robbery, that resulted in their release from the federal penitentiary.
Charges Coercion
      He said that be was coerced by Birger to give false testimony against them.
      He was the first of Birger's followers to "turn coat." The confession of Harry Thomasson followed shortly after. Young Thomasson admitted that he and his brother, Elmo, since killed, fired the shots that ended the life of Mayor Joe Adams of West City.
      Thomasson said Birger instigated the killing, along with several of his gang. It was his confession that resulted in the return of a murder indictment against Birger.
      After Thomasson's confession came the testimony of Art Newman and the indictment of Birger for the murder of the Prices.
Believes In Her Son
      West Frankfort, III., June 13 --(U.P.)-- Mrs. Leona Ritter, mother of Connie Ritter named by Art Newman as one of the slayers of Mrs. Lory Price, refused to believe her son is a murderer.
      "Connie couldn't have killed anyone," she told an interviewer at her home here.
      The Ritter family is highly respected in this community. Until he became tangled with Charlie Birger's southern Illinois gang, Connie, the son, enjoyed the same esteem.
      According to Newman's confession, it was Ritter who headed the party of four men that shot Mrs. Price in the back and dumped her body into an abandoned mine shaft near Marion.
      It was Ritter, too, Newman testified, who sat on Price in the back seat of Newman's automobile while he was being taken helpless and bleeding to, the field where he was put out of his misery by machine gun fire and his body left to the mercy of the elements until discovered.
      Ritter disappeared on th day Birger was first arrested and taken to Franklin county jail to await trial on charges growing out of the slaying of Mayor Joe Adams in West City. Authorities believe he fled from the United States.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 159
Wednesday, June 15, 1927, Pages 1 & 7
LONG STORY OF MURDERS
Birger and His Fellow Gangsters, Are Indicted Today for Killings
MAY END FEUDS
      Marion, Ill., June 15. -- Ten men were indicted by the Williamson county grandd jury here this afternoon for the murder of Mr. and Mr. Lory Price.
      They are: Charlie Birger, Art Newman, Freddie Wooten, Connie Ritter, Riley Simmons, Frank Shrader, Jack Crews, Clarence Jones, Leslie Simpson and Ernest Blue.
      All of those indicted are one time members of Charlie Birger's gang, according to a confession by Newman, was responsible for the double slaying.
      There were four counts to the indictments, murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the cases of both Price and Mrs. Price. The indictments were based on the theory that Price was actually killed in Williamson instead of Washington county as Newman's confession said.
 
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      Marion, Ill., June 15. -- A special session of the Williamson county grand jury convened at 10 a. m. today to consider evidence against gangsters accused of slaying Mr. and Mrs. Lory Price.
      Although the confession of Art Newman to his participation in the slaying said only Mrs. Price was killed in Williamson county. State's Attorney Arlie Boswell intimated he might ask indictments against the alleged assassins of Price as well.
      Newman said Price, a highway patrolman, was killed in Washington county where his body was found last February and that Mrs. Price was shot to death near the mine shaft in this county where the body was recovered this week.
      A Washington county grand jury indicted Charlie Birger and four others for murder in connection with the slaying of Price on the strength of Newman's confession. Boswell intimated that indictments would be asked of the Williamson county grand jury against the same five and several others for Mrs. Price's death.
      Newman will probably not be called as a witness before the Williamson county grand jury.
      It was thought that Boswell had Newman in mind when he predicted indictments against persons unnamed by the Washington grand jury. Newman said he and Freddie Wooten witnessed, but took no part in, the slaying of Price.
      The four named with Birger by the Washington county grand jury were Connie Riter, Riley Simmons, Ernest Blue and Leslie Simpson.
      After receiving its instructions from Circuit Judge Hartwell the grand jury started its secret session at 10:45 a. m. It was cautioned not to call any of the men it hopes to indict, since anyone giving testimony before such a body cannot be indicted later by the same body.
      The grand jury is to hold its sessions inside the county jail where a number of prisoners, including Harve Dungy, Clarence Rone, Jack Crews and Ray Hyland, former gangsters, are to be questioned.
      Boswell has indicated that indictments will be asked without Newman's testimony and that he will not be called if sufficient evidence can be secured from other witnesses. This move is believed to presage the indictment of Newman himself.
      With the convening of the grand jury headed by Jean Burkman, a Marion shoe merchant, as foreman, the coroner's jury called to investigate Mrs. Price's death, adjourned, what evidence it had gathered will be turned over to the grand jury.
 
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Feud Era Nearly Over
      Marion, Ill., June 15 --(U.P.)-- With the murder of Lory Price and his wife apparently solved, another epoch in the sanguinary history of southern Illinois today seemed drawing rapidly to a close.
      Gang feudists, who in the last two years have established an amazing record of butchery, were demoralized and scattered. Some were already behind prison bars and others were sought by authorities.
      The bootleg feudist epoch in "Little Egypt" history, which followed bloody chapters written by union and non-union labor and later by Ku Klux Klan and anti-Klan forces, started back in February, 1925.
      The first killing was the handiwork of Art Newman whose confession last week cleared the mystery of the Price murders. The shooting took place in the establishment of the Shelton brothers at East St. Louis. Charles Gordon was the victim.
      Newman was acquitted on a murder charge, but accused the Sheltons of attempting to "frame" him. He said they were trying to "knock him off" because he knew too much about the Collinsville mail robbery,
      for which the Sheltons were later tried and convicted and now await re-trial.
      This precipitated the split in the ranks of bootleggers formerly allied. Charlie Birger led one faction and the Shelton brothers took command of the other.
 
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Long Story of Murders
      In August, 1926, Harry Walker, former Herrin policeman and bodyguard of S. Klenn Young, the Klan raider, and Everett Smith were shot to death. A man named Theford, who has never been captured was accused of the shooting .
 
      William "Wild Bill" Holland, said to have been a bodyguard of the Sheltons, was next killed in September, 1926. Mr. and Mrs. Max Pulliam were seriously wounded at the same time. Pulliam was assaulted a week later while enroute in an ambulance to a Benton hospital.
 
      William McQuay and Ward Jones, bartenders at Shady Rest, Birger's roadhouse, were found dead October 26. Birger swore vengeance against the Sheltons for these murders but some of his own men were later charged with the crimes.
 
      Jeff Stone, Mayor of Colp, and his friend, John Milroy, were killed at Colp late in November, 1926.
 
      In December, 1926, Mayor Joe Adams of West City, a friend of the Sheltons, was called to the door of his home and slain. Harry Thomasson, a youthful member of the Birger gang, recently confessed that he and his brother shot Adams at the instance of Birger, who with two of his henchmen, were indicted for the alleged murder.
 
      Mr. and Mrs. Steve George, Elmo Thomasson, brother of Harry, and Bert Owens lost their lives at Shady Rest in January, 1927, when the place was bombed and burned. This crime has since been attributed by authorities to the Birger gang.
 
Price Case Is Last
      Last came the kidnapping and slaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Price This occurred on the night of January 17. Price's body was found in Washington county 22 days later and Mrs. Price in an abandoned mine shaft near here this week. This double slaying was perhaps the most cold blood of all the long series of gang reprisals.
      Carl, Ernie and Bert Shelton are now at liberty under bond. They were granted a new trial on the mail robbery charge after Harve Dungy repudiated his testimony against them. Dungy is in jail here on a charge of automobile theft.
      Harry Thomasson is serving a life term for his confessed part in the the Adams murder. At the time he confessed, he was under sentence of ten years for highway robbery. Danny Brown and Ray Rome were convicted with him on that charge.
      Connie Ritter, named by Newman in the Price slaying and by Thomasson in the Adams killing, still is a fugitive. Ernest Blue and Leslie Simpson, also named by Newman, are at large. Riley Simmons, indicted for the Price murder, is in a federal penitentiary.
      Freddie Wooten, whom Newman said was with the assassins to the Prices but took no part, in the slaying, is serving a sentence in Atlanta federal penitentiary for interstate transportation of stolen automobiles.
      Newman, under indictment in connection with the Adams murder, is in jail at Belleville. Birger awaits trial charged with leadership in both crimes in Sangamon county jail at Springfield.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 160
Thursday, June 16, 1927, Page 4
EARLY TRIAL IS PLANNED
PROSECUTORS WANT TO GET QUICK ACTION ON THE MURDERS OF PRICES AND MAYOR JOE ADAMS
      early trial for. the ten men indicted at a special session of the grand jury for the slaying of Mr. and Mrs. Lory Price, he announced here today.
      This will depend on the willingness of State's Attorney Roy Martin of Franklin county, and of State's Attorney H. H. House of Washington county, to allow us to proceed first," Boswell explained.
      The Williamson county prosecutor is anxious to bring the indicted gangsters to trial here before they face murder charges in the other two counties. He argues that Williamson county has suffered most from the gangsters' war and that it should have first claim, therefore, in the dispensation of punishment to those responsible.
      Franklin county officials are planning to try Charlie Birger and several of his followers on charges of murdering Mayor Joe Adams of West City, and Washington county has indicted Birger and four others for the slaying of Price.
      The men indicted yesterday in this county were charged with both the murder of Price and Mrs. Price, although the confession of Art Newman which led to apparent solution of the double slaying, said Mrs. Price was killed in Williamson county.
      All of the men named in the indictments were former members of the Birger gang.
      The grand jury had been is session less than one hour when it returned the indictments. Although county officials would not verify the list of men indicted, it was known to include Birger, Newman, Connie Ritter, Freddie Wooten, and several notorious gangsters.
      "Other counties have promised Newman freedom," said Boswell, "but I have made no such promise to any gangster."
      County officials intimated that another crime more brutal than the Price slayings might soon be explained. He referred to the dynamiting and burning of "Shady Rest," Birger's roadhouse, in which four persons were killed.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 171
Wednesday, June 29, 1927, Page 1
Open Verdict Returned for Price Murder
      Marion, Ill., June 29 --(U.P.)-- Refusal of Franklin county authorities to furnish necessary witnesses was given here today as the reason for return of an open verdict by the coroner's jury that investigated the death of Mrs. Lory Price.
      Mrs. Price's body was found in an abandoned mine shaft near here and Charlie Birger, gang leader, along with nine of his associates was indicted for the murder. She was abducted with her husband from their home here last January.
      The body of Price, a highway patrolman, was found in Washington county. Birger and four others were indicted for murder in connection with his slaying.
      Authorities of both counties wish to try Birger and his followers.
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Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Volume LIV Number 272
Saturday, July 30, 1927, Page 1
Boswell Bares Alleged Plot In Newman Case
      Marion, Ill., July 29 --(AP)-- Revealing a number of sensational charges, which Art Newman, convicted Birger gangster is said to have made against him, Arlie Boswell, state's attorney of Williamson county today declared a plot was being made against him to force him to drop the prosecution of Newman here for murder of State Patrolman Lory Price and his wife.
      Boswell declared that friends of Newman are attempting by the use of Newman's, accusations, to "bluff' him into letting Newman go free from prosecution. Boswell said he would seek to try Newman here within a week if such "tactics are persisted in."
      "I have, received information," Boswell said, "that since he received his sentence to the penitentiary for life, Newman had said I am the man who brought about the killing of Lory Price and that I took Sheriff Oren Coleman to Birger's resort last winter for the sole purpose of having him "bumped off.'
      "These are part of the things that Newman has charged me with. He didn't tell them before he heard the verdict in his trial at Benton. He tells them now after he has failed to receive the death sentence and realizes that Williamson county is the only county now that can hang him. And his friends are simply trying to bluff me into letting him go in this county."
      Boswell said that after Newman was indicted in Williamson county for the Price killing, a representative of Newman came into his office and urged him to drop the charges.
Story Published
      Boswell indicted Newman after the latter's alleged confessions in the Price murders had appeared in a St. Louis' newspaper. Newman asserted in the newspaper article that Mrs. Price's body, would be found in an abandoned mine shaft and later pointed the way to excavators who uncovered the body
      During the trial of Newman at Benton, for the murder of Mayor Joe Adams of West City, state highway police dug into the ground at Dubois, where Price's body was found, and uncovered a number of revolver bullets which they said indicated Price was killed in Washington county.
 
Woman Visits Birger
      BENTON, July 29 --(AP)-- A woman, saying she was a former wife of Charles Birger, condemned gang leader, visited the gangster in his cell here today and collapsed shortly afterward. She was revived by jail attaches.
      The visitor gave no name but said she was the mother of Birger's "oldest daughter, Minnie. She was permitted to visit Birger and after she had spoken a few words, collapsed. She was revived in an outer room and then rejoined her husband outside without returning to the cell.
      She refused to talk to reporters. The only information she would divulge was that she was from Circleville, Ohio, and that she wanted to gain custody of the child.
      Mrs. Ray Shamsky of St. Louis, a sister of Birger, and Mrs. Bernice Birger, the present wife of the gangster were in consultation with the woman this afternoon, it was said. The three reached an agreement, by which Mrs. Shamsky was to have possession of both of Birger's children, Charline and Minnie, and that care and education should be paid for by Birger.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 27, Number 304
December 5, 1927, Page 4
Gang Trial is Started After Many Attempts
      Marion, Ill., Dec. 5. --(U.P.)-- Temporary postponement of the Lyle Worsham murder trial until this afternoon was featured today by appearance in court of B. C. Menees, '76-year old Carterville farmer.
      Menees explained that it was on his farm that Worsham's body was deposited and burned, allegedly, by Harvey Dungey, Fred Thomasson, Joe Booker and O. D. Watson, Birger gangsters on September 17, 1926
      He came to court, the aged farmer said, "to find out who burned down my barn."
      If he finds out, he told spectators at the court, he will bring suit against them for damages. He valued the structure at $1,200.
      Menees also expressed the belief that two men were burned in the bam, and told of finding what appeared to be human ribs several days after the Worsham body was removed.
      The barn owner told of chasing two automobiles which drove up to the barn shortly before it burst into flames. He was not successful in his efforts with a small automobile, he said, and the two powerful cars got away from him.
      Postponement of the trial opening until this afternoon was caused by failure of sufficient prospective jurors to arrive. Court was to re-open at 1:30 p. m.
 
 
      Marion, Ill., Dec. 5 --(U.P.)-- Four alleged Birger gangsters, Harvey Dungey, Fred Thomasson, Joe Booker and O. D. Watson, went on trial in circuit court here today for the machine-gun murder of Lyle "'Shag" Worsham.
      The crime for which the four defendants and six others, including Charley Birger, since sentenced to hang for the murder of Mayor Joe Adams of West City, were indicted, was probably the most brutal crime in the inter-gang warfare of southern Illinois.
      After various false starts, and an intervening jailbreak by Dungey, all preliminaries were ironed out late last week-end and the case of the four gangsters definitely set down for trial today in Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell's session of circuit court.
      Arlie O. Boswell, state's attorney who sent Rado Millich to the gallows for the murder of Ward Jones, led the state's legal forces, and predicted death sentences for at least three of the four defendants.
      Counsel for defense, appointed by the court early in October, are John Read of Marion, for Dungey; George Crichton of Herrin, for Thomasson; Hal Gillmore of Carterville for Booker; and L. A. Colp of Marion, for Watson.
      Because of agreement of counsel, an early start of the trial proper was forecast as court opened. Immediate selection of prospective jurors was expected, and presentation of opening arguments might begin late today.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 28, Number 296
Saturday, November 24, 1928, Page 1
PRICE CASE UP MONDAY
Boswell Works Hard to Get His Case Against Birger Gangsters Ready
      Marion, Ill., Nov. 24 --(U.P.)-- Unless a last minute monkey wrench is unexpectedly thrown into the machinery, the long-awaited trial of former members of the notorious Birger gang for the murders of State Patrolman Lory Price and wife, Ethel, will open here Monday before Circuit Court Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell.
      State's Attorney Arlie O. Boswell of Williamson county, who will prosecute, was so convinced that the trial actually would open on that date that today he canceled his plans to attend the Illinois-Ohio football game at Urbana to remain here and rush final preparations. Defense counsel indicated they would not demand continuance.
      The immediate defendants in this trial are Art Newman, recently escaped from Madison county jail who was recaptured at Havana, and Riley Simmons, brought here from Leavenworth penitentiary. Leslie Simmons, arrested through Boswell's efforts at New York two months ago, has confessed, and probably will be used as a state witness.
Smith to Help Boswell
      Boswell will prosecute the case with the aid of C. Ray Smith, assistant state's attorney. He plans to call 75 witnesses, mostly members of the various grand juries which returned the indictments. Newman will be defended by W. F. Dillon of Benton: Simmons by H .R. Dial of West Frankfort : and Wooten by D. L. Duty of Marion, a former state's attorney. The defense will call probably a score of witnesses.
      Nine Birgerites, including Charley Birger, who was hanged for the murder of Mayor Joe Adams of West City in Franklin county, were indicted for the Price murders. Price allegedly was put out of the way because he knew too much, and Mrs. Price because she knew who put her husband to death. The murders occurred January 17, 1927.
Story of the Case
      Price's body was found February 5, 1927. in a field near DuBois, Washington county, and Mrs. Price's body was found June 13, 1927 in an abandoned mine mouth. Their deaths stirred the state as no similar double tragedy had in years, and brought from Boswell, a wartime buddy of the slain patrolman, a promise that their assailants should not go "half punished."
      The trial will terminate Boswell's four-year term as state's attorney. It also is believed to bear significant relation to the fact that Boswell's indictment by the federal grand jury at East St. Louis for alleged conspiracy to violate the prohibition law, has thus far been suspended. Once this trial is out of the way, the indictment is expected to be announced officially.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 28, Number 297
Monday, November 26, 1928, Pages 1 & 12
PRICE CASE IS UP TODAY
Trial of Three Members of Birger Gang for Cop's Murder Is Starting
      Marion, Ill., Nov. 26 --(U.P.)-- After a perfunctory start, trial of three former members of the Birger gang for the murder of State Patrolman Lory Price and wife, Ethel, was recessed until 1.30 p. m. today to permit defense counsel to confer with their clients and with witnesses.
      The trial opened in the packed circuit court room of Judge DeWitt T. Hartwell, of Williamson county, and involved three defendants, Art Newman, Riley Simmons and Freddie Wooten, all of whom entered emphatic pleas of not guilty.
      Among the spectators, seated at the table of State Attorney Arlie O. Boswell were Mrs. John DuFour, mother of the slain patrolman, and Mrs. Sam Eastman, sister of Mrs. Price.
      Court opened with reading of the indictment to Newman and Simmons by Boswell, and their prompt pleas of not guilty. Wooten did not arrive until late, but he had entered a similar plea last week and it didn't matter.
      Some little difficulty was encountered in the matter of defense attorneys, with D. L. Duty, assigned to Wooten, failing to appear. It was said Wooten did not want him to serve. Whether that will seriously delay the trial remained to be seen.
 
      Marion, Ill., Nov. 26 --(U.P.)-- With considerably more than the ordinary background of tragedy and even melodrama, one of the most brutal murders in a long series of crimes which gave to this district the now out-grown name, "Bloody Williamson County," came up for trial today in Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell's circuit court.
      The victims of the murder were State Patrolman Lory Price, a world war veteran, and his wife. Ethel, who lived in a little three room T-shaped house at Scottsboro, west of here from which they were taken on the day of January 17, 1927, and shot to death.
      Nine members of the notorious southern Illinois gang led by the recently hanged Charley Birger, were indicted for the crimes on various alleged confessions and the general theory that Price was slain because he perhaps "knew too much" and his wife because "she knew who killed Slim."
      Defendants are Art Newman. Riley Simmons and Freddie Wooten, former members of the gang. Leslie Simpson recently pleaded guilty and now awaits sentence; Birger was hanged for murder; Connie Ritter, Ernest Blue and Frank Shrader are fugitives from justice: Clarence Rone is dead; and Jack Crews, called as a state witness, was turned loose.
Touches of Melodrama
      An unusual touch of melodrama was given the trial by the status of the youthful state's attorney, Arlie O. Boswell, war-time buddy of the slain patrolman, about to retire from office because he was denied re-election and incidentally under federal indictment for alleged conspiracy to violate the prohibition law.
      Another similar element of melodrama lies in the admitted breach between Boswell and Oren Coleman, sheriff of Williamson county. Boswell claims Coleman's mind was poisoned toward him by lies told to the sheriff by Newman, who allegedly advised Coleman of a Boswellesque plot to kill him.
      Despite the brief remaining time he has in office, Boswell has sworn that "the leaders of this crime shall not go half punished" and has brought to a climax months of preparation for the prosecution. Upwards of 100 witnesses will be called by the state, he announced, especially in an effort to get to the jury. Newman's alleged confession of the whole affair.
Simpson May Tell All
      Simpson recently captured aboard ship by Boswell at New York after a spectacular world wide hunt of more than 18 months, also is scheduled to tell the whole story for the first time as a state witness. Former gangsters, their wives, sheriffs of adjoining counties, and members of the various grand juries which voted indictments make up the list.
      Briefly summarized, Price was supposed to have been murdered because he had written to federal authorities asking for a $2,000 reward for capture of those who participated in a bank robbery, and because he happened to be at the Birger stronghold, Shady Rest, on the night it was bombed and burned with the death of four people.
      Blue, Ritter and Simmons were named in the indictments as the men who shot Mrs Price to death at the mouth of the mine, about two miles from her home Her body was not found until five months later, buried under cart-loads of debris.
Was Dragged Through Snow
      Price, wearing nothing but a pair of pants and a heavy shirt, was taken bare-footed through the snow-bundled into an automobile, and driven to Shady Rest where Birger allegedly showed him the ruins and then shot him several times without killing him He then was driven 70 miles to DuBois, in Washington county, shot dead, and left lying in a held where he was found a month later.
      There were 13 bullet holes in the slain patrolman, and six in his wife.
      Boswell and C. Ray Smith, his assistant, will handle the prosecution : W. F. Dillon of Benton, will defend Newman : H R Dial will defend Simmons and D. L. Duty of Marion, has been assigned to the defense of Wooten.
     
 
      Marion, Ill., Nov. 26 --(U.P.)-- Postponement of the trial of Art Newman, Riley Simmons and Freddie Wooten, Birgerites, for the murders of Lory Price and wife, Ethel, appeared a foregone conclusion early this afternoon.
      On reconvening at 1:30 p. m., council for Newman and Simmons moved for continuance, and Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell gave them an hour to prepare written requests.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 28, Number 298
Tuesday, November 27, 1928, Page 1
Boswell Will Continue Murder Trial
      Marion, Ill., Nov. 27 --(U.P.)-- There will be at least a three week delay in bringing Art Newman, Riley Simmons and Freddie Wooten to trial for the murders of State Patrolman Lory Price and his wife, Ethel.
      But when the case finally is called, Arlie O. Boswell, state's attorney of Williamson county and the sworn foe of the Birger gang, will sit in the chief prosecutor's chair, despite the fact he goes out of office soon.
      Boswell personally announced late yesterday -- after Judge De Witt T. Hartwell granted the defense motion for continuance until December 17 -- that Roy Browning, the man who will succeed him, had arranged to let Boswell "carry through."
      Postponement of the trial, virtually assured from the moment the case was called yesterday morning, finally was granted at 5:30 p. m. on the grounds it hail been set down too short a time, and because Newman only five days ago had been taken out of the county to testify before the federal grand jury in the county's alleged liquor ring.
      Nevertheless, scores of curious flocked to the circuit court for opening of the trial, including relatives of both victims and relatives of their alleged slayers.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 28, Number 299
Wednesday, November 28, 1928, Page 6
Says Boswell Took Money of Bootleggers
      East St. Louis, Ill., Nov. 28 --(U.P.)-- Charges that Arlie Boswell, states attorney of Williamson county, accepted thousands of dollars collected by the Birger gang from resort proprietors in his district are included in the federal indictment against Boswell it was revealed here yesterday by Assistant Federal District Attorney Leseman.
      Leseman said he had withheld the announcement pending trial of three Birger gangsters prosecuted by Boswell at Marion, Ill., but that since the trial was postponed the charges were made public.
      Indictment of Boswell, Connie Ritter, alleged Birger paymaster; Freddie Wooten, soon to be tried for the murder of Mrs. Lory Price; Charles Schafer, roadhouse proprietor; Izzy Byrn, policeman at Johnston City, Ill.; Thomas Boyd, former chief of police at Marion; Coroner George Bell, Williamson county; Peter Salmo and Samuel Loni, alleged bootleggers; all for conspiracy to violate the Volstead Act, was announced several weeks ago.
      Leseman said he was unable to estimate the amount of money Boswell is charged with accepting from members of the gang but intimated it was "several thousands of dollars."
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 28, Number 302
Monday, December 3, 1928, Page 1
Boswell Moves Out of Office As Prosecutor
      East St. Louis. Ill., Dec. 3 --(U.P.)-- Former State's Attorney Arlie O. Boswell, Corner George Bell and co-defendants in the alleged Williamson county liquor conspiracy, will be arraigned here next Thursday at 9:30 a. m., Assistant United States District Attorney Ralph F. Lesemann announced today. Four of the defendants, including Boswell and Bell, gave bond of $10,000 each before United States Commissioner Paul Jones at Benton last week.
      Marion, Ill., Dec. 3 --(U.P.)-- After four turbulent years, Arlie O. Boswell today turned over the office of state's attorney of Williamson county to Roy Browning, his successor.
      Under federal indictment for alleged conspiracy to violate the prohibition laws, some $2,000 in debt, without a home and the county's creditor to the extent of $700 Boswell promptly hung out his shingle again.
      "I'm going back to private practice right here in the same office where I put in those four years as state's attorney," he said.
      Boswell was busy today transferring files of the office to Browning and aiding his successor in taking over what probably is the most hectic public office in southern Illinois.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 29, Number 1
Tuesday, December 11, 1928, Page 8
PROSECUTOR
      The job of maintaining law and order in Williamson county Illinois, scene of the Herrin mine riots and other disorders, will be up to Roy Browning, who is taking office as the new state's attorney there. He succeeds Prosecutor Arlie Boswell, who prosecuted the Birger gang. State's Attorney Roy Browning
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 29, Number 1
Tuesday, December 11, 1928, Page 12
Wooten Trial Put Off Until Middle of Month
      Greenville, Ill., Dec. 11 --(U.P.)-- Trial of Freddie Wooten, Birgerite, for the Pocahontas, Ill., State bank robbery, has been set back to January 16. It opened here yesterday, but counsel for the accused, recently appointed by the court, obtained continuance on the plea they were unable properly to prepare their defense. Wooten accordingly was returned to Marion, Ill., to stand trial next Monday for the murders of State Patrolman and Mrs. Lory Price.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 29, Number 6
Monday, December 17, 1928, Pages 1 & 10
PRICE CASE IS ON TRIAL
Famous Gang Murder Episode Will Occupy Attention of Circuit Court
      Marion, Ill., Dec. 17 --(U.P.)-- By agreement of opposing counsel, trial of three Birgerites for the murders or State Highway Patrolman Lory Price and his wife, Ethel, was today postponed until January 7.
      Further delay in the case was granted by Circuit Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell on motion of Roy Browning, newly inducted state's attorney, who pleaded lack of preparation. Today's brief proceedings were featured by the insistence of Leslie Simpson, who has pleaded guilty to participation in the the murders, to stick by his plea despite alleged efforts to induce him to change to a plea of not guilty.
 
      Marion, Ill., Dec. 17 --(U.P.)-- Twenty-three months to a day after State Highway Patrolman Lory Price and his wife, Ethel, were murdered allegedly by the notorious Charley Birger gang of southern Illinois, three members of that gang went on trial here today before Circuit Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell.
      Altogether ten members of the gang were indicted for the double slaying which the state claims grew out of Price's familiarity with Birger activities. The three immediate defendants, however, are Art Newman, former chief lieutenant of Birger, Freddie Wooten, and Riley Simmons. A fourth member, Leslie Simpson, has pleaded guilty.
      There were many legal technicalities confronting rival counsel as the case opened, and the prediction was made by some that the frequently postponed trial would again be delayed. State's Attorney Roy Browning, inducted into office this month, has yet to appoint an aid in accordance with authority granted him by the county board.
      Arlie O. Boswell, Browning's predecessor and for four years an outstanding foe of the Birger gang, is under federal indictment charged with conspiracy to violate the prohibition law. If that were not enough to disqualify Boswell from aiding Browning, a rift between the former state's attorney and Sheriff Oren Coleman probably would. Browning and Coleman were given equal authority to select legal aid.
Other Obstacles Seen
      Further difficulties are likely to be encountered from defense counsel, especially for Riley Simmons, who is demanding severance of his case from the others. Simmons is the only one of the four who has not directly implicated himself by a plea of guilty or by an alleged confession. His attorney, H. R. Dial of West Frankfort, is expected to move for a severance.
      Newman, who has made a detailed confession of the crime, is represented by D. L. Duty, a former state's attorney of Williamson county, and by W. F. Dillon of Benton. Boswell, the former state's attorney, has charged that Coleman and Browning seek to have Newman change his plea to guilty, and to have Simpson retract his plea of guilty.
      Wooten made a confession of the crime to John Stack of the state highway patrol force, but with Newman has pleaded not guilty. He has not yet designated who his counsel will be and that fact also may delay the trial.
Birger Was The Chief
      Other members of the gang indicted for the crimes were Birger, hanged for the murder of Mayor Joe Adams of West City, Ill.; Connie Ritter, fugitive from justice; Ernest Blue, fugitive; Jack Crews, released through litigation but called as a state witness: Clarence Rove, now dead; and Frank Schraeder, fugitive.
      The Price murders followed the murder of Joe Adams, and the airplane bombing and ultimate destruction of Shady Rest, the gang's notorious strong-hold, with the loss of four lives. Price, according to Newman's confession, knew too much about those affairs and was "talking too much with Sheriff Coleman." Birger, he said, held a counsel of war and demanded action.
      On the night of January 17, 1927, Newman continued, Birger, Wooten and Newman got Price out of bed, forced him into an automobile and drove him to the ruins of Shady Rest. Previous orders were given, he said, for other members of the gang to "take that woman (Mrs. Price) and do away with her."
Scolded Him First
      At the ruins of Shady Rest Birger allegedly took Price into the remains of a barbecue shack, berated him for talking too much, and then fired point blank at the defenseless patrolman with a machine gun, wounding him three times. Price then was put into the automobile again.
      Just as the party started away from Shady Rest. Newman said, other members of the gang drove up. Connie Ritter, he said, quieted their fears about Mrs. Price by announcing she had been murdered and thrown down an abandoned mine shaft near Carterville, where her body was found five months later.
      Birger's car then swung off toward Du Bois, Ill., 70 miles away. Enroute Price pleaded for his life as members of the party sat on him. The experience nauseated Birger, who was forced to stop the car until he recovered his composure. Newman said. At Du Bois they carried Price out into a field and ended his life with a volley of machine-gun fire. His body was found there a month later.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 29, Number 11
Saturday, December 22, 1928, Page 1
Boswell Case Will Be Tried Early In Year
      East St. Louis, Ill.. Dec. 22 --(U.P.)-- Trial of the Williamson county liquor conspiracy case, involving former State's Attorney Arlie O. Boswell and eight others, was set today for January 14 by Assistant Federal District Attorney Ralph Lesemann.
      "It looks like it will be a long, bitterly contested trial," Leseman told the United Press, "but we expect to prove a very strong case, fully as conclusively as we did in the Alexander county conspiracy case." The government will call between 100 and 200 witnesses, Leseman said. Among them will be Art Newman, former lieutenant of the Charley Birger gang, and Freddie Wooten, former member of the same gang.
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The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, Illinois
Volume 29, Number 22
Monday, January 7, 1929, Page 6
PRICE CASE COMMENCED
Notable Murder Trial Scheduled to Get Under Way In Bloody Williamson
      Marion, Ill., Jan. 7 --(U.P.)-- The long-expected "break" in the Lory Price murder cases occurred today when three former members of the notorious Birger gang, charged with the crimes, withdrew their pleas of not guilty, and threw themselves on the mercy of the court.
      The action came after a morning of uncertainty and conferences between State's Attorney Roy Browning and counsel for the three accused men. Art Newman, Freddie Wooten and Riley Simmons.
 
      Marion, Ill, Jan. 7 --(U.P.)-- Another chapter in the prosecution of the notorious Charley Birger gang of southern Illinois opened here today with the trial of three members charged with the murder of State Patrolman Lory Price and his wife, Ethel.
      Hostility against the gang, which still persists in the district formerly known as "Bloody Williamson county," prompted the belief today that counsel for Art Newman, Freddie Wooten and Riley Simmons might move for a change of venue.
      An obviously interested crowd of spectators filed into Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell's circuit court when the case was called, partly to see the defendants and also to see what the county's new state's attorney, Roy Browning, was prepared to do with them.
      In addition to a change of venue, it was thought likely that counsel for Simmons would move for a continuance or a severance of his particular case, inasmuch as Simmons has pleaded not guilty and never has confessed to any participation, despite his implication by confessions of Newman and Wooten.
      Price and his wife were slain January 17, 1927, by a group of men allegedly led by Birger. The motive for the crime was generally supposed to be Birger's resentment at Price's alleged secret operations against the gang, with which he was fairly well acquainted
May Be More Delay
      Possibility of further delay in a trial that has been frequently put off was seen at opening, of the case when Judge Hartwell excused the prospective jurors while defense counsel conferred with the accused men, and State's Attorney Browning conferred with witnesses.
      Assistant Federal Attorney Ralph Lesemann of East St. Louis was among the visiting lawyers, but said he did not plan to seek any continuance as an aid to prosecution of the Williamson county liquor conspiracy case, which involves most of the principles of this case.
      Chief John Stack of the state highway police, who contributed much to the investigation of the Price murders, also attended.
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Urbana Daily Courier, Urbana, Illinois
Volume 51, Number 6
Tuesday, January 8, 1929, Page 1
TO ASK LIFE TERM AND 57 YEARS EXTRA
      Marion, Il., Jan. 8. --(United Press)--The least punishment that probably will be imposed on the four Birgerites who pleaded to the Lory Price murders is fifty-eight years' imprisonment
      They may be sentenced to hang, as the crime for which they were indicted occurred before the introduction of the electric chair in Illinois.
      State's Attorney Roy Browning explained today that he planned to recommend life imprisonment for each on the charge of murdering Mrs. Price, and 57 years to each on each of the two charges of conspiracy to murder.
      "Under my recommendation, If acceptable to the court.," he said, "none of these men could be subject to parole until each had served 58 years, that is 20 years of the life sentence and 19 years on each of the conspiracy sentences."
      Death may be imposed, as the state's attorney's recommendation for life imprisonment is not binding on the court.
 
Gamble With Liberty
      Marion, Ill., Jan. 8. --(United Press)-- A desperate gamble with the liberty of four former members of the notorious Birger gang of southern Illinois at stake, was to progress today in the Williamson county circuit court of Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell.
      Charged with the murders of State Patrolman and Mrs. Lory Price on Jan. 17, 1927, the four defendants. Art Newman, Leslie Simpson, Freddie Wooten and Riley Simmons, have pleaded guilty on the promise of a recommendation if they would "come clean."
      For the first time in months the four accused men mellowed toward each other under the stimulus of the gamble, and they talked freely together of their mutual defense. They agreed to clear up 27 violent deaths which occurred during the gang warfare days of "bloody Williamson county".
      With their own lives to save from a judge whose reputation includes numerous "hanging" sentences, and with no assurance that despite the promise of State's Attorney Roy Browning for leniency they would be let off lightly, they have opened one of the most amazing stories in recent court history.
      Names of men high in the official life of Williamson county were dragged fearlessly, perhaps revengefully, into the sordid picture by Newman, the first to testify, linking at least two of them with alleged direct participation in the wholesale murders of which he spoke.
 
Simpson Resumes Story
      Leslie Simpson, former Birger gangster, today resumed his story of the murder of Mrs. Lory Price when court convened today.
      Circuit Judge Dewitt T. Hartwell adjourned the hearing at 9:30 p. m. yesterday when Simpson admitted his testimony concerning details of the crime did not coincide with previous stories he told to9 State's Attorney Roy Browning.
      The Judge was obviously angry with Simpson for the falsities in his testimony and Browning said last night that his recommendations for life imprisonment instead of hanging for the four gangsters might not save their lives since the judge could sentence them to execution if he saw fit.
      Browning had promised the four, Simpson, Freddie Wooten, Newman and Riley Simmons, he would recommend life imprisonment for them when they changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty. He indicated that they would probably change their pleas if Judge Hartwell sentenced them to hang.
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Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Volume LVIII Number 103
Wednesday, January 9, 1929, Page 3
BIRGER GANGSTERS DRAW SENTENCES FOR PRICE MURDER
Four Men Given 114 Years As Well As Life Imprisonment For Slaying Man And Wife
      MARION, Jan. 8 --(AP)-- Four members of the Charlie Birger gang of Southern Illinois gunmen were sentenced to life imprisonment this afternoon by Circuit Judge D. T. Hartwell for the slaying of Mrs. Ethel Price, who, with her husband, state highway patrolman, Lory L. Price, was kidnapped and slain two years ago.
      The four are Art Newman, chief lieutenant of Birger; Leslie Simpson, Freddie Wooten and Riley Simmons.
      In addition to the life sentence each was sentenced to serve 57 years in prison for conspiracy to murder Mrs. Price and 57 years in prison, for conspiracy to murder, her husband. Under these sentences, which were recommended State's Attorney Roy Browning, none of the four will be eligible for parole for 58 years.
      All four pleaded guilty to the slaying of Mrs. Price and the sentencing following a hearing at which all four testified. Browning had made an agreement with, defense attorney to recommend that none of the four be sentenced to death; but that all be given life imprisonment.
      It was the second time Newman had "heard" a life' imprisonment sentence imposed upon him. At the time of the sentencing today he was serving another life term for another slaying for which his chief was hanged.
      The Prices were kidnapped and killed, according to testimony at the hearing, because the gangsters feared they would "squeal" on the gang for robbing a bank at Pocahontas, Ill.
      In his testimony, Newman declared that Arlie O. Boswell, former state's attorney, had asked the gangsters to kill Price, but his story was not borne out in that statement by his companions.
      The sentencing of the four men today leaves only two members of the gang, who were sought, still at liberty. They have not been captured.
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