Oklahoma "Crime" News Gleanings
Alfalfa County


Cherokee, Okla., Aug. 14--- The Bank of Driftwood at Driftwood was robbed by two masked bandits today of approximately $3,000.  Driftwood is about 10 miles north of Cherokee.

The bandit pair entered the bank shortly after 8 o'clock this morning while R. C. Sears, the president, was sweeping out.  Covering him with guns as they entered from a back door, the bandits forced Sears to lock the front door.

Sears then was ordered to open the money safe in the vault.  After the bandits took the money, they locked Sears in the vault with orders to remain quiet for an hour.  After remaining quiet for a few minutes, Sears attempted to attract attention of someone by shouting through an air vent.  He was in the vault, however, for more than an hour and a half before he was freed.

The bandits wore overalls and it was reported that they headed north out of Driftwood in the direction of Wichita, Kas. (Miami Daily News Record ~ August 14, 1929, transcribed by Lori DeWinkler)


Arrest Carpenter for Killing Woman

Cherokee, April 30 – Spirited away by officers for safekeeping, Luke Nichols, 42, a carpenter, was held somewhere in northwestern Oklahoma today for the fatal shooting of Mrs. Barlett Crawford, 26.

The young woman a café employee was shot down in the business district here last night as she was walking home from work. Five bullets entered her body and she died 30 minutes afterward.

Nichols attempted to escape in his automobile officers said but surrendered when overtaken. Witnesses said Nichols had accosted Mrs. Crawford shortly after she left the café and he followed her when she proceeded on her way.

Intense feeling among citizens of Cherokee, officers said, led to his removal from the Alfalfa county jail soon after his arrest. There was no mob, however.

Nichols admitted he shot the young woman, authorities said, but refused to make a further statement. He had been drinking officers said. (The Ada Evening News, Sunday, May 1, 1932, front page)

Murder Trial of Luke Nichols Set

Cherokee, Okla., July 11 – Trial of Luke Nichols, charged with slaying of Mrs. Lillian Crawford here in April, scheduled to begin today has been postponed until August 1.

Because the jury fund in Alfalfa County is depleted, the case was reset for the earliest date after the excise board passes on the new budget for the fiscal year July 30. (The Ada Weekly News, Thursday, July 14, 1932, page 8)

Local Authorities Scouring Vicinity for Johnny Luke Nichols

Local authorities are scouring the vicinity for Johnny Luke Nichols, who is accused of murdering Louise Barlett, white. The misunderstanding came from wanting to put Nichols off the place at this season. (Negro Star, Wichita, Kansas, Friday, April 7, 1933, page 2)

Executed for Murder

McAlester, Okla., May 19 – Luke Nichols, 44 year old carpenter, was electrocuted in the state penitentiary today for killing his sweetheart on a Cherokee street while he was under the influence of liquor and narcotics. (Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday, May 20, 1933, page 3)

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