Garvin County, Oklahoma Genealogy

Crime News Articles

Mysterious Killing at Lindsay

The following is the report from the Lindsay correspondent to the Oklahoman of the killing there Saturday morning, between 12 and 1 o’clock, Bert Bell was shot and almost instantly killed in the railroad yards, at Lindsay, Okla. The positive murderers of bell are unknown, and a certain amount of mystery surrounds the killing.

Several suspects are held but at the present time no arrests have been made. Shortly after the shooting Rusty Engle and Jim Eatman telephoned City Marshal Sam Everett and claim to have been with Bell at the time of the shooting. They state that the three Bell, Engle and Eatman complied but Bell reached for his gun and one of the masked men shot him. They say Bell fell instantly and that they ran before the assassin could get further action with his gun.

Upon investigation, however, it was discovered that the bullet had entered Bell’s neck and had taken a downward course, lodging in his right lung. Physicians state that it would be impossible for a bullet fired into a body while in a standing position and entering as this did to take a downward course and that beyond the question of a doubt, Bell was shot while sitting down or after being thrown to the ground in a struggle.

As there has been considerable gambling going on in the box cars in the Lindsay yards, it is suspected that the killing is the culmination of a crap game in which Bell came out winner. Eatman and Engle are suspected and are being held subject to the decision following the inquest held Saturday afternoon.

As yet the alleged masked men supposed to have done the shooting have not been found, nor anyone answering their description.

Bloodhounds were brought here from Chickasha by Deputy Sheriff Joe Thompson but were of no service, as the trail had been killed because so many people passed over it.

Bert Bell came to Lindsay about a year ago and has been running a chili joint. He is survived by a wife and two children. Eatman and Engle live in the vicinity of Washington, OK. Engle formerly lived at Purcell and was engaged there as a hack driver. It is said he is the brother of a man who murdered a woman in Purcell a year or more ago. (Pauls Valley Democrat, Thursday, August 22, 1912, page 5)

J. D. Tuggle Admits Slaying His Aunt

Oklahoma Youth Also Confesses Beating Husband, Sheriff Says

Atoka, Ok., May 17 – Sheriff John Shoemake said today an Ada youth arrested last night admitted he killed his aunt, Mrs. Sadie Jones, 58 and beat her husband because they intervened when he made advances towards their 10-year-old niece, his half-sister.

The youth, J. D. Tuggle, 21, was captured in a hills hideout near here after a week’s flight from officers. He was taken to Pauls Valley, where he has been charged with murder.

Mrs. Jones was beaten to death with an ax handle on the night of May 9 at her farm home near Stratford. Her husband, Wilburn Jones, 67, was injured critically and physicians held no hope for his recovery. (Kansas City Star, (Kansas City, Missouri), Friday, May 17, 1940, page 9)

Young Farm Hand Dies For Murder of 2 Kin

M’Alester, Okla., Feb. 9 (AP) – J. D. Tuggle, 23, died in the McAlester penitentiary electric chair today for the murder of his aunt and uncle.

The blue-eyed, sandy-haired farm youth walked into the execution with his guards calmly puffing on a cigar.

Asked by Warden Fred Hunt whether he had any statement to make, he replied:

“No, Mr. Hunt, take care of yourself.”

He pleaded guilty to bludgeoning Mr. and Mrs. D. Wilburn Jones to death at their farm home the night of May 9, 1940.

The youth told the court the slayings resulted from his uncle’s objection to Tuggle’s advances to a 10 year old half sister. (Trenton Evening Times, (Trenton, New Jersey), Monday, February 9, 1942, page 7)

Potts Pleaded Not Guilty, Bound to District Court Without Bond to Await Trial in Regular Term

Larnce Potts, 34, is being held in the county jail for the alleged shooting of his estranged wife, Mrs. Sylvia McCarty Potts, 33, Monday night about 8:00 at Maysville.  Mrs. Potts had been employed at Roy Harris' Cafe since the separation and divorce from her husband about two months ago.  She was supporting her six children and was on her way home accompanied by her 17 year old son, Raymond, when he had to return to a store and she started on home alone.   According to the defendant's confession, he was parked in his car across the street from his wife, and in his own words, "I called to her to come and talk to me and she wouldn't.  I had my twelve gauge shot gun and three shells, and I asked her to come back to me and she wouldn't, so I shot her either one or two times.  I went to Earnest's (his brother's house) to try to get some shotgun shells to kill myself but he wouldn't let me have them so I started back to Williams but they (supposedly the sherif and his deputies) blocked the road, so I climbed up a pecan tree and jumped out to try to kill myself, but I failed."  According to reports, after Potts climbed the tree he began screaming, and the sheriff pleaded with him to come down but he refused, finally jumping 20 to 25 feet to the ground and falling on his shoulder.  He was apparently unhurt by the fall.  Potts appeared before District Judge Ben T. Williams Thursday morning and pleaded not guilty, and was bound to district court without bond and was returned to jail to await trail by jury in a regular term of District Court.
Chickasaw Enterprise, Pauls Valley, Thursday, December 9, 1943]