Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Genealogy Trails

CRIME NEWS ARTICLES

Murderer Captured
St. Louis, Nov. 8 - John Milligan the negro who murdered the three members of a family named Clark, near Oklahoma City, O. T., was captured last night in East St. Louis, Ills. He at first gave the name of WIlliam F. Odin, but afterward broke down and confessed the crime, saying his intention was robbery, but murder became necessary to make the robbery successful. (The Evening Builletin, November 8, 1893)

After Milligan, The Murderer of the Clark Family Arrested
Captured by East St. Louis Police
John Milligan, the negro fiend, who murdered the Clarke family in Springer township, Oklahoma County, as mentioned in yesterday’s LEADER, is in durance vile. The following telegram was received by county officials here yesterday:
East St. Louis Ill.
Sheriff, Guthrie, Okl.
“We have arrested John Milligan, colored, who murdered Gibbs Clarke, wife and daughter. He has acknowledged the crime. Come with warrant and get him. Mike Walsh, Chief of Police
Although this matter was not in the jurisdiction of Logan county officials, a requisition was secured and placed in the hands of City Policeman Gebke who left on the 3:20 Santa Fe passenger for East St. Louis to get the prisoner.
Twenty minutes after Gebke’s departure, J. M. Fightmaster, sheriff of Oklahoma county, appeared at the office of the secretary of the territory and applied for a requisition for Milligan. He carried with him the indictment returned against Milligan by the grand jury of Oklahoma county. Gebeke’s requisition was at once recalled and Sheriff Fightmaster started after his prisoner. It seems that the deputy county attorney upon receiving the East St. Louis telegram, though the murder had been committed in this county and naturally took the proper steps getting the murderer. When Fightmaster appeared his application was void and the matter was dropped so far as Logan county officials were concerned.
Murderer Milligan was in Guthrie last Friday and Saturday and left for St. Louis Saturday afternoon.
The full particulars of the atrocious murder are substantially as follows:
About a year ago a negro named Clark came out from Tennessee and lived with an old negro named Williams up in Deep Fork township until six or seven weeks ago when his wife and nine year old girl came out from Tennessee, accompanied by an eighteen year old negro named Milligan. They finally went to live on Freeman’s claim in a log cabin Clark had built and the Milligan boy made his home with them.
Friday morning one of the Freeman’s girls went to the Clark cabin to get some money coming to her father and when she opened the door she was horrified with the sight. The father, mother and daughter were all covered with blood and there did not appear to be any signs of life in any of them. The noise, however, had aroused Clark from his stupor and he called to her and asked if his wife and child were dead. She hurried back home and notified her parents. They went to the Clark cabin and there found that Mrs. Clark was dead but that the little girl was alive but unconscious. The throats of the three had been hacked and cut, and each had been dealt a fearful blow with an ax that crushed the skull. Clark was very weak, but was able to tell of the terrible tragedy. He said that about ten or eleven o’clock he was awakened by somebody grabbing his face. He opened his eyes in time to see Milligan brandish a razor. He struggled a little, he says, and then was dealt a terrible blow on the head, after which he knew nothing till morning. He was so weak that he could not get up to see whether his wife and daughter had been served as the fiend attempted to serve him. His wife had $175 that she had brought from Tennessee which she had tied inside of a belt underneath her clothing. The cloth belt was found but the money was gone.
It is thought that the father and daughter may recover with careful nursing but those who saw them think that the chances are against their recovery.
Milligan started for this city just as soon as his fiendish work was done. A mile and a half west of Clark’s he tried to hire a farmer to bring him to Guthrie and a mile further he tried again. He is a very black, round faced negro, weight 165 pounds and is about five feet and eight inches high. He is a brutal looking fellow, with scarcely any intelligence. Sheriff Fightmaster will return tomorrow with his prisoner. (The Guthrie Daily Leader, Wednesday, November 8, 1893, page 3)

Dead Man’s Letter
Queer Document Left By an Oklahoma Suicide
Oklahoma City, O. T., Sept. 4 – What some people call an epidemic of suicides is prevalent here. Monday morning E. F. Fisher, a prominent merchant of this city was found dead. The same day Joe Young, another prominent citizen, took morphine with fatal effects. Fisher left a queer letter behind him. The assault to which he refers took place about four weeks ago. The letter is addressed to Selwyn Douglas, of this city. It says: “Herewith you receive my benefit policy, and I adjure you kindly to look after the beneficiary. I ask you to have my body buried as a Mason, and expenses paid out of insurance policy. Mrs. Grant will pay you any reasonable fee for trouble and I desire her photograph put in my coffin and buried with me. Tell her that all letters she wrote me were burned, so that she may not be uneasy about them.
“I want Mr. Cornelius Kiser, a Salvationist, who picked me up after Jack Oldham assaulted me to have $25 because he was looking after me when I was bleeding and helpless. Dr. Ryan also should get $25 and the law firm of Douglas & Rogers should be paid for services prosecuting Jack Oldham.
Tell Dr. Witten, the coroner that I take the laudanum route. I wish Brother Guss of Guthrie Lodge No. 3 to attend the funeral as W. M. I owe Frank Harrah $45 and he must be paid out of my insurance. I also owe two small bills, one to Haley and one to Wand and want them paid. My injury has unbalanced my mind and I can endure no more. It is no small thing to take one’s own life, but I can stand this no longer. Have me laid to rest decently. I hope that God will feel pity for me. Fraternally and sincerely yours. E. F. Fisher. “P. S. – Ask Brown of the Times-Journal not to write harshly about me.” (The Wichita Daily Eagle, Wichita, Kansas, Wednesday, September 5, 1894, page 2)


Will He Escape? Or Has Milligan's Luck at Last Deserted Him?

Twice he has escaped from Jail and Once he was Granted a New Trial - Executive Clemency Lenthened his Life at the Expense of his Neck in Another case - Date of Execution Now Set for Wednesday - Little Prospect of His Evading the Penalty This Time - Execution is to be Private
Oklahoma City, March 9 - A great many people in Oklahoma have a conviction that there will never be a legal hanging in Oklahoma and that conviction is likely to be thrown over board next Wednesday. Milligan is to hang then if nothing happens. And nothing can happen except a reprieve from the governor and as that insturment of delay has once before been called upon it is an interference that is not expected.
It is a curious fact that no man has ever been hanged in Oklahoma either legally or otherwise. Several years ago the first legislature passed a bill making hanging the penalty for murder in the first degree. Several men have been sentenced but so far none have suffered the extent of the law.
Milligan who has been sentenced to hang next Wednesday has excaped the penalty in a number of different ways. Two times he has escaped from prison. His case has been appealed and he has been granted a new trial and Acting Governor Lowe extended the time of his exeuction on one occasion.
On account of so many legal delays and interferences many people in the territory have about come to the conclusion that Milligan will in some way get out of the corner.
The criminal himself is still stoical. Long ago he made his will and expressed his wishes as regards the disposition of his body.
He was sentenced to death Wednesday by Judge Scott. The sentence was not new to Milligan as he has heard it two times before. The death warrant reads as follows:
In the district court of the Third judicial district of the territory of Oklahoma within and for the county of Oklahoma. The Territory of Oklahoma, plaintiff. vs John Milligan, Defendant: Death Warrant
To the Sheriff of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Territory Greeting: Whereas, the defendent John Milligan at the October 1893 term of the district court for said county, having been indicted and arraigned and having been convicted of the crime of murder at the February 1893, term of the said court and having been sentenced to pay the death penalty; and the said defendant John Milligan having appealed his said case to the supreme court, and on Oct. 23, 1894 returned to said district court a mandate affirming said judgment of said district court and the said defendant having been sentenced on the 19th day of November 1894 to be hanged by the neck until dead on the 11th day of January 1895 and on the 10th day of January the governor of said territory having granted to said Milligan a respite of sixty days: and the said district court on this, the 6th day of March, 1895, having fixed the day of execution of said sentence on March 13, 1896 at 12 o'clock noon.
Now, therefore you, the sheriff of Oklahoma county, Oklahoma territory, are hereby commanded to take the said John Milligan and confine him in the county jail of Oklahoma county, Oklahoma territory until the 13th day of March A. D., 1895 at 12 o'clock noon of said day at which time you will take the said John Milligan within the walls or yard of the county jail of Oklahoma county, Oklahoma territory, or to some convenient private place within said county, said territory and then and there hang him by the neck until he is dead, dead, dead; and have you then and there this writ. (Signed) Henry W. Scott Judge of Said Court, Witness my hand and the seal of the court this 6th day of March 1895 W. H. Ebey Clerk of Court, by Adah Cunnutt, Deputy. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, March 10, 1895)
SLAYER OF BOB FORD, SLAYER OF JESSE JAMES KILLED
Oklahoma City, O T. JAN-13 1904
In a terrible hand-to-hand encounter tonight Ed Kelly, said to be the desperado who killed Bob Ford, the slayer of  Jesse James, was shot to death by Policeman Joe Burnett.
Kelly was wanted on robbery charge, and responded to his attempted arrest by drawing two pistols. Burnett sustained three slight wounds, but which are not likely to prove serious.
Bisbee Daily Review Bisbee Arizona January 14 1904 {Submitted by Barbara Z}

Jealousy Results in Three Deaths
OKLAHOMA CITY O T. Feb 24 - Abe Couch, the policeman and a brother of the noted Captain Couch, tonight shot and killed Mrs. Dell Patterson, his housekeeper; and fatally wounded Mrs Maude Patterson, a woman who was rooming at the house then killed himself. Jealousy is supposed to have been the cause of the tragedy. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Saturday Morning, February 25, 1905, page 4, transcribed by a FOFG)

Tragedy at Edmond - Body of Man Found in Cow Shed with Bullet Hole in Head
Murderer Makes Escape - Team and Wagon of Dead Man is Gone - Edmond, Okla., Jan. 4 - The body of A. C. Murphy which was found in a cowshed with a bullet hole through his head and his body trampled by a cow yesterday, disclosed a ghastly tragedy.
While the body of the murdered man was discovered Thursday by a neighbor, it is believed that he was killed the previous evening at about 6 o'clock.
The fatal shot it is thought was fired from a rifle, the ball entering Murphy's jaw and coming out at the top of his head.
Suspicion points strongly toward a sixteen year old boy who has been employed by Murphy but who has disappeared.
James West, the neighbor who discovered Murphy's body, stated that the man had doubtless lain in the cowshed all night, the body being bruised and covered with mud as though the cow had trampled it during the night.
The coroner was summoned and will condut an inquest.
A team belonging to the dead man was stolen by the murderers who made their escape and are being hunted by deputy sheriffs. The team consisted of a white face horse and one with white stockings, one of the horses being a bay three year old and the other a brown four year old. The wagon was an open one of the hack variety. (The Guthrie Daily Leader, January 4, 1907)

Youngblood Captured

Anadarko, Okla., Jan. 5 - Newton Youngblood, the sixteen year old boy who is alleged to have killed his employer, O. P. Murphy, a farmer near Edmond, Thursday was arrested here today. He had driven Murphy's team this far on the way to Mexico. (The Guthrie Daily Leader, January 5, 1907)

Bad Check Passed – Young Man is Now Held on Serious Charge
A young man by the name of Guy Head, who says he lives in Davis County, Kentucky, was arrested by the police yesterday and is now held in jail upon a charge of passing a forged check.
Head entered the B & M clothing store on Main street and purchased some goods. He is said to have presented a $10 check with the name of H. P. Harter signed to it.
The clerk grew suspicious of the man and caused his arrest. The young man is said to have stated that a negro gave him the check and offered him $2 to get it cashed. (Oklahoma City Daily Pointer, Vo. 2, No. 295, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 29, 1907, front page)

Rose A Former Saloon Keeper Arrested on Bootlegging Charge
Jesse L. Rose, formerly proprietor of the Budweiser bar, located on South Broadway, has been arrested upon three different complaints, charging him with violating the prohibitory law.
Rose plead not guilty to each charge in the county court after his arrest. He gave $250 bond for each charge and was released. The cases will be tried some time next month. (Oklahoma City Daily Pointer, Sunday, December 29, 1907, front page)

Screams of Women Caused Man to be Arrested – Was Fined in City Court
C. H. Bangs, who says he is a common laborer, was fined $5 and costs in the city court upon a charge of indecent exposure.
Patrolman Lennett stated that the man frightened two women very badly on Harvey street near the alley between Main and First streets. “I was attracted by the screams of the women. This man has been trying to get into back doors at several different places,” said the officer. (Oklahoma City Daily Pointer, Sunday, December 29, 1907, front page)

Meadows Murder Trial
Celebrated Cases are on Trial at Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City: The case wherein Mrs. Lida Meadows and Rudolph Tegeler are charged with the murder of James Meadows, husband of the woman, is now on trial in the district court here. The defendants are to be tried separately. Tegeler was the first to be tried. The defense claims to have surprises that will put the whole matter in an entirely new light. Mrs. Meadows stoutly proclaims her innocence, and to put more mystery into the case declares Meadows is not dead. Fifty-two witnesses have been summoned by the state and twenty-six for the defendants. It is expected the cases will take two or three weeks. (The Madill News, Thursday, March 5, 1908, page 7)

Oklahoma Doctor A Suicide
Oklahoma City, Okla – Dr. H. Riley of El Reno, formerly one of the most prominent physicians of north Texas, in his room at El Reno Tuesday morning drank a large quantity of carbolic acid and died a short time later. Family troubles consisting principally of the recent desertion of his wife, who went to Denison, Texas, were the causes. (The Bronson Pilot, Bronson, Kansas, Saturday, February 20, 1909, page 3)


Sheriff W. E. Nix of Oklahoma was here this week to get a prisoner by the name of Tom Allen, wanted in that state. [Source: Green River Star, Green River WY, June 20, 1913 -- Submitted by Marie Miller]


Father and Son Jointly Accused
Arrested on Charge of Beating to Death Lunatic Daughter
McAlester, Okla., March 29 – (Special) – E. C. Folks, aged 72, jointly with his son, aged 45, is in the county jail, charged with having beaten to death his insane daughter, Lizzie Folks, aged 32. The men were arrested today on an order from a local justice of the peace, and deny that the woman came to her death by violence.
[The Oklahoman, 3/30/1911]
Swallows Pins To Die
Thirteen Year Old Oklahoma Girl Attempts Suicide
Oklahoma City, Okla., March 11 – Anna Hoover, 13 years old, is said by hospital authorities to be dying as a result of a suicide pact among inmates at the state industrial home for girls. The girl became despondent because she was kept in the home and along with several others swallowed pins in efforts to end their lives. (The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kansas, Wednesday, March 12, 1919, page 1)

Allotment was Kept, is Charge
Former Wife says Woman Took Boy's Funds - Alleging that Mrs. Mary E. McKee has appropriated to her own use $220 allotted to Thurman Aron McKee, minor child of Mrs. Mary G. Carter, suit was filed in the district court yesterday by Mrs. Carter as mother and "next of friend" to recover that amount, together with expenses of suit.
Frank E. McKee, father of the child and a private in the medical corps of the A. E. F., made a 420 monthly allotment to his child, payable to his mother, Mrs. Mary E. McKee, it is alleged. Mrs. Carter, McKee's former wife and mother of the child, alleges that the child's grandmother appropriated to her own use the entire amount paid her for eleven months. (The Oklahoma City Times, August 29, 1919)
Admits Woman Fired Gun; Wants Relative Notified
Harry Bridgeman, negro, about 35 years old, was found by police about 4 o'clock this morning near the Katy depot, with a bullet hole in his right breast. He was rushed to the new University hospital, where it was said this morning he was expected to recover.
Bridgeman declinded to tell police who did the shooting, saying that he didn't want to "make trouble" for anyone. At the hospital, however, it was said that he admitted this morning a woman shot him.
He left instructions at the hospital that his mother in law living at Russellville, Ark., be notified in the event he dies. (The Oklahoma Times, August 29, 1919)
Mrs. Maxwell Still Sought by Sheriff
Search for Mrs. I. M. Maxwell, wanted in connection with the recent disappearance of 15 year old Mable Madden still continues without success, according to announcement by the sheriff's office this morning.
Information charging Mrs. Maxwell with "inveigling and secreting," the Madden girl was filed Wednesday in the court of J. T. Highley, justice of the peace, by the county attorney's department. (The Oklahoma City Times, August 30, 1919)
"Peeper at Work on West 5th Street
A "peeper" made two visits last night at a residence at 725 West Fifth street. He was discovered on the first visit but left when he apparently heard an occupant of the house notify the police. After the police came and departed the prowler returned. The police were again called but a search of the neighborhood was in vain. The police watched the dwelling for an hour but the man did not reutrn. (The Oklahoma Times, August 30, 1919)

Oklahoma City Man Murdered – Harvest Field Worker Known to Police Found Stabbed and Robbed

Oklahoma City, June 11 – Flashing of a roll of bills said to amount to more than five hundred dollars in a poolroom on West California street late Monday cost Martin “Humpy” Sumpter his life Monday night when he was shot three times by an unknown assailant.

That robbery was evidently the motive for the murder of Marshall & Harper, undertakers, who found $114 in Sumpter’s clothing, Irene Henson, Sumpter’s housekeeper also expressed doubt that he was killed for his money, although she could think of no motive for the crime, stating that Sumpter was everyone’s friend.

The murder occurred in a dark alley at the rear of ?17 West Washington about 10:30 o’clock. Those living in the neighborhood said they heard shots but didn’t pay any attention to them and did not call the police. The body was not found by police until 5:30 o’clock Tuesday morning. The roll of bills had been taken. Death was instantaneous, police say.

Police know the name of a man who was seen with Sumpter after he left the pool room and are making a search of the city to find him for his story of the events leading up to the shooting. (Drumright Evening Derrick, Tuesday, July 11, 1922, front page)

ERNEST OGLESBY
Speeding to Aid Fellow-Officer, Policeman Slain
Auto Theft Suspect is Wounded, Later Captured with Friends
Oklahoma City, Ok., Dec. 3 (AP) – Speeding to the aid of a fellow officer, Douglas Gates, police scout car officer, was fatally wounded Sunday by an automobile theft suspect a few blocks from where his brother J. D. Gates, also an officer, was killed by a holdup man, March 22, 1930.
Ernest Oglesby, wounded in the arm, was arrested in a raid several hours after the shooting as the alleged slayer. Edna McElvany, another woman and three other men, whose names were withheld, also were arrested.
Gates’ partner, Webb Campbell, was wounded by flying glass in the gun fight but his condition was said to be not serious.
Two bullets struck Gates as he approached the fleeing car after it had collided with another automobile at an intersection. One was deflected by his badge but the other severed arteries in his neck. In the abandoned car, allegedly stolen in Fort Cobb, were found a pistol and a sawed off shotgun. The suspect fled and escaped in a commandeered automobile.
Cole Oglesby, a brother of Ernest Oglesby was shot and killed by a stolen car detective here a little more than a year ago.
The Oglesbys are first cousins of the Newton brothers, Wills, Joe and Jesse, convicted in the Rondout, Ill, $2,000,000 train robbery in 1924. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Monday, December 4, 1933, page 1)

Slayer Electrocuted
McAlester, Okla., Jan. 4 (I. N. S.) – Ernest Oglesby, 27, convicted slayer of an Oklahoma City policeman was executed today in the state penitentiary electric chair. Witnesses who crowded the small death chamber numbered 225. The Oklahoma City murder marked Ogesby’s 23d conviction. Two other convicts scheduled to die with Oglesby were given 30 day stays of execution by the United States supreme court. They are Billy Prescott, convicted murderer and Jess Hollins. Negro convicted of assaulting a young white girl. (Evening Tribune, San Diego, California, Friday, January 4, 1935, page 6)

ROBERT CARGO
Fugitive Admits, Then Denies Hatchet Murder
Birmingham, Ala., March 23 – Jailed as a fugitive from justice, Robert Cargo, 21, was said by deputy sheriffs this afternoon to have confessed the hatchet slaying on March 7 of A. L. Luke, Bethany, Okla., florist.
Questioned later by newspapermen, Cargo denied that he had “killed anybody.”
The deputies sheriff, Bob Boatre and Cal Nations, quoted Cargo as admitting that he beat the Oklahoma man to death with a hatchet and robbed him of $13 a watch and his car. Burgin Hawkins, chief clerk of the sheriff’s office here, said he had been notified that Oklahoma officers were enroute for Cargo. Cargo said he would waive extradition. (Advocate, Baton Route, Louisiana, Saturday, Mach 24, 1934, page 2)

Youth Electrocuted for Oklahoma Death

McAlester, Okla., May 24 – Quietly and apparently resigned, 21 year old Robert Cargo paid the death penalty in the state penitentiary’s electric chair here early today for the murder of A. L. Luke of Bethany, an aged nurseryman.
“I want to thank everybody and all my friends for what they’ve done for me,” the youth whispered to Warden W. S. Key just before the straps were tightened. The 60 spectators did not hear.
Luke’s hatchet-battered body was found covered with a rug in his home March 7, 1934. A week later, Cargo was arrested near his home in Birmingham, Ala., in possession of Luke’s car.
This was the first electrocution in the administration of Governor E. W. Marland, and it was for the first murder in the history of Bethany, a small Nazarene settlement near Oklahoma City. (Daily Herald, (Biloxi, Mississippi, Friday, May 24, 1935, page 6)

ROY GUYTON
Negro Electrocuted
McAlester, Okla., March 20 (AP) – Roy Guyton, 25 year old negro, convicted of slaying E. L. Bailey, night watchman at an Oklahoma City dump grounds died in the electric chair at state prison here Friday. (Heraldo de Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas), Friday, March 20, 1936, page 2)

Roger Cunningham
Husband’s Map Leads Way to Socialite’s Body – Cunningham’s Break in Pre-Release Quiz Ends 19-Day Mystery
Oklahoma City, March 25 – The body of socially prominent Mrs. Eudora Cunningham was dug by flarelight from a deep sewer  grave early today after her husband broke a stubborn 19-day silence with a dramatic last-minute confession.
Just a few hours before a scheduled habeas corpus hearing officers said would have ended in freedom for 33-year old Roger Cunningham, he broke, admitted he strangled his wife March 6, and directed searchers to her body with a crude map.
With a firm, neat hand, the bearded and haggard Cunningham sketched the diagram to show officers where the body was buried, then retired to his jail cell for the first sound sleep jailers said he had this week.
When he awakened, Cunningham indicated for the first time his motive for slaying his wife. In an interview he said he suffered a fit of rage because he was tired from overwork and she nagged him.
Year of Discord
The strangling, he said, climaxed a year of domestic discord rising to fever pitch as the couple sat in his automobile the night of her death and she berated him for working too much and neglecting her.
“We sat in the car,” he said, “and argued. I got out of the car. Then she got out and said she was going to walk to town. I lost all sense.”
“I don’t know what I did. I didn’t shoot her because I had no gun. I lost all sense, that’s all.”
Earlier, headed by Sheriff George Goff and Assistant County Attorney E. W. Brown, weary searchers who had toiled many hours in a hunt for the 30-year old Mrs. Cunningham sped to the spot indicated by her F. H. A. inspector husband.
Body Fully Clothed
There, toiling in the red earth by the light of flickering signal flares, the searchers dug almost eight feet into the ground.
Then Mr. Brown signaled to officers to herd back a crowd of 100 curious and announced:
“I struck her. There she is.”
His shovel had bared the head of the missing woman.
Carefully, the searchers removed the earth, moistened by recent rainfall, from around the body of Mrs. Cunningham, employed as a librarian at Foster High School.
Fully clothed, even to a pitifully jaunty little blue hat, trim brown sport shoes, and a tan swagger coat, the body was lifted into a waiting hearse.
“I strangled my wife Eudora and buried her in a partly filled sewer,” Cunningham said in a signed statement to County Attorney Lewis R. Morris, who questioned him in a dramatic midnight end to a 44 hour isolation period.
“May God have mercy on my soul.”
Mr. Morris said Cunningham made and signed the confession after three hours of questioning, then sketched the diagram showing where he had strangled his wife and painstakingly dug an 8 foot deep grave while her lifeless body lay nearby on the ground.
All this, Mr. Morris said, took place within 20 or 30 feet of several occupied houses.
Mr. Morris conferred with Cunningham in a last chance effort to find some clue that would form the basis for charges against Cunningham so the latter could be held while searchers hunted his wife’s body.
“Sorry I Did It.”
She long since had been given up for dead because she had no money when she disappeared and left no possible indication she was leaving.
“I just backed him up in a corner,” Mr. Morris said, in describing how he obtained the confession, “and I said to him:
“Now you’re not going to let that dear old lady (Mrs. Joel P. Stokes, Mrs. Cunningham’s mother) choke to death with the lump in her throat that she has from not knowing what became of her daughter, are you?”
“I just kept boring that question into him, and as it turned out, that choking process was just what he had done to his wife.”
After Cunningham signed the statement, he called Mr. Morris back to say:
“I’m sorry I did it.”
Cunningham is the son of the late Dr. S. R. Cunningham, who was chief orthopedic surgeon at the Oklahoma Crippled Children’s Hospital here. His mother is dead, but a stepmother is living.
Mrs. Cunningham’s stepfather, a wealthy real estate dealer, developed the residential district in which he and his son-in-law lived.
The Stokes home stands about 250 yards from the Cunningham residence in a wooded area.
Cunningham had been married previously and was divorced. Mrs. Cunningham had not been married before.
Cunningham told Mrs. Stokes when her daughter’s disappearance was first noticed his wife had left him to go to California.
First serious suspicion that something was wrong came when the Stokes received a telegram from San Francisco purportedly from their daughter and telling them not to worry that she was all right. The first name was spelled “Endora” instead of the proper “Eudora.”
A check of the telegram revealed it had been sent by a former fellow F. H. A. employee of Cunningham. The man, reached by telephone, said Roger sent him the telegram in a letter and asked him to send it. The letter said Cunningham would explain later, but spoke of the urgency of the request.
Other peculiar circumstances quickly accumulated. Mrs. Cunningham was librarian at Foster School. Cunningham, the day after her disappearance, telephoned the school she was ill. Later, when school officials inquired of him about her, he told them she had been called to Illinois by illness of relatives.
He told still others she had gone to Texas.
He asked the newspapers to give the search for his wife publicity so she would see it, “and come to her senses.” And there the matter stood until early this morning. (Evening Star (Washington, DC) Saturday, March 25, 1939, front page and Page 3A)

Slayer of Wife Gets Chair Death Verdict
Murderer Confesses To Strangling His Pretty Wife – Oklahoma City – Taciturn Roger Cunningham, whose graying hair belies his 34 years, must die in the electric chair for strangling his pretty, socially prominent wife and burying her body in a sewer ditch.
The verdict was reached in seven hours Friday night by a jury which had listened to five days of testimony, much of which sought to prove the former federal housing inspector was insane.
Sitting alone in the county jail cell he has occupied since he confessed the slaying, the bespectacled prisoner offered no comment. His attorney was planning an appeal.
Cunningham’s wife, Eudora, disappeared March 6.
Cunningham wrote this description of the murder:
“Monday night, March 6, at 7:30 p.m., I strangled my wife Eudora, and buried her in a partly-filled sewer between Eleventh Street and Park Place in the 3600 block. May God have mercy on my soul.”
Cunningham blamed the slaying on domestic discord. Witnesses testified he suffered from syphilis and had been “queer” as a boy. A psychiatrist declared him insane. Defense Counsel Herbert K. Hyde asked for a life sentence.
Asking the death penalty, County Attorney Lewis R. Morris concluded his final plea:
“He wasn’t crazy, he was just a murderer.” (Heraldo de Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas), Sunday, October 29, 1939, page 9)

Former Oklahoma Judge a Suicide
Oklahoma City, July 26 – Eugene F. Lester, 68, former chief justice of the state Supreme Court was found dead last night in a hotel room with a bullet wound in his head. Acting Coroner Ben LeFon returned a verdict of suicide. A note blamed ill health. (The Emporia Gazette, Emporia, Kansas, Friday, July 26, 1940, page 7)

Wife Strangler Dies in Chair

Roger Cunningham Pays Supreme Penalty for Slaying Last March – McAlester, Okla. – Nov. 15 (AP) – Roger Cunningham was electrocuted early today after a dramatic last ditch legal fight failed to save him from paying the supreme penalty for strangling his socialite wife, Eudora.
Calmly, the 34 year old Cunningham walked unaided to the scarred old electric chair, shook his head when asked if he had any last words, and sat down to die.
“The lethal current was applied at 12:07 a.m.
Envoy Fred Goddard of the Salvation Army and John D. Seal, prison chaplain, where with Cunningham during his final minutes in the death cell.
“He admitted he did it but said he didn’t know why.” Goddard said. “He said he’d rather not discuss it any more.”
The former FHA housing inspector killed his wife with a scarf, buried her body in a sewer ditch at Oklahoma City, March 6, 1939, then pleaded insanity.
As he went silently through the last grim routine of the condemned ln his last afternoon, his attorney, Herbert K. Hyde, appeared dramatically with two alienists.
Hyde was denied permission for them to examine Cunningham and he hurried to Pittsburgh county district court. There an impassioned plea failed to win him writs which would have forced a sanity teset.
The attorney telegraphed the criminal court of appeals with the same result. That left Cunningham’s fate in the hands of Gov. Leon C. Phillips, who had said he would not intervene – that his “every constitutional right had been protected and guarded every step of the way.”
Cunningham did not testify at his trial, but he had spoken of marital discord after confessing the killing.
The confession came after 19 days of mystery during which the pretty Eudora Cunningham was widely sought. Cunningham, who had issued a plea for her to come home, finally broke down and drew a diagram of the muddy sewer ditch where her body lay.
Three hours before he was to die, Cunningham requested Hyde to ask Mrs. Joel P. stokes, the victim’s mother, to forgive him. (States Times Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Friday, November 15, 1940, page 5)
Shots Are Fired By Store Bandit
A gun-firing bandit fled an east-side grocery store Saturday night when the assistant manager ignored his threats and switched on the burgler alarm. The bandit escaped with the manager's billfold. Herman Kennard, manager of the Red-Bud Store, 1640 N. Bryan, said he, his assistant manager, Warren Sherrell, and Mrs. Sherrell, were locking the store about 10 p.m.. The 6-foot gunman came around the north side of the store firing two shots into the ground. "It didn't sound like a real gun," Kennard said, "It sounded like a blank." The bandit took Kennard's wallet and told Sherrill to open the door and make certain the burglar alarm was turned off. "I turned on the alarm and then opened the door," Sherrill said, "and he started running." Sherrill got a shotgun from the store and fired once at the bandit. Kennard described the gunman as about 23, tall and slender, dressed in a light gray sport jacket, gray cap and a flowered handkerchief over the lower half of his face.
[Source: The Oklahoman Feb. 8, 1959 Page 16]

Man Admits Slaying Wife, Three Others

Oklahoma City – Richard Henry Dare, 27, admitted to officers today he killed his estranged wife, her parents and her nephew, Oklahoma City Det. C. C. Miller said.
“He admitted everything and we’ve got the murder weapon.” Miller said. “It’s just a cut and dried case.”
In an interview with newsmen, Dare pointed to scratches on his face and neck and said he killed his wife in self defense. He said she hit him during an argument over a $3 debt.
Dare said he killed his mother in law because she became hysterical and started screaming and “I just lost my head.” He said the nephew came in about 10 minutes after he killed his mother in law and that he had to kill him because I didn’t have much choice.
Dare said he waited more than three hours for his father in law and fired at him from the darkened living room.
Det. E. B. (Sa?y) Meals met with Asst. County Atty. Bill Mounger and said four murder charges were being drawn up.
Surrenders to Officer
It probably will be several hours before we file them but I suppose he (Dare) can be arraigned later today.
Dare surrendered Sunday night after a 100 man posse swarmed over an area about 30 miles south of here in an all day search.
Dare handed over his pistol to McClain County Sheriff Joe Huddleston at a farmhouse near Dare, a small community named for his relatives.
I’m hungry, he told the sheriff. That was his only statement.
Found in Home
The bodies of his estranged wife Patricia, 24; her father, Ted Albert, 60; mother, Virgie, 58; and nephew William McCormick, 17, were found by police in their neat frame house here late Saturday.
Oklahoma City police said they were killed off one by one over a 7 hour period Friday, Mrs. Dare, was beaten to death. Mrs. Albert was strangled with a window cord. Albert and young McCormick were shot in the head at close range.
Dare was taken to Purcell, Okla., by Huddleston then brought here by State Crime Bureau agents.
Huddleston said Dare apparently hid in the woods near the farm house of his brother in law Orbie Carter Sunday.
Walked Out of House
Carter told officers Dare had come to visit him early Sunday morning and had talked about the slayings. Huddleston said Carter told him he was not aware Dare was in the woods.
Huddleston said about 9:30 he saw Dare duck out of the woods and make for the farmhouse.
The sheriff showed the four slaying occurred between noon and 7:30 p.m. Friday. Detectives crawled through a window at the Albert residence late Saturday when a relative said she had been unable to arouse anyone in the house.
They found the bodies of Mrs. Dare and her mother in a front bedroom, the bodies of the man and youth in a rear room. All were covered with sheets or bedspreads.
Lt. Hilton Greer said it appeared Mrs. Dare had been slain first by a vicious beating. The detective theorized her mother was next and that McCormick and Albert were killed singly as they entered the house.
Police records show Dare was arrested for assault and battery June 12 after his wife said he threatened her life. Soon after Mrs Dare started divorce proceedings. (The Lawton Constitution, Monday, August 8, 1960, front page)

Insanity Plea by Dare Seen
Oklahoma City – Angular Richard Henry Dare pleaded innocent in justice court here Monday to charges of murder in the deaths of his estranged wife, her parents and nephew.
Dare, a part-time carpenter admitted the four slaying to officers and newmen. He told reporters that after the slayings “I slept better than I have slept in years.”
He is charged in the deaths of Mrs. Patricia Dare, 24, his estranged wife; her parents, Ted Albert, 60, and Virgie Albert, 58; and the Albert’s grandson, William McCormick, 17.
Peace Justice Marvin Cavnar tentatively set Dare’s preliminary hearing for Aug. 23. He is being held without bond.
Dare’s father, Charles W. Dare, told an assistant county attorney his 27 year old son will plead insanity.
Dare said his son suffered a fractured skull in a fall while he was in the Army.
“After he was discharged he never acted the same,” said the elder Dare.
In statements to police and newsmen, Dare puffed at a cigarette and calmly detailed the four killings with which he is charged.
He said an argument over a $3 debt led to a fight with his wife and resulted in her death. An autopsy report showed Mrs. Dare died of a brain injury.
He said the fight took place shortly after noon Friday, an hour later his mother-in-law became a strangulation victim. Later that evening Dare said he shot McCormick and Albert.
Dare surrendered to officers Sunday night, at a farmhouse cornered by a 100 man armed posse. (Miami Daily News-Record, Tuesday, August 9, 1960, page 8)

Not Guilty Verdict Returned by Jury

Oklahoma City – One of three persons charged in the June 2 slaying of 74 year old Martin Carriker of Oklahoma City was acquitted Thursday.

A district court jury in Oklahoma City found Mrs. Margaret Pearson, the victim’s step-daughter not guilty.

Still facing trial for murder in the Carriker case are Raymond McCoy and Alexander Peoples, both handymen at the Carriker home. (The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Friday, November 15, 1963, page 7)

Several Due Quiz in Shooting Case

Oklahoma City – Several other persons will be questioned in connection with the slaying of a retired businessman within the next few days, Lt. D. C. Mosshart, head of the Oklahoma City homicide department said today.

Two persons were questioned today about the Sunday shooting death of Martin Carriker, 74. They are Alexander Peoples, 55 of Oklahoma City and Raymond Henry McCoy, 18, a former employee of Carriker.

Mosshart said that both men had submitted to lie detector tests. (The Lawton Constitution, Thursday, June 6, 1963, page 23)

Woman Faces Death Charges

Oklahoma City – Mrs. Margaret Pearson, 54, was charged Thursday with Murder in the shooting death of her step-father 74 year old retired business man Martin Carriker Sr.

Mrs. Pearson was arrested at 6 p.m. and immediately taken before Peace Justice Wendell Foster for arraignment. She pleaded innocent and Foster set her preliminary hearing for July 3. Mrs. Pearson was placed in the county jail.

Two men who had worked for Carriker were arrested Wednesday and were held for questioning.

Carriker’s body was found Monday. An autopsy showed he had been killed by a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle. (The Ada Evening News, page 7, Friday, June 7, 1963)