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Notable Kansas Executions
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Thread: Notable Kansas Executions

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Notable Kansas Executions

    Sister's research on murders brings her to Hutch

    More than 52 years after visiting her brother in a Hutchinson prison, a Florida woman returned to the institution last week while attempting to retrace the path her brother took on a five-state murderous rampage.
    Emile Gail Campbell was 12 when she was last in Hutchinson, days after authorities arrested her brother, George Ronald York, in connection with the killing spree.
    In all, York, then 18, and 19-year-old companion James Douglas Latham killed seven people and severely beat another. The two men became the last two people executed in Kansas.
    Campbell is attempting to write a book about the history, while also challenging the story told by the author of another book about two other mass murderers who celled near her brother on the state's death row — Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the subjects of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."
    Campbell believes numerous details Capote included in his story are actually from the story of York and Latham.
    Campbell, who recently relocated from her lifetime hometown of Panama City, Fla., to Petal, Miss., attempted to follow the route of York and Latham as she returned to Kansas. She traveled in a rental car with her son, Dwayne Reeder.
    She began the effort to write the book five years ago, but was unable to travel due to her health.
    "The thing that stands out the most was visiting with Mr. Albert Reed's daughter," said Campbell, 64.
    Reed, 35, was shot to death near Edwardsville, Ill., on June 8, 1961, the pair's fourth victim.
    "It was the car they wanted; a red '61 Dodge Dart convertible," Campbell said.
    The vehicle they'd stolen from their third victim had broken down, Reeder explained.
    "It was the one murder that bothered me the most," Campbell said. "Ronnie said he was such a nice man."
    In his confession, Campbell said, her brother described how Reed begged for his life, telling the two men his wife was expecting. But the pair showed no mercy, shooting him in the head and then eating a lunch Reed's wife had prepared for him that day as they drove away in his car.
    Though killed near Edwardsville, Reed was from Litchfield, Ill., 33 miles north. In Edwardsville, Campbell learned at the police department that Reed's daughter's husband was an auxiliary policeman, and a meeting was arranged.
    "We both just sat and cried," Campbell said. "She asked my why? The only reason I know is that he was on Route 66 and they wanted his car. The route they choose was the common denominator of the people they killed."
    The girl, 8 at the time of the slaying, wasn't allowed to attend her father's funeral because the family had been split by divorce, Campbell said. She believed their meeting last week helped the woman find some closure.
    The meeting also helped Campbell, who believes as a young child she shouldn't have been allowed to hear details of the murders.
    "I was a 12-year-old in the room they forgot about when the preacher convinced Ronnie he should confess," she said. "I can't think of words to describe that day. There just isn't."
    York and Latham met and escaped together from a Texas military lockup, where officials held York for desertion and Latham for theft. Over two weeks, they murdered seven people, starting with the strangulation of two women — Althea Ottavia, 43, and Patricia Hewitt, 25, both of Georgia — fewer than four miles from the York family home.
    Their first victim was actually 43-year-old Louisiana gas station owner the two beat with a wrench, robbed and left for dead outside a Baton Rouge cemetery on May 27, 1961. He survived, however. The pair later told FBI interrogators they thought they'd killed the man, so "they might as well keep going."
    The murder of the two women was followed by the June 7 robbery and shooting death of John Whitaker, 71, a railroad porter in Tullahoma, Tenn.; the June 8 shooting of Albert Reed, 35, near Edwardsville, Ill., and beating death of service station operator Martin Drenovac, 69, in Granite City, seven miles away.
    York and Latham were tried in Kansas for the killing of their sixth victim, Otto Ziegler, a 62-year-old Union Pacific road master from Oakley, Kan., who they robbed and shot three times just outside Wallace on June 9 after he stopped on his rounds to help two men pretending to have car trouble with that red convertible.
    Their final murder was of hotel maid Rachael Moyer, 18, in Craig, Colo., on June 10.
    It was for Ziegler's murder the two were eventually hanged, 30 minutes apart, on June 22, 1965, at Lansing. Their executions came about two months after those of the infamous Hickock and Smith.
    Returning to the Hutchinson Correctional Facility Central Unit, Campbell recognized a pond where she went to feed geese, a house on the grounds that used to be the warden's — where her brother was allowed to call his mother — and the prison's graying stone walls.
    But the building has changed too much to enable a visit to the room where she listened, stunned, to her brother's confessions.
    She carried a newspaper clipping from The Hutchinson News that captured that June 29, 1961, meeting, Ronnie on one side of the table with a bottle of cola and she, her parents, Horace and Malzie York, and the Rev. J.B. Davis of the Jacksonville Assembly of God Church on the other.
    Prison officials were unable to determine, however, which of several rooms the meeting might have occurred in. One has become an employee break room, another the prison's mailroom. A third was inside the prison, where Campbell didn't want to go, though Reeder visited a cell house to capture a photo of a cell he could share with his mother later.
    "I want my facts to be as accurate as possible, and validated," Campbell said.
    After Hutchinson, Campbell and her son planned a visit to Nickerson to try to locate the rental home where the family lived for a month while York was held in Hutchinson, then home to begin writing.

    http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/art...NEWS/121109747
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  2. #2
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    Authorities in Kansas Exhume Remains of 'In Cold Blood' Killers

    Made infamous in the real crime classic "In Cold Blood," convicted murderers Perry Smith and Richard Hickock have, since their execution by hanging in 1965, been buried in a private Leavenworth County cemetery.

    Now, their resting place is quiet no more, due to a search warrant obtained, and executed, by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

    The remains of Smith and Hickock were exhumed from the cemetery today by members of the KBI's Crime Scene Response Team in order for DNA samples to be collected for testing.

    Present with the KBI team was a representative of the Sarasota County, Florida Sheriff's Office. That's because the warrant to exhume the bodies was obtained to assist investigators in that jurisdiction with their ongoing probe into a 1959 quadruple homicide, with the two killer suspected of committing the crime.

    Hickock, a native of Kansas, and Smith were arrested and convicted for the 1959 murder of the Clutter family in Finney County, Kansas.

    Truman Capote later immortalized the case in the bestselling "In Cold Blood," which was based on extensive interviews he conducted with Smith and Hickock during their time on death row in Lansing, Kansas.

    http://stjoechannel.com/fulltext?nxd_id=316922
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  3. #3
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    New doubts over facts in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

    Documents originally held by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations suggest writer Truman Capote enhanced the truth in his famous non-fiction book.

    Documents have come to light which suggest parts of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood – which led the way for the non-fiction novel – played with the truth.

    The files, originally held by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations and first reported on by The Wall Street Journal, suggest that Capote may have cast lead investigator Alvin Dewey in a more flattering light than he deserved.

    There has long been debate over whether Capote changed facts to suit his work, which detailed the real-life investigation behind the brutal murder of a family in Kansas in 1959.

    Capote himself called the book "immaculately factual", but new evidence suggests that events described in the book are different from what actually happened.

    In the book, Capote says an agent was sent immediately to follow up a tip-off that the killers might be Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. KBI documents suggest, however, that Dewey waited five days before he followed up on the lead.

    n Cold Blood paints Dewey as the brilliant leader of the investigation. Dewey helped Capote considerably with his research, giving him access to the diary of 16-year-old Nancy Clutter, whose final entry was written moments before she was murdered.

    Dewey also opened up the KBI case file to Capote and helped him obtain a Kansas driver's license.

    The Wall Street Journal also discovered that as part of his contract with Columbia Pictures on a film adaptation of the book, Capote required the film studio to hire Mr Dewey's wife as a consultant.

    The KBI has refused to explain the delay in following up the tip Dewey was given and since the book's publication in 1966, they have consistently supported the book's accuracy.

    Capote regularly played with the truth in his many stories and was the author of several works of fiction including Breakfast at Tiffany's. In Cold Blood is now considered a modern classic and pioneered long-form journalism and non-fiction novels.

    Smith and Hickock's bodies were exhumed recently after prosecutors in Florida claimed they may have been responsible for another family's murder. The two were hanged in 1965 after spending five years on death row.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/b...old-Blood.html
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  4. #4
    Moderator mostlyclassics's Avatar
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    In the movie In Cold Blood (1967), the then-unknown Robert Blake played Perry Smith and Scott Wilson played Richard Hickock.

    Scott Wilson, who is now 72, played the veterinarian Herschell Greene in The Walking Dead (2010-).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostlyclassics View Post
    In the movie In Cold Blood (1967), the then-unknown Robert Blake played Perry Smith and Scott Wilson played Richard Hickock.

    Scott Wilson, who is now 72, played the veterinarian Herschell Greene in The Walking Dead (2010-).
    2013, The Governor cut his head off and then Michonne stabbed his zombified head!

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  6. #6
    Moderator mostlyclassics's Avatar
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    Indeed!

    Over the weekend, before the season five opener, I binge-watched season four via Netflix. That was a really intense experience, because you don't have all the commercials breaking up the episodes and blunting the emotional impact.

    And in the season five opener, Mary (aka Tasha Yar) got hers, too. The last time she croaked on-screen, it was via a puddle of sentient, black goo on the planet Vagra II.
    Last edited by mostlyclassics; 10-13-2014 at 10:20 AM.

  7. #7
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    It is beyond mind boggling that the perps of the Wichita massacre, the Carr brothers, won't be executed! It's been called one of the most horrific crimes in the entire nation!

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    Kansas judge allows publication of 'In Cold Blood' criminal investigation files

    By Roxana Hegeman
    The Associated Press

    WICHITA, Kan. - A judge has decided that the son of a deceased Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent can publish his father's files from the 1959 killings that inspired the book, "In Cold Blood."

    Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks said in a ruling made public Monday that he made an error when he initially blocked publication of the criminal investigation files in 2012.

    His decision comes in a lawsuit by the Kansas attorney general's office against Ronald Nye of Oklahoma City.

    The judge ruled Nye's First Amendment rights to publish his father's files outweigh the government's interest in maintaining the confidentiality of its investigative records.

    Nye's father investigated the killing of the Clutter family and kept records at home. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were executed for the killings in 1965.

    http://www.brandonsun.com/world/brea...284390741.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
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