Monday, May 31, 2010

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LVII): 1949 murder recalled

The two most recent issues of the Newton County Times (May 12 and May 26) report no current crime or criminal justice news, but an insert in the May 26 paper headlined "Blast from the Past" reprints some crime news from June 5, 1949. The headline is "Jasper Scene of Another Fatal Shooting," and here's the story:
Another man was killed by gunfire in this Newton County seat tonight. He was the third victim of shootings here within six days.

Tonight's victim was Floyd Kilgore, 44 timber worker who lived two miles from Jasper.

Sheriff Russell Burdine named Carl Springer, 45, service station operator, as the slayer. Springer was taken to the country jail at Harrison for safe-keeping.

"I lost no time in leaving with him," said Sheriff Burdine, "for I didn't know what else might happen."

J.W. Moore, 62, banker, was slain as he stood on the courthouse lawn by Albert H. Mayer in a gun battle after the slayer had barricaded himself in the courthouse.

Cause of tonight's shooting did not develop immediately.

Sheriff Burdine said he was told Kilgore, driving a truck and accompanied by I.J. Kendricks, had driven by Springer's service station, three blocks south of the courthouse on Highway 7 a half dozen times with a .22 caliber rifle across his lap.

"Mr. Springer surrendered to Sheriff Burdine. He had used a .30-.30 rifle.

The sheriff said he did not arrest Kendricks immediately. he said he would confer with Prosecuting Attorney Eugene W. Moore.

Sheriff Burdine said he believed there had been trouble between the two men, but he had not determined its nature. He said Springer, a World War II Veteran is the father or four or five children.

Sgt. "Bill" Walker in charge of State Police district headquarters at Harrison was in route to Jasper last night to assist the sheriff.

City Marshall Jimmy Criner had disarmed Kilgore only a few minutes before the shooting, Sheriff Burdine said, but for some reason had returned the rifle and permitted him to go.
Another headline, drawn from Sept. 1, 1956, reports on the scheduled dedication of "No. 7 Highway" with Governor Orval E. Faubus expected to be in attendance.

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