The Texasarkana Interview
After investigating the suspect, officers did not believe this man was the Phantom. According to the man's story about travelling around the country, he could not have been in Texarkana at the time of Virgil Starks' murder.
The man said that he left Pine Bluff in the latter part of April and went to Colorado. Officers kept him in jail for three weeks so that his beard would grow back, which would allow Mrs. Harmon to definitively identify him as her attacker. Baumann told Los Angeles police that he thought he might have been the Phantom.
Maybe murder. I want to clear it up. If I didn't kill five people in Texarkana, I want to settle down and be a stunt man in Hollywood. I'm happiest when I'm living in danger. I know who and where the Texarkana Killer is.
When a party of persons acted wise and said they were 'overacting', it kind of got me. I followed them home. I killed them within a period of three days. Police arrested the redhead at a downtown shooting gallery; he had just shot his 23rd bull's-eye in a row with a. Baumann said, "I'm my own suspect. He then hitchhiked to Los Angeles, feeling like he was running from murder. Baumann said that he was discharged from the AAF in for being a psychoneurotic.
The chief of police said, "I feel that the man is certainly a mental case. The Texarkana killings could have been the work of a mental case, and so far as we know, this man could have done it.
But we have absolutely no facts. They will have to be developed if they exist. Police arrested a black man in his 30s The Texasarkana Interview tire tracks were found on the other side of the road from Martin's corpse; James Pressley later gave this man the pseudonym of Sammie. Yet given Sammie's lack of a criminal record and his good reputation in the area as a longtime resident, officers were conflicted about his status as a suspect.
They decided to have him hypnotized. Sammie was taken to Travis Elliott, a psychiatrist and hypnotist, and had a private session with him. Elliott talked to the man in a private session for a while.
Elliott later told Sheriff Presley, "You have the wrong man. He has no criminal tendencies. Elliott, speaking later, said, "The technique I used on this man was to get him to completely relax. I got him started at counting by ones, twos, threes, etc. I had established in his mind that I was his friend. He knew he was in very serious trouble and he knew he was innocent.
When he went under, he was counting by threes backward. He was completely relaxed. The critical stage is the next state, when you say the subject is cataleptic.
The longer you keep them in the state of catalepsy, the deeper they sink into the third state. I kept him for ten minutes in this state of catalepsy. He was in a state of extreme exhaustion. Sweat was on his face. Observing that even Bill [Sheriff Presley] was still somewhat skeptical of hypnosis, whether or not the man was truly hypnotized or faking, I resorted to a fail-safe demonstration. Through suggestion, I removed all feeling, reflex actions, etc. Bill was thoroughly convinced.
Elliott asked Sammie if he killed Betty Jo Booker; the man replied "no". Elliot then asked him if he knew who did, and the man said "no". On the night of the murders of Booker and Martin, it was revealed that the suspect spent some time with a friend, dropped the friend off at home, then pulled over to the side of North Park Road to urinate.
He then visited his paramour, but after the plans did not work out, he went home and to bed. Sheriff Presley and his officers then verfied the details of the man's story and cleared him as a suspect.
He lied during the polygraph test because of the love affair he was having with a married woman. As in other famous crimes, including the case of Jack the Ripperthe police dealt with numerous false confessions. Tillman Johnson recounted a story about traveling to Shreveport after being notified that the Shreveport police were holding a man in custody for confessing to the crimes after a news reporter promised the man a fifth of whiskey to "tell all".
When Johnson arrived, he noticed the man was a Texarkana alcoholic who had confessed to the murders before. Calling the man out by name, Johnson said, "You know you didn't kill those people. What'd you go and do this for? Tackett recalled that nine people tried to convince him that they were the Phantom. He said, "But in every case, they could not have been, for their stories didn't jive with what we knew were the detailed facts in the case.
You don't tell everything you know about a case. When it gets into the paper, the real criminal finds out how much you know, and the confessors will fit those facts into their confessions. You keep yourself two or three pertinent facts to protect yourself from crackpots. Jimmy Hollis was a year-old insurance agent at the time of the attack. He was born on September 25,and lived at North State Line Avenuea house which no longer exists.
On the night of his attack, he was at the movies on a double date with his brother, Bob, who was also an insurance agent. After the movie, he dropped his brother and his brother's date off. While he was taking his girlfriend home, they stopped on a lateral street off of Richmond Road, where the attack occurred. Hollis suffered three skull fractures and was hospitalized for several days at Texarkana Hospital also known as Pine Street Hospitalwhich stood at West Fifth and Pine Street, and no longer exists.
He was in critical condition. After four days, he showed slight improvement but was still not fully conscious. He was released from the hospital on Saturday, March 9. His doctor told him it would be "some time" before he was completely well again and that he was not to work for six months. By the middle of May, he was still recovering from his injuries.
Three months after the attack, he stated, "I still get nervous when I think about it. At night, on the street, even downtown. Starting at the end of April, he spent a week with Larey in Frederick, Oklahoma before residing in Shreveport, Louisiana. Hollis eventually married and had seven children. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Science in public administration [ dubious — discuss ] [ where?
Hollis died in his sleep at the age of His family remembered him for his jokes and sense of humor, as well as his love for the outdoors, including camping and hunting. She had just been on a double date at the movies with Jimmy Hollis, Jimmy's brother Bob, and Bob's girlfriend. After doing Bob and his date off, Larey and Hollis then headed to the lovers' lane just off of Richmond Road where the attack occurred. She was beaten and sexually assaulted with the perpetrator's pistol, suffering a head wound.
Afterward, she had frequent nightmares about her attacker. She later moved to Frederick, Oklahoma to live with her aunt and uncle, Mr. Paul Long. Her aunt said that for the first time in Mary's life, Mary was extremely nervous and would not go upstairs by herself or sleep alone.
At the time of the interview, officers had not publicly linked Larey's attack with the more recent murders. The report appeared in the May 10th edition of the Texarkana Gazette. Larey said, "I would know his voice anywhere. It rings always in my ears. Why didn't he kill me too? He killed so many others. After the first double-murder, Larey went to Texarkana to talk to the police with the hope that they would connect the incidents and identify the murderer, but the Rangers questioned her story and insisted she knew who her attacker was.
After the second double-murder, a Texas Ranger went to Frederick to question Mary again. Larey, native to Oklahoma, died in Billings, Montana of cancer in at the age of Richard Griffin was born on August 31, He was a year-old war veteran who was discharged from the Seabees in November, He was a carpenter and painter, and handled his own contracting. Griffin, at Robison Courts, which was built for servicemen returning from World War II and has since been demolished. He was last seen alive around 10 p.
He was found fully clothed on his knees between the front seats of his Oldsmobile sedan with his pockets turned inside out and his head resting on his crossed hands. He was shot once in the back of the head.
Polly Moore, born on November 10,graduated from high school in in Atlanta, Texasat the age of The seventeen-year-old was living with her cousin, Mrs. Ardella Campbell, in a boardinghouse at Magnolia Street, which was demolished during the widening of State Line Avenue. She had been dating Griffin for six weeks at the time of her death.
Friends described her as being "homey", as she did not go out with boys much. She was last seen with Griffin on Saturday at 2 p. Polly's body was found fully clothed, sprawled face-down across the back seat of Griffin's car, with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.
A picture of her at her former home in Douglassville, Texas with her arm wrapped around a black and white dog was found in her purse, which sat beside her on the seat; it was printed in the next morning's newspaper. She was also wearing her class ring, with the inscription "P. Born in Smackover, Arkansas on May 8,Paul Martin was a year-old high school junior at the time of his death.
He had worked in his family's ice plant in Kilgore when he was young. His brother, R. Martin, Jr. He and Booker had been friends since attending Fairview Kindergarten together before she moved to the Texas The Texasarkana Interview in He was found shot to death four hours later, his body lying on its left side at the north side of North Park Road, a mile and a half from his car.
He was buried at his church, Beech Street Baptist, on April 16 The Texasarkana Interview 10 a. His mother stated that she had objected to his trip to Texarkana, not due to danger in the town, but because she feared he might wreck his car while driving alone. Betty Booker was born on June 5, She was a year-old junior at Texas High School at the time of her death. She was also a member of the Delta Beta Sigma sorority.
She was one of four officers in her high school band, and played the Bundy E-flat alto saxophone second in Jerry Atkins' orchestra, The Rythmaires, who played at proms and other events. Inseveral years after the death of her father, her mother, Bessie, married her stepfather, Carl Brown, an employee of the Gifford-Hill Company.
Betty and Paul Martin had been friends since they went to kindergarten together on the Arkansas side until she moved to Anthony Drive on the Texas side. Betty was very popular, had many friends, and was well-liked in school. She had many boyfriends, but none that were serious. She loved music and swimming, The Texasarkana Interview liked dancing in programs and recitals.
She won many awards: scholastic, literary, and musical, as well as the citywide title of Little Miss Texarkana inrepresenting the Presbyterian Book Store. After her death, The Rythmaires never played again. She was then picked up by her friend Paul Martin, and was headed to a slumber party.
She was killed early Sunday morning, and her body was removed by an East Funeral Home ambulance. Several classmates and her band leader attended her funeral two days later at Beech Street Baptist Church. It was held on April 16 at 2 p. Texas High School dismissed its students at noon that day so that they could be at her funeral. Betty's mother could not control her grief as she watched the long line of teenagers file by Betty's casket.
Atkins was one of the pallbearers. Friends do not know how or why Betty ended up at Spring Lake Park, because they knew she and Martin were just friends. Even after all this time, classmates of Booker and Martin do not want to be identified.
The murders are still vivid. And in a way, we still are,"  said one classmate in Jerry Atkins stated, "What happened was so tragic, and for many of us who lived through it, the frustration and sadness will always be there. Booker said, "I trust the men who are handling the investigation into my daughter's death.
I'm sure they'll find whoever did it. If he is caught, I would like to kill him. If they would let me, I would kill him myself. Virgil Starks was born on April 3, He was a year-old who lived in a modest, ranch-style home on a acre farm for five years, which was located about ten miles northeast of Texarkana, on Highway 67 East.
He lived not far from his brother, Charlie died inand only two miles away from his father, Jack died in He married Katherine Ila Strickland on March 2, Known as a progressive farmer, he was also a welder who did work for neighboring farmers. He had no known enemies and was said to be a neighbor of excellent reputation, and was respected and trusted by everyone who knew him.
On Friday, May 3, around p. He was listening to his favorite radio program and reading the Friday, May 3 edition of the Texarkana Gazette when he was shot from a closed double window three feet behind him, which faced the highway. He was shot in the back of the head by two bullets and died almost instantly. His funeral, which his recovering wife could not attend, was held the following Monday at his church at p.
More than people attended his funeral, more than 60 of whom were his and his wife's relatives. He was survived by his wife, parents, sister Mrs. Millard Boyce, Jr. Katie Starks was born on September 25, in Redwater, Texas. Katie was 36 at the time of her attack.
She was married to Virgil Starks and lived at their farmhouse of five years, which was on acres of farmland, off Highway 67 East, almost ten miles northeast of Texarkana.
Her sister, Mrs. Allen, lived directly across the street. She was the daughter of Jim Strickland. Katie and Virgil went to school The Texasarkana Interview growing up because their parents lived on neighboring farms in Red Springs, Texas.
A friend had stated that Katie and Virgil were two of the best people he had ever known. Katie eventually remarried. Her funeral was held at 10 a.
She was buried next to Virgil, and is now between both husbands. Tillman Johnson was born on May 24, in Stamps, Arkansas. He moved to Texarkana in the s and started working for the Miller County Sheriff's Department in He soon became one of the leading investigators in the case.
Johnson did not believe that the Phantom committed the Starks murder. He was the last surviving lawman of the Phantom slayings and was the "go to" man for the case. He had been contacted by many interested individuals, including television crews, from all over the world, including China, Sweden, and Australia.
He kept many personal files of the case, most of which became the only case files, because many of the original files, photographs, and police notes eventually went missing from both police departments. Johnson departed from the sheriff's office in and became an insurance adjusterwhich he retired from in the s. He then became a private investigator.
Johnson died on Wednesday, December 10, in a local hospital at the age of He was survived by two sons, a daughter-in-law, one daughter, a son-in-law, two grandsons- and granddaughters-in-law, one granddaughter, and twelve great-grandchildren.
He was a member of the Arkansas State Police from tohaving served as a trooper, then as a special investigator during that period. Tackett was the Texarkana Arkansas Police Chief from until his retirement in Inhe became the president of the Arkansas Peace Officers Association.
Max was said to be colorful, outspoken, and even a controversial figure in the police department. Tackett died on Sunday, March 12, at midnight March 13 in a local hospital at the age of His funeral was on the following Wednesday at 2 p.
He was buried in Rondo Memorial Park. Survivors included his wife, Mrs. Mary E. Rankin of Nashville, and Mrs. Minnie Raines of St. Louis, Missouri. Presley had served 20 years in elected office, including terms as county commissioner, county treasurer, and sheriff.
Runnels, and he knew the Starks family well. Presley died on Saturday, May 27, at a. His funeral was held on the following Monday at 10 a. His grave is near the end of the second row from The Texasarkana Interview entrance. Jack Runnels was born on September 26, Runnels was a long-time friend of Bowie County Sheriff Presley. He and Presley were the first officers called to the scenes of both double-murders. Runnels was also the leading investigator of Booker's saxophone after it had been found.
He was a law enforcement officer for 30 years, serving as chief of police for 20 of them, having been re-elected ten times. He retired in and became a farmer. Runnels died at a. He was survived by his wife, three sons R. Gray of the U. Air Forcethree daughters Mrs. Denny Worley of New Orleans, Mrs. Walter Espy of San Antonio, and Mrs. Burch of Texarkanasix grandchildren, and three sisters Mrs. Patsy Strayhorn, Mrs. Turquette, and Mrs. Ernest Ford. His funeral was held at 4 p.
He is buried at the far-left side of Hillcrest Cemetery front row of section H. He married inand enlisted in the Texas Rangers that same year. He was in charge of controlling gambling, bank robbery, bootlegging, narcotic trafficking, prostitution, riots, and general lawlessness from the Red River to the Rio Grande and from El Paso, Texas to the Sabine during the s and s. Inwhile hunting the Phantom, he swore to stay in Texarkana until the killer was apprehended, but left three months after the last murder.
Gonzaullas believed the attack on Hollis and Larey was not committed by the Phantom. He also believed that someone else murdered Virgil Starks.
Gonzaullas retired from the Rangers in and moved to Hollywood to become a technical consultant for radio, television, and motion pictures most notably, the long-running s radio and TV show, "Tales of the Texas Rangers".
Gonzaullas, a Mason and a Presbyterian, died of cancer on February 13, at the age of 85 in Dallas, Texas. Mahaffey, Texarkana Gazette editor during the spree of the Phantom, described Gonzaullas:. He packed two ivory-handled revolvers  on his hips, and did not deny that he was the Ranger who sat in the cashier's office at the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells and gunned down two ex-convicts who sought to rob the place.
He was so good-looking that my girl reporters would not leave him alone. He really didn't have time to hunt down the Phantom. He was too busy giving out interviews and trying to run the Gazette. All of the other officers working on the case were intensely jealous of Lone Wolf and complained bitterly every time his picture appeared in the paper.
Mahaffey also stated that after the murder of Virgil Starks, the police declared the farmhouse off-limits to everybody. We sped to the scene and I hid behind a car while Police Chief Max Tackett and three other patrolmen approached the house.
Chief Tackett yelled into the house that the place was surrounded and the Phantom might as well give up. Who do you suppose walked out? Lone Wolf explained rather sheepishly that he had been re-enacting the crime and the young lady was taking pictures of him.
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