HOW DID THE YOUNGS ESCAPE?
In Chapter three, it is presumed the Youngs emerged from the house immediately after the killings as Detectives Frank Pike and Owen Brown were fleeing east through the field and that they then went into the front yard where three men lay dead and dying, and took Tony Oliver's gun out of his holster while he was still kicking and mumbling in the throes of death, and then tore the wiring from the spark plugs on the Sheriff's car and then grabbed Houser's gun which lay beside him and returned to the house through the kitchen door where Mashburn lay groaning and Hendrix lay dead and then threw Oliver's gun down (it was found near Mashburn by Lon Scott, when he and Detective Lee Jones rushed the house from behind the pole pile), and that they then packed some belongings and the guns of Houser, Hendrix, Mashburn and Crosswhite in two small traveling bags and left on foot in a north and west direction through cornfields and orchards.
Investigators are not agreed that the Youngs left on foot. Some of them think they must have driven away in a car. If they didn't use a car, they ask, why did they strip the wiring on the Sheriff's auto.
When Pike and Brown reached the road, they watched the house and lane intently but saw no one leave either on foot or in a car. From their position they could not have seen anyone leaving in a northwest direction on foot. The five survivors of the massacre-Pike, Brown, Bilyeu, Johnson and Wegman-claim there were as many autos found on the premises that night as they saw there in the afternoon when they arrived to arrest the Youngs.
Although there is a similitude in size and apparel worn by the men, investigators do not believe Motorcycle Officer Cecil McBride when he shot at two men in the cornfield was aiming his fire at Harry and Jennings Young at that late hour. None of the investigators believe the boys walked into Springfield to steal the Ford Coupe they drove to Texas. No one has discovered yet, for certain, how they came into possession of the car. It was reported stolen at 8:50 p. m., nearly five hours after the shooting began at the Young home. 67
WHO CARRIED THE GUNS AND BAGS TO HOUSTON?
One of the unsolved mysteries of the Young brothers massacre revolves around the fact it is definitely known, Harry and Jennings Young were not carrying the stolen revolvers and bags they hurriedly packed at their mother's home near Springfield immediately after the massacre, when they were found by H. D. Carroll at the wrecked car near Street-man, Texas, and later as hikers when they were given a ride by a Ft.Worth drug salesman, and still later when they were transported into Fairfield by a Corsicana, Texas, business man. Someone else must have followed them in a car all the way to Houston because the bags, guns and some clothing positively known to have been in the Young farm home on the day of the massacre, were found in their room at the Tomlinson cottage where they killed each other when trapped by Houston police. Investigators thus far have been unable to identify the person or persons who must have followed Harry and Jennings to their Texas refuge.
WHO HELPED THE KILLERS?
Expert criminologists who have worked on the Young Brothers Massacre admit that perhaps Harry and Jennings did do all of the killing with one rifle and one shot gun known to have been in their possession at the time, but most of them believe others were present somewhere on the premises during the shooting. A careful hunt for empty shells and cartridges brought to light only one shot gun shell and five rifle cartridges. Some of the investigators believe they found evidence in the trees and perhaps in Meadows' wound and one wound in Oliver that bullets other than 25-20 calibre were used. Some day, they admit, someone may find a lot of empty shells and cartridges along the road between Springfield and Houston, that might be identified as part of the ammunition used in the massacre. All of the investigators express the belief and hope that sometime some law enforcement officer somewhere, will get a confession or a clue that may lead to the identification of others who had a part in slaying the six peace officers near Springfield. If Harry and Jennings Young left immediately after the slaying, investigators wonder why the large man in a long black overcoat seen in the barn, and the medium sized thin man, and the short stocky man fired upon in the cornfield did not depart at the same time.
HOW WAS CROSSWHITE KILLED?
In Chapter three, Deputy Sheriff Ollie Crosswhite, is depicted as having been shot down from behind as he sat out of ammunition in the rear of the out-door cellar. The investigators are not agreed upon that point, however. Some of them have a notion he was shot as he crawled beneath a window but they can't explain away the belief of Doctors that had Crosswhite been shot beneath any window his body would have been found there, due to the fact absolute and total paralysis must have set in it once. One or two medical men point out that perhaps he was running fast along the west side of the house and his velocity carried him to the cellar. In any event if he was shot near the house he had his hat off because there are no shot holes in it. There is a bullet hole through his hat from the front to the rear but high enough to prove the bullet missed even his hair. Most of the officers who served with Crosswhite in law enforcement work while he was marshal at Ash Grove and later as Special Agent for the Frisco Railway and then later as Deputy Sheriff in Greene county, express the theory it would have been absolutely impossible for anyone to creep up behind him to fire point-blank at a two-foot range. Greene County Coroner, Dr. Murray Stone, fired the shot gun alleged to have been used by the Young brothers into several different kinds of Material including cardboard, cloth, lumber and plaster, and he discovered that only those holes made at the two-foot range resembled the hole just above and behind Crosswhite's right ear. At the autopsy Coroner tone found one wad from the shell embedded in Crosswhite's brain, and is inclined to believe the muzzle of the shot gun was exactly two feet from Crosswhite when it was discharged. On the contrary, his old pals maintain that Ollie was killed from the house with a split shell. None of the Springfield officers have compared holes made at two feet with regular shells to holes made at longer range with split shells. So far the manner of Crosswhite's death remains an unsolved mystery.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EMPTY SHELLS AND I, CARTRIDGES?
There is evidence a-plenty about the Young home, on buildings and trees, to prove the desperadoes fired volley after volley in their attempt to kill all of the eleven men who were present when the shooting began, but the officers who took charge of the premises immediately after the dead bodies had been removed were able to find only one empty shot gun shell and five empty rifle cartridges. Dr. Murray Stone, Coroner, who is an expert in ballistics, identified the empty shot gun shell as one that had been fired in the Remington Full Choke Pump 12 Gauge shot gun the Youngs are known to have carried away with them, and he identified the empty cartridges as some that had been fired in the Remington 25-20 Repeating rifle the Youngs are known to have had with them on their dash to Texas. What happened to the many other shells and cartridges is a mystery to this day.
ONLY ONE BILLFOLD STOLEN
To support their contention that Harry and Jennings Young left the farm immediately after the killing, investigators point to the fact that the slayers took but one billfold containing an undetermined amount, between $250.00 and $300.00. The billfold stolen was removed from the person of Sheriff Hendrix, but they overlooked a second pocketbook secreted in a trousers' pocket. At the autopsy the Coroner found: $225.02 on Sheriff Marcel Hendrix 97.30 on Deputy Sheriff Wiley Marshburn 33.50 on Deputy Sheriff Ollie Crosswhite 99.50 on Chief of Detectives Tony Oliver 42.60 on Patrol Driver Charlie Houser, and .19 on Detective Sid Meadows all of which the killers could have obtained easily had they made even a casual search of the clothes of the slain men. No watches, rings, pens, scarf pins or other personal belongings, save firearms, were taken from the officers. At the autopsy in Houston, it was revealed that Jennings Young had $233.00 on his person, and $65.00 was found on Harry.
ONLY ONE BULLET FRAGMENT RECOVERED
Investigators have come to the conclusion after examining shot taken from the clothes of Detective Pike, from the face of Deputy Sheriff Mashburn, from the left side of Chief Tony Oliver, and from the bodies of Sheriff Hendrix and Crosswhite that the Young brothers used nothing but number four bird shot in the shot gun. Less is known about the types of bullets used in the rifle since only one small fragment was recovered in any of the bodies. The small piece saved for evidence was found in the brain of Detective Sid Meadows. The bullets which killed Chief Oliver and Patrol Driver Charlie Houser passed completely through them. The fragment found in Meadows head was discovered to be part of an ordinary soft nosed lead bullet.
DID HARRY AND JENNINGS SHOOT EACH OTHER?
Not a few old-time officers who have felt the sting of lead and still :carry marks from shooting scrapes, are prone to disbelieve that Harry and Jennings Young fired all of the bullets reputed to have made wounds in their respective bodies. Some claim it would be impossible for two men to face each other and inflict such wounds as they received in various parts of their anatomies. Some claim it would have been easier for each to commit suicide. Others knowing that no powder burns were found to indicate suicide hold that it was possible and probable that Harry murdered Jennings while Jennings was murdering him.
MANY CLAIM REWARD
Nearly as many applications were filed with the Greene County, Missouri, Court for a share in the reward they offered for the capture, dead or alive, of Harry and Jennings Young, as there were dollars involved in he sum which totaled $1,000.00. Tipsters, telephone operators, detectives, police, constables, and deputy sheriffs, to say nothing of farmers, the owner of the cottage where the Youngs died, the undertaker who brought them home, and others; all felt they were entitled to some share. All must bide their time until the Greene County Court completely sifts the evidence in their endeavor to establish who is rightfully entitled to my or all of the fund they put on the head of the notorious Young mothers.
SHERIFF'S WIDOW LOSES RACE FOR HIS OFFICE
Among the first to reach the scene of the tragedy after the Young mothers had fled, was Constable Scott Curtis, only Democrat in Greene bounty to be elected in the Hoover landslide, and it was he and his son who carried the body of Sheriff Hendrix from the Young farm house to others outside. After the slain men had been laid to rest, the Republican central Committee met and tendered Mrs. Maude Hendrix, the Sheriff's widow, the nomination on the Republican ticket for the unexpired part of the Sheriff's term of office. She accepted the nomination and thanked the politicians for their gracious gesture. The Democrats thought at first they would not oppose her, but to comply with the law they nominated constable Scott Curtis to head their ticket. The election was held twenty-four days after Sheriff Hendrix had laid down his life in line of duty. Constable Scott Curtis became the new Sheriff through a majority of thirty-nine out of a total of more than twelve thousand votes.
MORE THAN $11,000.00 IN WIDOWS' BENEFIT FUND
The Greene County Court and the Springfield City Commissioners together voted resolutions to enable all funeral expenses for the slain officers to be paid from public funds. In addition to this, the general public in Springfield and surrounding country freely subscribed to a Benefit Fund for the widows that quickly reached a total of more than eleven thousand dollars. Mrs. Maude Hendrix, relict of Sheriff Marcell Hendrix, expressed a wish to be excused from participating In the fund on the grounds her husband had left her better fortified financially than were widows of the other slain officers. The fund, it is understood, will be expended as, when and where needed among the beneficiaries.
MRS. YOUNG DID NOT TELEPHONE
Newspapers everywhere gave credence to the report Mrs. Willie Young (who was spending the afternoon in Springfield with relatives of the family), found out that Vinita and Lorena had been picked up soon after they were rushed to the station by detectives and then phoned to Jennings and Harry at her home in the country to warn them to be on the lockout for officers. Investigation proved to the contrary, that Mrs. Young did not telephone to her sons. The Young farm home is served by the Brookline Telephone Exchange. No calls were made through Brookline to the Young farm home or from the Young house on January 2nd. The Young phone did not ring that day, since none of their neighbors on the same party line had occasion to call them about neighborhood matters. Investigation proved further that no one else in Springfield called through the Brookline Exchange between noon and dusk, and that no one in the Brookline territory called to Springfield or elsewhere. The Elwood Telephone Exchange also serves some of the distant neighbors and friends of the Young family, but investigation proved that no calls were made from Springfield or elsewhere to the Elwood Exchange on January 2nd. Only one call was made from the Elwood territory and that conversation had nothing to do with the Young family. 72
AN EXPERT WRITES ABOUT YOUNG BROTHERS RAID
(The publishers of this booklet requested one of America's best known authorities on the apprehension of barricaded criminals and insane persons to comment on the theories involved in raiding a fort such as the Young Brothers made of their mother's farm house. Although it was impossible for the expert to travel to Springfield, all sorts of floor plans, air pictures, ground pictures, illustrations, maps, and the first three chapters of this booklet were made available for his study. The author of the following article is a busy official without any time to devote to correspondence, so he requested that his name be withheld from publication in connection with the treatise.-The Publishers.)
It is always easy to tell the other fellow afterward how he should have one anything. We Americans enjoy that past-time to the fullest, but as a result we can trace much of our advancement in everything to the fact we do generally read some lesson in the mistakes and experiences of others. It is not in criticism of the slain officers at all that I write, but only in the belief I might be able to help others who may in the future be confronted with a similar problem, that I consent to attempt to tell how I would have raided the Young farm house in an endeavor to apprehend the Young brothers.
At the outset, of course, I realize none of the officers knew for sure the criminals sought were on the Young premises. And I guess, too, that from past experiences they looked for little trouble. These were circumstances to the proposed capture of the Young brothers that prompted Springfield officers to use less caution than they should. Lack of caution is the cause of more deaths in law enforcement circles than any other contributing factor. Bravery is always to be applauded, but lack of caution should not be condoned.
My chief criticism of the whole Young brothers episode is laid at the door of the city and county officials who permitted their law enforcement apartments to sink to such a low state of preparation for such emergencies. It seems to me the peace officers of the central west ought to admit pretty soon that they have about as much contact with big-time crooks as we metropolitan officers do. Just off-hand, I could run down through considerable list, beginning with Fleagle, Burke, Colbeck, Underhill, Spencer, Starr, Pendleton, Watson, Floyd, on down through a considerable roster of notorious bad men, ending up perhaps with the Kimes boys, some of whom have in the past driven over much of the territory of the central west. If I would actually put my mind to it, I probably could think up hurriedly a much longer file of notorious criminals who are at present moment actually infesting the great open spaces within the Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas rivers.
The tourists look upon your central west area as a beautiful and bountiful country, full of opportunities and pleasures for home seekers and visitors, but we metropolitan peace officers hear less about its charms than we do its advantages as a hideout for big-time crooks. We get our information from the criminals themselves and we get it pretty straight and pretty often, too, that there are a lot of real bad men in the wide open spaces even to this day. Events in recent months seem to prove our contention that the big cities are freer of bad men than the smaller towns and countrysides of the central west. Events in future months, unless we get the wrong dope from talking to crooks, will prove our contention still further. Officers of the central west are certain in the future to flush some bad men, and when they do come upon them they had better be prepared fully to cope with bad men in a bad frame of mind.
It is axiomatic in America, that we look beyond us always for something to worry about. No doubt, the people of the central west all worry considerable about the gangsters of Chicago and New York. It is well, perhaps, they do worry about conditions in the big cities and for the same reason it is just as well that we people in the cities worry a lot about the gun-toting wild men who run loose to shoot and kill in the central west.
Your worst crooks frequent our cities. Our worst criminals frequent your country. When we corner a crook in the city, we arc prepared to bring him to justice without the loss of life. When you corner a bad man in the smaller cities of the central west, you run the chance of losing more men than you capture. There is a big difference in being prepared for crooks and they know the difference as well as anybody. Half-way measures should not be tolerated in the preparations that are necessary to properly apprehend barricaded criminals and insane persons.
The Springfield officers were forced to go to the Young premises with many odds against them, and they were after a murderer who had boasted he would not be taken alive. They had no armored car to protect them, they had no bullet-proof shields or vests, they had no sub-machine guns or automatic rifles, they had no gas masks, they had no smoke screens, they had no sickening gas, they had little tear gas; in fact, they had very little that would be considered useful in such raids by metropolitan police. They had a world of valor then, but it doesn't do them or their families any good now.
I understand that from the Young house, one can see in all directions for considerable distance. Such a place is especially hard to raid, and the Young house is particularly so because there is little if any cover available to officers. There are hundreds of thousands of such houses nevertheless in the United States, that may soon contain a sane or insane killer and it will be the duty of some officers to apprehend him.
If I had been leading the Young brothers' raid, I "would have taken Lorena and Vinita Young along, and I would have had more officers and much more equipment or there wouldn't have been any raid.
In the first place, without an armored car, I would have completely surrounded the farm buildings at a considerable distance. High-powered rifles, sawed-off shotguns, sub-machine guns or automatic rifles, long range gas shells, bullet-proof shields or vests, smoke candles and sickening gas would have been available to some of the officers on each side of the premises. The officers would have been stationed far enough apart to permit no flank or enfilade fire to injure more than one of them at a time.
Having stationed the men and outlined their duties and arranged signals to be passed with the hands or arms or voice between each other for advances or retreats, I would have given the agreed signal to advance. After advancing in crouched positions to a reasonable distance from he buildings, I would have given the signal to stop. Right then I would have determined how well my signals were being obeyed. If well enough, would then have dispatched Lorena and Vinita Young handcuffed to each other to the Young farm yard with orders to return in so many minutes with some word from the inside, if they could not implore the occupants to come out with hands up.
In all likelihood the girls would have stayed in or returned empty-handed with some false report, but it would have been worth the trouble anyway to complicate them somehow in the mesh of evidence involving any later shooting. My next step would have been to advance the skirmish line nearest the barns to such outlaying sheds, barns, coops and other buildings as were built there. These would have been searched thoroughly from top to bottom. I understand the Springfield officers did not search any of the out buildings before gathering around the house. It was apparent to them, as it is apparent to me, the desperadoes would not have been likely to take refuge in the barn or shed since neither afford good protection. The precaution of thorough search nevertheless is always practicable and advisable. In all probability a thorough search of the barn and shed at the Young home would not have revealed either of the Young brothers, but it might have uncovered someone else. If anyone had been discovered in the barns under my supervision, they would have been fetched to me immediately for questioning, and their stories would ve been checked against reports, if any, brought back from the house with the girls.
Next, I would have devoted my time to the house. First of all, from the barn I would have advanced two men under cover of shields and the ** toward the front of the house to within shooting distance with a riot gas gun. At the same time, I would have advanced two men from the west or rear under cover of shields and the poultry house to shooting distance with another riot gas gun. Then I would have advanced the whole skirmish line close enough for them to see the operations of the gas men.
It is assumed here that most peace officers know enough to lay prone or sit in a crouched position when they are without cover of some sort. At a prearranged signal, the gas men would have fired their riot or long range gas guns from a distance up to 300 feet, closer if good cover had been available that made the windows easier to hit. Tear gas would have been shot into both upstairs rooms and then following that a tear gas shell would have been fired into each downstairs room on the east and into each downstairs window from the west; also in the basement had there been one. The gas men would have been ordered to act now as observers behind their trees and the poultry house.
Ten minutes would have elapsed then before I made any other move except to have all officers behind shields get ready to receive gassed occupants with hands up in front of leveled guns. Any officer is supposed to know enough to keep his cover and direct the blinded person or persons toward him and around obstacles in their path without endangering his life in possible line of fire.
If no prisoners came out with their hands up in ten minutes, I would then have ordered the gas men to make an attack with shells containing sickening gas. Sickening gas is not to be used in thickly settled city areas because it causes discomfiture akin to seasickness for several hours, but it would have been applicable for the second barrage of gas at the Young house. After sickening gas had been fired into the upstairs and downstairs rooms through the same holes if possible, I would have waited another ten minutes. It is always bad practice to shoot out or to break a lot of windows where gas is to be used since any draft through the house has a tendency to disperse the gas.
Ten more minutes should have elapsed before any further steps were necessary. If sickening gas had failed to bring all of the occupants out, it would have been safe to assume they were outfitted with tested gas masks or were barricaded in air-tight closets.
Our next step at the Young house would have been both practicable and spectacular. There are several ways of accomplishing the same end, but first of all, if the wind was not blowing hard on the side of the house nearest the best cover one or more smoke candles or smoke bombs would have been hurled under each window shutting off all visibility from the inside. Officers can quickly run to cover then right up to the windows. While some of the officers knock small holes through the glass and curtains in smoke screened windows, others can hurl candles to other windows all around the house. It wind does not bother on barricaded premises it is always better to hurl smoke candles around the entire house from the skirmish line, but either way accomplishes the same result. The important thing is for one officer, or better yet two officers, to get small holes made through the bottom sections of the windows, if curtains are drawn, in order that they may carefully peek through the hole into the whole of the room while the smoke screen is shutting off all visibility from the inside.
The officers armed with sub-machine guns, automatic rifles, and high-powered rifles under my direction would remain in the skirmish line that they might answer fire from any window. It should be understood by all peace officers who are protected with a skirmish line that upon drawing fire through a window as a result of peeking in holes, waving hats, flapping coat sleeves, and etc., that they are to flatten out below the "' window or step back close to the siding away from the window to give the gunners on the skirmish line an opportunity to fire both through the windows and siding nearby.
When an officer prior to any gun play has determined that no one occupies the room he is peeking into, he can kick the smoke candle out of his way if it bothers any. If persons are located in the room they can be fired upon through shields at the window holes, or if they are unarmed they can be directed to do the officer's bidding.
After all rooms are reported to be apparently empty, the men at the windows still remain there. At the Young home I would have sent but two men into the house. One of them protected with a shield and armed with large calibre, revolvers or a single sawed-off shotgun. The other officer would have been protected with a shield or steel vest and armed I with an axe or pike. Both men would have been equipped with tested gas masks. It is risky and unnecessary to send more than two men into a house. They are apt to be fired upon by each other or from the outside when hurrying from place to place in the house.
The two trained inside men would have gone through all closets in the first room entered. The man with the pike opening or breaking down doors. The officers with the shield stepping in to investigate, being aided hy a flashlight in the hand of the other.
The officers at the windows through using gas masks, handkerchiefs or other means, if the windows are broken, can take turn about keeping the inside of the rooms carefully covered while the downstairs part of the house is thoroughly searched.
The upstairs rooms of the Young farm house could easily have been searched by two men under cover of shields, but it is the usual practice to send four men into an upstairs section.
From their reaction to gas at Houston, Texas, I imagine that had Jennings and Harry Young been properly gassed at Springfield, officers would have found them dead inside, probably in an upstairs room where they most likely would have gone for a final and futile attempt to kill those in the skirmish line before killing each other. Under my direction, those in the skirmish line would have been poor targets for even an expert's aim.
The important thing to remember in raiding barricaded criminals and Insane persons, is that gas must be given time enough to do its work, and that great caution must be exercised in any and all approaches to the barricade. Every police department and every sheriff's force in the central west not having an armored car ought to be provided with a full supply of the chemicals commonly used in police work and plenty of good firearms. Raids such as I have described could be staged on the Young premises just as effectively at night with the use of star shells which illuminate over considerable areas as in the daytime."
For further research, I recommend