Thursday, January 24, 2008

Murder In A Small Town

The William Richards family has a story that has not only haunted the family, but also the community in which they lived.

The three daughters, Ann, Mary and Margaret, lived in the family home after their parents had passed away. On February 5, 1940, Mary was at the local high school where she was a teacher while her sisters were at home. Mary had sent a note home to her sisters, but the two boys sent to give them the note returned with the undelivered note. They said that no one came to the door and they heard strange noises from inside. Later two other boys were sent and they returned with a similar response.

After school Mary rushed home worried because she learned about the two failed deliveries of her note as well as her sisters failure to arrive at a missionary meeting during the day. What she found horrified her and the whole community. Her sisters and a sixteen year old young man named Leonard “Powder” Brown, who worked for the family, had been murdered.

Originally the authorities believed it was a double murder-suicide, since Powder had a gun in his hand (the gun belonged to a local man, but it was one that was kept out in the open that anyone could have taken). Amazingly enough the gun was said to have been passed around as well as people walked through the scene of the murders, the home of the Richards sisters.
The family held the belief that it was another person that committed the crime and later a Coroner's Jury came to the conclusion that the crime was committed by "parties unknown."

To this day the murders are still in the minds of those connected with Oliver Springs.

No comments: