Tucumcari Historical Museum
Outlaws Murder & The Unexplained
Cabe Adams Jr. OutLaw
Spike Brothers Outlaws
"Black Jack " Thomas Edward Ketchum
Pieces Coming Soon..
Early Tucumcari Murder Cases
On 16th April 1916 The Tucumcari News reported the double murder of John Sweazea and William Jones. The two men had went to town in a wagon together. They left town about 4:30 pm. The two men were from Ogle Flats area. About 2pm Mrs. Sweazea went to the house of T.F.Hunt stating she was worried that her husband had taken his gun to town when he left which he never did. She asked Mr. Hunt to go out later and look for her husband. T.F. Hunt went out later to look and found the two bodies of the men. Seeazea had been shot one times and Jones 2 times. Hunt asked Mr. S E parker to go into town and report the murders. Parker got to town about 1 am in the morning. The sheriff summoned neighbors to come testify before a grand jury Monday afternoon. The motive for the killings was not robbery they both had money on them. The court at this time did not know who possibly committed the murders. T.H. Hunt was arrested though under suspicion that he had knowledge of who committed the murders. No action had been taken yet.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)16 Apr 1914, ThuPage 1
In October of 1914 an article stated that T.H. Hunt would be tried for the murders.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)08 Oct 1914, ThuPage 1
News articles list a T.H. Hunt and T.F.Hunt ?
Article from October 29th 1914- Stated Frank Hunts sentence was 90 years 10 Jury members asked that he hang 2 said life. The judge wanted him to think about what he had done for rest of his life.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)29 Oct 1914, ThuPage 1
In February 1915 an article states that Hunt was only charged with the murder of Jones charged 2nd degree.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)25 Feb 1915, ThuPage 2
- The family says after the death of Franks wife Etta who was a sister of John Sweazea Frank was asked to come life in the home with them. The family seems to think that Frank also killed Etta his wife. On find a Grave the family states that Frank did not spend a life sentence in prison. Which seems to be correct as James Thomas Franklin Hunt is buried somewhere in El Cerrito, Contra Costa County, California. So a murder was set free.
Vansickle Case Murder of Dudley Anderson
Carry (Carrie) alternate spellings in articles. 18 years old
killed Dudley Anderson a lawman who went to server Vansickle a warrant for perjury. Vansickle was in Tipton Canyon south of San Jon cutting wood with a neighbor Tyson Hutchinson. Anderson told Vansickle to grab his ax after Vansickle supposedly said he would go with Anderson. The neighbor did not see what occured but after Vansickle killed Anderson shooting him he left he went to his home and sent a letter to a friend to tell Otis Duke a Constable saying that he had killed a man. Vansickle was arrested and because he basically turned himself in his lawyers asked for a fair bond. He was not bonded.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)24 Dec 1913, WedPage 1
April of 1914 Vansickle had been charged 1st degree murder by grand jury and was headed to be tried.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)23 Apr 1914, ThuPage 1
March of 1915 an article in the Tucumcari Times said Vansickle was to get a new hearing after being sentenced to hang in 1914. His lawyers had appealed to the upper courts.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)25 Mar 1915, ThuPage 1
Sallie Haton Murder
Sallie was 17 years old and reutrning home to Los Tanos when she was murdered. Her parents sounded alarm when they realized she should have been home. Her body was found by her father 24 hours after she was murdered. Police caught what they though could be the murder but his employer said it could not be that the man was working at the time.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)02 Oct 1909, SatPage 10
William Traylor Murder
William was a Land Surveyor
News Article 3 June 1915
William L Traylor was shot and killed near Jordan by Arthur Carver his brother in law. After a coroners inquest the body of Traylor was taken to Sunnyside Cemetery for burial. The cause of the killing is said to have come from family trouble. Carvers wife had been staying at a neighbors and he wanted her to come home. There were eyewitnesses to the murder.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)03 Jun 1915, ThuPage 1
Author Carver and Richard Wilson were found guilty of 2nd degree murder after two and half days of testimony. Carver is the one that actually killed Traylor Wilson knew it was going to happen and did nothing to prevent it. The court did not impose a time on how long they would be sentenced at the time.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)28 Oct 1915, ThuPage 1
Herman Miller Murder
December of 1909 Herman Miller who lived 16 miles from Grady and three miles of Apache Canon was murdered at his home. Non of his neighbors had seem him for a couple weeks his body was frozen due to winter so it was preserved enough. His poor animals though were in bad condition. Early January Professor Brocard stumbled across Millers land seeing the horse in bad condition. A glove was found in the stable and near it an arm. Millers body had been covered in a blanket then some fodder to hide it. Miller had been shot two times. Neighbors did not believe Herman to have any enemies and did not have anything worth much. His brother was summoned from KS and his wife also arrived.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)15 Jan 1910, SatPage 1
In Dec of 1910 Irene Kent was charged with the murder of her husband that had happened that Spring in the red light district. Her husband repeatedly threated to kill her. It was said the night of the murder her husband had borrowed a gun from a cook of the brothel. Irene killed him in the hallway before he could kill her.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)17 Dec 1910, SatPage 1
Murder of George Zant
George Asberry Zant was born 12 Jul 1879 Collin County, Texas and was murdered 30 Aug 1916 in Tucumcari. Burial is at Tucumcari Memorial Park. His wife Bertie sister of Robert Anderson who murdered George is buried in Texas.
The news article appeared Thursday September 1th 1916. - Saturday morning the murder of George Zant who was shot to death in his bed in his home two miles south of Tucumcari, on Wednesday morning August 30th confessed to the shooting of Zant at 4am. ... The article states that after the discovery of the murder Sheriffs Ward and Deputy Winter had their suspicions that it was some one close to Zant. Robert Lee Anderson a brother of the murdered mans wife was under suspicion so the Sheriff called in for some detective work to be done. Follow Anderson and wait for him to confess. Anderson was a tough cookie but once it was made known to him that the law had his fingerprint's on a clock near Zant bed and that Anderson was the only one who knew where the gun was Anderson confessed. Anderson than stated his version of the murder. Anderson had been thinking about killing Zant for a while and waited for the right time. Mrs. Zant found her husband and thought it to be a suicice . Anderson decided he would go with that story not really thinking about the crim scene and evidence.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico14 Sep 1916, ThuPage 1
October 1916 Zant Murder Jury
In October of 1916 Robert Anderson went in front of jury and judge for the killing of his brother in law the case took almost a week to hear. During the year Anderson's father came to visit him in jail in which he told his father that he did not do the shooting but claimed to have done it spare his sister from being arrested.
Mrs. Zant testified that her father threat to her to tell the law that it was someone else not her brother. It became family member against family member. The article states that the jury would be probably hung and the case would have to be taken up again next term.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)26 Oct 1916, ThuPage 1
March of 1917 Charges
March of 1917 The Times tells readers that Anderson was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years. His attorney was appealing.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)22 Mar 1917, ThuPage 1
Prison Time Prisoner 4227
In April of 1918 Anderson was sent to 9-10 years and cost. There is a photo of Anderson in New Mexico Prisoner files. He was 29 . He was allowed conjugal visits. It stated he had been in NM 12 years.
New Mexico Commission of Public Records, State Records Center and Archives; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Penitentiary of New Mexico Inmate Records; Series Number: 2.1; Record Group: Intake Records; Box Number: Serial # 7203; Collection Name: New Mexico Department of Corrections Records; Collection Number: 1970-006
Towndrow Murder Colfax County Change of Venue Case
In October of 1916 was charged with voluntary man slaughter. Mr. Towndrow had been out in the fields and came in. He had a fight with his wife about not going to a picnic in Raton. Things got heated and he struck her in the back of the head with a hot stove poker. Fifty witness had be called for this case.
The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times (Tucumcari, New Mexico)26 Oct 1916, ThuPage 1