In 1939, You wouldn’t expect a vacation to turn to murder. But when a man shows up at the hospital in Clinton, Oklahoma with his dead wife who he says had just been hit by a hit-and-run driver, it came to just that. Officers jump into action and do what they can to solve the case. This is the story of Warren and Julia Abby.

In this episode, we are returning to the great state of Oklahoma and to a case that took place just miles from where I live but happened a little over 82 years ago. We will cover the disappearance of Eudora Cunningham, a beautiful Oklahoma City Socialite whose family was well known in the community. Her Husband Roger Cunningham believes she left him, other suspect something more sinister is going on. But before we get started, please subscribe to the podcast if you have not done so already. This entire production is done entirely by myself. This includes research, writing, recording, editing, graphics, social media, and promotion. So this one act can help us out quite a bit. Plus, when we have new episodes, you will be the first to know. Now, enough self-promotion, let’s start this story.

December 5th 1937, In Pryor Oklahoma.  News travels fast though the little towns in  Oklahoma.   Pryor was no exception, especially when it came to helping your neighbor.  That day many of the residents in Pryor were gathering at the Hubbard farm, to search and see if they could find Ralph.  You see, earlier that …

Continue reading

The Over 100 Year Old Unsolved Murder of Benjamin Carrol Sargent

January 17, 2021


  • Benjamin Sargent is born on March 13th 1896. His Father is Benjamin Terrell Sargent and Mother Martha Cargent

  • Benjamin Enlisted to enter the World War at Ft. Sill Oklahoma on August 29th 1917 at 21 years old

  • He was slightly injured in battle on October 15th 1918

  • He was Honorably Discharged on May 14th 1919

  • On May 24th 1919 – Six hours after his return to home from France where he served 17 months on the firing line, Carroll Sargent is dead, victim of an assassin’s bullet.

    The same day Bethel Kincaid is arrested.

  • May 27th 1919 – The Preliminary hearing in the trial for Benjamin’s murder starts

    Alton Rush is also arrested as an accessory to murder.

  • September 20th 1919 – There is a verdict in the case.

Benjamin Carrol Sargent was happy to serve his country in the great war.  He was a young man from Texas who spent part of his youth in the state of Oklahoma.  There, he fell in love with a young woman in a little town called Hochatown. Her name was Marian Woods and they quickly fell in love with one another.  

 World War One broke out on July 28th 1914. America didn’t enter the war until April 6th 1917.  When given the opportunity to serve his country, Benjamin didn’t waver, but he wanted something, or better put, someone to come back to when the fighting was all said and done.  So before leaving for Ft. Sill Oklahoma to enlist, he proposed to Marian, he promised that as soon as he would get back from the war, they would get married.  She happily agreed. 

On August 19th 1917, Benjamin made the trip to Ft. Sill to receive his training.  One of the things I did a little research on is how the United States came to train a Military that had never dealt with warfare like this.  The United States was not totally prepared and had to decide on how best to train a soldier in their modern times. 

During his Training Benjamin became, Private Sargent and in 1918, he was sent overseas to fight on the front lines in France.  Later that same year on October 15th 1918, he was injured during battle.  We did some digging into his records and found his veteran war record that lists his service during the war.  It shows his injury as “Slightly” injured.  Which meant that he spent little time away and returned to battle.  

One of the things we do know is that he kept regular correspondence with Marian.  They exchanged letters when they could, despite uncertainty of the overseas mail at the time, they always seemed able to stay in touch.  When Benjamin was not writing Marina he was talking about her.  Many of his brothers in arms knew about his girl back in Oklahoma and how they planned on getting married just as soon as he got home. 

The War ended on November 11th 1918, Benjamin would stay overseas until he received the happy news that he was being shipped home on April 26th 1919.  Just a few weeks later he was Honorably discharged on May 14th 1919. 

A few days later, when he was released from the Army, Benjamin decided that the first place he would go is to see the love of his life.  They met up and spent the rest of the day and evening together.  They discussed their plans for one another and what their future together would be like.  

That evening, Benjamin was going to walk to the place where he was staying. Its not known if Benjamin knew he was being followed, but one thing is for sure.  A gunshot rang out into the night and Benjamin, who survived the trenches of World War One, died on American soil.  

Local police and County Sheriff Dewitt went to the little town of Hochatown to investigate what actually happened.  Benjamin’s body was found on the side of the road, little to no attempt was made to hide it.  It was likely that the assailant fired the shot and made a run for it.  Many residents at the time would have probably looked out to see what happened or, they would have alerted authorities.  

It turned out that there was another suitor who was madly in love with Marian Woods.  William Bethel Kincaid who went by Bethel Kincaid, had just become a rejected suitor when Benjamin returned from the war.  Although they were working with little to no evidence, the Sheriff believed that Bethel decided that the best way to get Marian back was to eliminate the competition.  

When authorities interviewed his parents they found out that Bethel was not home at the time of the shooting.  He was out, with a friend that night.  That friend was Alton Rush.  Alton was then interviewed and he admitted to being with Bethel that night but he admitted nothing else.  

Not satisfied with the answers, they decided to arrest Bethel and charge him with the murder and they also arrested Alton on being an accessory to murder. 

The case against them was not particularly strong and almost purely circumstantial.  The trial was short like a lot of the murder trials of the day.  The procession broke down the night’s events, how the two accused were out, in the same town, on the same night, with only each other as an alibi.  The defense pointed out that there was no witnesses to the crime, there was no one who saw the two accused as being in the area.  They both gave their statements, stuck to their story and no one could say that what they said was not true.  

The case was given to the Jury and they returned with a verdict an hour later. Not guilty.  Bethel’s parents who were in the courthouse were overjoyed with the outcome.  

In case you are wondering, Bethel didn’t end up with Marian.  He was married a short time after this to someone else and lived a full and seemingly happy life.  

So my question is this.  Who killed Benjamin?  After the trial there was no more looking into the case because they believed that Bethel and Alton just got away with murder.  They had their shot at convicting them for murder and decided to take a circumstantial case to trial knowing that they only had one try at this.  

So let’s assume that Bethel and Alton had nothing to do with murder.  Who does that leave?  Well, lets take a look at the town this all happened in, Hochatown. When you look up Hochatown on the map, the place you are looking at is actually the second town with the name.  The original Hochatown is not under a couple hundred feet of water in Broken Bow lake.

But before this town was sent into the depths of water, it was known in its early history as somewhat of a boom town.  Logging had become the number one industry in the area and Hochatown was at the center of it all.  The little town grew and people from all over came to live there.  During prohibition, it was known as Oklahoma’s moonshine capital and in the 1920’s the number and level of crimes steadily went up.  So, would some of these unsavory criminals have something to do with Benjamin’s demise? Perhaps while walking down the road, did he see something he wasn’t supposed to?  

In my opinion, that would be hard to believe.  The murder happened a year before prohibition so we are a little too early to be worrying about moonshiners throughout the area.  But anything is possible.

So, what do you think happened to Benjamin?  Was he murdered by a rival? Did he see something that he wasn’t supposed to? Or do you have a theory of your own?  Comment down below or join us on Facebook to discuss the case further.  You can find us at Facebook.com/Okie Investigations.  

The Matthew Kimes Gang and the 1927 Murder of Police Chief McAnnally in Beggs, Oklahoma

January 10, 2021


May 18th 1927, Beggs Oklahoma. A small town nestled near Okmulgee and Tulsa Oklahoma.  They were on the paved highway that led through Tulsa.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal now, but back then, there were not many paved highways in that area.  This meant that more people could come through town with ease and at a better traveling speed.  This meant that all kinds of people would be able to visit the little town, even the ones that intended on doing harm.  

Beggs had three banks in town, a Farmers National Bank, The First National Bank and The American Bank.  

 The staff in the Farmers National Bank were expecting a regular day.  Just like the other banks in town, the Farmers National Bank helped with keeping money and providing services like loans.  They helped out local farmers buy what they needed on credit, be it seeds, tractors, land or livestock.  Many people in Beggs Oklahoma were either farmers or closely related to farmers so they all had a real kinship to one another.  

Mrs. Campbell was headed into town with her children.  She was going to go shopping and get a few items they needed at their house.  She parked across the street of the Farmers National bank and she stepped out of her vehicle and put her baby in her arms and then she saw the most curious thing.  There was a person standing at the door to the bank, eyeing everything going on just down the street.  She then saw, as plain as day through the windows, men with guns drawn, talking to the tellers.  

Bank robberies were not unheard of in Beggs.  They were isolated and that made them vulnerable.  Bandits at the time liked these small town banks because getting in and out was typically easy and if done right, can be a pretty good score.  

Mrs. Campbell told her children to wait in the car and with her baby in hand, she walked without haste as to not to raise suspicion, and walked over to the pool hall to let someone know what was going on.  She walked inside and inside she found Marshal McAnnally having a conversation with the owner.  

It was by luck that she was to run into the Marshal there, he was about to leave for the day.  It was his and his wife’s thirty-seventh year anniversary.  

When she spotted the Marshal she yelled “Someone is robbing the bank!”

Quickly, the Marshal and the Owner of the pool hall jumped into action.  The Marshal stepped outside and faced the bank just as the bandits were loading up into their vehicle.  The Marshal wasn’t going to give them a chance to get away.  He took aim and opened fire on them, they responded with a hail of gunfire back.  

Scared for her children, Mrs. Campbell dashed from the pool hall and ran back towards her vehicle.  The Bandits targeted her and she was shot in the neck.  With her baby in her arms, she fell to the ground.  

The Owner of the Pool hall had only went out to witness what was going on, he was fired at as well.  Quickly, he retreated back into his place of business as he did not have a weapon himself.  

As the vehicle sped away, he stepped out from cover to continue to fire at the fleeing vehicle.  As he stepped out into the street he didn’t notice that, from behind another car was speeding towards him.  A man leaned out of the side of the car and aimed a sawed off shotgun at the officer and fired.  Marshal McAnnally died instantly.   

Three cars in all sped away from the little town.  As they did so, they fired wildly into the sides of buildings, breaking windows and causing chaos in their wake.  The townspeople were not going to take this lightly. Quickly responding to the shots, they formed a posse, gathered weapons and found a car to pursue them.  They drove off into the direction that the bandits went but the only thing that they found was one of their cars, empty.  It seemed that they had suffered a flat tire.  Either from driving too fast down the bumpy road or one of McAnnally’s shots had done the job.  There was also blood in the back of the vehicle.  It seemed that they didn’t all get out unscathed.  

The News quickly spread that two of the three banks had been robbed at precisely the same time.  Both the Farmers National Bank and the First National Bank.  There was a third bank, the American National Bank that was not robbed.  It was further down the road but, one of the three vehicles that sped away, came from that area as if it too were supposed to be robbed.  

Mrs Campbell was rushed to the hospital.  She was not expected to live but she was made of stronger stuff and survived the attack. 

There was a large multi face clock on a corner and it was theorized that this was how they synchronized the robberies.  On one side the two sets of bandits were able to stay synchronized.  The other side of the clock ran a few minutes behind.  So it was believed that the bandits that were supposed to hit the American National Bank at the same time as the others, but were not synchronized with the others.  

A few of the witnesses recognized a man who had been in the Oklahoma and National News almost daily for the past year, Matthew Kimes.  Matt was a well known fugitive.  Robbing banks, killing whoever got into his way and when he was caught, his men had broken him out of jail.  He was one of the hardest outlaws to catch, always seeming to be one step ahead of the marshals.  By this time it was almost a joke.  If someone lost their keys they would say “I bet the Kimes gang had something to do with this.”  or “Was Matt Kimes in town?” 

Part of his success was that it seemed like he was always traveling, never staying in one place for too long.  There were reported sightings of him all over the place so it seemed like he was everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.  

Some of the stories seemed too fantastic to have actually always been Kimes behind the act, but there was a reason that the bankers in Beggs would know who Kimes was.  A year before this robbery, Matt Kimes robbed the same Farmers National Bank.

The Manhunt was on but the police had little to go on.  Kimes and his gang were masters at hiding and they had little to no leads on where they were heading.  

Days would go by without a break in the case.  The Oklahoma Bankers Association decided to protect their employees at any cost.  They placed a bounty on the gang’s head.  This notice was sent to every bank in the state and began with a five hundred dollar bounty.  Each bank donated to that bounty and within a couple of days it had swelled to a fifty thousand dollar bounty on the capture of the gang, dead or alive.   Some bankers in the state crossed out the word alive believing that if caught alive, he would just escape again. 

On May 31st 1927, Officers were able to arrest 6 men connected with the Kimes Gang.  Three of which were believe to have been present at the robberies and subsequent murder in Beggs.   Two of the men Blackie Wilson and Owen Edwards were arrested after an impressive shootout with officers in Borger Texas.  The three known members of the gand that was present in the Beggs robbery were charged with Murder, the other were charged as accomplices.  

On June 15th, In Drumright Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Orville Noble had just stopped by a friends house for a quick visit.  No sooner than they had walked inside the door, they heard a car engine come to life.  When the Noble’s looked back, they saw their car driving away.  Mrs. Noble was frantic.  Their 2 year old son was asleep in the back seat.  

The unknowing kidnapper soon realized that the sleeping child was in the back seat.  He pulled the car over into a vacant lot and pulled the still sleeping child out of the car.  He was wrapped in a coat and gently placed him on the ground where he would be found.  Soon after, a few boys that were playing in the neighborhood found the young boy asleep and brought him to authorities.  

The thief was on his own at this time and was keen to get out of town.  He was speeding to get out of Drumright, when he saw a roadblock up ahead.  Officers were already on to him and were covering all major roads that lead out of town.  This Roadblock however, only had one officer watching it.  He rolled up slowly and when the officer approached his car,  he pulled out his sawed off shotgun and aimed it at the officer.  The thief then took the officer down the road and then tied him to a tree.  

The Officer said that he thought it was Kimes and he asked.  The man admitted his identity and proved it by showing him some photos of himself.  What a strange sight it would be to see an officer tied to a tree looking at photos with a known killer.  The man then sped off in his stolen Buick roadster.  

Another Posse was formed but they were about as lucky as the last.  All they found was the stolen vehicle, abandoned in Oilton, Oklahoma just west of Tulsa.  

Sensing that things were getting a little too hot in Oklahoma.  Matt Kimes quickly plotted his escape from the sooner state.  Little did he know, this would be his undoing. 

9 days after his flight from capture in Drumright, Kimes was spotted by Forest Rangers at the Grand Canyon National Park.  Kimes signed in at the station as Henry Watkins from Oklahoma.  The Rangers phoned ahead to local law enforcement and the hotel where he was headed to who was really coming.  Kimes parked his car at the Hotel and took a short walk to the rim of the Grand Canyon.  Below him was a slope that dropped hundreds of feet.  

Local Sheriff J. O. Parsons and Chief Forest Ranger J.P. Brooks arrived and quickly found Kimes who was enjoying the view.  The Sheriff approached with his gun drawn.  Kimes turned around and saw what was happening.  He started to reach for his own gun but quickly realized that he would lose this fight.  Quickly and without any warning, Kimes leaped over the rim of the canyon to land in thick brush on a ledge just below the rim of the canyon.  If he had missed his target, he would have fallen to his death. 

Kimes tried to make a run for it but on foot and in a place that he was not familiar with, he was quickly surrounded.  He exchanged fire with the officers and then when he decided that all hope was lost, he willingly gave up.  

Sheriff John Russell and two of his deputies drove out to Arizona and retrieved Kimes.  They drove him back to the Okmulgee county jail.  Almost as soon as he was back in Jail, he was giving interviews about what he states really happened.  He would deny all involvement in the killing in Beggs. “It was badly done,” He said. “It was totally unnecessary to kill McAnally.  I had nothing to do with it.”  

One thing smaller jails had to contend with at the time was when angry mobs would form and then they would break into the jail and drag the prisoner out.  Typically, to kill them.  But in this case, thousands of people from all around gathered around the jail because they just wanted to get a glimpse of the outlaw.  You see.  Kimes had become somewhat of a celebrity.  His name was mentioned in papers from all over the united states for one thing or another almost every single day.  

So, with Kimes approval. They Paraded him around the courthouse square.  Kimes was given time to bathe, shave and change his clothes before going out.  It was said that he was somewhat taken aback from the response that he received.  He spent most of his time on the run and didn’t realize that he had become this celebrity. As he walked around it was reported that he was followed by his wife who showed no emotion and several other women who were all crying.   After the first go around, they decided to let him go out again later in the day to be paraded around again.  

At the Trial, Kimes pleaded not guilty and the whole show was on its way.  Matthew Kimes had a self proclaimed “Cowboy” Lawyer named Sid White.  He was a very outspoken and animated character.  

First off the prosecution brought forth Sheriff Russell who would go on to testify that they knew that Kimes had a long range pump gun.  They found one in his possession in Arizona and Kimes had admitted to the Sheriff that it was his.  The gun was presented to the court.  Attorney Sid White picked up the gun and looked at it as if he didn’t believe a word they said about it.  He fumbled with the gun for a minute and then put it back down.

Kimes gang member Roy “Blackie” Wilson had turned state’s evidence against his fellow gang members for a lighter sentence.  He named the members in the group that were involved in the murder and robberies that took place in Beggs.  He named Kimes as the leader of the group. 

The Prosecution brought in several witnesses who were either in the bank or on the street and saw Matthew Kimes.  A woman who was in the bank testified that Kimes spoke to her directly when he saw how frightened she was.  He told her “Don’t worry, we are not gonna hurt you.” 

The defense brought a Texas doctor to trial who was attending to Kimes’s mother who was very ill and on her deathbed.  He stated that on the day of the killing he knew that Kimes was with his mother. 

Others testified that they witnessed the crimes happen in Beggs but didn’t see Kimes at all.  

It was all handed over to the Jury.  This case was unique.  Typically a jury has the choice to let someone go by finding them not guilty, or sentence them to jail time or death.  But in this case, Kimes was already convinced of a separate crime and had escaped from jail.  So they could either find him not guilty to let him serve his life sentence or they could sentence him to death.  

It took the jury over 24 hours to reach their decision. In this case, the jury chose death.  

When read aloud to the court Kimes seemed unphased.  When he was led out of the courthouse the guard said “Well, Matt, you can’t beat me in a game of pitch tonight.”  and Matt responded “The hell I can’t.  I haven’t anything else to think about now.”

Now, there was apparently some errors that the state made in the first trial that ended up forcing the state to give Kimes another trial.  The death penalty was removed from ever being sentence on Kimes.  He was retried in September of 1928.  Kimes made an agreement with the Prosecution and pleaded guilty to the Murder of Marshal McAnally.  

From 1928 to 1945 Kimes would remain behind bars.  He was considered a model prisoner.  He was popular and somewhat of a celebrity.  When the prison would put on baseball games or shows, it would not be uncommon for Kimes to be a feature of it.  

In a strange but not all that unexpected turn of events.  Kimes was up for parole in 1945.  The Judge thought it was a good idea to let Kimes out on a three day pass to present his bid for freedom to the Governor.  He was awarded a 6 month leave from his sentence.  Not too long after he received his new found freedom, a bank in Morton Texas was robbed.  The FBI believed that Kimes was up to his old tricks once again.  Kimes died in an automobile accident in Arkansas soon after.  Inside the car, police found over a thousand dollars in cash and a pistol.  

The Oklahoma parole board was heavily criticized for letting Kimes go.  

May 16th 1921, In the little town of Caddo, Oklahoma.  Shortly before dark, Lloyd Wideman was just leaving the Baptist Church with a friend.  They got into his car and he took his friend home, that was across town.  On his way back, he drove down Buffalo and turned south on Manning.  A little ways …

Continue reading