From "The Evening Derrick" newspaper, Drumright, OK, Monday, Feb. 28, 1927---headline
"Mystery Clouds Suicidal Hanging Case
Officials Say Man May Have Been Murdered
Body Unidentified; Coroner's Inquest Fails to Secure Verdict As to Death
Coroner's inquest held today failed to bring forth a verdict as to the manner in which the unidentified man, found hung on a tree south of here Sunday met death.Information and evidence tend to show that the man's hands were tied at the time of his death, that he was killed and then hanged, and that, perhaps, he had enemies in this district.
A good deal of mystery surrounds the death and Frank Taylor, assistant county attorney and A.F. Cline, under sheriff, will re-visit the scene of the hanging early Tuesday.The jury, composed partly of Shamrock and partly of Drumright men, has been at the scene of the hanging and have made a very careful examination.A verdict is expected tomorrow.The body of an unidentified man believed to have been dead since Friday, was found hanging from the limb of a tree in a pasture a mile and a half southwest of here Sunday afternoon.
Officers who cut the body down, said the man had removed his overall jacket, folded it neatly and placed it at the base of the tree.They also said he had evidently climbed out on a limb, tied a piece of barbed wire around his neck and secured it to the limb, and jumped off.Two boys, names Seymour and Pruitt, sons of farmers, discovered the body while ou hunting for rabbits.It was not far from a public highway but could not be seen from the road on account of the terrain.
Officers could find no letters or other means of identifying the man.There were six $1 bills in his pockets.
The man is said to have stopped at a farm house near here Friday and was given a meal when he asked for food.He talked but little, but said he was without funds and that his home was in the east.According to officers, the farmer did not learn his name.
The body is now in a local undertaking parlor.He is about 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighs 145 pounds.He was dressed in blue denim overalls and khaki shirt.He had a large mustache, slightly gray, and dark brown hair.Officers estimate his age at 45.He has sharp features."
From "The Evening Derrick" newspaper, Drumright, OK, Tuesday, March 1, 1927 with headline---
"Drumright Man Was Victim of Hanging
Identification of Body Made By Man's Son
Hanged Man is Alex Cockrell, Drumright Resident, who Left Home Wednesday
The body of the man found hanged near Shamrock late Sunday was last night identified as that of Alex Cockrell, 54, who lives west of here.The identification was made by Frank Cockrell, son of the hanged man, who is an employe of the Evening Derrick.
Having read the complete description of the hanged man in Monday evenings' Derrick Frank Cockrell found that the description fitted that of his father exactly.His father had left home Wednesday for the purpose of looking for work in the oil field.Frank made a trip to Shamrock and found that his surmise was correct--that the dead man was his father.
Further mystery is seen with the discovery of the identity of the dead man.There was, Frank avers, no reason for his father to commit suicide.He was in fairly good health and had not been engaged in any domestic or financial difficulty.The interest of the community in the affair has been heightened by the discovery of the man's identity and by the disclosure of the fact that he had no enemies here.He was a friendly man and was on good terms with all neighbors and acquaintances.
The identification of the body came shortly after a farm woman had disproven the belief that the hanged man was a tramp who had solicited "handouts" in the community near the scene of the hanging last week.This woman upon viewing the body, since proven that of Alex Cockrell, said that the man was not similar in appearance to the tramp who she fed last Friday.
Physicians still believe that the death of Cockrell came not from hanging but from other causes or from his neck being broken previous to his being hung on the tree limb on which his body was found.Various marks and evidence points to this belief while some who viewed the remains and scene of the death are of the opinion that the man met death at his own hands.Doctors state that marks on Cockrell's wrists indicate that his hands were tied at the time of his death.
The deceased is survived by his wife, sons, Ivan, Elbert and Floyd, all of this city; three daughters; Mrs. C.F. Tilley, of Oklahoma City, and Hattie and Velma of this city."