HAWKINS CHARGED WITH DOUBLE MURDER
[headlineon page 1]
Warrant Issued Charges
Him With Dual Slayings
Authorities Decline to Di-
vulge Name of Woman
Held as Key Witness
Lying in Bushes Near the
Death Cottage; Hawkins
Steadfastly Maintains Innocence
Aug. 2, 1934, The ParkersburgNews, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Fred Hawkins, Parkersburg,is charged with the murder of Mrs. Virginia KimesWiseman, 28, and Harold Headley, 31, in warrants issued by Magistrate R. E.Hays late Wednesday.
The victims were found dead in a bedroom of a small cottagelocated on the banks of the Little Kanawha river near Stewart Station early Wednesdaymorning after neighbors had heard a series of shots fired.
The warrants were signed by James H. Randolph, Jr., assistantprosecuting attorney.
Hawkins, said to be engaged in the "numbers"racket here, is held in custody by county authorities. He is named by police as the owner of the gunfound in the outstretched hand of Mrs. Wiseman, whose body was steeped in herown blood and that of Headley.
The dual tragedy took place in a cottage which Hawkins hadrented, and where he had taken the victims and a fourth person, an unidentifiedwoman, earlier in the evening.
Police stated that this killing climaxed a drunken partyheld in the cottage in which [illegible words]reling had taken place.
Authorities declined to divulge the name of the woman who isregarded as a key witness in the drama.
E. B. Pennybacker, prosecutingattorney indicated that the investigation would be virtually closed to-dayfollowing an inquest at 11 o'clock this morning.
Hawkins was grilled by investigators immediately after theshooting investigation got under way yesterday morning. Up to early this morning, it was reportedthat he steadfastly reiterated ignorance concerning the shooting other than toinfer that
the Wiseman girl shot Headleybefore turning the gun on herself. Beyond this he refused to talk. Investigators stated that they were convinced that he was not tellingthe truth.
Hawkins came to Parkersburgfrom Fairmont,and has had a jail record, according to police. He was reported to have engaged in the "numbers" racket inthis city and is said to have been a familiar figure in downtown pool rooms.
The missing woman, fourth member of the party in thecottage, who had supplied the mystery element in the casewas reported located early last evening. She was found, it was said, bruised and suffering from exposure as theresult of lying in some bushes near the death cottage for Tuesday night andmost of Wednesday.
She was taken into custody for questioning. Police did not disclose her name. She is considered a key figure in the caseand her version of what took place is expected to shed considerable light, ondetails of the double slaying.
The two warrants issued against Hawkins declare, that he"did feloniously willfully and maliciously, deliberately and unlawfullyslay, kill and murder" Harold Headley and Virginia KimesWiseman.
Each Shot Once
Although bullet holes in the death cottage walls indicatedthat a gun was fired a number of times there was one bullet wound in the headof each victim. When authorities arrivedat the scene the man and woman were found lying on a blood smeared floor of thebed-
room. Blood had been spattered about the walls.
A bullet passed through Headley's skull, emerging below theright eye while the missile which entered Mrs. Wiseman's head passed entirelythrough her skull. Authorities believethat Headley had been shot from a position higher than his head, due to thefact the wound was on top of the head. The gun, apparently had been aimed point blank at Mrs. Wiseman, as thecourse of the bullet was comparatively straight from side to side. Both bullets were recovered at an autopsy heldyesterday noon.
The bodies were fully clothed when found. The woman's head was lying near the doorwayof the room.
Neighbors living in the vicinity of the cottage toldauthorities that they heard loud cursing and talking at intervals late Tuesdaynight. The shouting seemed to increase,they said, a short time before a series of shots were heard, followed by shrillscreams of a woman. A man's voice, itwas said, was heard ordering a woman out of the cottage. It has not been determined as yet whether asecond woman was in the dwelling at that time, or whether the woman addressedby a man's deep pitched voice had been Mrs. Wiseman.
It has been ascertained, however, that there was a secondwoman at the cottage sometime during the night of the shooting.
Hawkins, authorities stated, was found sitting in hisautomobile parked in a narrow lane leading from the Staunton pike to the cottage grounds.
Claims Victims Unknown
When taken to the cottage to view the bodies with SheriffGainer, Hawkins insisted that he did not know either of the victims. During the investigation around the cottage,Hawkins appeared to evince no interest, remaining on a bench outside the cabinwith his head in his hands.
When questioned later about the identity of the victimsHawkins declared they were unknown to him. He claimed that he was in an intoxicated condition.
Hawkins made no effort to flee the scene. Authorities were inclined to doubt his storythat he had ben [sic] drinking heavily with a partyof four during the night. It wasbelieved he was endeavoring to feign an extreme drunken condition. He had been drinking, however, they said.
Met At Casino
According to Hawkins' story, he met Headley and Mrs. Wisemanat the Polar Bear Casino at Boaz late Tuesday evening and invited them to go tothe Staunton Pike cottage which he had rented. The couple accompanied him with an unidentified girl to the cabin on theLittle Kanawha river.
Hawkins said an argument ensued following heavy drinking bythe party, resulting in the shooting. The argument, he told authorities, was started between Headley and Mrs.Wiseman, and that the woman shot Headley, later turning the gun on herself.
Story Is Doubted
Authorities declared that they placed little credence in thestory related by Hawkins. They indicatedthat some of his statements did not fit in with developments of theirinvestigation.
Although the gun was found in the open hand of the deadwoman, police were inclined to believe that it had been placed there. The gun was of .38 calibre [sic].
Hawkins admitted that there had been a fourth member of theparty, a woman, but refused to divulge her identity. The investigation yesterday was centered onattempts to locate the missing woman. Itis believed that she will be a key figure in the river resort drama.
Charles Devol, a B. and O.railroad policeman, and Clyde Collins, both residing near the scene of theshooting, told investigators that they had heard the shots.
Six Shots Heard
Collins said he was awakened by his wife shortly before 2 a.m., who told him [sic] "Something is wrong down the river." He said [sic] "We heard what soundedlike a violent argument between two men, then therewere two shots fired, and a woman screamed. "In a short [illegible words] and screamingfollowed by a [illegible words] shots [illegible words] succession. There [illegible words] everything becamequiet."
The gun-fire and tumultous [sic]shouting had roused most of the neighborhood. Men and women hurridly [sic] emerged fromtheir homes, some of whom were only partially dressed. For a few moments the location of theshooting scene could not be ascertained. It was learned through investigation of the residents that the gunfirehad taken place in "a bright orange-colored cottage on a high bankoverlooking the B. and O. railroad and the river."
Owner Is Roused
Devol, who owns the cottage, saidhe was awakened by the gunfire, shortly after which Hawkins came running to hishouse with the news of the shooting. Devol said Hawkins told him that two persons had been shotin the cottage. Hawkins then returned tothe scene of the tragedy, he said, arriving there in advance of investigatorswho included Coronor [sic] B. O. Robinson; Captain C.H. Watson of city police; Lieutenant Harry Dougherty and City Officer William Shutts [sic] Prosecuting Attorney E. B. Pennybacker;Sherriff [sic] Fred Gainer and Deputy Sheriff C. Leonard South.
Coroner Robinson order the bodies of the victims removed tothe Leavitt funeral home about 5 a. m. Wednesday following a complete survey ofthe scene. The cottage was locked andsealed by authorities following the preliminary investigation. No one will be permitted to enter the buildinguntil the investigation into the shooting is concluded.
The death scene was as gruesome as any local authoritieshave had to look upon.
The bodies lay huddled in a doorway leading from a bedroomin which the shooting took place, and an enclosed porch. Mrs. Wiseman's head and shoulders were lyingathwart the doorway with arms outstretched. She is believed to have died immediately after being
shot. Headley's body was lying face down across thedead woman's legs. It is believed thathe died several minutes after the woman succumbed, and had crawled to her sidein the final moments of a death struggle.
Rag rugs on the floor beneath the bodies were sodden withblood and great pools collected about the door-sill. The victims' hair and clothing were clottedwith blood which had spurted upon the walls of the death room. A great blood smear appeared on the paperedwall near the door way where one of the victims, presumably Headly [sic], had struck it in falling. He had crawled a distance of possibly threeto four feet before death claimed him.
The gun found in Mrs. Wiseman's hand was looselygripped. Police pointed out that a gunheld in the hand of a dead person who used it is always firmly gripped in atightly clenched hand. This was not thecase with Mrs. Wiseman, whose arms and hands were in a relaxed position. This fact was cited as disproving the theorythat Mrs. Wiseman had wielded the weapon.
Mrs. Wiseman was attired in a white crepe dress, light hoseand white shoes. The dress was torn atthe shoulder, and her long bobbed blonde hair was in disorder, suggesting thatthere had been a struggle.
Headley was dressed in a light grey summer suit and whitehose and shoes. He had worn a coat atthe time of the killing. His clotheswere less rumpled than were those of the dead woman.
Blood had so completely obliterated the features of the deadcouple that authorities were unable to identify them until part of the stilltrickling blood streams had been wiped from their faces. Mrs. Wiseman's eyes were badly swollen, aswas her face, as a result of the bullet wound which passed completely throughher head at the temples.
Motive Is Unknown
While officials were unable to establish a definite motivefor the tragedy Wednesday, jealousy was thought to have prompted the shooting.Other theories advanced included a possible suicide pact or murder and suicide.
The death cabin is located across the LittleKanawha river from the plant of the AmesBaldwin Wyoming Tool Works. The shotswere first believed to have had a bearing on the strike situation at the plantwhen authorities were summoned. Rumorswere broadcast that several pickets had been shot, but where immediately routedby officials.
Headley and the Wiseman girl had been "goingtogether," for several months, police learned. Both were said to have frequented dances androadhouses.
The victims were widely known in Parkersburg,both having been graduated from the Parkersburghigh schol [sic].
Mrs. Wiseman is survived by her father, Hoyt Kimes of 3013 Plum street, city, and a brother, Paul Kimes. The latter ispart owner of the Polar Bear Casino at Boaz.
Headley is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. W.Headley, Prince avenue,Vienna, fourbrothers, Robert, Donald, Jack, and Junior and one sister, Mrs. Charles Martin,city.
INQUEST INTO DEATH OF PAIR
SLAIN IN COTTAGE HELD TODAY
Aug. 2, 1936 The ParkersburgNews, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Coroner B. O. Robinson
to Conduct Inquiry Be-
fore Jury in Leavitt
An inquest will be conducted this morning by County CoronerB. O. Robinson [illegible words] Virginia KimesWiseman [illegible words] Harold Headley [illegible words] home.
A jury will be assembled to hear evidence which is expectedto be given by a member of persons residing in the Stewart Station section whoheard shouting and screaming at a small cottage on the banks of the Little Kanawha river earlyWednesday morning, in which the pair were found slain.
The tragedy climaxed a midnight party in which four personshad participated.
Fred Hawks and an unidentified girl are being held by countyauthorities for questioning in connection with the dual killing. Both Hawkins and the girl are believed byinvestigators to have been at the scene of the slaying about 3 a. m.,Wednesday.
The inquest will be conducted at 11 a. m., today, todetermine by whose hand the victims met their death.
CORONER'S JURY NAMES FRED
HAWKINS AS SLAYER OF PAIR
Fourth Member of Party
In Cottage Near Stew-
art Station Identified
As Helen Berry.
Graphic Picture of Grue-
some Night is Told By
Girl Who Says She
Fled from Scene.
Aug. 3, 1934 The ParkersburgNews, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Fred Hawkins, 35, city was named as the killer of Mrs.Virginia Kimes Wiseman and Harold Headley in acottage on the Little Kanawha river, near Stewart Station Wednesday, in averdict rendered by a coroner's jury yesterday.
At the inquiry, conducted by County Coroner B. O. Robinson,the "mystery woman" in the case, was identified as Miss Helen Berry,21, of Stauntonpike.
A graphic word-picture of the dual tragedy was told the juryby Miss Berry,who admitted she had been the fourth member of a party which ended fatally fortwo companions.
She related details of a drinking party which had startedearlier in the evening at SnowballGardens on theParkersburg-Williamstown road. Shedeclared that she was not a witness to the killing but had hidden a gun fromHawkins' view after the latter was heard to fire it several
times from a back porch of thecottage following a drinking sortee which had beenmarked by violent quarreling between the slain couple, Mrs. Virginia Kimes Wiseman, city, and Harold Headley, Vienna.
The witness, regarded by the investigators for the state asan important key figure in the drama, declared that she had not met Hawkinsuntil the day of the tragedy.
Met in Town
She stated that she had come to Parkersburg Tuesday morningfor [illegible words] registering at the court house [sic] for the primaries,and that she had met Hawkins in Seventh street as she was preparing to go toher home on Staunton pike.
She said, "I live on the pike near the cottage Hawkinsoccupied. He passed the house frequentlyand I knew him by sight. When we met intown he asked me if he could drive me home and I said he could. After we got out a piece he suggested that wegot for a little ride and I agreed. Heasked me for a "date" [sic] and at 8 o'clock Tuesday evening he cameto the house. We went to Bill's Tavernon Seventh streetand there to SnowballGardens where we met Mrs.Wiseman and Mr. Headley. They started togo home after we danced a while and Fred talked to them. I heard him say, 'Follow me to the cottage.'
"I told him I didn't want to go to the cottage, butwhen he drove past my house he refused to let me out of the car. I insisted that I was going home and he forcedme to stay.
"When we reached the cottage Mrs. Wiseman fixed drinksand Mr. Headley started to quarrel with her about drinking. Fred told them to 'cut it out,' and steppedto the back porch and fired a revolver.
"I started to go home but he called me back. I guess I was scared. When I came back to the cottage he wassitting by the radio and the gun was beside him. I snatched it and put it under themattress. Thinking that maybe thatwasn't a very good place for it, I pulled it out and hid it under some clotheslying on the floor.
"I started home again and heard some screams andstepped back in the bedroom and found the couple lying on the bed. The girl was screaming. She told me, 'He's (Headley) kicking me andbiting me.' I ran from the house andwent home. When I got to the [illegibleword] my house I heard more shots. That's all I know about it."
[Illegible words on what appears to be up to fivelines] She said the couple had beenquarreling at the Snowball Gardens earlier in the evening and that on oneoccasion Mrs. Wiseman became "mad at him and walked out, but he followedher." She said she had not knownMrs. Wiseman before.
She testified that while Mrs. Wiseman and Headley werequarreling on the bed she heard Hawkins admonish Headley, "You ought to beashamed of yourself, mistreating that girl like that."
The witness was unable to ascertain the extent of Hawkins'drunkenness, she told the jury.
"Not Very Drunk"
Other witnesses declared that Hawkins had not appeared"very drunk" to them, although they knew by his manner of action thathe had been drinking.
Sheriff Fred Gainer, the first witness called, testifiedthat his investigation of the murder scene indicated that there had been nostruggle in the house.
He said he was called about 1:40 a. m. Wednesday byneighbors that there was trouble in a cottage on the river bank near StewartStation. He said he went out with DeputySheriff C. L. South and found the bodies. Sitting in the front seat of a car parked near the cottage was Hawkinswhom he placed under arrest and brought to the county jail. He said he quizzed the prisoner as to whathad been going on and that Hawkins replied, "I don't know."
Remains [illegible word]
Hawkins, brought before the jury handcuffed, steadfastlydenied, on being questioned, having any knowledge of the party. Asked who attended the party, he declared hedidn't know.
"Are you in the habit of inviting people you don't knowto your house?" asked Coroner Robinson. Hawkins replied, "I can't be sure who was there. I invite lots of people to the house. All who were there were drunk. That's all I know about it, except that we wentthere after being at the Snowball night club."
He admitted that Miss Berry had been with him on the nightof the shooting. The gun which hadkilled Headley and Mrs. Wiseman was exhibited. "Is this your gun?" Helooked at it and said, "I'm not positive, it looks like my gun."
"You had a gun?"
"Where did you get it. [sic]"
"My father gave it to me."
"What became of the girl?"
"I don't know."
Gun in Woman's Hand
Sheriff Gainer stated that he had found the gun lying acrossthe open palm of the dead woman's left hand. The barrel was facing the doorway, he said. The gun was examined for fingerprints whichwere found to have been wiped off by a cloth.
When Gainer arrived with other investigators, includingCaptain C. H. Watson, Lieutenant Harry Dougherty and Officer William Shutts, of city police, and Deputy Sheriffs South andStephens, two cars were parked in a narrow driveway leading to thecottage. On one the lights were stillburning. Hawkins car was in a smallshed-like structure while the dead girl's car was behind it. The lights were burning on Hawkins' car,Gainer said.
Clothing worn by Hawkins on the night of the shooting boreblood stains, Gainer told the jury. Hesaid there was blood in Hawkins' hair, on an elbow, and a splotch behind oneear where he evidently wiped his hand. There were traces of blood also around the cuticle of his fingers, hesaid. Gainer exhibited the clothingshowing a large spatter of blood on the back of a shirt, on a sock, a whitebelt and a neck-tie. The prisoner [illegible words] whether any of the bloodmight have been Hawkins', Gainer said, and that no abrasions in his skin couldbe found on his body or on his head.
He said the bed had been mussed up, but that the room wasotherwise in order. He also displayed atable-cloth showing large bloodstains which he said was found lying on the bodyof Headley. He cited that thetable-cloth had been used in wiping off possible finger prints from the gunhandle.
The gun, a .38 calibre polishedsteel model, was exhibited to the jury. The barrel was smeared with considerable dried blood.
Captain Watson testified that four empty shells were foundin the gun's chamber, with one which had been snapped and failed toexplode. On the floor another emptyshell was found.
One of the bullets fired from the gun struck a wall twentyinches above the floor. He said thebullet ranged downward. It is believedthe missile which killed Headley.
Three neighbors offered testimony relating to the violentquarrel which had been punctuated by gun-fire during the hectic night.
Mrs. Ellen Collins declared that she was roused by loudtalking, after which she heard a man command a woman to "get up out ofthere." The man yelled four times,she said, after which there was a scream and shots."[sic]
She stated that she then heard a door slam and could hearfootsteps on cinders walking hurriedly up the railroad track which the deathcottage overlooks. She continued hertestimony by stating that she heard a man's voice call out, "Charlie, thisis John."
Clyde Collins told substantially the same story recounted byMrs. Collins. He said he recognized thevoice which called to "Charlie," as that of Hawkins. Asked how he knew, he said he had heardHawkins call to his dog, adding, "and it was thevoice that yelled to the woman in the cottage to 'get up out of there'." [sic]
Mrs. Camden Brookover, who liveson Stauntonpike opposite the cottage said she did not knowHawkins except by sight when he stopped at her service station on thepike. She said there had never been anydisturbance at the cottage before but there had been a lot of cars coming andgoing at different times. She also toldof the voice which called out "Charlie, this is John." It was explained that neighbors believedCharles Devol, who lives in the vicinity was beingaddressed. They were nonplussed by theassertions that the voice was that of "John," when he knew Mr.Hawkins by Fred Hawkins,"[sic] Mrs. Brookoversaid.
Dr. Ivan Smith, city pathologist described the autopsies heconducted on the bodies of the victims.
He said that he found a triangular incision on the rightcheek of Headley, and a circular incision above the right ear. The bullet, he said, passed through the man'sbrain, and that he died of laceration of the brain and resultanthemorrhage. Headley's skull wasfractured, he said, as was that of Mrs. Wiseman.
The bullet which killed her,punctured a circular hole about one-quarter of an inch in diameter, two inchesabove the right ear, exiting an inch and one-half above her left ear. She also died of hemorrhage of the brain, hesaid.
The verdict returned by the jury was phrased, "We thejury, find that Virginia Kimes Wiseman and HaroldHeadley died on August 1, 1934, of gun-shot wounds at the hands of FredHawkins."
The jury was composed of C. M. Horner, J. G. Johnson, Noah Lane, A. H.Logan, George B. Waggoner and J. R. Cooper.
Hawkins was returned to jail following the inquest.
He came to Parkersburg a yearago from Fairmont. He told investigators that he was engaged inthe "numbers" business.
Scores of persons sought entrance to the funeral homeyesterday morning to view the two bodies, but were turned away until after theinquest. Many women and young girls wereamong these wishing to view the bodies of the slain pair.
HAROLD HEADLEY RITES ARE TODAY
Aug. 3, 1934 The ParkersburgNews, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Last rites for Harold Headley, who with Mrs. Virginia Kimes Wiseman, was found shot to death early Wednesdaymorning in a cottage at Stewart Station, will be held this afternoon at 2o'clock from the Wesley Methodist Episcopal church, South, at Vienna. The Rev. J. L. West will officiate and burialwill be in Neal [sic] cemetery near Parmaco.
The body was removed to the home of his parents, Mr. andMrs. A. W. Headley, 313 Prince avenue, Vienna, last night.