The Town That Dreaded Sundown (in Photos)


The Town That Dreaded Sundown (in Photos)

The first attack happened about 50 feet off Richmond road on an unpaved street, about 100 yards from the last row of city homes. A 1945 Texarkana City Directory indicates that the residential development off Beverly stopped in about the 600 block of Richmond road, which means the attack occurred somewhere near Taylor street, contrary to the belief that it happened near the intersection of Richmond and Robison.

Side road off of Richmond and Taylor St:

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The girl from this first attack escaped and ran to this little white house (address below, it’s possibly the same old house) and banged on the door for help:

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Although Hollis believed he was a dark-tanned white man, Larey (the girl) believed he was a light-skinned black, saying “because of the way he pronounced the curse words he growled.” Both kids survived.

The next pair were not so lucky, and were killed here at this lover’s lane which is “about 100 yds south of Hwy 67 on South Robison Road near a railroad spur”.

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On Saturday night, April 13, Betty Jo Booker, 15, was playing her Bundy E-Flat alto saxophone in her regular weekly gig with her band, The Rythmaires, at the VFW Club on W. 4th and Oak street. That’s the VFW on the right: (pink brick bldg):

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Afterwards, she went to this lover’s lane with her boyfriend, Martin (photo below)… back then nothing was here but a gravel road and there were no houses. 6700 North Park Road (below). Booker and Martin were killed early Sunday, April 14. Their bodies were found 2 miles apart. One report said there was no sexual assault, but the other one said there was. The girl, Booker, was found fully clothed, shot twice and was found with her hand in her raincoat pocket. Her saxophone was found in the case a few weeks later, close to where her body was found.

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Hundreds of people flocked to the area. Throughout the day, cars jammed the highway and roads in the park as people tried to view the crime scenes. Shocked by the news, several hundred residents assembled around the sheriff’s office to be on the spot in case a suspect was apprehended. A lynch mob!!

A short while later, a farming couple were gunned down thru the windows of their home on a 500 acre farm, but this incident was over 10 miles away and on the other side of town. It was out in the middle of nowhere compared to these other places and I could not pinpoint the location on Google Maps!!

Hope you liked. It’s always good to have a few pics to go with the addresses.

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