E151: Ballots and Bullets Pt. 2 - John Clayton
Due to the graphic nature of this case, listener discretion is advised, this episode includes dramatization and discussions of murder and assault. That some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. In early. Eighteen eighty nine William Clayton traveled to Plummer Ville, Arkansas he entered a tiny boarding house. But the cloying coppery sent betrayed. It was a crime scene there. He looked at his twin brothers face for one of the last times. Oh, john. What did you insist on coming to this godforsaken town, sir? Your family of the deceased. That's right. John was my twin in that case this is for you. What's this? A Bill for the room for the carpet. I'm afraid the blood soaked straight through it will have to be replaced, you can't be serious. My brother's just been murdered. I think thirty one dollars is very reasonable. This is absurd. I'm not leaving my brother here. Another minute. I need a few volunteers to help move the body. Done up pot already. I can't believe it is everyone in this town in excess rain, my brother's death. This is unsolved murders. True crime stories on the par cast network. I'm your host Carter ROY and I'm your host, Wendy MacKenzie. This is our final episode on John Middleton Clayton the American politician, and Republican congressional candidate who was assassinated in eighteen eighty nine while investigating one of the most fraudulent elections in US history. You can listen to previous episodes of unsolved murders as well as all park cast other shows on Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. A new episode comes out every Tuesday you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram at par cast and on Twitter at parkas network. Some listeners have been asking how they can help support the show. If you enjoy the podcast, the best way to do that is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening. On the night of January twenty ninth eighteen eighty nine William H h Clayton was staying in a hotel in Little Rock. He was in town on business and had gone to bed early with the intent of getting a fresh start the next day. The devil. What's wrong with you? Boy, it's the middle of the night urgent. Telegraph Mr. Clayton from plumber Ville must be from John. No telling what trouble he's gotten into down there. I can't find those blasted spectacles reforming. We'll you William H h Clayton stop John shot in Plummer Ville. Stop come at once. If able what was that give it here? Oh my God. This killed him by the time. William Clayton arrived in Plummer, Bill on January thirtieth Americans across the country were unfolding their newspapers to discover that a US congressional candidate had been assassinated, although far from a household name, William's, brother. John had gained public notoriety due to his particularly tempestuous campaign for Arkansas's second seat in the house of representatives. He had lost to the incumbent democrat Clifton Breckenridge. But when reports of flagrant election fraud in Conway county reached John's ears. He had decided to investigate John Clayton. Had been in Plummer Ville. A city in Conway county looking into the election when a shotgun blast came through the window of his boarding room, killing him instantly. William was still processing the news of John's death when he stepped off the train into plumber Ville. He was directed to the edge of town where a crowd of onlookers was. Still gathered around a small one story boarding house. He was disturbed note, the ugly jovial mood of the crowd, which grew more hostile as he made his way towards the house, excuse me. Please let me through, please just where do you think you're going? This is a crime scene. I'm well aware. I'm here to collect my brother's body, another Clayton. I thought you lot would've learned your lesson by now. Excuse me. What's your name, sir? I've half a mind report you to the sheriff sheriff Shelby's out of town at the moment. So who's in charge here that would be me deputy Oliver t Bentley at your service all be running the investigation until the sheriff gets back. Well, last just. Wait. Did you say your name was Bentley? William must have been shocked to find his brother's crime scene being managed by Oliver. Bentley. The prime suspect in the ballot box robbery that had determined the course of the November election to make matters worse. When Oliver's older brother, George attempted to testify against him. Oliver, Bentley shot George dead then claim the shooting had been an accident. Bentley shouldn't have been able to walk around freely. Let alone be the lead detective in an assassination that he was likely responsible for yet. Bentley's involvement was only the first indication that something was amiss with the investigation into John's death. William was greeted at the boardinghouse door by its owner, a widow named MRs mcraven. She directed him to the back room which was dimly lit to the blanket, that had been draped over the shattered window by all accounts. It was a grisly scene. The body had been moved to the side of the room out of the large pool of blood on the center of the carpet, a folded blanket had been placed beneath the remnants of John Clayton's head. He had been nearly decapitated by the shotgun, blast with no help from the locals William hurried to remove John's body from plumber Ville as quickly as possible bringing it to Little Rock. Meanwhile, the investigation into John's murder continued under the leadership of the man who should have been the prime suspect. Oliver Bentley organized a coroner's jury of his friends to search for in review. The evidence all were wealthy Democrats many with histories of election fraud as rich as Bentleys. One member of the jury was Bob pate, the owner of a dingy saloon, where the white Conway county Democrats were known to gather painted organized the poker game during which the Republican election Judge Charles wall had been nearly killed after he claimed to have recognized Oliver. Bentley's voice among the ballot box thieves. Painted spent the bulk of the eighteen eighty eight election. Intimidating black voters away from the polls, two years earlier in eighteen eighty six he had been involved in another brazen act of ballot stuffing, Bob pate and a friend had staged a mock fight in the middle of the polling place, bystanders hurried to get out of the way of the scuffling men, who somehow managed to knock over the ballot box and scattered the votes across the floor when the fight ended and the scattered votes were gathered again, a hundred new ballots had mysteriously made their way into the pile. Oliver Bentley chose this man and others like him to make his coroner's jury it should come as little surprise that such a group found almost nothing value at the crime scene. The only clues they reported where some gun powder on the window, sill through, which Clayton had been shot, and a set of footprints frozen in the mud outside the boarding house. The tracks appeared to have been left by two men wearing rubber boots when that looked old and warn the other brand new with this extremely limited amount of evidence. The coroner's jury determined that John Clayton had been killed by unknown persons. Conway county Democrats were eager to leave it at that, but the rest of the country was not. So ready to move on the American public was captivated by the flagrant murder of a congressional candidate and millions wanted answers while the public couldn't assist an investigation, they could ensure that John Clayton became a celebrity in his death. Five thousand mourners attended his funeral in pine bluffs, so many that his family chartered a train to transport them special attention, was paid to the fates of John six children, who were now orphans in the wake of their father's assassination, ultimately John's brothers William and Powell would each adopt. Three of the children, the publicity was a source of embarrassment for Arkansas Democrats overnight, the political violence, that had plagued their state for decades was thrust into the national spotlight Democrats and Republicans across the country took every opportunity to condemn, the heinous crime newspaper headlines once again, recounted the events of the tempestuous fraud-riddled November election, the Kansas house of representatives insisted that congress step in to restore order in Arkansas, and urged them to declare martial law in the state if necessary on February second, the US house of representatives began make. Plans for a congressional investigation into the election and murder. John Clayton's family was not satisfied with the speed at which things were progressing as soon as their brother had been laid to rest in pine bluffs. William and Powell started talking about John's killer. Have you seen this William unknown persons? Do you think they even tried from what I saw in Plummer Ville? I wouldn't be surprised if the killers themselves were on this jury our only hope is that the elections committee can find some real answers by the time congress gets around acting any evidence will be long gone. We've got to take matters into our own hands. Operator, put me through to the Pinkerton main office Powell and William hired Pinkerton detective Albert would to travel to Conway county and investigate John's death at eight dollars a day, plus expenses, he was an expensive investment, though. They were convinced he would be their best chance at getting Justice for their brother would was already familiar with Conway county. Having worked briefly with John to investigate the November election fraud. It had been he who interviewed George Bentley when he considered turning state's witness against his brother now back in town detective woods attentions return to Oliver Bentley. Unfortunately, Oliver had an ironclad, alibi on the night of January twenty ninth, he had attended a dance at the moral tone, opera house, along with many of the deputies who were suspected of having been involved in the ballot box. Robbery. Several moral ten residents noted that this was. Rather unusual behavior for Bentley and his crew who are not known to be regulars at the public dances, would suspected that Bentley had gone out of his way to be seen in public at the time of the shooting and must have had four knowledge of the event, but it appeared that he could not have pulled the trigger himself leaving detective would without a prime suspect. But the Pinkerton detective wasn't the only one snooping around Conway county, the Arkansas state legislature offered a reward of five thousand dollars for Clayton's killer. It was the largest reward that had ever been offered for a criminal in Arkansas accounting for inflation. This would be over one hundred thousand dollars today, journalists and would be detectives converged on Plummer, Ville, all eager to make their fortune by cracking. The case that would prove more difficult than anyone hidden -ticipant did in the coming months. Investigators would unspeakable a web of theories that ran the gamut from conspiracy to a famous international serial killer. We'll dive into the major theories after the break. Hey, there, I wanted to give you another update on my progress with best fiends. The five star rated mobile puzzle game about the world of minutia, and it's cute, courageous inhabitants up to level, one forty six but level one forty five funky. Fish was by far. The toughest I've faced since the last update. I really struggled to solve this puzzle. Tried quite a few different approaches, but none of my strategy seemed to work, but eventually on my last move. I was able to solve it. And it was pretty exhilarating along the way I added bug -als to my team. 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Detectives were swarming around Conway county hoping to crack the case and claim the reward the congressional committee on elections had begun interviewing Plummer, Ville residents in earnest hoping to understand the extent of voter fraud in the November election with the investigation ongoing the public's interest in John Clayton's murder had hardly wavered, Arkansas Democrats knew that they had been firmly painted as villains and they were desperate to change the narrative. Arkansas, Senator James k Jones contributed an article for the North American review in which he attempted to defend his party by arguing that despite the contentious election. Clayton's assassination had not been politically motivated was Clayton's murderer a political crime. No. Those who thoroughly understand the people of Arkansas, their nature and characteristics, will feel an abiding confidence and absolute conviction that this was not the work of politically minded person, but the act of some poor wretch moved by considerations. Holy personal to himself. Unfortunately, for Arkansas Democrats, the public didn't find this. Unidentified rich theory. Particularly compelling governor James eagle and congressman Breckenridge, who had won the C, John Clayton was running for in the controversial election knew that they needed to produce a plausible suspect in order for their dodgy theories to seem compelling. They leaned on the democratic sheriff of Conway county, Marcus D Shelby to supply one in the summer of eighteen eighty nine sheriff Shelby, traveled to Little Rock to present his findings to eagle in Breckenridge. Thank you for seeing me. Congressman governor. I believe I finally have an idea of the real culprit behind this vile, Cecil nation. Well, let's hear it. I received a very interesting letter from a resident of Indiana, by the name of Jared Seder. He believes. No, he is certain that the killer was none other than Thomas Hooper junior of California. Hooper wasn't. He the Lewisburg Ku Klux Klan leader who was killed by Powell Clayton's militia a few years ago that was this man's father Seder met Hooper, and came to understand that he still harbours a grudge against Powell. He blames him for his father's death. You're suggesting he killed John Clayton to get revenge against his older, brother, or perhaps he thought it was the older Clayton he was killing. They do look. Similar interesting theory. Do you have any evidence to support it? Not just yet. But I'm confident it makes sense to me. Good work Shelby. I want all your resources on this Hooper thing from here on out and let the papers. No, we've got a prime suspect sheriff Shelby spent the remainder of the year focused almost entirely on the hoop, or theory, though, he never actually bothered to travel to California to interview Thomas Hooper junior. The democrat leaning newspapers were equally eager to embrace the theory when it finally came out that Hooper had been bed ridden in California throughout January, eighteen eighty nine the press, maintain that a portion of the story was still likely true, even if Hooper wasn't behind the crime, they were still convinced that the assassination had to be a case of mistaken identity. The killer must have mistaken, John for his much more famous brother Powell who had far more enemies, the alternate would be to admit that Clayton was killed for investigating the plumber Ville election fraud, something that Arkansas. Democrats were not ready to concede this mistaken. Identity idea became so pervasive that it found its way into the cases, most bizarre theory, one that focused on an internationally renowned killer. At the same time that Arkansas newspapers were obsessing over the identity of John Clayton's, assassin another murder craze, had a rutted across the Atlantic from August through November of eighteen eighty eight five women were brutally slain in the white chapel. District of London, the unidentified serial killer came to be known as Jack the ripper in spring of eighteen eighty nine sheriff Shelby received two letters confessing to John Clayton's assassination. Both letters were signed by none other than Jack the ripper, according to the letters Jack had traveled from London to Arkansas in January of eighteen eighty nine intending to kill Powell Clayton but ended up killing John Clayton by mistake. His motive revenge for crimes committed by Powell Clayton's militia during reconstruction while it may seem unlikely that Jack the ripper would have any opinions on the actions of an Arkansas. Governor. Shelby. And the democrat run newspapers made sure to spend plenty of time on the ripper theory in fairness to them the letters from Jack ended up containing, what might be significant clue towards the real murderer one of the letters had been postmarked from southwest City, Missouri. This just happened to be the hometown of a close relative of Bob pate. If pate asked his relative to send the letters it might suggest that he was somehow involved in Clayton's murder before he was elected for the coroner's. Jury. On that would be hard to say for certain even if Bob pate was behind the ripper letters. He might have created them to draw attention away from his fellow Conway county Democrats, rather than himself, personally, while sheriff Shelby was exploring the Hooper and Jack the ripper theories Pinkerton detective Albert would was still searching for the real killer would hired a local black Republican named Joe W Smith to help conduct. His interviews Smith had recently run for sheriff again. Shelby and had proven to be a far more competent investigator than Shelby on Smith's advice detective would interviewed three African American men who had been first at the scene following Clinton's murder. These men had been all but ignored by Shelby's investigation. One of the men had little information to give having immediately fainted upon entering the room and seeing John Clayton's blood covering the walls and floor. The others had looked out through the shattered. Window and seeing to Wightman peering in at them. They believed that one of those men had been Bob pate, if would felt any elation at finally having a new suspect it was short lived like Oliver Bentley. Bob paid had a solid alibi that had been corroborated by multiple eye-witnesses Plummer. Ville residents Cyrus McCullough and Gus, Kristen berry. Both claimed to have been drinking with pate. It is saloon at the time of the shooting, detective would must have still harbored suspicions despite the alibi because he made a point of visiting Bob pate in his saloon. I'll take a whiskey, Mr. pate and a moment of your time. If you've got it. You're that Pinkerton detective asking around about that Clayton killing, I didn't have nothing to do with that. I was here at the saloon, you could ask anyone, of course, I wanted to ask about Oliver Bentley. He didn't have nothing to do with that, either. Can you be so sure asked him about talked to him at the depot early that evening and he didn't know nothing? You saw over Bentley at Plummer, Ville depot on January twenty ninth thought he was supposed to be in moral ten. Oh, yeah. He he was in Marlton. That's right. But you just said you spoke with him and Plummer Ville. I don't know nothing about that. At I would didn't know what to make of Bob pates inconsistent. Testimony, Bentley had supposedly spent all of January twenty ninth in moral tin, and countless eye-witnesses could put him at the more not browse that evening. It was possible that, Bob pay had simply misspoken on the other hand would decided that it was just as possible for Bentley to have ridden from moral tin to Plummer, Ville met with pay at the depot than race back to the opera house in time for the dance possible, but quite difficult, and that's still left. The question of why Bentley would make such a trip on the days following his interview with Bob pate Conway county Democrats became increasingly hostile toward detective, Albert, would they had only begrudgingly allowed the detectives presence up until that point, most likely due to a combination of his status as a Pinkerton and the fact that the town was still crawling with journalists, but. After his interview with Bob pate would had the sense that he had poked a sleeping dragon. Detective would was the matter, Joe you look exhausted. I just run halfway across town to warn you. You've got to make yourself scarce. They're coming. Hold on a minute slowdown who's coming a whole posse of white Dem's a spotted a few of Shelby's, deputies among them. Looks like they're hoping for a fight. They wouldn't dare try anything now now with the whole country watching plumber, Bill. Would they I don't know detective, but the questions you've been asking of made these men, mighty desperate and desperate. Men might do anything. You're right a better pack no time. I'll send your things after you just get to the train station. Right. Thank you, Joe. I'll be in touch with instructions. If they're this angry, it must mean we're onto something. Fearing that he would meet the same fate as John Clayton to -tective would caught the first train out of Plummer Ville. You continued the investigation from a hotel room in Little Rock relying heavily on Joe Smith to be his eyes and ears and Conway county, not long after being driven out a plumber Ville, the Pinkerton detective was visited by Charles wall. The election judge who had narrowly avoided being murdered wall brought along gusts. Kristen berry, one of the men who had provided Bob pates alibi. Kristen berries memory on the subject had changed significantly. So you're telling me, Bob pate wasn't actually at his saloon on the night of November twenty ninth yesterday, -tective. At least I didn't see him there and that's not all. Go ahead Gus. Tell them about the gun. You lent to pay Bob know his brother, Charles came by around supper, asking, if he could borrow my pistol and did he say what he wanted for. At an ask I did ask where Bob was Charles said he was at the Plummer, Ville depot meeting with Oliver Bentley that confirms Oliver Bentley was in Plummer, Ville on November twenty ninth, you think is Alabama was ally, not likely to many people saw him at the dance for him not to have been there, but this is all very interesting. Good work, gentlemen. Over the next few days, detective would began piecing together a theory to explain the mysterious meeting between Oliver Bentley, and Bob pate e theorized that the Democrats had orchestrated a plan to commit the murder while simultaneously ensuring their own alibis, Bentley could have written to Plummer Ville to let Bob Payton. No, that the plan was go, and then headed back to the dense while the paint brothers put it into action detective would was excited by the theory. But still had little in the way of real evidence to support it. He instructed Joe Smith to look into the possibility that Bentley had made such a journey on the twenty ninth. Sure enough. Several plummer. Ville residents had seen Oliver Bentley riding between the two towns on the night of January twenty ninth, he was easily distinguished, they said by his horse, which had a distinctive yellow clay colored coat even more suspicious. Bentley had shot the expensive horse only to. Weeks after the assassination. He claimed that the horse had suddenly taken ill and collapsed. But would wondered if Bentley's reasons for killing the Steed could have been more? Sinister, Bentley may have realized how recognizable the horse was and thought that killing it would decrease the chances of it being used against him as evidence later, then on March, thirtieth detective would received a letter that promised to break the case wide open. Dear, sir. This is to inform you that I have found a man who knows in his words, the doggone son of a bitch that killed John M Clayton. He also knows the names of the men who went to Plummer Ville and the night of November six and stole the ballot box. Some of these men have fled from Conway county and I'm trying to find out where they are. I will bring my witness in several others down to literally for you to meet them as soon as possible. Look for a letter from me tomorrow, I remain yours is ever. J P Smith. The Pinkerton detective was excited by the letter and began making preparations to receive Joe Smith's witnesses, it seemed like they were making headway at last. We'll learn about the ramifications of Joe Smith's fateful letter after this. Did you know that there's a good chance that you're overpaying for your car or home insurance? I mean it makes sense. You don't have the time to sift through all the rates. But Gaby does and can help you find cheaper insurance in just two minutes. Gabby is a free service that helps you save money without the stress by taking your current insurance information and comparing your policy against quotes from nearly every major insurance company, that allows them to find the best rates for the coverage you need. And for two thirds of users Gabby finds an average savings of eight hundred sixty five dollars a year. I'm sure there are better things, you'd want to spend that money on rather than insurance. And unlike other insurance comparison sites. 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And again, and was starting to show investigative skills that rivaled the Pinkerton detectives now Smith stood ready to deliver a key witness who was willing to testify that they knew the assassin, it seemed that the Clayton family might finally have Justice, mud Justice was always hard to come by and Conway county on March thirtieth Joe Smith. Sealed his letter to detective would and deposited it at the Plummer Ville post office. He spent the next few hours following up on a lead at sunset. He said off down the long dusty road that lead north of Plummer Ville to his home. Home where he knew his wife and five children would be waiting hope the MRs is cooking up something good. This detective work. Scher does build up a man's appetite. What was that glancing behind him chose Smith? Saw three figures on horseback racing toward him from the outskirts of Plummer Ville all brandishing weapons. Joe must have known that it was hopeless before he even started running. It was only a matter of minutes before the trio overtook him. The fastest was eighteen year old David Richmond who shot Joe Smith from behind, as he wrote up on him. The young man climbed down from his horse and fired a second shot into Smith skull to make sure he was dead. Albert would would never meet Joe Smith's witness, and Conway county had claimed one more innocent life, Arkansas, Democrats once again, dove into the task of denying that the crime was politically motivated instead leaning into the racism that was rampant in the post reconstruction era in a speech before the US house of representatives congressman Breckenridge claimed that a drunken Joe Smith had hurled obscenities at David Richmond, while attacking with Iraq, newspapers corroborated that the eighteen year old had acted in self defense in what was little more than a squabble African Americans in Plummer, villa were naturally incensed, constable, Richard gray a physician and. Leader of the black community hunted, down, Richmond, arrested him and dragged him before sheriff Shelby. Here he is the man who murdered Joseph Smith and cold blood. What are you going to do with him? Young man. Can you tell me why you shot, Mr Smith on account of his slacks off? Course exactly he killed Smith for speaking. The truth about Oliver Bentley and his posse. I believe he meant that Smith was being quarrelsome in verbally abusive isn't that right? Son. Whatever you say sheriff, I'm sorry, Mr Gray. But I really don't think this amounts to much doesn't amount to much. I saw Oliver Bentley in the street last night, crowing about how certain death awaited anyone who investigated Clayton's assassination. That's got nothing to do with this Joe Smith got killed because he was drunk and unruly. Now, I'm letting Richmond here go gray was not willing to let the matter, wrist, and he traveled to Little Rock to beg. Governor eagle to intercede. The governor refused in the end. Conway county grand jury ruled that the killing had been a justifiable homicide a clear injustice for any observing the case. With objective is, of course, the injustice was even more pronounced when they decided to indict constable gray for using abusive insults. In the course of arresting David Richmond. Meanwhile, Albert woods investigation was effectively scuttled he'd been run out of Plummer Ville, and his man on the ground had been murdered in cold. Blood, the Pinkerton detective made his report to Powell and William Clayton, and we're naturally disappointed over three months of work at eight dollars a day, plus expenses, had brought them a theory. But no conclusive evidence their last hope was that the government would be more successful in finding Justice than they had been in April of eighteen eighty nine a federal court in Little Rock convened to examine evidence of election fraud in Conway county, the prosecution's key witness was worn Taylor. A young drugstore clerk, who had agreed to testify in return for a lenient sentence. Taylor claimed that he had been a member of the posse responsible for the ballot box theft and identified. Eighteen others as his companions twelve. Men were indicted on charges of election fraud, among them were George and Oliver Bentley. But Bob and Charles pay were not named. The trials began in October eighteen eighty nine almost exactly one year after the ballot box robbery had taken place. Once again, Conway county Democrats circled, their wagons, fifty nine witnesses took the stand for the defense, claiming anything, they could that would discount the evidence against Bentley and the other Democrats with half the county willing to lie under oath. That conclusion was all, but inevitable on November twenty second eighteen eighty nine the jury released its verdict of not guilty that night, the white Democrats have Conway county celebrated as if they had won the civil war. There was ever still one investigation left in April of eighteen ninety after nearly all public interest in Clayton's case had moved on the US house of representatives sent a subcommittee to Arkansas for two weeks. The congressman interviewed Conway county residents in an attempt to ascertain how they had really voted. They were essentially replicating the investigation. John Clayton had been conducting when he was assassinated when they finally submitted their report in August congress concluded by vote of one hundred and five to sixty two the John Clayton had been the true winner of the eighteen eighty eight election. Breckenridge was forced to give up his seat, which was declared vacant for the few months that remained of his term, despite this small bit of Justice, John, Milton Clayton's murder remained unsolved at least as far as the official record was concerned Powell and William Clayton maintained that either Oliver Bentley or Bob pate were directly responsible. But we're never able to bring charges against either man. Then nearly a full century later, a young woman in Arkansas, stumbled upon a part of the story that had eluded journalists Pinkerton detectives and federal investigators. The young woman interviewed an elderly Conway county resident named John Mason, who had been born in Plummer, Ville in eighteen ninety nine the tape recorded interview was intended merely for the purposes of family history. But what unfolded was one of the most comprehensive accounts of the assassination of John M Clayton told from the point of view of the culprits. John Mason, had himself heard the story from his grandfather, Cyrus McCullough, who was one of the men who provided Bob pates alibi for the Clayton shooting during the rambling taped interview, Mason recounted how his grandfather had been one of a group of nineteen men who met around the pot belly stove of Malone's, general store, and moral ten in November of eighteen eighty eight to plan. John Clayton's death Oliver's here. Gather around men. We got business to attend to dire business. Some of you might have heard that John Clayton is back in Plummer Ville. That's right. Seems the carpet, Bagger wasn't satisfied with the paddling. We gave him last November. He proposes to find proof of what did he call it election irregularities? Now, I don't know anything about election irregularities, only that the good people of Conway county of always done what needed doing. We haven't forgotten what it was like when his big brother Powell ran things in Arkansas. That's right. Colored militias marching around day and night. Terrorizing, folks, remember how they broke into your house. Bob. Sure, do they slapped my sister and cuss? My momma Wellman. You can expect more of that. If we allow Clayton's little investigation continue. We've got your back Oliver tell us what you want us to do. I got a bag of marbles here. Everyone takes one black marble, does the deed. According to John Mason's grandfather, the honor of killing John Clayton went to none other than Bob pate, supposedly Bob announced, then in near his intention to bring his brother Charles along with him. So while either brother could have pulled the trigger Mason story seems to confirm that it was one of them. What sounds pretty definitive had certainly makes it seem like this case is solved. Unfortunately John Mason story comes from a secondhand source, and it was told nearly a century after the crime was committed while it seems to confirm the most likely explanation of the murder, the fact that so much time has passed means that crucial evidence that could definitively prove the pates guilt has been lost to history or destroyed by Conway county. Democrats in any case, John Clayton's assassination was most likely the work of his political. Moments in Conway county and the fact that his murder remained unsolved proves that their cover up worked. Nobody was held accountable for the assassination, or the election fraud that preceded it not only were they not held accountable. They were rewarded Bob pay to had committed fraud in multiple elections before Clayton's assassination became a Conway county. Election judge Oliver Bentley went on to become a Justice of the peace, the mayor of moral ten and then a county, judge congressman Breckenridge was made to surrender his seat when it was determined that Clayton had been the real winner of the eighteen eighty eight election. But by that point, he had already served most of his term, he immediately began campaigning again and managed to regain the seed, only a few months later by late eighteen ninety Democrats had once again, secured their hold on Conway county and the state of Arkansas. They would soon go on. Onto in state, Jim crow laws which disenfranchised African Americans and institutionalized segregation and racism to horrifying degrees and would remain in place. Well into the nineteen sixties. The assassination of John Middleton. Clayton remains one of the most fascinating unsolved political murders in American history. It illustrates how in the decades after reconstruction white Democrats, effectively used fraud, intimidation and violence, as tools against their political rivals. Particularly African Americans John Clayton was slain for attempting to expose their behavior in the end, neither the federal government, nor Clayton's family of wealthy famous politicians with the Pinkerton detective agency on their payroll where able to bring the perpetrators to Justice, the assassination of John Clayton is one awful example of corruption writ large, and this cautionary tale should not be forgotten. For more information on John M Clayton amongst many sources we used we found who killed Jon Clayton political violence and the emergence of the New South eighteen sixty one to eighteen ninety three by Kenneth c Barnes, extremely helpful to our research. Thanks again for tuning into unsolved murders. We'll be back next Tuesday with a new episode you can find more episodes of unsolved murders, as well as all of our casts other shows on Spotify or wherever else you listen to podcasts. Several of you have asked how to help us, if you enjoy the show, the best way to help is to leave a five star review. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at par cast and Twitter at park, cast network. We'll see you next time. Yeah. If we live till next time. Unsolved murders. True. Crime stories was created by max Cutler and developed by Ron Cutler is a production of Cutler media and is a part of the park cast network. It's produced by max and Ron Cutler with sound design by Kerry, Murphy production assistance by Ron Shapiro and Paul liba skin additional production assistance by Maggie admire and Carly, Madden unsolved murders is written by Andrew Kelleher and stars Carter, ROY and Wendy MacKenzie. The amazing cast voice actors includes in alphabetical order, Mike Kaposi, Harris Markson, Heston, mosier, Kate Nielsen, Britsh, Neider, and Muneeb, Raymond. Now that the show has finished. You should check out the true crime podcast where women aren't just victims female criminals investigates. The lives the world's most notorious female felons explores the stories behind their dangerous crimes be sure to search for and subscribe to female criminals on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. And please don't forget to rate and review.