The case

On Dec. 10, 1931 at around 2 a.m., five men drove to the home of John Kidney who lived with his sister Sarah Bell at their farmhouse on Crownover-Mill Road in Monroe Township. The five men, believing that Kidney had “hordes of cash.”

Five men: Cleveland Loudermilk, Lacey Adams, Walker “Younger” Brown, Eugene Hairston and Arthur Little drove to the home. Another conspirator, Frank Smith, was involved but did not go to the scene. Both John and Sarah Bell Kidney were then attacked at the home and beaten. The intruders began looking for the money that was supposedly stashed at the house. The men found a total of $446 in cash and before leaving, put a blanket in the fireplace hoping to catch the house on fire.

In addition to the money, the men also stole a revolver and shotgun belonging to Kidney. Before driving off, the men threw the club into the weeds. The crime was not discovered until 2 p.m. later that day by a neighbor of the Kidneys. It was shortly there after that John Kidney was pronounced dead and the investigation into his murder and the attack began.

The big brake in the case came with a local deputy marshal in Hanford Village, Charles Goins, remembered one of the bulletins and made a connection when he saw some old bills at a craps game.

After confronting Hairston, he eventually admitted to the whole thing and was a key witness in the trials of all the men.

About two weeks after on Dec. 22, all of the conspirators were indicted and arraigned on the charge of first-degree murder, a charge that carried the mandatory penalty of death. All suspects plead not guilty.

Each of the trials were high-profile and were well attended by the public. Judge Joseph Adkins presided over the cases, which began in February 1932. The trials would draw large crowds

The trials of Brown, Loudermilk, Adams and Little all ended in guilty verdicts by the jury and the death penalty. Both Hairston and Smith were also found guilty and given life in prison.

Brown and Loudermilk were executed on June 3, 1932, Adams on July 10 and Little on July 28.

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