I realize that this event is beyond the time frame scope of this forum; nonetheless, it's Oklahoma criminal history. So, here goes . . .
As will be recalled, E C Mullendore III, the heir-apparent to the Cross Bell Ranch fortunes, was murdered by a person or persons as-yet-unkown on September 26, 1970, at his home on the Cross Bell. Many prominent Oklahoma ranching families led lives that intersected with the Mullendore's lives beginning with Grandfather Erd Mullendore, the founder and progenitor of the clan and the original Cross Bell. With some fancy legal and financial footwork, the ranch is still in family hands and is operated by Katsy(EC III's sister) and her daughter.
If one has read Kwitny's book, THE MULLENDORE MURDER CASE, one cannot help but be intrigued as I was the first time I read it in '74 when it was published and again now.
Has anyone of our group taken an interest in the case and, if so, are there any logical conjectures regarding "whodunit" out there?
David A Rennie
Whodunit?? Try the name Chubb Anderson !!!
Damon "Chub" Anderson was the "traditional" suspect. Two things seem to belie his "hands on" involvement: (1) a motive contemporary with the event and (2) his post-event lifestyle.
The grand jury that convened shortly after the murder did not find sufficient evidence to indict "Chub" for the murder. His lifestyle following the event certainly did not improve as would be expected if he had received large financial rewards nor did a supposed relationship with the deceased's spouse ever surface. As you will recall, she married her legal consel, John Arrington, after he left his wife and children. They still live in/near Tulsa.
A more likely suspect, in my opinion, was Gene Mullendore. He apparently thought that he could somehow gain control of the proceeds of EC III's insurance estate; yea, he may even have thought that he was beneficiary thereof. More than likely, his already-demented personality was further warped by a persistent and long-term case of syphillis, a disease known to create serious mental abnormalities. His son had brought him no particular joy; that seems certain.
The attorney that actually handled the probate of the estate, John Sharp (one of Arrington's law partners) has aptly conjectured that any one of the many, many creditors of the estate had ample motive for the crime. More likely, too, one of the small creditors that EC III had "stiffed" on numerous occasions would have sensed that EC III's death would have eventually gotten the bills paid.
Without the bullet--most likely still in EC III's skull after a completely botched contemporary investigation--it is unlikely that the culprit will ever be known much less brought to the bar of justice. Of course, there is no statute of limitations on capital crime but who in the family would ever want to discover a horrible truth like father-killing-son?
David A Rennie
I agree with you. Now that they have arrested Chub I hope a lot of secrets will come out. Anyone that knows Chub knows he is an excellent shot or was and someone I know said he never missed. Now isn't it just amazing that EC was shot exactly between the eyes and Chubs story was he shot at the two that supposedly shot him and he missed?
Around here many people have been afraid to even speak out what they think or know about Chub. Seems as though people wind up mysteriously dead. EC's murder isn't the only one that has gone unsolved. It's just the one with all the publicity due to the ranch and money. When Chub was arrested for a marijuana field in Washington county there was a man that had turned him in. Rumor has it Chub found out the last name but there was 3 brothers and he didn't have the first name. Within 3 weeks after Chub was released on bail all 3 men were found dead. The first mysteriously drowned coon hunting, the second was killed in a motorcycle accident hitting a pole or something, and the third was shot in the chest from a drive-by on a country road as the victim came out of his mobile home going to his truck on his way to work. Now isn't that quite a coincidence?
Everyone wants to interview Chubb at this time and acting like he is just a good ole boy. He has been very smart and if these folks around here aren't careful they will find out how smart. He's like a snake and can strike at any time. His health might make him look a dormant but thats what he wants. His charm is how he has gotten away with what he has. Amazing the latest interview with him in our local paper claims when he jumped bail in Kansas and has been on the run since 1990 he went to Mexico for awhile and wound up in Montana working as a cowboy on Ted Turners ranch under an assumed name.
Chub has numerous medical problems now with his lungs and he is suffering from kidney disease due to diabettes. One kidney has stopped functioning and the second is working at only 20 percent capacity. He has dialysis treatments every other day.
It's going to be interesting to see how this spins out.
Indeed; it will be interesting to see--as you have said--how it spins out. I don't, however, understand how Sheriff Wayman expects an unequivocal resolution to the case without any of the pertinent evidence. Does he expect Chubb to confess in exchange for a life estate in the state peniteniary? That may not be as unlikely as it sounds considering his poor health.
In the meantime as we watch for news, consider reading THE SILVER SPOONER by Darcy O'Brien, a thinly veiled fictional account of the events at the Cross Bell. Entertaining to say the least . . .
For something else interesting to do, consider researching the probate records of EC III's estate. Everyone who presented a claim against that estate, small or large, possessed a motive proportional to the debt owed them.
David A Rennie
When I read "The Mullendore Murder," in '72 or '73,written by a NY newspaper reporter if I recall correctly, I was surprised at the number of names I recognized in that part of the story that dealt with the life insurance purchases. Who were the beneficiaries? Were any proceeds ever paid to those beneficiaries? And did any of the insurance companies conduct their own investigations? If so, what were the results of those investigations?
Anyone have any information that might address those questions?
Well, There are alot of good stories out there about the whole case, Which i no some of the truth, Considering he is my cousin. But in are family When his name got brought up no one said nothing, Only time you would talk about him, is when ur with one person. His son Jeff Anderson(My cousin), is in alot of stress rite now, From all the phone calls an court, But here is What i think Possible happend, EC an chub were in the basement playing cards, Cus EC Liked to Gamble, An they both had been drinking that nite, an chub one a big hand an how EC has a anger problem when he drinks got mad took chub's 25 shot him once upstairs, in the shoulder, Chub grabs him in a fight, grab's a gun, shots him, Drops the gun in the lake an gets help to make it look like two men came in. Well just leave comments on any questions, or emial me or visit me if u leave near Bartlesville dewey or copa,
where can I get a copy of the book "The Mullendore Murder case"
This is a rare book, but you can try Amazon.com or other internet book sellers.
Two excellent sources for rare and used books are ALIBRIS.COM and ABEBOOKS.COM. their service is superior to Amazon and Borders and they cast a much wider net; extending into provate collections. There are a limited number of library copies available in Oklahoma libraries. BTW, I met another of Chubb Anderson's cousins yesterday. She promised to see if Chubb would allow me an interview.
David A Rennie
Try eBay they have The Mullendore Murder case from time to time. I bought one at a junk store in Coffeyville some years ago...it's a great story.
We have the Mullendore Murder Case book & it's hard to find. My aunt was a very good friend of Gene & Kathleen. We also have a bottle of Very Very Old Fitzgerald (bottled in 1965) with 2 shot glasses, encased in a red velvet lockbox, which was a gift to my aunt from Gene & Kathleen as a "thank you" for her support. Don't know it's value.
Unless you can authenticate the source of the Old Fitzgerald, I suspect its principal value will be in its ingestion during lengthy conversations with old history buffs (such as the undersigned). Please call if assistance is required. I can round up Mike Tower and Dee Cordry; maybe Diron would be able to assist!
David A Rennie
I to would be interested in the insurance companies investigations (if any). I have read and reread this book many times hoping I will catch something. I have always had a gut feeling his wife was at the root of the murder.
If his wife were involved in EC III's death, it would certainly be "Perry mason" irony as she married the attorney who represented her interests before the grand jury who failed to return any indictments. He also represented her in the settlement of EC III's estate.
Perhaps "Chub" will clear it all up as he approaches the Final Reckoning; I somehow doubt it though. In the meanwhile, we'll enjoy the various conjectures. Perhpas we should form an adjunct deliberation society and meet periodically at Dewey for coffee and cigars!
Have a great western Day!
David A Rennie
Wasn't EC's wife involved in some way with Chub? You know living around there stories flew.I thought Larry Silver maybe knew something.I also wonder how they maintain the place today I have been out there recently and it is kept up. Katsy's husband has money right? What paid off all the debt they were in at the time of the death. How can info be gotten on the insurance investigation. And chub will be talk? I years ago was at a party east of copan and he was there on the fringes it was as if you didn't dare approach him.
Chub has been back a couple of times since he was first on the run. Everyone kept it hush. If he wouldn't have been on the run he wouldn't be sick right now. He is only having all of these health problems because of one of the jobs he worked while he was running. My grandpa is Chub's brother. My mom, Chub's niece, says that there is no way that Chub was behind the Mullendore murder. Also, there is no way he would ever confess if he did it. Not even on his death bed.
I do agree with you that he didn't pull the trigger, but I think he knows who did. And I just feel like it was his wifes doings. It is sad he is in such poor health. Is EC's wife still alive and living in Tulsa? I wonder if Chub was compensated for keeping his mouth shut?
David, have you heard anything about doing an interview with Chub? Would I love to be a fly on that wall.
No, LR; I've heard nary a word regrading a possible interview with Chub. It was only happenstance that I ran into his cousin in one of the local beaneries and it's not happened again.
I've come to believe that we know all we're going to know about EC III's death. Certainly, no evidence has been forthcoming to point to--or away--from any individual. I still think his father shot him.
David A Rennie
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