1958 suspect interview summaries

In 1958, Detective McPhail and the deputies assigned to the Izard murder cases conducted over 500 interviews with suspects, Bowlan employees, relatives and friends of laid‑off workers, as well as the Izard family, neighbors, various merchants, pawnshops, and others.

Only those interviews that were directly relevant to the investigation are included in the 1958 case file summaries. Interviews with the prime suspects who were never cleared of involvement follow.

The following interview summaries are taken directly from the 1958 case files.

1015 hours

Elliot Perch
Britt's Boarding House, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Perch confirms the list from Robert Abbott as being what he calls the "organizing committee."

He denies any payoffs were made to Richard Izard and that he does not know where Richard Izard lived.

Perch states that he was at Sid's from about 1145 hours to approx. 1330 hours when he went to the reservoir to "think."

Perch admitted to the fight with Jimmy Warren but downplayed it. (Note: Perch's right hand is slightly bruised.) Said everyone at Sid's was drunk and tempers were running high.

Stated he then returned to Britt's boarding house. When confronted with the lie, said he went up to Memphis to the Kit Kat Klub. Claimed bartender and a "good looking blonde" would remember him.

Stated no knowledge of Izard homicides.


Story hinky. He knows more he's not saying. Check out Kit Kat.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1130 hours

Walter Hinkley
RR 6, Box 41, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Walter Hinkley stated he was at Sid's Tavern from approx. 1200 hours to 1310 hours when he bought some beer and left.

Hinkley said he left after an altercation between Perch and Jimmy Warren occurring at approx. 1300 hours.

He admitted to making threats against both Harold Bowlan and Dick Izard, however, said he was not the only one and that "no one seriously intended to follow through on anything" against them.

Hinkley stated that he drove to Holly Springs to fish, think, and drink beer. Said he was alone and saw no one.

Stated that he was very depressed and angry and did not want to go home in that state and confront his wife. Said he is in bad financial shape over gambling debts and his mortgage and was not ready to face his family.

Said he was fishing until dusk, arriving home at approx. 1900 hours.

Stated he called his wife from Sid's before leaving and spoke briefly with her at 1315 hours. Mrs. Hinkley confirmed the call. Said her husband said he needed the afternoon to himself, and she had no problem with that. Said that Hinkley did not bring home any fish.

Hinkley confirmed there was a poker game set at his house for Saturday, April 12 at around 2100 hours which was canceled. He stated that the usual group included his brother Thomas Joe, Dick Izard, Ed Rebstock, Wes Hannaford, Glenn Johnson, and sometimes Howard Hadley and his brother Aaron would play. Stated he won't be playing poker anytime soon without a job.

Hinkley appeared angry and morose during his interview. Stated at one point that he was "glad someone actually did something" about the loss of the Bowlan jobs. His comments appeared odd as he did not seem to make the connection that Dick Izard's death did nothing to get jobs back.

He said he did not talk to his brother Thomas Joe until after he returned home Friday evening. Stated he had a brief conversation with him at approx. 1945 hours and Thomas Joe was still "shook up" about finding the bodies.

Stated that he first learned of Izard murders from his wife when he returned home.


Verified that Hinkley's finances are pretty bad, $150 in the bank.

Last field report 7-5-56 arrest for assault and public disturbance, assault charges dropped, 6 mos. probation on pd charge.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1430 hours

Jimmy Warren
CR 103, RR 4, Box 52, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Jimmy stated he was at Sid's from approx. 1145 hours until approx. 1330 hours. Said he had four or five bourbons and some beer, was very drunk.

Stated he did get into it with Perch, "took a slug at him and tussled with him a bit."

Jimmy said he left Sid's planning to go home to "sleep it off," but decided to go over to Elbert's but found no one home.

Stated he got to his house around 1425 hours. Said he waved to his neighbor, Mike Rallins at Box 50, on his way past.

Note: Mike Rallins confirmed he saw Jimmy Warren but thought it was between 1430 and 1445 hours, said he can't be sure.

Jimmy stated he first learned of the Izard murders from Louis Corbett. Said Corbett came to his house around 1630 and woke him up.

Jimmy said he did not see or speak to his brother Elbert after he left Sid's on Friday.


Last record, assault 12-31-57.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1530 hours

Jessie Danahy
King Road, Box 58, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Danahy was belligerent and uncooperative during his interview, refusing to provide an alibi for the time of the murders.

He stated he was at Sid's Tavern from leaving Bowlan at approx. 1130 hours to 1300 hours with Pete Corey, Harvey Booker, and Jack Peach. Said they were joined by a number of other Bowlan workers including Frank Valenti and Jeff Skinner at approx. 1200 hours.

Stated that he, Booker, and Corey all left Sid's at the same time, but went their separate ways. He said he saw no one else until later that night when he met up with Pete Corey and Booker at his house which he stated was about 2030 hours.

When confronted with the fact that I found no one at home at 2140 hours, Danahy became combative and stated that he must have been "off on the time," to "ask Corey and Booker."

Danahy stated in his interview that he was glad someone had "gotten rid" of Dick Izard, that he'd like to say he did it.

He stated he was sorry about Lisa Izard, though his manner was not consistent with his statements.

He expressed little concern about the children, saying "the brats weren't mine, why should I care?"

Danahy did state that he had nothing to do with either the murders or the disappearance of the Izard children, but challenged us to "either prove he did it and arrest him, or leave him alone."


Last record, assault 12-31-57, last incident report at Izard location 5-19-56.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1645 hours

Harvey Booker
36 Scott Street, #3, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Booker was obviously uncomfortable and nervous in his interview. He had difficulty maintaining eye contact and chain‑smoked throughout.

He confirmed that he was at Sid's from roughly 1130 hours to 1300 hours on Friday along with Danahy, Booker, Skinner, and Valenti. Said he, Danahy, and Corey left at about 1300 hours.

He stated that he and Corey decided to go to Sardis and look for some drag race action. Booker said that he drove his truck back to his address at Scott Street.

Booker said he saw and talked to no one while at Scott Street until Corey picked him up at 1600 hours.

Stated they purchased a case of beer at the Sardis bait shop at approx. 1645 hours and went out to the old logging road off of State 35, a known location for illegal racing.

Booker stated that he and Corey got into an argument that led to a fistfight with another group of racers from Sardis. Booker said he didn't know their names but would recognize them and their cars.

Stated that he and Corey went to Danahy's house on King Road at approx. 2200 hours "give or take a bit." Said he and Corey learned of the Izard murders from Danahy.


Booker has facial and knuckle bruises and a split lip consistent with being in a fight.

Deputies have been unable to locate any witnesses who confirm Booker and Corey's statements about their fight on the logging road off State 35, though one regular thought he recognized Corey's car around 1800 that evening. Said he did not see Corey and can't be sure.

Scott Street residents confirm Booker's truck was parked on the street for most of the afternoon and evening, earliest confirmation is 1530 hours.

Last record, assault and public disturbance 12-31-57.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1725 hours

Earl Long
Toby Tubby Road, Box 24, Sardis, MS

Interviewed at station.

Earl Long said he was extremely shocked over the extent of the layoffs.

Stated he picked up his final pay from the paymaster about 1140 hours and went directly to his home. Earl Long lives alone and stated that he saw no one after arriving home.

He said he first learned about the Izard murders when he was called to come into the station for an interview.

Long stated that he has no hard feelings against Richard Izard regarding the layoffs, that he felt sorry for the man having to "tell all those people they might not have groceries next week."


While Mr. Long has no verifiable alibi, he does not exhibit any physical injuries consistent with a fight. His height at 5' 7" and his frail bearing make it unlikely that he could have inflicted the blows found on Richard Izard.

Conducted by Deputy Larry Kuhn.

1735 hours

Pete Corey
Bay Springs Road, Box 23, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Corey confirmed the statements made by Booker.

He stated he went to his home from Sid's, leaving at approx. 1300 hours and arriving at his home at approx. 1335 hours. Said he spent several hours laying rat poison in and around the barns. Said he saw no one during this time.

Recalled picking up Booker at approx. 1615 hours. Said they purchased beer at the bait shop and went to the logging road off State 35 at approx. 1700 hours. Stated that no one was there when they arrived and they waited until approx. 1745 for someone to show up.

Stated he did not recognize anyone there, but would know them again. Said the fight was over the amount of a wager on a race.

Stated they left immediately after the fight and went to Danahy's house on King Road arriving at a "bit before 10:00."

Corey said Booker got the worst in the fight. Note: Corey did have bruised knuckles and a small laceration with bruising on his left cheek.

He stated he learned of the Izard murders from Danahy.


Last record, assault and public disturbance 12-31-57.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1845 hours

Elbert Warren
Pea Ridge Farm Road, Box 87, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Warren had nothing new to add to his information of Friday night, April 11.

He continued to state that he does not know his attackers. He thinks he might be able to find the spot again, but can only remember that it was off the southwest corner of the reservoir "a ways into the woods."

He stated that Jeannie was staying with her sister in Taylor since Wednesday afternoon with the kids to be out of the way in case things got heated after the union vote. Stated that he did not expect anything specific, but thought it was for the best as Jeannie was worried and is pregnant.

He stated he has no further knowledge on the nature or amounts of the payoffs, but is quite certain that Perch paid Izard cash on more than one occasion.

Last field incident report, public disturbance, drunk and disorderly 11-26-57.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

2030 hours

Ralph Quillens
313 Old Sullivan Road, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Quillens stated that he was at Sid's from approx. 1200 hours with Perch, Frank Abbott, Glenn Johnson, Charlie Duncan.

Said he witnessed the altercation between Perch and Jimmy Warren around 1300 hours or a bit before. Identified Warren as the instigator. Stated the mood was ugly at that time, and a number of the men decided to leave and go on home. Said he stayed until sometime between 1330 and 1340 hours.

He recalled seeing Miz Carmichael enter Sid's about that time and he told her that maybe it wasn't a good time for her to be there. He stated that he informed her of the layoffs, and she asked about her friend Hadley. When she learned he was among those laid off, she became quite concerned. He said she went on into the bar, and he left.

Quillens expressed animosity toward Richard Izard. He stated that while Izard was not responsible for the layoffs, he felt Izard had undermined the hard efforts put out by the organizers to get the vote through.

He stated that he went home from Sid's arriving at approx. 1415 hours and then went squirrel hunting alone. Said he saw and spoke to no one after leaving Sid's until he returned home from hunting at approx. 1630 hours. He said his wife was home then, and she informed him of the Izard murders and missing children.

Quillens stated that he was out this morning with the search group looking for the Izard children, confirmed by Deputy Moffett. Expressed concern about the children and Miz Izard, but not much for Richard Izard.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1330 hours

Nathan Buck
Buford Chapel Road, Box 65, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at his residence.

Mr. Buck stated that he collected his pay from the paymaster near the end of the line at approx. 1200 hours.

He stated that he went on into Oxford to cash his check at Farmer's Bank, then went on to his house.

He said he spent the afternoon hunting in the area northwest of Buford Chapel near his home, and he saw and spoke to no one during the afternoon. Stated he first learned of the murders and missing children from his wife when he returned from hunting approx. 1545 hours.


Miz Buck confirmed the time and stated she was visiting with Miz Ray at 61 Buford Chapel Road from approx. 1100 hours to 1400 hours. She stated that Nathan brought home three rabbits about an hour after she got home, saying he had been hunting.

Mr. Buck's alibi cannot be verified, however, there is no apparent reason to consider him a strong suspect in the Izard murders at this time. He expressed no animosity toward Richard Izard.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1445 hours

Howard Hadley
Hopewell Road, Box 24, Oxford, MS

Not home.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.

1030 hours

Howard Hadley
Hopewell Road, Box 24, Oxford, MS

Interviewed at station.

Hadley stated that he was one of the first to pick up his pay at Bowlan on Friday, April 11 shortly after 1100 hours.

He stated he was at Sid's Tavern from approx. 1130 hours to 1300 hours, and he was drinking heavily on Friday afternoon.

Stated that he was very bitter over the layoffs and has serious concerns on how he is going to get by without a job.

Said he went to his home when he left Sid's, arriving at approx. 1320 hours. He said he worked in his garden for some time, and Miz Carmichael came to visit him, arriving a bit before 1400 hours.

He stated that he and Miz Carmichael have spent quite a bit of time together since the death of his wife in 1955. He said Miz Carmichael had gone to Sid's, where she learned of the layoffs and was concerned about him.

He stated that Miz Carmichael stayed at his home until approx. 1600 hours, and she returned around 1900 hours and fixed supper for him and his daughter. He said Miz Carmichael then agreed to take his daughter home with her as he was drinking so heavily.

He stated he first learned of the Izard murders on the radio shortly after Miz Carmichael left his house the first time. Hadley stated he was very sorry about the Izards and their children, that he and Dick Izard had been friendly, occasionally playing cards together at Walter Hinkley's home. He said that he also had gone fishing with Dick Izard on a number of occasions.

Hadley has numerous injuries to his hands, his right hand being bandaged, and to his left eye. Stated that he fell from a ladder while working on his roof on Saturday, April 12, suffering injuries to his hands, corneal abrasions, and a cracked rib. He stated he went on "quite a bender" from the time of the layoffs and should "never have gone up on the ladder in the first place."

Stated he went to Baptist Hospital emergency on Sunday, April 13 around 1200 hours when he realized his injuries required medical attention. Call to Baptist Hospital confirms the emergency room visit, and that injuries were consistent with a serious fall.


Hadley is known to have been seeing Miz Carmichael from the summer of 1953 prior to his wife's death.

Hadley is well known for his drinking binges and has fourteen arrests for public intoxication, assault, and battery.

Field reports show two calls to his home 11/16/53 and 5/12/55 for domestic assault. Though Miz Hadley refused to press charges, she was escorted to Baptist Hospital on 5/12/55 for precautionary treatment as she was pregnant at the time.

Conducted by Detective Jack McPhail.



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