I always enjoy the discovery of interesting and odd stuff while searching through the junkiest junk holes of wherever I might find myself. Most cities and towns have a place or two to look for the rarest of treasures. Not for sure if what I found in Chickasha (Oklahoma) a few days back would be considered a treasure, but, it is somewhat rare and odd to find a signed confession of murder from the 1940's window of time.
Yes, I did say murder with a confession. A truly strange experience to first read with attempt to place yourself within that mind frame within that time frame. Really kind of bizarre. Just no other way to put it. Despite the strangeness, it is interesting and we are all too familiar with those curious minds that wanna know. If you've read this far, I'm guessing you, as well, are now intrigued with an insatiable desire to know the vintage inside scoop.
A headline within the December 7, 1946, edition of The Daily Oklahoman indicates a soldier being "Sought In Farm Death." Grady County Sheriff D. Arthur Wilson stated this particular "soldier was AWOL from Fort Bliss, Texas." Wilson indicated this soldier was "wanted for questioning in the death of a Chickasha area farmer."
Although facts, figures, names, spellings and stories were somewhat skewed at this time, authorities were confident they had the right person in custody. The suspect's initial claim of "accident" seemed to have changed by the time he was returned to Oklahoma for questioning. This witness of change was reflected and documented within the state of Oklahoma's Exhibit "B" as it was typed out, sworn to and signed by the murder suspect Delbert Randle Carnell.
The young Carnell was recognized as being from Verden, Oklahoma, which is just west of Chickasha. He didn't actually type said confession but he did swear to it and signed it. The actual typing was done by Grady County stenographer of the time, Marie Forston. She also served as the Notary Public witness to the official signature of the now confessed murderer Delbert Randle Carnell.
On the 13th day of February, 1947, Delbert Randle Carnell officially confessed:
"My name is Delbert Randle Carnell. I was seventeen years old on the 15th day of January, 1947. I live at Verden, Oklahoma, on the Finis Clark place, in Grady County.
On the 5th day of last December I went out to a place south and west of Chickasha, Oklahoma, where an old man by the name of Jake Phipps lived. It was on Thursday that I went out there, and Alva Fulton and this other boy whose name I do not know, were out there and we went over to Rush Springs in a 1935 Model Ford car which was either brown or gray.
We followed the school bus around for awhile and then broke a switch pedal on the car. This boy who I do not know was trying to put a bolt in the car while Fulton and me were talking. Me and this boy I do not know but who I believed had just come back from serving time in the penitentiary, and who I think stayed with old man Phipps, and Alva Fulton were together. While Fulton and I were talking Fulton said he wished he had some money and I said I only had $4.00 but he could have half of it, and he said he didn't want any little money, he wanted some big money. He said Jake Phipps had some money. He had told me about two months before this that if I would go and kill this old man and get the money he would give me half of the money; that he would go out and find the old man and report it to the police, and by the time I would be out of the country and back in the Army and nobody would ever think it was me.
I went back to Phipps' place on Friday morning, December 6th, 1946, and when I got there he was milking so I helped him milk. I had driven out there and had stopped the car on a blind road near Phipps house. I was driving a 1942 Oldsmobile Coupe which I had stolen here in Chickasha, and had driven it down a blind road west of old man Phipps' place.
I left the car there and walked across the field east of Jake's house. Jake was at home and I helped him with the milking and finishing up. It was about 10:30 Friday morning when I got there. When he finished with the milking he went out after the horses and I went out and got in the car and started north. I had driven about a quarter of a mile when I met some men in a pickup. There were several men in the car but I passed them driving so fast that I could not determine how many were in the pickup. I drove on north to the first section line and then turned back east and drove across the creek and turned south towards Phipps' house. About 200 yards south of the section line is a small revene over which you drove across on two troughs. I missed the trough and the back wheel slipped and I could not pull the car out by its own power. A man in a Ford pickup came along and helped me to get my car out. I did not know the name of the man but he must have been a farmer - he was hauling hay out of the field.
After getting the car out I drove on up to Jake's house, got out and went in the house. Jake was still out in the pasture getting the horses. He came in with the horses and me and him stretched some possum hides that he had got, and then ate dinner. After he ate his dinner he laid back on the bed, and this gun was standing in the corner. It was a pump target 22 belonging to Mr. Phipps.
It was sitting in the corner but it was loaded. The gun had been shot several times, shooting chicken hawks, but it had been reloaded. Phipps laid back across the bed with his arm kinda across his eyes and I shot him once with this gun. Phipps moved his arms and legs a little but did not say anything.
He had $85.00 on him and I took it. The $85.00 was in his overalls bib pocket and was in a billfold. I removed the billfold from his overalls bib pocket, but did not count the money then, just stuck the billfold in my pocket. I took this money, a leather jacket and the gun with me.
I then drove the car back north from the house on the same road I came over, and when I got up to the section line I turned at the Farwell Store to the river and turned west. I went past the school house and came out at Richards Station on the Cement Highway. I never saw any one when I left the place. I went on down the highway a mile west and turned back north. About a mile and a half I met Agnes (she used to be Agnes Bond) and her husband. They were driving a Dodge Pickup.
I then went straight for four miles and a half and hit the road south of Verden and east, and turned back east one mile and went on a country road until I come up about four miles south of Pocasset. I abandoned the Oldsmobile I had been driving and walked up the Creek and threw the gun in the Creek. This creek was called Salt Creek.
I walked up to Highway 81 and caught a ride to Minco in a Pickup, it was a red Dodge. I did not know the name of the driver, but I got out at Minco. I put this leather jacket belonging to Mr. Phipps inside my field jacket and left them in a filling station at Minco. I then hitch-hiked a ride to Chickasha - it was about 1:30 o'clock Saturday. I met my cousin and he said they were looking for me, that they wanted me for murder. Cecil Ryan told me they were looking for me for murder and I just told him that I didn't know nothing about it. Me and him went to a cafe, got a cup of coffee, drank it and left. When he left me I went back up to Minco and stayed there until about 11:30 that night. I got there at about two o'clock in the afternoon. I went and rented a room in Minco - I had rented one for Friday night and came on over here and did not stay there, so I rented one again for Saturday night. The hotel was on the north side of Main Street.
When I left there, I stole a 1946 Ford and went to Oklahoma City. This 1946 Model Ford I stole in Minco and drove it to Oklahoma City.
When I left Minco and was driving to Oklahoma City I came to the Highway Patrol at the river bridge on this side. The Highway Patrol was stopping all traffic - they questioned me but released me and I drove on into the City. I still had the billfold with me but I had not counted the money. I then went to the Bus Station and bought a ticket to Los Angeles. While on the bus I counted the money and it was $85.00 that I had stolen. I threw the billfold out of the window of the bus. Besides the money there were some pictures, social security cards and a bill for something Jake had bought in the billfold. I was about four miles this side of the California line when I threw the billfold out the window. We went up through Amarillo on Highway 66.
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I stayed all night in Visalia. I believe I got in Visalia on Thursday or Friday of the following week. I remained around there in that country - I went to Lindsay. I have no relatives there - that is I did have some people there but didn't know where they lived. I gave my name out there as Wesley Ryans. I was picked up on December 24th and stayed in jail at Visalia until the 21st of January. The M.P.s got me and taken me back to Camp, when you picked me up on this charge. They came down to Camp after me about six o'clock I believe. They came on Saturday and got me on the first day of February, 1947.
In regard to Alva Fulton knowing about me killing this old man Phipps - about two months before that I had talked to him about it but he had nothing to do with the deal. I intended splitting this money with him but could never find him. I looked for him on the streets, and saw him one time but some police were standing close to him and I never went over there. He told me about the old man carrying money - he said he had about five or six hundred dollars on him and he told me if I would not kill him and rob him, he would. But he told me if he did he would divide the money with me. Which ever one of us killed him we were going to divide with the other. He said he would find the old man and report it and I would be out of the country and back in the Army and no one would ever suspect me of doing it. He was going out there the next day and take his wife and find the old man. Alva's wife did not know about the killing. He came out there to my house about two months ago. He was always coming out there and leaving his wife and going away from home. He would run off and leave his wife and stay away from his home for three or four days at a time and she would not know where he was or what he was doing.
This Pauley boy did not know about the killing. I don't know how long he has been out of the penitentiary. I don't know him but have just been told who he was."