Tales from the Morgue: Armed and dangerous, conclusion

2010-09-02T09:30:00Z 2011-06-03T18:35:57Z Tales from the Morgue: Armed and dangerous, conclusionJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star
September 02, 2010 9:30 am  • 

After Randy Greenawalt, Raymond Tison and Ricky Tison were captured Aug. 11, 1978 — Donald Tison had been killed in the shootout in which the others were captured — a manhunt continued for Gary Tison, father of the captured brothers.

Then on aug. 22, his body was found in the desert about one-half mile from the scene of the shootout he had fled.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 23, 1978:

 

Tison's body found

Corpse half a mile from shootout site

By JOHN RAWLINSON
and ARMANDO DURAZO
The Arizona Daily Star

Escaped killer Gary Tison's body was discovered yesterday half a mile from the scene of a shootout that killed one of his sons.

The body was found about 7:30 a.m. near a chemical plant in an area that searchers had gone through four times a week before during an intense search for the Arizona State Prison escapee.

After an autopsy yesterday, a physician estimated that Tison had been dead seven to 10 days. Searchers had looked in the area Aug. 11 and 15.

Pinal County Sheriff Frank Reyes said searchers may have walked past the body without noticing it because it was hidden by dense brush.

Tison's badly decomposed body was discovered by Ray Thomas, an employee of the Papago Chemicals Inc. plant. The plant is four miles southwest of the village of Chuichu on the Papago reservation south of Casa Grande.

Sgt. Allan Schmidt, Department of Public Safety information officer, said his office had positively identified the body as that of Tison, 42, through fingerprints.

Dr. Thomas B. Jarvis, with the Maricopa County coroner's office, conducted an autopsy yesterday and said he would "speculate" that the cause of death was heat stroke because of the absence of injuries. He said Tison did not die of a heart attack.

Thomas said he and two other employees had noticed an odor in the area the past three or four days and, after emptying garbage following their graveyard shift yesterday, he discovered Tison lying face up under brush in a small wash about 100 yards from the plant.

The three men immediately drove to a telephone and called Sells police, who notified other law enforcement agencies.

 

Officials said Tison might have hidden in caves or mine shafts after the shootout and then come out later and died of exposure.

The missing honeymoon couple

The Tison gang was still suspected in the death of the missing couple whose van they were using at the time of the shootout.

The bodies of James Judge and his wife were found Nov. 15, 1978, in southwestern Colorado. Family members said they were positively identified and that the bodies showed gunshot wounds.

The warden

Harold Cardwell, warden at the Arizona State Prison at the time of the escape, was fired. He was actually reassigned to a job as state highway-safety coordinator. In July, 1980, he was fired from that position as well and eventually moved back to Ohio. He had come from Ohio in 1973 to take the prison job.

Randy Greenawalt

In the early morning hours of Jan. 23, 1997, Randy Greenawalt was executed by lethal injection for his part in the murders of the Lyons family.

Raymond and Ricky Tison

The Tison brothers were convicted of first-degree murder for the slayings of the Lyons family and sentenced to death. However, the sentence was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. After many appeals and resentencing hearings, each was separately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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