Tales from the Morgue: Deadly road trip, Part 10

2014-08-19T00:00:00Z Tales from the Morgue: Deadly road trip, Part 10Johanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 19, 2014 12:00 am  • 

William S. Estaver was charged with murder. His first trial ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Should it surprise anyone that the accused man, who had used several aliases, was wanted under another name?

From the Arizona Daily Star, Saturday, May 6, 1922:

 

Estaver Rushed to Florence To Prevent Mob Violence

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PRISONER IDENTIFIED AS HADLEY WHO IS UNDER A LIFE SENTENCE: KILLED TEXAS SHERIFF ON TRAIN

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Escaped From Oklahoma Penitentiary Over Year Ago and Had Not been Located Until Few Days Ago

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Graphic details of the murder of a Texas sheriff in Oklahoma in 1916 by Paul V. Hadley, said by Oklahoma and Arizona authorities to be the man who is known as William S. Estaver, charged with the murder of Mrs. Anna C. Johnson of Denver became available for publication last night, following Estaver's [unreadable word] for the state penitentiary yesterday afternoon.

Estaver's removal to Florence was ordered by Judge Samuel L. Pattee as a precaution against possible attempts at violence against the prisoner.

Finger print evidence is said to have established the fact that Estaver is wanted by the state penitentiary authorities of Oklahoma, and that under the name of Hadley, it is said that he was serving a life term on a murder charge, escaping more than a year ago.

County Attorney George R. Darnell said yesterday afternoon that Estaver would be tried first in Pima county on the charge of having murdered Mrs. Johnson near Ajo before being sent back to the Oklahoma penitentiary.

The county attorney recently received the following telegram from Fred C. Switzer, warden of the state penitentiary at McAlester, Okla.:

"Finger print received is out man serving life. We want him badly. Answer."

County Attorney Darnell said he answered that Estaver would first be tried a second time for the murder of Mrs. Johnson. Yesterday the date of the trial was put forward from May 15 to May 19 by Judge Pattee on motion of James R. Dunseath, senior counsel for the defendant, who has as associate counsel K. Berry Peterson and Louis R. Kempf. All three attorneys were appointed by the court. The jury was unable to agree when Estaver was first tried last month.

Between the unromantic pages of a law book is to be found the official and unusual story of Paul Hadley's trial in Oklahoma. From this law book—the Pacific Reporter, volume 175, page 71—The Arizona Star, by courtesy of a member of the Pima county bar, is able to quote:

"DOYLE, Presiding Justice. The plaintiff in error, Paul V. Hadley, and Ida Hadley, were jointly charged with the murder of W. J. (Jacob) Giles, alleged to have been committed in Muskogee county on or about March 24, 1916, by shooting him with a pistol. Upon their trial the jury rendered verdicts finding 'the defendant, Ida Hadley, not guilty on account of insanity,' and finding 'the defendant Paul V. Hadley, guilty of the crime or murder as charged in the information, and fix his imprisonment in the state penitentiary at hard labor for life.' From the judgment rendered in pursuance of this verdict, the defendant, Paul V. Hadley, appeals.

Indicted for Assault

"The evidence shows that Paul V. Hadley and Ida Hadley resided in Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas; that Paul V. Hadley was indicted for assault with intent to kill in Jefferson county, Texas, and as a fugitive from justice was arrested March 20, 1916, in Kansas City, Mo., where he was going under the name of J. O. Kendrick; the W. J. (Jacob) Giles, sheriff of Jefferson county, Texas, was notified of his arrest, and in the meanwhile Hadley was incarcerated in what is known as the matron's department at the police station. While held there his wife, the defendant Ida Hadley, visited him several times, and had several conversations with him before Sheriff Giles arrived in Kansas City; that on the 23rd day of March, Sheriff Giles arrived in Kansas City with a requisition from the governor of Texas for Paul V. Hadley; that the defendant, Ida Hadley, met Sheriff Giles at the police station and requested the sheriff to allow her to return to Texas with her husband.

"In response to that request, Sheriff Giles replied that she could come if she wanted to, but she would have to pay her owhn railroad fare. She then gave the money to Mr. Sanderson, who was present, to purchase a ticket for her, which he did. That Sheriff Giles with both the defendants left Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. on March 23, 1916, which train arrived in Muskogee just after midnight the next morning.

"Before leaving Kansas City, Ida Hadley requested Sheriff Giles to remove the handcuffs from Paul V. Hadley, who had agreed to return to Texas with Sheriff Giles by signing a written waiver of formal requisition. The sheriff did not grant her request.

"When the train left Parsons, Kansas, Ida Hadley was sitting on the right side of the chair car, and shortly after the sheriff, with Paul V. Hadley in custody, came out of the smoking car into the chair car, where Hadley sat down by his wife, and the sheriff sat down in the seat across the aisle; the defendants engaged in a whispered conversation, and Ida Hadley went to the ladies' rest room in the front of the car several times, and each time return to her seat by her husband.

Handcuffs Removed

"At that time the handcuffs had been removed from Hadley, and he was riding just as any other passenger in company with his wife. Sheriff Giles at this time was sitting across the aisle in the third seat from the rear, the back of which has been reversed, and he was facing the defendants.

"When the train reached Muskogee, Ida Hadley said to Sheriff Giles, 'you might just as well go to sleep; Paul and I are going to sleep in a minute.' Within ten minutes after leaving Muskogee, Ida Hadley got up from her seat and walked to the ladies' rest room in the forward end of the car.

"After staying there a few minutes she returned, carrying a satchel or package. Reaching the sheriff she drew a pistol and shot Sheriff Giles in the back of the head. The bullet passed through his head fell on the floor.

"The train at that time was passing through the town of Oktaha, Muskogee County. Instantly, Paul V. Hadley jumped across the aisle and grabbed Sheriff Giles' pistol, and said to his wife, 'hold the gun on all of them; if they move blow their heads off.'

"Ida Hadley said to the other passengers in the car, 'Don't a man or woman of you get up.' Paul V. Hadley, after taking the sheriff's pistol, proceeded to go through the pockets of the sheriff, taking papers out of his pockets and sticking them into his own pockets.

"About this time the train auditor came into the car, and Paul V. Hadley, holding his pistol on him, said, 'Stop this train, ----- ----- you, or I will blow your brains out.' The auditor pulled the bell cord, but the train did not stop. The Hadleys then went out on the front vestibule of the car, and there kept their guns on the auditor and demanded that he stop the train.

"The train stopped at Checotah, and the two defendants stepped off. They they walked about five miles south from Checotah and stopped at the home of Mr. Ennis, and asked permission to stop there until morning. They also arranged to have Mr. Ennis' son drive them to Briartown in the morning. Young Ennis started to drive the defendants to Briartown on Porum. After going about ten miles he left them at Mr. Stevens' place on Hi Early mountain.

"Sheriff McCune, of McIntosh county, with a posse, arrested the defendants there that forenoon. Ida Hadley asked Sheriff McCune if Giles was dead, and he told her that he was, and she asked, 'What are you going to do with us?' and the sheriff said, 'We are going to take you to Eufala, the county seat of the county where you killed this man.'

Equally Guilty

"The defendant Paul Hadley then said, 'I am in it as much as she is, just as much to blame as she.'

"It appears that Sheriff Giles never spoke after he was shot, and died two or three minutes after he was taken from the train at Checotah. The defendant Ida Hadley testified as a witness in her own behalf and as a witness on behalf of her co-defendant.

"In rebuttal, R. H. Gaines, for the states, testified that he was in the hotel business at Checotah and was present, with others, where, when Ida Hadley stated in the presence of her husband, Paul V. Hadley, 'That her husband had shot a man down in Texas and that she expected that some time he would be arrested, and it was her intention to take him away from the officers when they started back to Texas with him; that she had put her gun in her grip, and had kept it there all the time since the trouble in Texas; that when her husband was arrested in Kansas City, she asked Sheriff Giles' permission to accompany him back to Texas; that her husband knew the gun was in the grip, and that they had talked the matter over several times; that is, the possibility of her taking him away from the officer, and when they got to a little city above here that had electric lights, a city of 15,000, 20,000 or possibly 30,000 people, she whispered to Mr. Hadley, 'When we leave this town I am going to take Jake's gun off of him, and you get ready to make your getaway.' And that she further stated: 'I asked Jake Giles to lend me his drinking cup. He let me have that cup, and I started back to the washroom. There I took the gun out and put it in my dress and I came out and down the aisle toward Mr. Hadley and Jake, and when I got near Mr. Hadley I gave him a nod to get ready to get up'; that she and Mr. Hadley had frequently talked over the subject that she would use the gun in taking him away from the officer; that they had talked it over after they left Kansas City while sitting in the car.' Other witnesses testified that they were present when Ida Hadley made these statements in the hotel at Checotah, and that at the time she and her husband were handcuffed together.

Wife Convicted; 10 Years

"We are satisfied from a careful examination of the record and of the proceedings had upon the trial with respect to its fairness that the defendant had a fair and impartial trial. While the jury by its verdict acquitted the defendant, Ida Hadley, that was its peculiar province. No one can tell what considerations enter a verdict returned by a jury where a woman is on trial. Nevertheless, if the jury made a mistake as to her, that is no reason why this defendant should not suffer the just penalty of the law. Upon the whole case we are satisfied that the verdict was neither against the weight of the evidence nor against the law.

"Finding no error in the record, the judgment appealed from is affirmed."

According to a dispatch received by The Arizona Star from The associated Press Thursday night from Muskogee, Okla., Hadley's wife later was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment when she broke jail. At the same time, she told authorities that she had no intention of fleeing, but wanted to commit an offense that would send her to the penitentiary so she could be near her husband.

More than a year ago Hadley was granted a 10-day leave of absence to visit his sick mother. He never returned and his whereabouts had been a mystery until the alleged capture at Tucson.

Publication of this dispatch from Muskogee was withheld by The Arizona Daily Star yesterday morning at the request of County Attorney Darnell, who asked that this be done for official reasons.

Estaver was taken to Florence by Sheriff Ben F. Daniels, Deputy Sheriff J. Lew Tremaine and Deputy Sheriff Pat J. Sheehy.

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Deputy Sheriff Dave E. Wilson and Louis Ezekials, finger print expert, were given due credit last night by County Attorney George R. Darnell for the identification of William S. Estaver, charged with murder in Pima county, as Paul V. Hadley, who escaped from the state penitentiary at McAlaster, Oklahoma, more than a year ago.

Estaver's finger prints were taken by Deputy Wilson and were photographed and classified by Mr. Ezekials, according to Mr. Darnell.

As the result of the work of these two Tucsonans, a telegram from the warden of the Oklahoma penitentiary was received by County Attorney Darnell, saying that Estaver was "their man."

Estaver was later identified by a fellow Oklahoma penitentiary inmate as Paul Hadley. At the time he made the identification, Charles Fletcher was an inmate at the Arizona state penitentiary in Florence, serving a life sentence for highway robbery. He was able to see Hadley in person at Florence to make the identification.

One may well wonder if the jury would have deadlocked if this news had been known before Estaver's first trial in Tucson.

Next: Another trial.

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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