60 years later, gang leader's slaying still unsolved

Oct 23, 2007 Full story: Journal Star 1,182

“Shelton, 60 (actually, he was 59), was blasted out of a Jeep by machine-gun slugs fired by the gunmen from a black Sedan on a country road near his rich farmlands”

Few Peorians likely recognize the once-infamous name. Even fewer recall the swift and violent end of Carl Shelton as he traveled near Fairfield. via Journal Star

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G Harris

El Paso, TX

#1 Jan 10, 2008
The Harris gang was the ones doing this as I
was present when they killed several people in Fairfield Ill. I was a child perhaps six years old. It was on the fourth of July.

My grand farther Blackie Harris machine gunned these people. two men and a women in the summer of the 50s
I saw this happen and of course was not taken seriously due to my age, different times. He stopped a black truck carrying Ice and the man was then running toward the hospital and they killed him and the women was begging along side of the road not to kill her... and they shot her as well but did not kill her.

I was in an a school bus waiting old wooden structure and saw it all I then lived at 110 North West 10th street I think it was. I was then sent to Texas to get me away from people who wanted to kill me.

This is the honest truth as I know it to be and I hope this helps someone.

I am now 61 years old and an engineer for a major corp. I want to tell what I know as it has bothered me all these years, perhaps this will help someone be able to move on.Dont want any problems just want to tell what I know for fact.

Blackie killed the man with a Thomson machine gun and shot the women who lived. I dont know who was in the car with him, but I could never figur out why the man started running down the road..not smart. I know there were several shells around all over the place just a bad scene.

Gary
G Harris

El Paso, TX

#2 Jan 10, 2008
Just as an after thought I think they were named Sheltons(the ones they killed)I could be wrong.. I also know of other killing I saw as a child but so long ago.. I am not sure But I at one time knew the names, I know I ran down and picked up a lot shells and they were hot to warm at the time I picked them up the police got all upset about me picking them up. Should be in the police report. My mother made me promise to never tell but she died two years ago and I can at last tell folks. These were cold bad people for real.

I am glad to at last have this told and once again hope it can some be kind of rest to someone as these people meant something and as this was my own people who did this I just don't know what to say..other than it was a time of violence and murder that thank god is I hope over.

I hope this helped someone. I have bookmarked this page and If I can help without getting evolved too much please let m know. My dad was a cop and his life was in danger at this point in time.

I do know of other killing but so long ago I dont think I can help as I only heard what they saying and that was a long while ago..at least I feel better knowing others know of this and know what I know.

thanks
vlx

Mount Vernon, IL

#3 Jan 23, 2008
My son is doing a history project on the sheltons, focusing primarily on their doings in Fairfield. His grandpa is from Fairfield as well and remembers playing at the Shelton house. Any information you could give would be a great help to his project. Thanks
G Harris wrote:
The Harris gang was the ones doing this as I
was present when they killed several people in Fairfield Ill. I was a child perhaps six years old. It was on the fourth of July.
My grand farther Blackie Harris machine gunned these people. two men and a women in the summer of the 50s
I saw this happen and of course was not taken seriously due to my age, different times. He stopped a black truck carrying Ice and the man was then running toward the hospital and they killed him and the women was begging along side of the road not to kill her... and they shot her as well but did not kill her.
I was in an a school bus waiting old wooden structure and saw it all I then lived at 110 North West 10th street I think it was. I was then sent to Texas to get me away from people who wanted to kill me.
This is the honest truth as I know it to be and I hope this helps someone.
I am now 61 years old and an engineer for a major corp. I want to tell what I know as it has bothered me all these years, perhaps this will help someone be able to move on.Dont want any problems just want to tell what I know for fact.
Blackie killed the man with a Thomson machine gun and shot the women who lived. I dont know who was in the car with him, but I could never figur out why the man started running down the road..not smart. I know there were several shells around all over the place just a bad scene.
Gary
G Harris

United States

#4 Jan 24, 2008
Well I was of course not invited much over to the Shelton's house, I can tell you that they used to go to a cafe in Fairfield that had a cab stand It was called Lamont's Cafe and the Man who owned the small establishment was killed by the Shelton's
His mother was also killed as well they were the Shelton's who did the murder she was chocked to death I was told and I went to school in the third or fourth grade with his son and his Dad was found beaten to death on the golf course, I can tell you this made the Harris people very very upset and they took action, I have no desire to relive that part of it.

They had three buried out at what they called the
Water works I used to fish out there. They also hid a body under the outhouse in back of 110 North West 10 Street a house owned by the Veaches.

I was present when they put the body in the thing.
After that my Dad---Kelly-- a local policeman left after they had indicated I might know to much.

My mother owned Robs Coffee shop for a while her name was Louise-- some else you can check out.

I hope you understand I was a child and for what ever reason this never bothered me.

I am sure you can check out Lamont's death and once you have verified I am bona fide perhaps we can talk.

The people involved in all this were not to me as a child bad people, I have no idea what I should have thought to think but they were just regular people.
vlx

Mount Vernon, IL

#5 Jan 27, 2008
I'm a bit confused, Kelly was your Dad...Blackie's son? A police officer at the time all of this was going on? Am I correct to assume his last name was Harris? Did your grandfather have any other children besides Kelly? You mention that you lived at 110 North West 10th street but you also mention it was owned by the Veaches and you saw bodies being buried there under the outhouse...Is this the same house? You were living there at the time? I'm just trying to make sure I understand everything correctly. Also, Are you positive about the July 4th date?
My sons grandfather says the same thing you say...The Sheltons and your grandfather were always really nice to him. He thought they were ordinary good folks. He was a bit older than you at the time...probably around 14.

We certainly don't want you to relive any hurtful memories, but I saw your post and thought if he could just confirm some of what you say, he could use you as a reference in his History project. He is only in 8th grade so his report will be reletively simple and he won't want to pry or dig too deep.
R Taylor

Crawfordsville, IN

#6 Feb 6, 2008
I do not mean to be offensive but would you be willing to take a polygraph examination as to your comments?? This would help reaffirm your statement of the facts.
OkieBob

Talala, OK

#7 Mar 1, 2008
I remember my mom telling me stories that her mom told her about her uncle blackie harris. At that time he was running back and forth from southern Ill. to Tulsa, OK. a portion of their family lived in Sand Springs oklahoma. He would hide out from either the law or other gangs and then go back out and kill members of the sheltons or others I would have to ask my mother again. When you don't pay attention to the stories of old people you really miss a lot.
Kim

New York, NY

#8 Mar 9, 2008
Hi. I live in Fairfield and used to have a coworker, Carolyn. She said her mother was burned down in her house out in Pond Creek by Blackie Harris. We think we might have located the house it was at. We also found the old car that Blackie and others shot up with some people in it. We dont know who was in it...we dont remember what Carolyn's mother's name was. My coworker, Derek, and I are trying to find out the most information we can about Charlie Harris. I have only found two pictures of him. FBI photo and another. If anyone has more information on him and would like to share it with me, this would be very very helpful to us.

Thank you,
Kim
Dazhavu752

Wichita Falls, TX

#9 Apr 13, 2008
I was wondering if any of you knew Charlies niece Veeda Paul (harris)
P -Dixon-Melton

Salem, MO

#10 Apr 17, 2008
My father and uncle was in the oilfield business around Fairfield. I remember dad talking about the Shelton gang and some things that went on. My mother worked for a bit as a waiteress at the resturant they frequented. Story was my mom was waiting on one of the Shelton boys and he grabbed her and said something rude. Without thinking who it was she responded angerily by dumping coffee in his lap. Mom said it went dead quiet and she realized what she had done and was terrified, but knew not to back down, so she slung her hand onto her him and stared angrily at the guy. After a minute of staring at her and at his soaked lap, he burst out laughing, and said something about mom being a lady and he was sorry. Mom said she walked off and went to the kitchen where she almost collapsed from the fear. When she went back to the table after he left she found a huge tip. Mom said from then on he would set in her section and tease her, always leaving "Mrs. Dixon" a good tip.
Maggie

Wichita, KS

#11 Apr 28, 2008
G Harris wrote:
Well I was of course not invited much over to the Shelton's house, I can tell you that they used to go to a cafe in Fairfield that had a cab stand It was called Lamont's Cafe and the Man who owned the small establishment was killed by the Shelton's
His mother was also killed as well they were the Shelton's who did the murder she was chocked to death I was told and I went to school in the third or fourth grade with his son and his Dad was found beaten to death on the golf course, I can tell you this made the Harris people very very upset and they took action, I have no desire to relive that part of it.
They had three buried out at what they called the
Water works I used to fish out there. They also hid a body under the outhouse in back of 110 North West 10 Street a house owned by the Veaches.
I was present when they put the body in the thing.
After that my Dad---Kelly-- a local policeman left after they had indicated I might know to much.
My mother owned Robs Coffee shop for a while her name was Louise-- some else you can check out.
I hope you understand I was a child and for what ever reason this never bothered me.
I am sure you can check out Lamont's death and once you have verified I am bona fide perhaps we can talk.
The people involved in all this were not to me as a child bad people, I have no idea what I should have thought to think but they were just regular people.
The VeaTches are my very close relations. Please do not try to drag them into this.
Dana Hawn

Cisne, IL

#12 May 9, 2008
Why on Earth do we idolize or even let the memory of such people live on? Do they deserve to be famous for being ruthless and uncaring?
kalohegirl

United States

#13 May 11, 2008
Dana Hawn wrote:
Why on Earth do we idolize or even let the memory of such people live on? Do they deserve to be famous for being ruthless and uncaring?
why does it bother u so much? its history. lots of history books have things about war, hitler, & etc. yet no one does anything about it. so why complain about this? some people just want to know what happened back then. chill out!!!
Tim B

AOL

#14 May 19, 2008
My mothers aunt Dorothy married Eugene Shelton. They Lived in Ashley Il. Does anybody know if he is a relative of the Shelton Gang? They were born around 1910

Since: May 08

Peoria, IL

#15 May 20, 2008
My mom is from Sesser Illinois (Franklin County I believe). She moved to Peoria when she was 15. They lived in a house on Lydia here in Peoria. My mom lived very close by and would speak with them on occasion. She said they were nice as long as you didn't cross them. This is an interesting story.
alan

Mount Vernon, IL

#16 May 23, 2008
I'm going to Fairfield tomorrow. While there I'm going to try and find the spot where the old Shelton home site use to be at the Merriam crossroad. I would also like to find Pond Creek Rd.and the area where Carl Shelton was ambushed. Can someone give me information that might help?
keep to the issue

United States

#17 Jun 6, 2008
I do not know if my information will be of any value.During this time period-the world and southern illinois was a place for violent,brutal death. The scare that I received when about 5years old was remembering the cafe that had the bomb thrown into-blowing out the windows-and along the main street for blocks. Although the Sheltons and Blackie lived in this area-the local residents had no reason to fear them-Later I worked with BLackie Harris's niece-
I too, had reason to study why gangs occurred and what caused some of the citizens to continue to be violent. It is of worthy note-to study Jessie
James continued violence-following the blowing up of his mothers house-and blowing her arm off.
let us study and reflect-thanks for entertaining my discussion
CB Harris Butler

Wilmington, IL

#18 Jun 8, 2008
alan wrote:
I'm going to Fairfield tomorrow. While there I'm going to try and find the spot where the old Shelton home site use to be at the Merriam crossroad. I would also like to find Pond Creek Rd.and the area where Carl Shelton was ambushed. Can someone give me information that might help?
Go past the Merriam crossroads(old Shelton place used to be on the southeast corner) to the second crossroads Klien's corner. Go right til you come to a stop sign. Go about another mile til you go across a little bridge on a creek. this is where carl got shot. It's common knowledge my Uncle Charley Harris did it. Though he was never brought to trial for it. I think people may have looked at it as a good deed to end the Shelton gangs control. Charley and the Sheltons had parted company prior to this and Charley's nephew Virgil vaughan and another man were shot going to Albion one day. Carl was killed after this.
stan2747

Carmel, IN

#19 Jun 8, 2008
Does anybody have any information on the rest of the Shelton brother's family?
pondcreekmule

United States

#20 Jun 12, 2008
I still live in fairfield and this is amazing. I moved from here for about 20 years and where ever I went people would ask me if I was part of the shelton gang. I belive everything that cb harris is writing to be true. My father tells me stories and I love the history we have here in wayne county

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