60 years later, gang leader's slaying...

60 years later, gang leader's slaying still unsolved

There are 1215 comments on the Journal Star story from Oct 23, 2007, titled 60 years later, gang leader's slaying still unsolved. In it, Journal Star reports that:

“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

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Journal Star.

Alan

Sikeston, MO

#21 Jun 14, 2008
CB Harris Butler wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
I sure would like to talk to you more about the days of the Sheltons and Charley Harris. Is it possible I could get your phone # or email address. My email is: hotball123@charter.net Thanks Alan
Alan

Mount Vernon, IL

#22 Jun 17, 2008
Kim wrote:
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
Kim
I live in Centralia.I have a photo of Charlie Harris while in prison. I would like to talk to you some time about Charlie and the Sheltons. My email address is hotball123@charter.net Alan
Melissa carter

Guelph, Canada

#23 Jun 19, 2008
Does any one know if the Shelton brothers had any sisters? I was born and raised in Peoria Illinois,My mothers name is Judith f Carter,I have no idea of any of her past relitives nor her parents or faimly tree, she will not speak of her faimly , she told me just to leave it be but I would still like to know , so i am trying to research myself, It is always nice to know or of your grandparents/faimly, thanks
spirit.owl@hotmail.com
Alan

Mount Vernon, IL

#24 Jun 29, 2008
It would be nice if we could all follow up on our comments. If you don't want to talk then don't post anything !!
CB Harris Butler

Joliet, IL

#25 Jul 12, 2008
I have a home in the Pond creek area and my Dad lives there also. He can tell a few stories about Charley as he was a kid about 7 or 8 when all these goings on were happening. We had Uncle Charley visit us about three years before he died. He lived to be 91. Who would've ever thought someone with that lifestyle would have lived such a long life but he did. He was quite a story teller too. If he shot someone he'd just tell you. He didn't care. He was quite a ladies man too all his life so no telling how may younguns he had running around Fairfield. LOL
C B Harris Butler

Joliet, IL

#26 Jul 24, 2008
Kim wrote:
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
I think you are referring to when Jerry Merrit was killed. He and a woman Charley was alledgedy seeing were caught together in Pond Creek bottoms at a house and shot and the house burned down around them. The womans first name was Betty but her last name escapes me at this time. Charley was sent to prison up in Statesville in Joliet for that conviction.
C B Harris Butler

Joliet, IL

#27 Jul 24, 2008
Melissa carter wrote:
Does any one know if the Shelton brothers had any sisters? I was born and raised in Peoria Illinois,My mothers name is Judith f Carter,I have no idea of any of her past relitives nor her parents or faimly tree, she will not speak of her faimly , she told me just to leave it be but I would still like to know , so i am trying to research myself, It is always nice to know or of your grandparents/faimly, thanks
spirit.owl@hotmail.com
I believe they had a sister named Lulu who married a man named Pennington. When all the shootings started I think she moved to Florida.
alan

Sikeston, MO

#30 Jul 28, 2008
C B Harris Butler wrote:
<quoted text>I think you are referring to when Jerry Merrit was killed. He and a woman Charley was alledgedy seeing were caught together in Pond Creek bottoms at a house and shot and the house burned down around them. The womans first name was Betty but her last name escapes me at this time. Charley was sent to prison up in Statesville in Joliet for that conviction.
I think the woman that was killed with Jerry Merrit was Betty Newton.
sheltons everywhere

Ashburn, VA

#32 Jul 31, 2008
A local counselor, 32-year-old David Ryan Shelton has been arrested on a no-bond Bay County Florida warrant. Shelton was wanted for violating his probation on larceny and grand theft convictions. He is being held in the Wayne County jail pending extradition to Florida. Shelton lists his home address as Collinsville
Ashley

Branchville, NJ

#34 Oct 3, 2008
Alan wrote:
<quoted text>
Kim
I live in Centralia.I have a photo of Charlie Harris while in prison. I would like to talk to you some time about Charlie and the Sheltons. My email address is hotball123@charter.net Alan
Hi Kim. I happened to stumble across this page, looking for connections with my family and the sheltons. I actually have alot of memories about Charlie and the sheltons. Passed down from my grandmother, who I suppose I should say, was a envy of Charlies eye. She worked at the Sherrif's office, and I guess you could say she and Charlie seen each other often. They never held a relationship, I guess he was smitten. Email me if you would like any further info I have. almor1_5@yahoo.com
In FF

Milton, KY

#35 Nov 10, 2008
I think you'll find many people here in Fairfield are still a little uneasy talking about the Sheltons and Blackie. We do have a museum, though, and they have information. The Klines (Klines corner mentioned above) also have stories they may -- or may not -- want to share. My dad used to drive us around pond creek pointing out locations of where things took place. One of my best friends was a niece to Betty (Newton?). I didn't recall that being her last name. After Blackie burned the house, he took the bed springs and hung them on the fence post. They stayed there many years. I remember seeing the springs on that fence in the mid 70's.
When Blackie got out of prison (mid 80's?) and returned to Fairfield, he was one of the most charming and polite gentlemen I'd ever met. He was still very cautious of those around him and who they were, though. When I learned that was who I'd just had a conversation with, thinking he was a cute little ole man, I about passed out.
I'm thinking there was a book written about some of these events. Bloody Williamson is a good read. Also the one about Charlie Birger, A Knight of Another Sort, mentions the Sheltons. Talks about the former Shelton roadhouse, the armored truck, the murder of Joe Adams, the Sheltons' mail robbery trial. The book has a photo of Carl, Earl and Bernie Shelton.
Alan

United States

#38 Dec 9, 2008
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
I live near Fairfield and I would like very much to talk to you. Would you email me at this address?: hotball49@yahoo.com
Thank you
Alan
bob jackson

Omaha, NE

#41 Jan 8, 2009
thanks to the topix.com .my name is bob jackson -&-i-have been trying -2-find info -4-a-long time about the sheltions-&-charley black harris gangs.-i-think that -i-am releated to charley black harris some how. but no one -n-family talk about this -2-much. any info would -b-good -4-me -2-learn. thanks -4-your help.bcb2387@yahoo.com
Gary

Brownsville, TX

#42 Jan 24, 2009
No my dad was a police officer name of Kelly Hamilton and not related to the Harris.

This is written not to gain but to share what little I know and saw during that period of time.

Gary
Gary

Brownsville, TX

#43 Jan 24, 2009
Dont really want to say much more about all this.
Gary

Brownsville, TX

#44 Jan 24, 2009
I do have a question about the exact date of the Pennington and L shooting in 1951, I have already stated I was a witness to the shooting and have indicated who did it. But as I recall it was the fourth of July.
As I have already told what I do know for fact I see no further need for comment but the exact date is somewhat in question in my mind

G H
Gary

Brownsville, TX

#45 Jan 24, 2009
with regard to your question. The three bodies were
placed under the outhouse by blackie and others I recall them borrowing wood to raise the outhouse from a neighbor named basher at the time. I dont know who the deceased were or if this was gang related, I was six years old at the time. But I do know for a fact this happened, I also recall seeing a body in the trunk of his car at one time.
As I have stated I also know he was the oe who shot guy and Lulu Pennington in 51 as I was there when he did so.
vlx wrote:
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.
Gary

Brownsville, TX

#46 Jan 24, 2009
I have already done so as well as filed as to this matter
R Taylor wrote:
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.
Gina

Tahlequah, OK

#48 Mar 3, 2009
Charley Harris was my Great Grandfather's brother. My great grandfather was Oliver Hancock Harris.

Once I remember, as a small child at family reunion,(1960's)a man showing up. Didn't stay long, but it was my Great Uncle Charley. This was in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I have pictures that my mom has of a young Charley Harris. Anyone interested, e-mail @ gsourjohn@cherokee.org
Raggirl

Thermal, CA

#49 Mar 5, 2009
C B Harris Butler wrote:
<quoted text>I think you are referring to when Jerry Merrit was killed. He and a woman Charley was alledgedy seeing were caught together in Pond Creek bottoms at a house and shot and the house burned down around them. The womans first name was Betty but her last name escapes me at this time. Charley was sent to prison up in Statesville in Joliet for that conviction.
Betty Newton

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