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

60 years later, gang leader's slaying still unsolved

There are 1218 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.


East Peoria, IL

#74 Sep 10, 2009
alan wrote:
<quoted text>
I met your grangfather Gene and I also know his daughter Connie. Write me sometime at [email protected] and we can talk. Thanks Alan
i think i knew Virg and Connie.

didn't they live in the north end? the Virg i knew drove a '56 Crown Victoria in the early '60s.

Virg was tall and slender and his daughte3r was blond

Spring, TX

#75 Sep 28, 2009
I have a couple of old newspaper dated Nov 1965 the headline is Will Harris Trial End Bloddy Era in Pond Creek or Commence a New One. It has 4 pictures at the bottom of the front page (1) Charley Harris (2) Victim Betty Newton (3) Victim Jerry Meritt (4) Prosecutor Willard Pearce
The other paper I have the headline is: Jury Finds Chalie Harris "Guilty" To Ask New Trial; Minimum 14 years
These newspapers were hugh then, too big to scan. Let me know what information you would like regarding the newspaper articles and I can type it out for you.
Matthew Harris

Ashland, KY

#76 Oct 14, 2009
I'm related to Charlie Harris according to my grandfather.
[email protected]
Nedra Bell Osborn

Sulphur, OK

#77 Oct 22, 2009
I live east of Tulsa Oklahoma. My great grandfather was Oliver Hancock Harris, and I believe that when (uncle Charlie Harris) came to Tulsa my great grandad was where he stayed which was very short visits. I remember us all celebrating grandad and grandma Harris 50th wedding anniversary, uncle Charlie came by for a short period of time a convoy of three cars, uncle Charlies car was the middle car and the front and back cars was guarded by machine guns.
After a short visit the gentleman in the front car hollered lets go Charlie we don't have much time.
I remember being so scared and hanging on to my dads pants leg. Any one interested can e-mail me at [email protected]

Lubbock, TX

#78 Dec 3, 2009
I'm trying to find out info on my dad who I've been told hung out with Charley. The only information I have is his name was Robert Smith and lived in Fairfield. I think his middle initial was L maybe for Louis or Lee. My brother remembers my father taking him to a warehouse and my dad having a gun and my brother remembers something about a fire. My brother was very young so he can't remember much. Does anyone know anything about this?

Wenatchee, WA

#79 Dec 22, 2009
I believe my great grandfather was a friend of charlie's but don't know alot about it. if any one has any info it would be greatly appricated. his name i beleive was Arvile(sp) Jones. He also had 2 or 3 brothers my email is [email protected]

Fairfield, IL

#81 Jan 22, 2010
I have been reading all these post and have copied them for my father-in-law to read. He worked at the White Kitchen and a few other restaurants in Fairfield till being drafted, a couple years before WWII. I know he and Charlie Harris where friends because he has several letters that where penned from Vienna and some other personal items “mementos” Charlie Harris had given him, as well as his attorney. He also knew Carl and Big Earl (I think was his name). My father-in-law is in his nintys and still real sharp I will let him read all this and will report what he has to say, Neil

Farmington, MO

#82 Jan 24, 2010
does anyone have a family tree for the Harris family? My family is from fairfield, My grandpa's name was Hershel Harris and my grandma was Lula Mae Harris. My mother is Brenda Harris (Brown). I'd really like to do some research on the family history.
[email protected]

United States

#83 Jan 25, 2010
the couple that Blackie killed and burnt,the dwelling, was a house trailer , am I right? was was shown the place in the yr of 67, also, I played cards 'poker' in New harmony Indiana with charlie 1965, he was suppose to have a sister,,,,,,or a Girlfriend....that worked or owned a Cafe........in new harmony at the time.

United States

#84 Jan 25, 2010
also....around the yr. of 67/68 I was shown all of Pond creek bottoms, all the spots of the killings, Carl, and Roy,the place,s Roy was farming at the time was driving a H Farmall tractor ..... would anyone Know a Man named Jim Bell?? he was the one that showed me and told me of these things. befor I moved away from there,
Ruthie Shelton

Jacksonville, FL

#85 Jan 25, 2010
My dad was Carl (Little Carl) Shelton. He died Feb. 2009. A few years ago he told me about his life before he came to Florida in 1951. There is still so much more I would like to know about the Shelton gang and Pond Creek. I would love to know if anyone has pictures of their houses, cars, land, horses, anything. My e-mail address is
[email protected]
Thank you, Ruthie
Berry Twp

Westville, IL

#86 Jan 26, 2010
There is a book coming out about 'Black" Charlie Harris. It is called Dapper & Deadly-The True Story of Black Charlie Harris. It is written by Taylor Pensoneau. He is the same author that wrote the book about the Shelton's called Brothers Notorious. There is a book signing by the author coming up in a few days, being held somewhere in Fairfield?

Mount Vernon, IL

#87 Jan 26, 2010
George, My dad has said he played poker with Blackie at New Harmony at that period of time also. He is from Crossville. He has told me the lady at New Harmonys name.
When I was a kid at Crossville the mayor at that time was James Layton. He was from Pond Creek. At one time he owned the mill at Burnt Prarie. Mr. Layton gave me city related jobs over the summer. Blackie stopped to see Mr. Layton on his way to New Harmony all of the time. They where good friends and may have been related.
One time in the late 60's Mr. Layton told me to come into his office, he said he wanted to show me something. I closed the door and behind the door was a sawed off shotgun. He showed it to me and said that Blackie Harris had gave it to him yesterday. He couldn't have been more proud if it was a Beretta. At that time I was only 16 or so and it didn't mean much to me.

Mount Vernon, IL

#88 Jan 26, 2010
Book signing is this weekend at the Hanna house museum in Fairfield.
Berry Twp

Westville, IL

#89 Jan 27, 2010
Yes, the book signing is 10AMto 3PM at the Hanna House Museum Saturday Jan. 30th. The Hanna House is located south of the Masonic hall on Route 45 after you turn south on route 45 heading toward Mill Shoals.

Magnolia, IL

#90 Jan 27, 2010
I think if G Harris needs to get this off his conscience then he should be allowed to do so. I am distantly related to the Shelton's and was told the Shelton's and Harris' were related somehow. I've never been able to find a connection. We can't help who our relatives are and we can't control how they lived their lives. All we can do is live ours the best we can. I too see this as history and history is what it is, no one can change it. My grandfather was a cousin to these guys and he was a policeman in Peoria when they "ran" that town. He had to act like he didn't know them and walk a fine line. His stories of the Shelton's were exciting to us kids. I only wish I could remember them more clearly. My relatives in Fairfield never breathed a word they were related. I have relatives still living who won't talk about that time in Fairfield or in Peoria. We have to respect that.
J- Vining

Springfield, OH

#91 Jan 31, 2010
Want to say, I met Charlie Harris once, there in Pond Creek. Real nice man!

Augusta, GA

#93 Mar 2, 2010
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.
her name was newton, i know everything!!

Augusta, GA

#94 Mar 2, 2010
Ruthie Shelton wrote:
My dad was Carl (Little Carl) Shelton. He died Feb. 2009. A few years ago he told me about his life before he came to Florida in 1951. There is still so much more I would like to know about the Shelton gang and Pond Creek. I would love to know if anyone has pictures of their houses, cars, land, horses, anything. My e-mail address is
[email protected]
Thank you, Ruthie
i am charlie's niece and i do have pics
[email protected]
Ruthie Shelton

Jacksonville, FL

#95 Mar 3, 2010
Thanks, I'm e-mailing you.

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