Reefer Madness Case Files
Oklahoma was especially hard hit by the Reefer Madness Era, child molesters, sex scandals, murderers and just about everything else one can think of ----- ALL committing their crimes while under the influence of Medical Marihuana, THE WEED OF WOE.
The author (who is presently an Oklahoma resident) can testify that to this day, many of the locals still believe these gore-file cases to be true.
“There was the son of a Federal judge in the Middle West. These two fellows developed this racket. They’d get the girls to smoke, then it was no problem getting them up to bed, having them undress. And then they’d take photographs of the girls going through a sexual act.
OFFICIAL D.E.A. GORE FILE CASES:
Name: Carl J. Murphy Date: Sep 1943 Location: Oklahoma city, OK.
What the Narc's were claiming
1943---OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. September 1943. While under the influence of marihuana, 27-year-old Carl J. Murphy, hotel bellboy, shot and killed J. Stayton Smith, guard in the Federal Building at Oklahoma City, Okla. He was convicted for the crime and sentenced to serve 10 years. Another bellboy who was arrested in the case confessed that he and Murphy had smoked marihuana in a hotel room before the crime was committed. Murphy then left the hotel and walked to the Federal Building. On the street he met three sailors, one of whom he bit on the neck. He struck a small boy whom he met on the sidewalk. Murphy then went to the Federal Building and took charge of an Army Recruiting Office. When Mr. Smith, the building guard, was called to remove Murphy, a fight ensued. Murphy seized a gun from the guard and shot and killed him instantly. Murphy then placed the gun on a chair and walked down the hall singing. He engaged in another fight but was finally subdued and placed in jail. Two days later Murphy was still unable to think or talk coherently. He talked about trying to get on the top of an automobile where he could reach a telephone wire and swing himself to the top of the hotel and from there he could get to heaven. Later at a hearing, Murphy stated that he had smoked marihuana several times; that he did not remember leaving the hotel, nor the fights nor the shooting of Mr. Smith; he did not remember his arraignment and stated the first he knew about the matter was after he came out of the stupor when someone told him he had shot -and killed a guard at the Federal Building. Murphy's employers stated he had always been quiet and sober, and had never caused trouble of any kind. The effects he experienced are characteristic, particularly with regard to the distortion of space and lack of restraint or memory by individuals of their own actions while under the influence of marihuana. -- MARIHUANA; The New Dangerous Drug (pamphlet) by Frederick T. Merrill 1950 version
1943 - J. Murphy, - Oklahoma City Oklahoma - 27 - Hotel bellboy shot and killed elderly guard J.S. in Federal Bldg.; bit I of 2 sailors on street, struck small boy; when guard called, took away his gun and killed the guard; off singing down hall. Another fight, subdued, taken to jail; amnesia next morning. Previously quiet, well-behaved. Jury trial; guilty. - Guilty, 10 years. - - 6th conference report - INEOA 1965
A lad named Murphy smoked a stick in an Oklahoma City hotel bedroom with another boy. After he left the hotel, he walked to the Federal Building. On the way he met three sailors, one of whom he bit. He struck a small boy on the sidewalk. At the Federal Building he pushed into an Army Recruiting Office and attempted to take over. -- When the building guard was called to remove Murphy, a fight ensued. Murphy grabbed the guard's gun and killed him. He then walked down the hall, singing. After another fight he was subdued and put in jail. -- Murphy babbled senselessly for two days about climbing onto an automobile where he could get hold of a telephone wire and swing himself up to the roof of the hotel and thence to heaven. When he came out of his stupor, he claimed he remembered nothing. ---True Story (Magazine) - Dec. 1948
The dangers inherent in marihuana use were demonstrated dramatically during the year with the sentencing of Carl Murphy, an Oklahoma City, Okla., bellhop, to 10 years in prison for the slaying, while under the influence of the weed, of a Federal building guard. The slaying culminated a series of brawls in which Murphy participated, and of which he professed to have no recollection after the effects of the weed wore off. Four others were sentenced in this case as the suppliers of marihuana. --- H. J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics, said this case is but one of many in the files of the Bureau that involve crimes of violence carried out by persons under the influence of the drug. He warned against complacency on the part of the public toward the marihuana problem. He pointed out that while not all persons always display violent reactions to marihuana, there are many instances of persons who, like Murphy, appear of mild and harmless temperament, displaying maniacal characteristics after using the weed. --Congressional Record 1945
While allegedly under the influence of marihuana, 27-year-old Carl J. Murphy, hotel bellboy, on Sept. 30, 1943, shot and killed J. Stayton Smith, guard in the Federal Building at Oklahoma City, Okla. He was convicted for the crime and sentenced to serve 10 years. ---Another bellboy who was arrested in the case confessed that he and Murphy had smoked marihuana in a hotel room before the crime was committed. Murphy then left the hotel and walked to the Federal Building. On the street he met three sailors, one of whom he bit on the neck. He struck a small boy whom he met on the sidewalk. Murphy then went to the Federal Building and took charge of an Army Recruiting Office. When Mr. Smith, the building guard, was called to remove Murphy, a fight ensued. Murphy seized a gun from the guard and shot and killed him instantly. Murphy then placed the gun on a chair and walked down the hall singing. He engaged in another fight but was finally subdued and placed in the city jail. Two days later Murphy was still unable to think or talk coherently. He talked about trying to get on the top of an automobile where he could reach a telephone wire and swing himself to the top of the hotel and from there he could get to heaven. Later, at a hearing, Murphy stated that he had smoked marihuana several times; that he did not remember leaving the hotel, nor the fights nor the shooting of Mr. Smith; he did not remember his arraignment and stated the first he knew about the matter was after he came out of the stupor when someone told him he had shot and killed a guard at the Federal Building. - Murphy's employers stated he had always been quiet and sober, and had never caused trouble of any kind. - The effects he experienced are characteristic, particularly with regard to the distortion of space and lack of restraint or memory by individuals of their own actions while under the influence of marihuana. -- The Traffic in Opium and Other Dangers Drugs (1943)
A recent tragedy, the case of the hotel bell boy who killed a federal guard in Oklahoma City while under the influence of marihuana, is more eloquent testimony concerning the dangers of the drug. -- JAMA - April 28, 1945
THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN:
[Nov 1, 1943 ] -- "Bellhop of U.S." J.S. Smith dies In struggle At Recruiting Post"
[Nov 2, 1943 ] -- "Officer's Death Is Laid to Own Mercy Policy"
[Nov 2, 1943 ] -- "U.S. Murder Charge Filed Against Bellboy"
[Nov 3, 1943 ] -- "Tragedy Trails Users of Marijuana, Redbirds"
[Nov 7, 1943 ] -- "City Bellboy Slays Federal Guard Here"
[Nov 9, 1943 ] -- "For Marijuana Slayer"
[Nov 13, 1943 ] -- "Bond Sought In city Slaying"
[Nov 20, 1943 ] -- "City Briefs"
[Dec 19, 1943 ] -- "Marijuana Shooting Witnesses Called"
[Jan 11, 1944 ] -- "Bellhop, was indicted Monday by the federal grand jury on a charge of first degree murder, in the shooting of J. Stayton Smith federal building
[Jan 20, 1944 ] -- "Trial of Marijuana Slaying Case Set"
[Feb 5, 1944 ] -- "City Bellhop Is Found Guilty of Marijuana Slaying charge"
[Key-finder - Museum Case #51]
EDITORIAL NOTE: ---- ONLY 10 years in jail -- Don't tell me the Medical Marihuana defense didn't work!
Name: Rito Lozano Date: 1937 Location: Oklahoma city, OK.
What the Narc's were claiming
1937 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - M Smoked marihuana 12 years. Arrested for raping his 13-year old daughter. Previous criminal record-assault with knife; sale marihuana; assault with knife; vagrancy. Arrested -- Article by James C. Munch; "UN Bulletin on Narcotics"-1966 Issue 2
1937 - R. Lozano, - Oklahoma City, Okla.- Smoked marihuana 12 years. Arrested for raping his 13-yr. old daughter. Previous criminal record assault with knife; sale marihuana; assault with knife; vagrancy. - Hung -- 6th conference report - INEOA 1965
Attacked own daughter, 13, after smoking reefers. --- The Truth about Marijuana - STEPPING STONE to DESTRUCTION June 1967 [pamphlet]
THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN:
-Dec 1, 1936 - [short article about Rito Lozano’s first Marihuana arrest]
-Dec 29, 1936 p13 “Death Law Separates City Family” [after affects of 1st Marihuana arrest]
Most of what we know about the case comes from documents located via the national archives [Collage Park, MD].
[Note some modern-day spelling changes made by transcriber]
[Key-finder - Museum Case #86]
Name: Victor Taylor Date: Sept 1967 Location: Oklahoma City, Ok.
What the Narc's were claiming
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., September 13, 1967.---An armed man entered and robbed a finance company of $687. The suspect later admitted he had used marihuana frequently for approximately eight years, because "It's a stimulant to the mind". He stated he had smoked marihuana shortly before he committed the robbery. -- Congressional Record -- April 4, 1968
THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN:
Sep 14, 1967 p1 - "Diamond Robbery Suspect Charged"
Mar 27, 1968 p1 - "Prisoner Grabs Guard's Pistol, Flees Hospital"
"Getaway Car Seized From City Motorist"
Mar 29, 1968 p6 - "Police Find Escaped Prisoner's Trail Cold"
Mar 31, 1968 p2 - "Manhunt Tip Proves False"
May 11, 1968 p1 - "Bank Holdup Trips Hospital Escapee"
May 12, 1968 p64 - "State Escapee Facing Bank Holdup Charge"
FACTS AS WE SEE THEM
While it is true that Mr. Taylor had a long history of Robbing banks in multiple States, and while he [and accomplice] were both caught with Marihuana in their car at the time of arrest. It is also a fact that a few months there-after, he overpowered a Guard, stold a car and escaped. Because he had been in jail at the time, it must be assumed that he was NOT under the influence of Marihuana during that escape. Note, soon thereafter he was captured again --- while robbing another bank.
Name: Phillip Kennamer Et Al Date: Dec 1934 Location: Tulsa, Ok.
What the Narc's were claiming
“There was the son of a Federal judge in the Middle West. He and a boy in that class of society were running around with some very fine lasses in that city who (were) from prominent families. And these two fellows developed this racket. They’d get the girls to smoke, then it was no problem getting them up to bed, having them undress. And then they’d take photographs of the girls going through a sexual act. and then they’d start to shake ‘em down. And they did very well, they made a lot of money until one of the boys---this was the judge’s son---fell in love with one of the girls.” Well, he continued solemnly, finally the judge’s son killed the other boy, and he went to the penitentiary.” -- Harry Anslinger Aug 1968 Esquire Magazine
“There is nothing pleasant about the story of marihuana. The first marihuana cigarette smoked for a thrill or on a dare or for curiosity's sake may make the victim susceptible to any suggestion no matter how absurd, criminal, or vile. Girls of prominent families, while under the influence of marihuana, have been vulgarly photographed and then blackmailed” -- On the Trial of Marihuana the Weed of Madness 1939
Chicago Daily Tribune - many articles by Seymour Korman
- Dec 2, 1934 pg 7 - “Federal Judge Surrenders Son in Slaying Case”
- Dec 3, 1934 pg 8 - “Question Plea of Defense in Tulsa Slaying”
- Dec 4, 1934 pg 6 - “Says Extortion Note Caused Son of Judge to Kill”
- Dec 10, 1934 pg 1 - “Second Youth Found Shot to Death In Tulsa”
- Dec 11, 1934 pg 5 - “Arrest Rich Oil Man’s Son After 2nd Tulsa Death”
- Dec 12, 1934 pg 1 - “Tulsa Mystery Grows; Seven Get Threats”
- Dec 13, 1934 pg 1 - “Youth Reveals Own Story of Tulsa Slaying”
- Dec 14, 1934 pg 17 - “Murder Theory In Tulsa Death Is Strengthened”
- Dec 15, 1934 pg 9 - “11 Year old Girl Provides Clue in Tulsa Death”
- Dec 16, 1934 pg 7 - “Call Tulsa Boy for Preliminary Quiz Tomorrow”
- Dec 17, 1934 pg 12 - “Tulsa Eager to Hear Kennamer Evidence Today” “It was a dismal Sabbath today with a minimum of preparation for the coming holidays. Ministers denounced the vice conditions among the younger set brought to light in the slayings of Gorrell and the mysterious deaths of Sidney Born Jr. a week ago. There is a persistent demand for a sweeping inquiry into all the reports of planned blackmail schemes, narcotic smuggling and wild parties in which the heirs and heiresses of many millionaires are said to be involved.”
- Jan 3, 1935 pg 4 - “Tulsa Officer See Bribery Charge Arrest”
- Jan 27, 1935 pg 21 - “Defense Bares Kennamer Case Extortion Note”
- Phil Kennamer Murder Case is Set for Today”
- Feb 12, 1935 pg 2 - “Fight for Jury to Try Judge’s Son For Killing”
- Feb 13, 1935 ph 17 - “Kennamer Jury Complete; State Opens its Case”
- Feb 14, 1935 pg 13 - “Call Kennamer Originator of 3 Criminal Plots” “Ted Baths, former friend of Kennamer and Gorrell, testified the former had once proposed a robbery of “a place on 11th street.” Kennamer also proposed, he said, that the three conspire to obtain compromising pictures of two prominent Tulsa girls, one of them Miss Virginia Wilcox, 19 year old daughter of Homer Wilcox, for whom Kennamer has professed a great affection. The other girl, he said, was Barbara Doyle. A. Flint Moss, chief of Kennamer’s counsel, successfully objected to Bath’s telling what was to be done with the pictures.
- Feb 16, 1935 pg 9 - “Girl is Witness for Kennamer in Slaying Case” “Miss Wilcox said she had only four or five dates with Kennamer. the last one was in February when they went to the Sneddens to a dance of the Hy-Hat club, and organization whose membership allegedly included only “fast living” young people.”
- Feb 17, 1935 pg 14 - “Blocks Expert Testimony in Aid of Kennamer”
- Feb 19, 1935 pg 12 - “Playing as Hero Kennamer Role in Shooting Pal”
- Feb 20, 1935 pg 9 - “Kidnap Plot No slaying Excuse, Asserts Judge”
- Feb 21, 1935 pg 4 - “Fate of Judge’s son Nears Jury in Murder Case”
- Feb 23, 1935 pg 1 - “Prison for Tulsa Slayer”
- Feb 24, 1935 pg 15 - “Kennamer Gets 25 Years for Slaying Friend”
- Nov 24, 1935 pg D9 - “Tulsa Love Murder!” [Strange Crime of A Society Youth] “His son, Homer Jr., 17, was a leader of the young crowd a member in good standing of the High Hat club, an exclusive organization of Tulsa youths. Its ritual, its secrets were strange--carefully concealed. That club was a hotbed of intrigue. . . . . The High Hat club disbanded. An aroused city demanded an expose of its secrets, but only rumors came forth. It was reported that the requisites for membership in the organization were that the postulant smoke a quantity of the marijuana weed, drink a pint of whisky, drive an automobile around a corner at 75 miles an hour, and have a sex experience---all in one evening. This juvenile cabal had been powerful---its activities and intrigues had been unbridled and far-flung. It was a “thrill society”---the reputed scene of wild parties involving the heirs and heiresses of the city fathers. There was a report that in the hidden archives of the High Hat club were pictures of youths and girls in compromising positions. These pictures, it was said, were the proposed weapons of a vast blackmail plot that was to have been directed against the parents of society girls. Narcotic smuggling and an alliance with Kansas City gangsters were other reported activities of the club.
- Dec 2, 1934 pg 1 - Tearful Judge Gives Up Son After Slaying” (AP)
- Dec 18, 1934 pg 3 - “Tulsa Youth Arraigned in Murder of Friend” (AP)
- Feb 10, 1935 pg 8 “ “State may Call Virginia Wilcox In Murder Case”
- Feb 16, 1935 pg 10 - “Virginia’s Story of Phil’s Love Lures, Indians, Society to Scene of Trial”
- Mar 17, 1935 pg SM6 - “Did Justice Triumph?” “Witnesses, all former friends of Kennamer, branded him as the originator of various criminal plots, none of which has been put into effect. For instance, Ted Bath testified that Kennamer had proposed sticking up a certain ‘place on 11th street’ and had also suggested getting compromising pictures of Virginia Wilcox and Barbara Boyle, daughter of still another magnate. Attorney Moss objected to the witness telling what was to be done with the pictures, and the court sustained him.”
Los Angles Times:
- Dec 10, 1934 pg 2 - “Boy Witness in Murder Case Found Dead by Gun” (UP)
New York times:
- Dec 2, 1934 pg 10 - “Judge’s Son Held on Murder Charge” (AP)
- Feb 14, 1935 pg 44 - “Three Crime Plots Laid To Kennamer” (AP)
Why we feel that this is a fake Gore Case:
While there is much talk about the naked pictures (almost always in the past tense, as if the blackmail scheme had been in progress for some time. NO actual evidence that it ever took place has been shown.
The facts as this museum sees them:
All claims/references to naked pictures were ALL made solely by one individual. However, because the defense (at the time of the murder trial) asked that the subject matter NOT be talked about in court, we must assume that the subject using such pictures for black-mail purposes did come up However, ALL newspaper references (fact or fiction) were ALL in the future tense. And made by young people in group party environments. Thus all evidence leads one to believe that the whole subject matter was only so much hot air etc., that was ceased upon by the narc’s to further their evil ends of outlawing Medical Cannabis.
[Key-finder - Case #F88]
NONE OFFICIAL CASES:
Name: D. M. Miditis Date: Sept. 29, 1929 Location: Tulsa, Ok.
What the Narc's were claiming
The Tulsa (Okla.) Tribune reports the home of a Mexican hot-tamale salesman, recently arrested, was a dope den for boys and girls of high-school age. --- The Literary Digest (Magazine) Oct 24, 1936
In still another instance the Tulsa Tribune on September 10, 1929, [museum note: - the correct date is Sept. 11, 1929] describing the arrest of D. N. Niditis, a Mexican hot-tamale salesman, said that his home at 1019 E. Archer street, in that city, was a veritable dope den for young boys and girls of high school age, as well as others who have been known to go there to obtain the drugged cigarette. -- Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology 1932/33
TULSA DAILY WORLD - Sept 10, 1929
“POLICE FIND DRUG IN PEDDLER’S CART”
Mexican Tamale Vender Fined and Given Jail Sentence for Possession of Marihuana.
With the arrest early Monday of Jim Miditis, Mexican tamale Peddler, at First street and Madison avenue, police detectives believe they had stopped a supply of marihuana which is being distributed in this vicinity. Miditis, through an interpreter, pleaded guilty of possession of the drug before Municipal Judge Moroney. He was fined $100 and given 90 days in the city jail. Both fine and imprisonment were suspended, however, pending an investigation of the case.
When arrested by M.L. Lairmore and Virgil Hendricks, detectives. Monday, a quantity of the Mexican drug was found in the tamale cart. Enough of the weed to make hundreds of cigarets was found drying at the Mexican’s home, 1019 East Archer avenue, officers testified.
The marihuana drug, according to officers, affects the nervous system and city officals recently passed an ordinance forbidding its sale. TULSA DAILY WORLD (OKLAHOMA) Sept. 10 or 11, 1929
[Museum Case-finder - Case #56]
[Museum Note, like the High School Janitor, the Hot Tamale salesman lurking around every high school, would soon become legends.]
REEFER MADNESS INCIDENT:
In his book, David Musto wrote as follows:
“In 1934 a US Marshall in Tulsa, Okla, wrote to the FBN, describing marihuana as a most dangerous and crime causing drug which gave its users the feeling that they had "superman and superwoman" powers. ." ---The History of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 By David F. Musto, M.D., New Haven, Conn.It appears that he was making reference to the following letter: . . . . [MORE]
REEFER MADNESS INCIDENT:
Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers -- In Sapulpa, Oklahoma . . . . . [MORE]
REEFER MADNESS INCIDENT:
The Tulsa Daily World -- On Dec 14, 1934 The Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa Ok. Newspaper) . . . . . [MORE]
Feb 1970 - Article with Harry Anslinger in it. [Pure reefer Madness, anslinger tells a lot of lies]
July 1945 "The Deadly Green Goddess" - Great story about the Carl Murphy 1943 Okalahoma
Walking on Air” By A.R. St.Johns This great May, 1938 Cosmopolitan Magazine Story by Adela Rogers St. Johns titled "The Story of a 'Reefer Party'" pages 36-39, 103-110.
WANT TO KNOW MORE:
Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed. If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum. All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.