Friday, March 21, 2008

At Age 91; Accused of Sexual Crimes!

WOW! & I just want to be alive at age 91!

Read the story of THIS Fellow!!!

The entire thing reminds me of a story which is both true, and perhaps I should have written about before.

In the early 60s I was an insurance adjuster for a company in Illinois. I was assigned to their Mt. Vernon office (Southern Illinois). We covered 30 counties, two of us, back when there were then 13 miles of interstate in the entire area.

I drove more than 60,000 miles in those 30 counties in 18 months. Probably one-quarter of those miles were on gravel roads. Today few can drive gravel roads as I 70 mph, and sliding about the same as a boat! It was old-time Southern Illinois.

I got a call from our agent in Fairfield, IL. He had an insured who had a barn fire.

I went to investigate and pay. The agent told me that "Charles Harris" was our insured. Then he refused to accompany me to the burned barn upon which Mr. Harris wished to collect. I could not figure why until I was told by a local that 'Charles Harris" was actually "Black Charlie Harris", a surviving member of the Shelton gang of Southern Illinois.

The Sheltons and Bergers had had a BIG war in Southern Illinois....old-line crime folks.

I found out when I asked some questions that Black Charlie had shot his girlfriend and her "lover" in the barn, and then burned it down to hide the crime. When I investigated the thing I found Black Charlie was on the FBI most wanted list.

We denied the claim (of course), but the agent would not tell Charlie, who was on-the-lam and wanted money for the barn.

Charlie was caught, and tried and was quite proud he had been charged with killing his lover at age 68!

The old Southern Illinois politics/gang wars were rough!

Look up a rare book "The Other Illinois!" which was written back then. Neat stuff, and a fine thing to have been part of since I never had to meet/confront Charlie. He died in jail!

ALL True!

Maybe one day I'll tell the story of being chased out of a 1/4 mile lane by a disgruntled insured whom we did not pay.....his shotgun laying on my hood as I backed out the lane. I was really SCARED! There were then no phones in the area.

Southern Illinois in the early 1960s was still remote; wild and did I say DANGEROUS?