Supplementary Report – August 17, 1963

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District: 2nd
Offense: Murder
Date of offense: 8-17-63
Item No. H-9201-63
This offense is declared: Not cleared Details:
VICTIM: Lonzy H. Minshew, WM, 45 yrs., formerly residing 1315 St. Mary Street.

Relative to the aforementioned death, Sgt. R. J. Blake and Det. R. Townsend report of being notified via Police Radio at 6:29 AM, August 17, 1963 to meet Car #22 of the Second District in the rear of Audubon Park, near Shelter House #7, that at said location a body of a white male had been found.

Upon arrival at 6:45 AM, date, the undersigned met Patn. S. Blatner and L. Falgoust who were manning Car #22; on the scene were Capt. Barberot, Det. J. Chatelain, Miller, Sgt. A. Polite and Patn. Bacon. Capt. Barberot advised that one Philip Schneider, WM, 60 yrs., residing 5947 Annunciation St., employed by Audubon Park as a watchman, had found the body of the deceased at 6:15 AM, date, while riding a bicycle to work and observed the deceased. Schneider immediately went to Audubon Park Stand # 6 and notified Police.

A signed typewritten statement was obtained form Schneider by members of the Second District.

The undersigned were then directed to a spot, on River Drive, behind a large tree which was situated between River Drive and a lagoon, located in a river direction from the roadway, where there was a body of a white male, clad in khaki pants and shirt, black belt, and black leather lace boots, lying face down with arms and legs outstretched, the pants and shirt were rumpled upward on the body of the victim, as if he had been dragged causing the clothing to rumple as stated. The most identifiable stationary object in the rear of the scene was a light standard which bore #120 [1]. A sketch of the area was made, using this light standard as a measuring point. From the roadway to where the victim was lying, with his head in a river upstream direction, there were signs upon the ground which indicated that the victim had been dragged face down by the feet, from said light standard to the location where he was found. These marks were very obvious. Near the light standard where the obvious drag marks began was a small spot of what appeared to be blood. From side light standard about 10 feet in an upstream direction, there was a spot on the concrete roadway of some unknown stain and a small amount of some type of debris, from this spot of debris to the light standard what appeared to be drag marks; however, these were not as prominent as the aforementioned marks. A metal colored windproof cigarette lighter was found in the roadway 40’5″ in a down stream direction from the aforementioned spot of debris in the roadway.

B of I Tech. L. O’Neil arrived on the scene at 6:50 AM, date, and took requested photographs.

Coroner’s office Investigator, Sam Moran, Chauffeur Bannister, and Photographer P. Schuster arrived on the scene and conducted their phrase of the investigation.

An Accident Investigation Unit was summoned, in the event the victim’s death resulted from a vehicle accident. Patn. Levet, assigned to Car #108, arrived on the scene and participated in theinvestigation.

Dr. L. LoCascio, Assistant Coroner, arrived on the scene at 7:47 AM, date, and pronounced the victim dead at 7:49 AM. An examination of the victim revealed that the victim had bruises, which appeared to be brush burns, of the left side of the face, top of left shoulder, knees, and a laceration of the chin.

Sam Moran conducted a search of the body, and said search produced the following articles:

– Right front pant’s pocket – 3 quarters, 3 nickels, 5 pennies.

– Right rear pant’s pocket – 1 white men’s handkerchief initialled “P”.

– A plain gold wedding band was removed from the left ring finger

Beneath the left hand of the victim was an old cigar butt, and it must be noted that this object could have been caught by the victim’s hand as he was being dragged to the position where he was found.

Nothing could be found upon the person of the victim which could establish his identity.

Chauffeur Bannister tagged the left ankle of the deceased with Morgue Tag #459 and removed the body from the scene, and then conveyed same to the City Morgue.

All of the aforementioned articles, other than the cigar butt, were turned over to Sam Moran, and were subsequently entered in the Coroner’s Property Book.

The cigar butt, along with specimens of the earth near the light standard which contained the apparent blood stains, of the debris, what appeared to be body fluid near the debris, grass near the body which contained what appeared to be blood and earth which was taken from directly beneath where the victim’s head was resting and appeared to contain blood and fluid which emitted from the victim’s mouth were taken by the undersigned and entered in the Homicide Office Evidence Book, Page #98. On August, 19, 1963, all of the aforementioned articles were turned over to the Criminologist Milton Cox of the Coroner’s Office to be processed by said person.

While in the City Morgue, the B of I obtained fingerprints of the deceased in an attempt to make identification from this Department’s files; however, these efforts proved futile. A copy of said prints were then sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the event they might identify the deceased.

At 3:15 PM, August 17, 1963, the undersigned spoke, via telephone with one Donald Ware, WM, 21 yrs., residing 123 Walnut Street. Ware informed the undersigned that at approximately 11:35 PM, 8-16-63, while he was parking his car in the rear of his residence, he heard the screeching of automobile tires. Then he heard a man screaming. The voice sound very excited, and as if it were coming for the vicinity of the ball park, located in Audubon Park. After the screams he heard a vehicle coming at a high rate of speed from Magazine Street, along River Drive, going in the direction of the rear of the park.

Shortly after Ware’s call was received, another call was received by Sgt. Blake. This call was from a white female who identified herself as a Mrs. Minshew, who resided at 1315 St. Mary Street. Mrs. Minshew informed the undersigned that from the description she read in the newspaper, she was of the opinion that the deceased was her husband. Arrangements were made for Det. Alexander and Kent to interview Ware and Mrs. Minshew.

At 3:10 PM 8-17-64, Ware was interviewed at the Melody Lane Lounge, located 1132 S. Carrollton Ave., and he again repeated the aforementioned information.

Dets. Kent and Alexander then, in possession of a photograph of the deceased, visited the residence of Mrs. Minshew, and upon viewing the photograph of the deceased immediately identified the deceased as her husband, one Lonzy Haywood Minshew. Mrs. Minshew then accompanied the officers to the Homicide Division Office where, after viewing the remains of the victim and identifying them as her husband, she submitted a signed statement relative to her knowledge of her husband’s recent activities. Said statement was typed by Lt. Kruebbe.

One Wallace Hewes West, WM, 21 yrs, residing 1741 Coliseum Street, son-in-law of the deceased, was contacted, and he presented himself to this office, viewed the remains of the deceased, identified the victim as his father-in-law, Lonzy Minshew, and also submitted a statement relative to his knowledge of his father-in-law’s activities prior to his death. This statement was typed by Sgt. Howley.

At the completion of the statements of Mrs. Minshew and Wallace West, Lt. Kruebbe issued a departmental pickup for the apprehension of one James Baham, WM, 24 years. This pickup was made as a the result of information furnished by Mrs. Minshew and West; that a few months prior, James Baham had rolled her husband and stolen his vehicle; that the vehicle was later recovered, but Lonzy Minshew refused to press charges.

A broadcast was made for the pickup of Lonzy Minshew’s vehicle which was a 1954 Belair Chevrolet, blue, bearing 1963 La. License #277-333, as it was learned that the victim had left home in said vehicle.

The entire area which Lonzy Minshew frequented was canvassed by members of this division, and Sgt. Howley and Det. Alexander at 6:00 PM, 8-17-63 interviewed one Curtis Falcon, a foreman at Hepinstal’s, located 600 Market Street, where the victim was employed, and learned that the victim had been paid off at about 5:00 PM, 8-16-63, and had not reported to work but left the premises. Falcon further stated that he had seen the victim at about 5:45 PM, same date, at the intersection of Felicity and Magazine Streets; that the victim was driving his car and that the brakes screeched, as one wheel of the car pulls when the brakes were applied.

Dets. Howley and Alexander then visited Lewis’ Bar, located 1111 St. Mary Street, at 8:30 PM, 8-17-63, and interviewed one Grace Hockenberry, WF, 34 yrs., residing same address, and a barmaid, one Helen Mayo, WF, 40 yrs, residing 1113 St. Mary Street, and leaned that the victim had been in the establishment at about 5:30 PM, 8-16-63 with a subject known as Eddie. They left, and about 30 minutes later returned. Then shortly after, Eddie left the establishment alone. The victim then became engaged in a conversation with two subjects who were in the establishment whose descriptions were stated as follows:

– Subject #1. WM, 5’8″, 28-30 yrs., well built, wide shoulders, blue eyes, sandy hair and a reddish complexion, pink shirt and dungarees.

– Subject #2. 6’1″, medium build, black hair, brown eyes, dark complexion, clad in a tan shirt and khaki pants.

Helen Mayo stated that she overheard the two aforementioned subjects and the victim talking, and they stated that they were going to Bogalusa or Mississippi, and they spoke as if they were from Mississippi. They were trying to get the victim to drive them to Mississippi. She then heard the victim say he would take them somewhere across the river. The two subjects left about 7:00 or 7:30 PM, and about five minutes after they left, the victim left; however, just before he left, the barmaid advised him against going off with “those fellows.”

Dets. Howley and Alexander then interviewed one Ester Waldanotte, WF, 19 yrs., residing 5220 Magazine Street, who is employed at the Half Moon Bar, located 1125 St. Mary Street, and after viewing the photographs of the deceased, she stated that she had been employed at said establishment for the last three weeks; and that the deceased frequented the establishment often. Further that on the night of Friday, August 16, 1963, sometime between the hours of 10:30 PM and 12 midnight, the victim was in the establishment.

END TRANSCRIPTION


Research notes

1. Crime scene sketches report light stand #102, not #120.

Key words and phrases

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air | Audubon Park | Chauffeur Bannister | Crime Scene | Curtis Falcon | Donald Ware | Esther Walgamotte | Grace Hockenberry | Helen Brewster Mayo | J Howley | Philip Schneider | Robert G Townsend Sam | Wallace Hewes West

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