Famous Cases

The department has participated in several high profile cases.

There have been two books written about cases in which our department members were involved.

The first was IN COLD BLOOD written by Truman Capote. This is the true story of the murder of the Herbert Clutter family on November 15, 1959.

The Clutter family was murdered on November 15, 1959 by Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. The Clutter's son, 15 year old Kenyon, was tied up and laid on a sofa in the basement. His father was also tied up in the basement. Bonnie Clutter and her 16 year old-daughter, Nancy, were tied up in separate beds. Although the motive of the killings was money, there was no cache of money.

The killer's got away with less than 50 dollars and a radio. Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were hung in 1965. It was one of the last hangings in the state of Kansas!

For a more detailed history of this case click here.

 

The second book is MOMMY’S LITTLE ANGELS written by Mary Lou Cavenaugh. This is the true story of Diana Lumbrera and the killing of her children here in Garden City and in west Texas. The investigation was initiated on May 1, 1990.

Lumbrera systematically suffocated 6 of her own children in Fort Worth, Texas. She would consistently rush each child (already dead) to the hospital, saying they had stopped breathing, and then blame medical staff for not resuscitating the child. The case prompted a nationwide concern for the problem of "crib death", but hospital officials eventually became suspicious, and she was tried and convicted, receiving three life sentences.

For a more detailed history of this case click here.

 

GREG BRAUN, a local man from Garden City, was sentenced to die for the 1989 murder of Gwendolyn Sue Miller, 31, in an $80 flower shop robbery in Ardmore, Oklahoma. A customer was shot in the head and robbed of $600 and the bookkeeper was also shot. He also murdered four other people in a multi-state crime spree. Each of the five murder victims was found shot in the back of the head with a .25-caliber handgun. After pleading guilty and receiving life sentences in both New Mexico and Kansas, Braun pled guilty without an agreement in Oklahoma and was sentenced to death for the murder of Miller. Braun was the son of a prominent lawyer and had a college degree in criminal justice.

For a more detailed history of this case click here.

 

In May 1928, Jake Fleagle and three other men, including his brother Ralph Fleagle, robbed a bank in Lamar, CO, escaping with $290,000 and killing four men. They killed two men who resisted the robbery, bank president A.N. Parrish and his son F.J. In addition, they took two hostages, one of whom they left outside of town; the other--E.A. Kessinger--they kept for awhile but later killed. A fourth man, Dr. W.W. Wineinger was also shot after he was called to treat one of Fleagle's men who had been shot in the jaw during the robbery.

For a more detailed history of this case click here.