Long Assassination

Huey Long killed by gambling syndicate?

Just before dusk on a Wednesday evening, July 11, 1935, Hammond Police Chief George F. Smith called a press conference to discuss rumors that Louisiana Governor Oscar K. Allen had fired him. “There has been some misunderstanding—by myself and others—as to whether or not I am still employed here,” he said. “And I would like to assure everyone that I most certainly am.” “Chief Smith?” Hodding Carter, Jr. of the Hammond Daily Courier raised his pencil. “Can you tell us why the governor summoned you to the state capitol this morning and whether it’s true that Senator ...

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Hermina Reed

Reed indicted in brutal wife murder

Newspapers described Hermina Reed, 26, as a “curvaceous, pretty young woman, whose olive complexion, fashionable clothing, and jeweled fingers attracted attention wherever she went.” Amite Attorney Amos L. Ponder described Reed’s murder as “the most ghoulish South Louisiana had ever witnessed.” Police charged her husband, Leroy Reed—a 40-year-old carpenter and part-time taxi driver from Amite—with “disfiguring his wife’s face beyond recognition” by repeatedly swinging a ship’s carpentry hammer found at the scene. Reed told police he only discovered his ...

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Crime Conference

Crime-fighting amateurs assist police with cold cases

Last weekend, I delivered the keynote address at the group’s monthly true-crime conference in Mamou, Louisiana. I left the two-day event inspired, wondering if the Florida Parishes are ready for their own amateur crime-fighting association.

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Nightstick

Witness says Walber tortured before his murder

Two years after the incident, an inmate at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center told authorities he watched Randy Hutchinson torture the 16-year-old car-jacking victim, beating him five times before James Skinner repeatedly drove over the teenager with his own car. Serving a 5-year sentence for distributing cocaine, Sam Scott was in the center’s “boot camp” program, and in April of 2000, he told his boot camp coordinator that his conscience bothered him. After seeing Eric Walber’s murder featured on the television shows America’s Most Wanted and Psychic Detective, Scott said he ...

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Court

Eric Walber’s killers may go free

When the 21st Judicial Court convicted six men for the 1998 robbery and brutal murder of 16-year-old Eric Walber, the victim’s friends and family in Albany expected those found guilty to either die by lethal injection or spend the remainder of their lives behind bars. Those expectations grew stronger each year as judge after judge denied each of the convicted’s appeals. Then, three years ago, those expectations began to die. Since 2016, the homicide case the United States Supreme Court said resembled “a house of cards” has continued to collapse, and in time, all of those ...

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