November 21, 2013

Murder Victim Found in Ashes of Blind Tiger Shack, Pulaski/McCreary, 1909



[January 5, 1910] -


Warrants Out for Arrest of Frank Crabtree and Frank Perkins


Murdered Man Found in the Ashes of Alleged Blind Tiger Shack

(Special To The Herald.)

SOMERSET, Ky., Jan. 4.---Warrants have been issued and officers left here today to arrest Frank Crabtree and Frank Perkins, in the southern end of the county.  They are charged with murdering, robbing, and burning the body of Andy Ramsay on the night of December 25, at a place known as Poplar Spring, a mile and a half from Stearns.

Ramsay lived at Pine Knott and left home on the day he was killed with $10 on his person, for the purpose, it is said, of buying a half interest in the blind tiger that is said to be operating there.  The next day his charred remains were found among the ashes of the burned shanty.  The body bore many evidences of bruises and cuts.

Frank Crabtree is alleged to have operated a blind tiger in that small shanty, built of poles.  The remains of Ramsay were found where this shanty stood and suspicion was directed against Crabtree.  Frank Perkins living in the same vicinity is said to have confessed to having knowledge of the whole affair.

Crabtree and his brother are alleged to have killed Joe Hickman some years ago, and served a term in the penitentiary.  Later his brother was killed by Deputy Sheriff George Kidd of Whitley county.  James Ramsay, a merchant of Flat Rock and a cousin of Andy Ramsay, was here today employing attorneys to prosecute the accused men. [1]


[January 7, 1910] - 


Declares Andy Ramsey Was Shot By Frank Crabtree In Latter's Shack

(Special To The Herald.)

SOMERSET, Ky., Jan. 6.---Frank Perkins was arrested at Pine Knot by Sheriff John M. Weddle Wednesday and brought to jail here, charged with being an accomplice to the murder and burning of Andy Ramsey on the night of December 23.  In an interview Wednesday night he told the following story:

"I live within a mile and a quarter of Stearns, Whitley county Ky., and within a few hundred yards of the home of Frank Crabtree.  For the past twelve months Frank Crabtree has been running a 'blind jack' in a shanty within two hundred yards of his house.  On the Monday before Christmas Andy Ramsey came from Pine Knot and formed a partnership with Frank Crabtree in the business.  Crabtree had run short of money and about $200 worth of liquors were bought with Ramsey's money.  On the night of December 23, Frank Crabtree and myself went to Stearns.  We left Andy Ramsey at the blind jack while we were gone.  We got back about 11 oclock that night.  I wanted to go to my home but Crabtree made me go down to the shanty with him.  He called Ramsey by name, who opened the door and let him in.  I staid on the outside.  Crabtree said to Ramsey,  'Ramsey d--n you, you have been talking about me and I am going to shoot you off at the hips; get out of here.'  Ramsey began to beg and started out of the door.  Crabtree shot him once in the back.  Ramsey fell outside of door but Crabtree grabbed him up and dragged him back inside.

"Ramsey died without a word or a groan.  Crabtree drew his gun on me and made me come inside the shack.  He swore and threatened to blow my brains out if I ever said a word about the matter.  He made me go after some matches.  I knew he would kill me if I did not bring them back.  I run to his house and his wife was wringing her hands and crying.  I went to my home, got the matches and took them back to him.  He covered Ramsey's body with an old straw bed and wood, and set fire to it.  He told me what to tell at the inquest the next day.  He sat just back of me with a big pistol and I did not dare to tell the truth.  He has watched me every day since then.  Yesterday I slipped off from him, came to Pine Knot and made a confession.  I was glad when the sheriff came after me today, I was afraid of being killed any minute.

"I am 51 years old. I married, a niece of Frank Crabtree and have 3 children.  Crabtree is about 35 years old and has one boy, 16 years old." [2]


[January 10, 1910] -


Frank Crabtree's Wife and Son Charged With Complicity In Killing

(Special To The Herald.)

SOMERSET, KY., Jan. 9.-- The wife and son of Frank Crabtree have been arrested and lodged in jail on the charge of being connected with the illegal sale of liquor at Popular Springs and the killing of Andy Ramsey on the night of December 23.  Mrs. Crabtree remained in jail only a few hours when she agreed to pay the expenses of a guard and was turned over to the custody of George Hines by County Judge Tarter.  The examining trial is set for Tuesday, 11th. [3]


[January 14, 1910] -

The examining trial of Frank Crabtree, Frank Perkins and others, charged with the killing of Andy Ramsey, was postponed on account of the Commonwealth's not being ready.  Judge Tartar was required to vacate the bench, as he is a distant relative of Perkins.  Magistrate A. J. Chaney will preside at the trial when it comes up. [4]


[January 20, 1910] -


And Tool of Alleged Murderer Told of Ghastly Crime--Forced at Point of Pistol to Burn Barn.

Somerset, Ky. -- Frank Perkins, arrested at Pine Knot, and in jail here, gives a thrilling account of the recent murder of Andy Ramsey, a merchant of Pine Knot, in a "Blind Jack" near Stearns. According to Perkins, Ramsey was shot by Frank Crabtree, owner of a shack and who, he claims, was running the "Jack." Perkins was then commanded at the point of a pistol in Crabtree's hands to help set fire to the building, and thus burn the body in the hope of covering up the "tracks." Perkins said he was afraid to tell anything until his conscience hurt him so he couldn't keep it from the officers. Ramsey was robbed of $850. Crabtree has fled. [5]


[January 21, 1910] -

At the examining trial of Mrs. Crabtree and son, on the charge of being parties to the murder of Andy Ramsey, both were discharged, the evidence not being sufficient to hold them over.  Frank Perkins, who was also called up for trial, waived examining trial and was remanded to jail. [6]


[January 25, 1910] -

Frank Crabtree, who is charged with the murder of Andy Ramsey, was taken to Somerset from Whitley county and lodged in jail.  A reward of $400 was offered for the fugitive's capture. [7]


[February 23, 1910] -

Another is the cases against Frank Crabtree and Frank Perkins, now in jail without bail, charged with the murder and cremation of Andy Ramsy in the southern part of this county, about Christmas. [8]


[February 28, 1910] -

Saturday was taken up in court with the case of Frank Crabtree, charged with murdering and burning Andy Ramsey at a "blind jack" on the night of December 23. Crabtree pleaded that he was not able to employ an attorney and Judge Bethurum appointed V. P. Smith and James Denton to defend him.  Attorney Smith became ill Saturday morning and court adjourned until Monday.

Frank Perkins, charged with being an accomplice to the killing, will be given a separate trial.  The jury in the Crabtree case is C. S. Fisher, William Cope, George Phillips, G. W. Clark, W. P. Ford, W. R. Nunnelly, C. E. Cundiff, William Jackson, Chas. Jackobs, G. A. McGahan, L. J. Lynch, John C. Hicks. [9]


[March 5, 1910] -


Convicted of Robbing and Killing Andy Ramsey in Pulaski County

(Special To The Herald.)

SOMERSET, Ky., March 4.---After being out for two days, the jury returned a verdict of guilty against Frank Crabtree last night, and fixed his punishment at imprisonment in the State penitentiary for life.  Crabtree was indicted on the charge of robbing, murdering and then burning the body of Andy Ramsey on the night of December 23.  Jesse Patrick and George Perkins were the main witnesses for the prosecution.  They were sleeping in a shanty near the scene of the murder, and heard, so they say, three shots fired in Crabtree's house, a few minutes later another shot from the sawdust pile near the house and another still later from the "blind jack," where the body of Ramsey was found the next day.  They heard the voice of Crabtree calling out to Frank Perkins to catch and cut Ramsey as he ran from them in the night.  It is understood that nine of the jurors were for inflicting the death sentence, and three were life imprisonment.

Frank Perkins, indicted on the same charge, has been on trial since Wednesday morning.  His case was given to the jury this morning.

Luther Sharpe confessed to the killing of William McKee, and was given twenty-one years in the penitentiary.  He mistook McKee for his rival in love and shot McKee in the dark while the latter was standing on the railroad station platform at Whitley Station. [10]


[March 7, 1910] -


All of Them Convicted of Felonies At Recent Term of Circuit Court

(Special To The Herald.)
SOMERSET, Ky. March 6.--Sheriff John M. Weddle, assisted by Deputy Sheriff James Ellis, Squire Chaney and Robert Cain, left on the noon train Sunday for Frankfort with seven prisoners convicted at the present term of the Circuit court.  They were Luther Sharpe, 21 years for killing William McKee; Frank Perkins, 21 years for aiding and abetting Frank Crabtree in the murder of Andy Ramsey; Virgil Starns, 2 years for killing his father; Tom Martin, 2 years for stealing a cow; Millie Gilmore, colored, 2 years, for killing her infant child;  Fred Crozier, colored, 1 year for grand larceny; William Gilmore, colored, 2 years for killing his brother-in-law.  William Gilmore and Millie Gilmore are brother and sister.

French Singleton, colored, who was given 3 years for shooting with intent to kill, was allowed 60 days to secure a new trial.  Frank Crabtree, who was given the life sentence for murdering Andy Ramsey, was also allowed 60 days to get a new trial.  The widow and friends of the murdered man have expressed themselves as being willing for a new trial, and are confident that the next trial will result in a heavier penalty.

The jury has the case of Lum Souders for the killing of a man named Bullock in the eastern part of the county.  The evidence was completed Saturday afternoon. [11]


[March 9, 1910] -



Alleged Slayer of Andre Ramsey Had Appealed From Life Sentence and a Lynching Was Feared at Somerset.

(Special to The Lender.)

DANVILLE, KY., March 10. -- Frank Crabtree, who was recently sentenced at Somerset to a life term in the penitentiary was brought to the jail here last night, it being feared that an attempt would be made to lynch him at Somerset. Crabtree is charged with having murdered and robbed Andrew Ramsey at a "blind tiger" near Somerset last December. Frank Perkins confessed that he saw Crabtree commit the crime. Crabtree was sentenced to a life term and appealed the case. Sentiment has all along been strong against him, it is said, and this suddenly became more pronounced, to such an extent finally that the authorities were unwilling to risk keeping him in jail there for a longer time. He will likely be kept here until his case is passed on in the Court of Appeals. [12]


[March 11, 1910] -


Frank Crabtree Is Spirited Away On Account of Fear of Lynching

(Special To The Herald.)
DANVILLE, Ky., March 10.---Frank Crabtree, the alleged murderer of Andy Ramsey at Whitley, Ky., several months ago, was brought to Danville last night by Sheriff J. N. Waddle of Somerset and lodged in the Danville jail for safe-keeping.

Crabtree was given a life sentence at the present term of the Pulaski Circuit Court, and his case is being appealed.

The lynching sentiment was growing against Crabtree and the officers thought it best that he be spirited away.  A crowd gathered at the depot when he was placed upon the train. [13]


[March 11, 1910] -

Frank Crabtree, who was given a life sentence in the penitentiary at the present term of Circuit Court for the murder of Andy Ramsey, was taken Wednesday to Danville for safe-keeping.

Crabtree had applied for a new trial, but Judge Bethurum overruled his application.  He was allowed sixty days in which to take his case to the Court of Appeals. [14]


[March 15, 1910] -

Because of fears that an attempt would be made to lynch him, Frank Crabtree, under sentence of life imprisonment for the murder of Andrew Ramsey, in Pulaski, was brought to Danville for safe-keeping. [15]


[May 8, 1910] -

Frank Crabtree, who was convicted at the last term of the Pulaski Circuit Court and given a life time sentence int he penitentiary for the killing of Andy Ramsey during Christmas week, was taken to Frankfort and placed in the penitentiary this week. He was given 60 days at the close of court here to secure a new trial, and was taken to Danville for safe keeping during that time. [16]


[1] "Two Men Charged With Brutal Murder." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. January 5, 1910. Page 4.

[2] Excerpt from "Perkins Tells Story of Pine Knot Murder." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. January 7, 1910. Page 3.

[3] "Mother and Son Are Under Serious Charge." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. January 10, 1910. Page 10.

[4] Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. January 14, 1910. Page 2.

[5] "Conscience Hurt Him." The Hickman Courier, Hickman, KY. January 20, 1910. Page 2. LOC.

[6] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 21, 1910. Page 1. LOC.

[7] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 25, 1910. Page 1. LOC.

[8] Excerpt from "Pulaski Court." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. February 23, 1910. Page 4.

[9] Excerpt from "Gets Two Years for Killing His Father." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. February 28, 1910. Page 3.

[10] "Crabtree Given Life Sentence for Murder." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. March 5, 1910. Page 2.

[11] "7 Pulaski Prisoners Taken To Frankfort." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. March 7, 1910. Page 2.

[12] "For Safety." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. March 9, 1910. Page 7.

[13] "Pulaski Murderer Brought to Danville." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. March 11, 1910. Page 3.

[14] Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. March 11, 1910. Page 3.

[15] Excerpt from "News Notes." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 15, 1910. Page 1. LOC.

[16] Excerpt from "Somerset News." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. May 8, 1910. Page 5.


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