In the post-Christmas cold of early Dec. 28, 1930, two bodies were found along theroad near the Salt Fork River near Tonkawa, Oklahoma.  

Two sisters, Jessie (24) and Xexia (36) Griffith, school teachers in Norman, had met their end along the road near the cold water. They had come north to the home of their parents for the holidays and were headed home when a deadly fate stepped in. The bodies were found by a local furniture mover, C.C. Wood,  and his two sons later that day .

A killer had lead them there or followed them and shot both. It came to light he had "attacked" the younger sister Jessie before death.  Her sister was not assaulted but her body, with gunshot wounds was found nearly frozen near her sister.

Once the bodies were found, immediate suspicion fell on a local man, Earl Quinn aka Earl Howard,  who had a reputation for trouble of one kind or another.  He had once been a convict in a Missouri prison and now, local Kay County officials focused their eyes on them.  His wife Jean Quinn was quickly arrested but was released and later simply disappeared.

It was quickly learned the younger girl feared someone and felt she was being "shadowed."   Alarm was sent all the way to Chicago and down to Norman. Quinn was caught and for nearly three years the case went on  and he languished on Death Row. Then, almost three years to the day, he was electrocuted for the killings at McAlester.

Court evidence includes the testimony of a Miss Ruby Heard, of Three Sands, that Quinn had forced her from her own car a mere hour before the other girls were killed. Others testified he had been drunk, unruly and brandishing a weapon earlier that day.

Although quickly apprehended, Quinn created fear and righteous indignation in the hearts of people from Norman to Chicago for the senseless brutal killing of two school teachers heading home to start a new semester.

Questions remain after examining the information.  There was a button found in the girl's car police tried to tie to Quinn but his rooming house landlady denied it was his.  His wife, it was noted, had bought shells.  Yet, the weapon witnesses saw with the man was a .38 and it is not clear if the weapon, shells, and the wounds support each other.  His wife is another interesting element; Quinn accused her of working with the Kansas City underworld to get him and it was clear some witnesses were not above embellishing some aspects of their stories. 

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