Kidnapping and Robery in 1933

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Kidnapping and Robery in 1933


Trio Commits Kidnapping and Robbery" proclaimed a big banner headline across the front page of the Richmond Daily Register on July 28, 1933. A Madison County farmer was seized from his automobile and taken to a lonely road in the middle of the night and was robbed and beaten. An hour later a young man going home from a dance was also kidnapped by the same three and taken to the same road, stripped of his clothing, and shot at after being told to run. Shortly after midnight on July 28, Carl Roberts, a 35-year-old farmer from the Ruthton area was driving along Estill Avenue. When he stopped at an intersection, one of the three kidnappers jumped into Roberts car and struck him with a blackjack. He was forced into the kidnappers' automobile at the point of a pistol and taken out to a lonely spot on Four Mile Road, where he was robbed of $9 and beaten severely. He managed to run from the three assailants and hide in weeds in a field next to the road. One of the men drove Roberts car away and it had not been located by the time the Register ran the account of the crime the next afternoon. Not satisfied with the $9, the three returned to Richmond's East Main Street and waited in their car. About 1:30 a.m., 18-year-old Ethelbert White was on his way home from a dance. As he passed by the car parked near the corner of East Main and Short Street, one of the men jumped out and stuck the pistol in his side. He heard a voice ask him if he had any money. He replied in the negative, but the three men held him and searched him anyway. The youth was forced into the kidnappers car and was driven out near the same spot on Four Mile Road where they had earlier beaten Roberts. They ordered White to remove his clothing, which he did. They let him get out of the car and ordered him to run, which he also gladly did. As he ran away, a shot was fired by one of the three men in the car. White made his way through the fields and then from shadow to shadow down the streets and alleyways in Richmond's east end until he reached his home, where he put on some clothes and telephoned the police. Officers Chester Jones and Joe Balue soon arrived, and on information given by the kidnapped youth, three men in their 20s, two from Richmond and one from Owsley County, were arrested. Two were found in the dark near the L&N depot, and the remaining one was arrested later at his home on Estill Avenue after White identified him and Roberts bad experience also became known. One of the alleged kidnappers was already under indictment in Madison Circuit Court for an offense against a minor female, and also was out on bond in Estill County on two charges of forgery.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “Kidnapping and Robery in 1933,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 19, 2024,