The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas on November 22, 1957 · 2
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Odessa American from Odessa, Texas · 2

Odessa, Texas
Issue Date:
Friday, November 22, 1957
Start Free Trial

--v J (E SIX THE ODESSA" AMERICAN FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1957 Justice Story In Swamps BY MAKJORIE ROEHt AND JtUTH KEYNOLDS Hounfi Newi of Thomas . A. death would have reached bit wife sooner tf she had not kept bar telephone buay on Sunday nighOIoV.1 I!51J-a? WM "'ii" ""iwaa running. Mingled with these . wncuicr .nymwy nau seen foOtDfintf Were the tracks Of a and the remnants of a loaf of bread Uttered the car. -Leading from the jedaa toward! the woods were the prints of bare feet small enough to be a woman's. The footprints wars apeced wide apart, indicating that the woman J ton Tom in the last 48 hours, Finally, her telephone wa Idle! long enough for a call to come through from an acquaintance. "Mrs. Hotard," he said, "I bate to be the one to tell you, but the body of a man thought to be Tom ' has Just been found at Frenier - Beach, near Laplace. He was murdered." . Even when Gretna, La., police told Beulah Vicknair Hourd that her husband had been killed at Frenier Beach, she simply couldn't believe il Hotard, she told Investigators, just wasn't the type to be at Frenier Beach dead or alive. The spit of sand and shells Jutting Into Lake Pontchartrain from tangled woods and desolate swamps is Shoes Found Near Murder Scene "V i : SHERIFF HEBERT n-nfe Sam . i. .Sut. i visited only by hunters In search of game and lovers seeking privacy, But 46-year-old Tom Hotard was no hunter and he seemed devoted to his wife and two children, Thomas Jr., 19, and Susan Ellen, 13. About the only time Tom wasn't puttering about his house in Gretna, according to his wife, were the hours Saturday mornings included when he worked as a safety en gineer at the Celotex plant But police knew that instead ot rg to work oa Saturday, Nov. 24. Hotard went t Frraier Beach! Baton. Rouge mail's boots, About ltt feet along, the sheriff came upon a set of automobile keys. Snagged oa a bush was a piece of bright plaid sport shirt. All the marks en ed abruptly in a grave! patch at te road which leads rut to the mam highway. And here Hcbert fouci a single tire track, .'he kind wii might have been made by a nv.' ". cle. The automobile keys carried the; name of Mrs. Audrey Moate, Baton Rouge. Did Hourd know Mrs. Moate?" "Why, yes . , . several years ago when she worked at Celotex." ans wered Mrs. Hotard. "Back in 1992, while Celotex waa on strike, she stayed with us for six months. But there wasn't anything between Tom and Audrey. Tom and I were married for IS years. He was such! a good man he never could see anything bad in anybody. The investigators felt that Mrs. Hotard had been deceived. When they found Mr?. Moate's car standing in a restaurant parking lot in Laplace, nearest town to Frenier Beach, they found bills addressed to "Mrs. Audrey M. Hotard" in the glove compartment Information about the missing Mrs. Moate was given by her mother, Mrs. Minnie Smith of wth a woman. ' During World War II, blonde. About 10 o'clock on Saturday! gray-eyed Audrey married George ornlngTTfapfeary and his teen-aged son. David, sawl Joined the Navy and Audrey noved would be a good idea for Audrey to use his name. So she did tell yon, Mr. - Hotard - was certainly good .to that baby. Why, ho took as good care of it as though It had .been , his , pwn-el-waya bringing things to Audrey and Jacqueline." By the time Mrs. Hotard learned about Jacqueline .she also knew Celotex records showed that her husband had worked only one Sat urday in the last four years. With leu restraint than she had previously shown, the widow talked about Audrey's six-months stay as their bouse guest : "She never helped me in any way not even with the dishes. She hated housework and she was always around Tom. If be was working on his motor boat or reading or anything, there , she was. She knew she was causing dissension between as. She wasn't at all at tractive,- but she was Intelligent and seemed well-educated, and she had a way ot twisting people around her linger. I hated her! To some, these words offered a possibility that Mrs. Hourd might be responsible for the disappear-! ance of Audrey and the murder of Hotard. But investigators could find nothing absolutely nothing to Justify such suspicion. Indeed, they. found the missing Mrs. Moate .far more of a puzzle than Mrs. Hot ard. . For instance, on the final Satur day morning Audrey told her mother she was going to work. weather to be communing with nature out on Lake Ponchartraln." The sheriff and his deputies declared it was entirely possible for the murderer to have piloted. a boat with Its motor off almost to the" HotaiarTTTie-knier-coiild have beached his craft with only a slight crunching sound, crept up to a rear window of the sedan and blasted Hotard. Abducting' Audrey would have been comparatively easy. But what was she wearing? T - ... . J. . , I -m uu, m i "As the woman came running out. the car, police concluded that Aud-K. or.hK h, .h dr.n5 h-r rey left with only a brassiere andjhw fhe hair lnto th. , Lejeune said they followed the blue car to Frenier Beach and parked out of sight of the .couple in the car. Finally the man who knew Audrey reached down to the . rear floorboards of his car and cam-upwith"a-shotgun. "What you gonna do?" Lejeune asked. . "Never mind. Just sUy here and shut up." Then he walked to the other car. "I saw him shoot into the rear window," Lejeune said. . a- skirt. - Her- purse was missing. ' If she ran for her life, she would hardly have clutched her handbag, throwing-out her car keys as she ran. On the other hand, it seemed unlikely that her pursuer, overtaking her, would have searched her handbag, cast her car keys In one direction and the post card in another, but keeping the bag it-: toak . ,hovei out of thr trunk and e'fr , went bark to the woods- Aftera A thorough check ot Audrey's while he came back once more, belongings turned up a letter stuck By then it was daylight and he away in a corner of her office desk drove me back to New Orleans. at Kaiser. It consisted of a few, "He told me if I ever breathed was sitting, I begred him not to ; hurt her, to let her go, but he told me, 'If you don't shut up, I'll kill you,' So 1 shut up and hetarted the car. "Down the road he stopped the car, pulled the woman out and went back into the woods. After a long time, I heard three or four shots. He came back to the car. rather rambling sentences of the -'L-am fine, how areyou?'"va-riety. . ' ZTT1 Pi if tk ! unt.v. r..H "I I what I'd seen he'd kill me, so the next day I took off for Donaldson, La., because I was scared to death.. But all this time my "conscience. T a blue four-sedan parked approxi- " r - a m -. . maieiy live yarns irom tne water As they approached the heads of a msn and a woman suddenly bob- up from the back seat The Mcxarels backtracts in embarrass ed haste. Three hours later, another hunter noticed the sedan. The right rear door was open and he saw ai man "sleeping in a strange posi tion'' on the back seat But the hunter was a good dis- to California to be near Jim. War's end found them bacx in Louisiana with two chil-lra and a growing incompatibility. After several brief attempts at. reconciliation, the Moates marriage Anally ended in divorce in 1954. ; Audrey met "Mr. Hotard," as Mrs. Smith called him, in 1930 while she was working at Celotex. They had a common interest In scouting. Hourd was a scoutmas ter and district commissioner for will take care of you later." It was n8 Deen bothering me. So I had Signed "Fathead." w te" what 1 knew." r ZSttST ' jn gets U. mad when he', It was now exactly 12 days since i sheriff Hebert found tne story a Gretna neighbor saw Hotard I interesting but shot with discre-kiss'his wife good-by and turned; t th. . iee. the Wlj-dd-she-te-r-ttos-be?-toP- ime-of Hotard's death had been mother had been blind to her illi cit j-omance and approved of her friendship with "Hourd. They usually met on Saturday, so what made this day different to Aud rey? , ri't you be like Tom Hotard? !clearly esUblished as Saturday S a perfect family man!" mnrninn nnt Saturdav nicht Other can He's a perfect family At4 o'clock the afternoon morning, not Saturday night Other tinelemeinrtidTrot-ccide-wKh- tance away, so be didn't invest!- Boy Scout camping aad al-geK 1 r Hied activities in, his area. Audrey About 10:30 Sunday morning, the led a Girl Scout troop. The groups Monarets, hunting rabbits and. met on the same night and ottea squirrels, returned to the area. To! merged afterward for informal their surprise, the automobile wasj dancing. Then, according to Mrs. still there. They could see the man, Smith. Audrey decided io become lying on the back seat, which was, a safety engineer like Mr. tioura Hebert had no trouble esUblish- ing the fact that Audrey drove alone to Laplace and got into Hot' ard'a car after she parked her own. Apparently, Hotard drove di rectly to their last try sting place at Frenier Beach. After that . what? Dec.' 6. the telephone rang in the information gathered by investiga-New Orleans home of Mrs. George'tors. Leicune was wrong about j Moate, Audrey's former mother-! the position, in which the Hotard ln-uw. Mrs. Moate answered. car was parked. During three visits : "Mom!" came a woman's voice.' to Frenier Beach, he failed to fine "This is Audrey. I'm in very bad the place where Audrey might havd trouble ... I need help!" - beei buried, but police found no evidence to Iconnect him to the Hotard-Moate Lejeune's story of his flight was opened into a car bed. Moving closer they saw a woman's comb, a vanity case and other odds and "He helpedjher with a corres-Dondence course and with her arithmetic," said Mrs. Smith. ends usually found in a handbag, j "Then he took her into his home scattered on the ground near the, while Celotex was on strike. After open right rear door. ! the strike, she quit Celotex and "Something is maybe kind ofibroufht her two children down JunnyJiere?JljniiseoMQM!- 'Come on, David. We make sure if anything is going on. -They went to the car for a closer look and then they went for the; sheriff. Fot a dead man with a shotgun wound, in his back wis ly- int face Lgawn on the rear 'Special gift plan for new, small hearing aids. EM 6-7011 P. O. Box 1322 J. J. Finley, Dist Mgr. Audrey Moate Disappeared SHERIFF PERCY HEBERT (pronounced A-bear) found Ho tard's identification papers in one of the dead man s pockets. From O.MG COVE, Nfld. Boys ter. They draeged the whale to, the location of the wound and the fronrthis Trinity Bay community! a nearby pond where they feed it position of the body. Hebert theor- have adopted a pothead whale, fresh fish. The whale seem con- ized : that Hourd, whue prone. Hugt Pet caught foundering in shallow wa-'tent. she took a clerical Job with the Kaiser Construction Co. in Gram- ercy "Ever, after Audrey left Celotex, Mr. Hotard took an interest in her, He used to see her a. lot Saturday mornings to help her with her stMesT'rff''tte1yas-ni--ei man." I Between her job and her studies fbesides ber responsibilities at home). Audrey had a nervous breakdown. That was in July. 1955. She told her mother that ber doc tor-advised her to get away, so "Where are you. Audrey? Where1 ine mai" i-ejeune accusea, now-are you?" cried Mrs. Moate. At ever- was no. figment, of his ima-once the Une went dead. jgination. He was well known in U k.H nkn.! k. Ck VfavlrA OflC A nlrsii ' VfAAaa UIC UaI ""U MIC A ICUVII is, vt nuuici, mi inuaic , The sheriff called' upon every insisted to the police. noaaiDie resource in ms nuni ior -cv.. .i,.. nn the missing woman. First, depu-lw,.;,. .h. livin ln riiiorniaj . 7nr-K; -k.I--; -',",--1Ty'Uold .. reporters ..thathe left town way la "nW ,nat,- Nov. 25. the day after Hotard .. 1 r. V . i-j. scceni anywnere. jwas murdered. "He was so ner- out lor snakes as weu as a oooy.i. f ,,- ,w. .k- aaa nTir.1 SUte police observation planes and Coast Guard helicopters criss-. crossed wrnn enu wini c i - .1.- t- ll i -M. mmwr. to tnat" Orleans and we were still friends. There was evidence, too, that She paid me a visit only a couple Lejeune hid out for several weeks of months ago. After all I am the in Donaldson, grandmother of her children two! "A victim of delusion," said n km Maolui :r .Ka all rami.' nnlirtf and dismissed his stnrv.' -uaidsman-iouoilposMajd addressed to Audrey partly sub- . did., th monev t0 Cal( dentified women have been foi leveL Two hundred national guardsmen armed ' with walkie-j Ulkies were called out to tramp at arm's length through the treach erous section. "I've thought of that," said Mrs. ! sistingK if anybody asks you, be Moate. "But I was about the only sure to say I've gone to Texas- merged in muck not far from her own mottttT in Baton Rouge, the car. Said Hebert,"I am going on the assumption that Mrs. Moate ia still alive or that her body is in Lake- Pontchartrain. In cold suy under far more than a week. and maybe she was too frantic to think about phoning collect Audrey Moate's picture appeared found floating in the Mississippi River near New Orleans, but neither answered Audrey Moate's description. Mrs. Smith believes her daughter is a victim of amnesia brought on day and -waitresses in a French mother-in law also is convinced But Lake Pontchartrain gave up! Market coffee shop reported to the. missing woman is alive per- no secrets. police that they had seen her. At haps held on one of the uncounted Investigators could learn nothing: least,' they had seen a haggard, and unchartered bayou Islands off PCI 214-Ncrih-Grcaitrr0dc$5a Next Dccri-o- Lyric Thcctro NYLON NlTP 72" Wide 30 New Colors ; Christmas Red, White & Green Inc. 1000 Yards , NOT 100 But 1000 Yds. Crompton't Washable Velvety Y FULL BOLTS.... FIRST QUALITY Just Arrived -New Colors 42"RAYDENES...Reg.l.98 7 Q 42" Printed Corduroys -,.'-',--.'. 1 - New Weaves New Texfures I II Yd. u 1 u I heard someone corning and rose! he Islightly Just before the shot ripped months, into him. There was a small hole In! "Well, two days before Christmas the rear window of the car, indi cating that the shotgun was press-. ed against the glass when it was fired. Scattered over the front seat and floor was a woman's clothing shoes, stockings, sweater, coat. gloves, slip and pants. Empty i Vienna sausage cans, potato chips Audrey came how with a 4-day-old baby girl.' Mrs. Smith told de tectives. "The baby's parents didn't want her, Audrey said, and she was going to, adopt Jacque line that's -what she canea tne baby. Mr. Hotard came to see her right sway. He wanted to sponsor th adootion and he thoucht H about the origin of the single tire track found at the gravel patch where the woman's footprints and tor -five the man's boot tracks stopped. No body in the vicinity had- seen or heard a motorlycle m months e T MrHjt 9 Ivftous ClwffataMt ptAt iWf yona foniily . "fcejejgJijJ rV"0elS0V ta"awt9) (fca f"9J9) v'tiSe 9t&fltjQt9Bttf IHhi h phff fvr wmm IowptN. WvrhtMr ftono if ym kmmi for OtrataMaV TO FLAT A tVwSUTZa aIAK9 Shop - Compere - Discover Why More people buy wurlitzer pianos than those of any other name! Doc Young Music Co. 420 North Texas Phone FE 7-8214 Permian Basin Distributors For The Wurlitzer Co. The world's largest builder of quality keyboard instrument . . . PIANOS . . . ORGANS . . . ELECTRONIC PIANOS Naturally, Audrey's ex-husband, George Moate. was questioned. But he, happily remarried, was elimi nated as a suspect Police brought in for question- inc iust about every man , from miles around trappers, fishermen, moss pickers. proniinent New Orleans law yer, who requested that he be shielded from publicity, gave im petus to the theory that the killer used a boat "I was hunting near Frenier Beach about 1 o'clock that Satur day afternoon, 'he told police. "when my attention was attract' ed to a speed hull just drifting on the lake waters. In the bow was a woman all huddled up as though she were cold. A big man was in the stern by the motor. I espe cially noticed them because they were so still ' I disheveled young woman whose re semblance to Audrey was striking. She ordered coffee and doughnuts early one .morning, but when she saw them eyeing her, she paid her check and fled. v This report put every policeman and dozens of civilians in New Orleans on the lookout for the; missing woman. If the woman at the French Market was 'Audrey Moate, her second disappearance was as complete as the first. Nineteen more weeks passed. ' Last April 28 Jackson Lejeune, a New Orleans produce dealer who bought vegetables in the French Market went to police. "I saw Hourd killed and I know what happened to Audrey Moate" he said, keeping a nervous watch over his shoulder. "A certain man I'd know for about five years came up to me in the market that Saturday afternoon and asked me to have a drink with him. .."We had a few, and then he said. 'Come on. Jack, let's go for a ride, we drove to Laplace where we parked by a restaurant. Freniur Beach. .Audrey loate- is still listed as . a missing person and Torn Hotard' murder is marked "unsolved." ( V if Suddenly he kind of o rifted his "Thev weren't fishinc. The motor: T,.,t. k. ..... , was off and Thrboat-wasngrArihat."he lufhef Wcar to lol-l P the wavesdrifttagthought atjjowa manjwd woman Jn theimeJtwasp blue; CT-rVIDV UflMtDCn - . 4.. -. : j PiUlirin vi , . Texas -Grown, Two-Year-0 Id Plants Ready Te Bloom See these beautiful ROSEBUSHES 7 1000 tap . trade fMd erewa reae aeshes. resb . frvia thp rose fieWs ef Tyler, Tern. Hv- sek .two veer IS These mn mn NOT WAXIP rd fceve been ST ATI IN- SPICTID. Sold in, lots of 5 i - Also Climbers at 50c ea. Shrubs Shade Trees e Pecan Trees Sales Made Directly From Our Truck 'Located At 2700 Dloclc of Andrews Hvy. s (Next to Hudson Service Statioe) ea

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,000+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Odessa American
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free