Son.. S«pt. 2t, 198O lWom«n'« N«w« entertainment G«n«rolN«w« By RON WORD Associated Press Writer Quiet again dominates the Cross Bell ranch. The tranquility of the cattle empire was shattered 10 years ago by the unsolved slaying of millionaire rancher E.G. Mullendore III and the eventual bankruptcy of the ranch. The hundreds of cattle that once dominated the 66,000 acres just south of the Kansas line north of Bartlesville now belong to someone else. Scores of people in cars and pickups hauling boats daily to nearby Hulah Lake hardly give the impressive Cross Bell entry a second look or notice signs on the barbed wire that most of the land is now under lease to the L-B Cattle and Land Co. Kathleen Mullendore, the matriarch of the Mullendore estate, lives quietly in the impressive stone ranch home and raises horses. Both her son and her husband, E.C. II "Gene" Mullendore, were buried in the nearby family cemetery. New' Orleans Saints owner John Mecom Jr. and his beauty queen wife, Katsy, sister of the slain rancher, spend a few months a year on the ranch, located near Copan. Mullendore's former wife married her attorney, John Arrington. But in the days, weeks and months after Sept. 26,1970, the tarnquility was broken by one burning question: who killedE. C. Mullendorelll? The slaying of the 32-year-old land baron and the wounding of his bodyguard, Damon "Chub" Anderson, 10 years ago has spawned scores of theories, but not enough evidence to convict anyone. Bill Mitchell, Osage County un- dersherif f, insists the case is still open and could still be solved. "We are working on it when there are leads to be followed," Mitchell said. "A lead is being followed up right now," Mitchell and Sheriff George Wayman have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and possible suspects in the Sept. 26,1970, shooting of thecattle_ baron. But both law officers are tightlipped about the controversial slaying. "It's a question I wouldn't want to answer," the undersheriff said, when asked abftut a possible motive. Larry Stuart, Osage County district attorney, said he doesn't believe the case will ever be solved. "I have an idea, in my own personal opinion, who did it, but I don't have any evidence to support it," Stuart said. The prosecutor reviewed the case after taking office two years ago. Stuart said a book published in 1974 by Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny, "The Mullendore Murder Case," which indicated the Mafia could have been reponsible for the rancher's death, "makes a good book." "I read it," he said, but he said from what he knows about the case the Mafia was not involved in the slaying. "But you don't know for sure," he said. "Most of the pertinent evidence is so garbled, I don't know if it will ever be unscrambled," Stuart said. It is generally recognized that E.C. Mullendore III was in trouble. His wife, Linda Vance Mullendore, characterized as the Jackie Kennedy of Osage County, had moved to Tulsa with their four children and filed for separate maintenance. Some $12 million in debts threatened to destroy the cattle empire his grandfather had established on the Osage County prairie. Mullendore needed money — lots of money — and he needed it badly and he needed it fast. The young rancher Mullendore had contacted money men — men who E.G. Mullendorelll? The tranquility of the Cross Bell ranch cattle empire was shattered 10 years ago by the unsolved slaying of millionaire rancher E.C. Mullendore III and the eventual bankruptcy of the ranch. knew how to secure the large loans that would save the ranch established by Erd C. Mullendore in the land run of 1893. One of those men was Kent Green, a Kansas City man, who had been place in business," the Sunday Oklahoman said in 1939. Before he was in his teens, E.G. Ill — donned in full cowboy regalia — was buying his own stock at auctions. The baby feet that in 1939 sported The hundreds of cattle that once dominated the 66,000 acres north of Bartlesville, Oklahoma now belong to someone else. Bartlesville staying at the ranch with a girlfriend for several weeks before the slayings. The night of the slaying, Green was staying ina Bartlesville motel. Besides Green, other professional loan seekers with whom Mullendore associated were Talmadge Kolb of Tulsa; George Aycock of Oklahoma City; David W. Taylor of Los Angeles and Jim Jackson of St. Louis, known as Geronimo. A $12 million loan commitment, signed by Green, was found on Mullendore's- body by an Oklahoma Highway Pa trol trooper. Mullendore needed money to keep the ranch for which his father and grandfather had given their lifeblood, the ranch that he had been destined to control since birth. "E.C. Mullendore III, 16-month-old heir to a family cattle empire, is already being groomed to take his "the tiny hand-made boots" had since grown into the feet of a troubled rancher with an empire too big for him to control. The slaying of Mullendore and the wounding of his bodyguard shortly before midnight on Sept. 26, 1970, uncovered the saddlebag full of troubles. The slaying occurred after Mullendore had returned after an evening at the stock car races in Caney, Kan. Anderson told authorities he had gone upstairs to draw a bath when he heard a shot. He said he rushed down the stairs to find Mullendore seated on the floor, which his head slumped forward, bleeding. The rancher had a .38-caliber gunshot wound between his eyes and had been beaten. As Anderson approached Mullen- dore, he was shot once in the right shoulder. The bodyguard, an ex-con, said he snot at two fleeing men, who ran out the front door. Anderson told authorities the men were dressed in slacks and sports coats and he knew they were not ranch hands or persons dressed like ranch hands. Telephones at the ranch had been disconnected by the telephone company because of a dispute over an unpaid bill, so Anderson ran to the nearby home of ranch manager Dale Kuhrt. Someone drove five miles to another ranch to call an ambulance. Anderson drove himself to the hospital. A series of mistakes after that may keep officers from ever discovering who killed Mullendore. For several years there was a running conflict between Washington County officials and Osage County officials on how the investigation was ' handled. "We took exception to the way it was handled. There was a certain amount of disturbance at the crime- scene," Mitchell said. Any evidence of tire tracks or other physical evidence could have been obliterated by the numerous cars_ converging on the death scene. Then the body was removed from the scene, cleaned up and embalmed before an autopsy could be conducted. "There are so many conflicting stories, it is hard to tell exactly what happened," Stuart said. After her husband's death, Linda Mullendore filed an $18 million lawsuit against United Family Life Insurance Co. of Atlanta, Ga., on three $5 million life insurance policies on the slain rancher. The suit was settled for $8 million in 1971 with a good portion of the money going to Mullendore's parents. Mrs. Mullendore testified in a hearing on the insurance case one of the money men had threatened her, Mullendore and Green. In the same testimony, Mrs. Mullendore denied suggestions that the Mafia was involved in either her husband's death or attempts to find money for the ranch. In February 1972 a grand jury investigation of the Mullendore slaying was conducted. E.C. Mullendore II, his wife, Kathleen, and Mullendore's widow, Linda, all testified. No one was indicted. On May 15,1972, U.S. District Judge Allen Barrow approved an $11.2 million bankruptcy plan that called ~ for use of $5 million in insurance money; $1.2 million in the sale of livestock and other ranch property; $1.4 million from bank loans and $3.6 million for refinancing by Northwestern Mutual Life mortgage firm. The next June, Barrow approved a 30-year lease to the L-B Land and Cattle Co. for $4 million to make payments on an insurance company loan; pay taxes and leave an income for Mullendore's parents. The judge was told the plan would —also pay off all the debts of the ranch. The serenity of the lavish Mullendore world shattered in the instant it takes to fire a gun has returned. But the mystery of who fired those shots remains. 10 14 11 13 16 rosswords puzzle Americans and they love it I B f L Q 1 C I fi H " • ' ' ' ^mmmmmmmmm* I m, I ml 1 mm •_!_.'_• ..._.. ...J Mil estimated 40 million persons in U.S. work crossword puzzlesJK NEW YORK (AP) — Fifteen letters, two words: The only American invention more popular than the martini. : • If you quickly thought, in ink, "C-R-O-S-S-W-O-R-D P-U-Z-Z-L-E," then you are probably among the estimated 40 million U.S. fanatics whose daily or weekly fixes take them down and across.. "It's an addiction," said Michelle Arnot, one of only about 300 regular crossword "constructors" in the country. "Once you become a good solver, that's it. You're hooked for life." "And it's the cheapest entertainment''going," said Margaret Farrar, the octogenarian grande dame of crosswords. A transplanted English editor, Arthur Wynne, originated the modern "word cross" in the New York World newspaper in 1913, but Mrs. Farrar made it "America's favorite licit indoor activity in the days before television." Hired as the World's crossword editor in 1920; she took a $25 advance to edit the first crossword book — and the first book ever published by Simon & Schuster — in 1924. Mrs. Farrar, who was later crossword editor uaoon araanumn noon onnn noc of the New York Times, easily recalls the crossword craze that swept the country in the Roaring '20s. There were contests and tournaments. Many newspapers ran crosswords every day. Linguists hailed the puzzles for reviving fine old words. Psychologists said crosswords were a healthy way for young people to socialize. In 1925, a group of Mah-Jong manufacturers sent crossword publishers a Valentine: "Roses are red," violets are blue, We'd like to cut your throats for you." The crossword quickly spread across seas and languages, spawning cryptic, crostic, double-crostic, anagram, scrarribled and other assorted word puzzles. Among newspapers, only the staid New York Times resisted crosswords. Until 1942. That's when publisher Arthur Hayes Sulzberger reputedly tired of buying competitors' papers to do the crosswords. So Sulzberger hired Mrs. Farrar, of whom mystery detective "Nero Wolfe" creator Rex Stout once said: "If I were bound for a desert island, the 10 books I would want along would be 10 crossword puzzle books edited by Margaret Farrar. Then I wouldn't bother to look around for footprints." Indeed, many addicts find satisfaction even when they don't finish a puzzle. Said Noel Coward: "When I make '1 Across' fit in with '1 Down,' my day is made." Manhattan commuter John Chervokis gauges his day according to how quickly it takes him to do the daily crossword on the train to work. He says that for three years, it has not taken him more than seven minutes, "in arrogant ink." While crossword tournaments are again in vogue,' with up to 200 participants expected at the unofficial national championship next March in Stamford, Conn., most solvers view puzzles as simply a pleasant pastime. Will Weng, another retired New York Times crossword editor now editing books, said the 15-by-15- square daily puzzles, progressively more difficult through the week, can be completed in a half hour without a dictionary. The 23-by-23 Sunday puzzle is designed to take a couple of hours, with references. Eugene Maleska, the current Times crossword nnnrjLjan unnnn naa nau wao ann fir.iriui.il i iinann na mirm 32 editor, says constructors earn $20 for daily and $100 for Sunday puzzles. Maleska advised that "a good crossword contains words everybody knows. The definitions are the key." He said American definitions, white still not as convoluted as those in the London Times puzzle favored by afficionadoes, are becoming more zippy. For instance, instead of "Bird's home," the clue for "nest" might be "raven's haven," or "nutcracker suite." Maleska said he is also demanding less reliance on the traditional "crossword" words like gnu, esne, Ibo, anoa.anet and anil. Nonetheless, Maleska said, he still receives three times as many puzzles as he can use, and he has an edited and approved backlog through 1981. None of the crossword editors were concerned their puzzles are getting too hard. Mrs. Farrar recalled a prints hop mixup left one 1950s puzzle with numbers not matching clues. "We got a ton or two of angry letters," she said. "But we also got letters from people who solved it anyway. They wanted more like it." Baghdad IRAQ Iran, Iraq will suffer most from oil pinch caused by war Governments of the two nations already are urging their people to converse fuel BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Any oil pinch caused by the war between Iran and Iraq will be felt first and hardest in the two warring oil-rich nations themselves, analysts say. Observers agree the fighting could eventually dry up the current oil glut on the world market, but Iran and Iraq stand to suffer the most and the soonest. The governments of the two nations, in broadcasts by their state radio stations, already are urging their people toconserve fuel. However, a leading Middle East oil analyst said Friday he did not foresee any immediate crisis for the Western world as a result of the war, which has not only halted shipments of crude from Iranian and Iraqi ports, but has slowed exports from other oil-producing nations in the Persian Gulf. The analyst said he did not anticipate any supply crisis in the immediate future because "production recently has been way ahead of consumption." Some oil officials predicted it would take as long as 100 days to wipe out the glut on a world market deprived of Iranian and Iraqi crude and hampered by slow shipments from the other Persian Gulf states. In Washington, the director of the 21-nation International Energy Agency said no serious shortages are expected for the rest of the year, even if the Iran-Iraq war continues. Duncan's British counterpart, David Ho well, also in. Washington, said the war has prompted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to shelve temporarily its agreement to cut crude oil production by 10 percent. The Union said tie /earned of the postponement from oil officials of Venezuela, an OPEC member. The gulf countries — including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as well as Iraq and Iran, provide more than 40 per cent of the oil imported by the non-communist world. President Carter has offered to convene a meeting of key U.S. allies to discuss ways of safeguarding the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf and keeping open the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the gulf, White House spokesman Jody Powell said. A long-term shutdown of Iran and Iraq's oil installations, which together exported about 3.8 million barrels a day before the war, could create problems. One analyst said there is no way of knowing yet what has been damaged or how long it will take to repair, Destruction at the Iranian port of Abadan and the Iraqi port of Basra could be critical in terms of the two countries' domestic needs, one expert explained. He said the primary purpose of refineries at the two sites was to produce petroleum products for use at home. Battlefield reports Friday indicated both the Iranian and Iraqi oil centers had been set ablaze by artillery. Even though its Persian Gulf ports are shut down, Iraq was believed to have the capability of pumping almost a million barrels of crude a day through pipelines across Syria to the Mediterranean. But the Baghdad government said Friday it had halted all oil exports.
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