"The Drumright Evening Derrick" newspaper, Drumright, OK, started banner headlines about this case on February 28, 1927, followed again on March 1, March 2, and March 3. The March 3, 1927 "Drumright Evening Derrick" ran this banner headline "Jury Says Alex Cockrell Was Murdered".
From "The Drumright News" newspaper, Drumright, OK, Friday, March 4, 1927, headline and right column---
"Not Suicide, Man Hanged, Say Jurors
Funeral Services Held This Afternoon for Alex Cockrell, Hanged Man
Alex Cockrell, 54, Drumright farmer, was hanged and did not hang himself to a tree near Shamrock, where his body was found Saturday, according to a verdict returned by a coroner's jury.
Details of the jury's report have not been revealed by Assistant County Attorney Grady Lewis and members of the jury were instructed not to discuss the case with others until an investigation started Wednesday morning by Lewis and Sheriff Wilson is completed. The two officials with Sapulpa physicians
Alex Cockrell, 54, wire noose victim, was buried this afternoon in the North Drumright Cemetery following funeral services at the First Baptist Church. Rev. R.W. Lackey, pastor, had charge of services at the church.
E. Otis Allen sang a vocal solo, with Mrs. Tannehill at the piano. The church choir also sang two numbers.
The deceased is survived, besides his wife, by four sons, Ivan, Elbert, Floyd and Frank, all of Drumright, and three daughters, Hattie and Velma, of Drumright, and Mrs. C.F. Tilley, of Oklahoma City. All members of the family, and Mr. C.F. Tilley, of Oklahoma City, were present for the services today. All seven children are grown.
went over details of the case with C.C. Grimes, justice of the peace, who acted as coroner, here this morning.
Examination by the Sapulpa physicians revealed that Cockrell was not dead when he was trussed up in the tree by a short piece of barbed wire, blood having settled in the lower part of the body bearing out the supposition of the jurors that he has been bound and hanged in the tree to die.
Marks on his wrists are said to have indicated that he had been bound. There were no other marks on the body.
Cockrell's two sons, Frank an employe of the Derrick, and Ivan, Yale farmer, told the jury they knew of no reason why he should kill himself. He had no reason worries, they said, was owner of his farm and financially solvent. Both inclined to a theory of murder although they were unable to supply a motive.****
The jury is said to have investigated the circumstances of Cockrell's death from many angles, going so far as to probe possibility of suicide by enacting the scene in the jury room with a juror employing the piece of wire by which the body was found suspended.
After the report had been turned over to the county attorney Tuesday, Cockrell's body was brought to Drumright for funeral and burial services.
The body was found Sunday by two boys playing in a field along the Drumright-Shamrock highway. It apparently had been hanging there since Friday although autoists driving by had failed to notice it."
In "The Drumright Evening Derrick" newspaper, Drumright, OK, Thursday, March 3, 1927, with the headline, "Jury Says Alex Cockrell Was Murdered" carries a similar story until after the word "motive". "The Evening Derrick" then has---
"The jury is said to have probed deeply into the killing by Cockrell of a suitor of his daughter 13 years ago. His victim was a Mexican whose name has been forgotten. Cockrell is said to have chased the man away from his home when he called to see the girl several times and the night before the shooting had turned a dog loose on the visitor and threatened to kill him if he returned. The next night the Mexican returned, and Cockrell shot him to death in the yard of their (continued on page 4) farm home. (the rest of the three or so paragraphs are blurred and illegible but towards the end "...The Mexican had no friends in the vicinity, it is said...."
The earliest newspaper initially discusses the finding of an unknown body. Later, the identification and still later the proceedings. Only the later newspaper clippings are cited here. The Feb. 28th newpaper clipping provides physical details about the unknown body.
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