Murder has Calhoun Connection in 1909


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 8/31/1909.

John Sickles Commits Murder
Believed to be the Same Man Who was Once a Resident of This County

A murder occurred about three miles south of Dallas, Marshall county, shortly after 6 o'clock last evening, when Randolph Ritchy, aged 35 years, was shot and killed by his uncle, John Sickles, aged about 65 years.

According to the story told by Sickles to a farmer living near the scene of the murder, Sickles had been away during the afternoon, and returned home for supper after 6 o'clock.  As he entered the door he heard his 16 year old daughter screaming and when he hurried to a room off the parlor he found Ritchy in the act of attempting to criminally assault the girl.  Sickles at once grabbed hold of Ritchy and the two men engaged in a desperate fight, Sickles the while endeavoring to force the intruder from the house, until finally Ritchy got the better of Sickles and threw him to the floor.  Thinking that was the end of it, Ritchy then walked out the front yard and out of the gate into the road.  He was about 25 feet from the gate when Sickles recovered himself and secured his musket.  He walked to the front door, and taking deliberate aim, fired at Ritchy, a charge of buckshot entering his back between the shoulders, some of the scattering shot going into the back of his head.  Ritchy fell on his face at the side of the road, and Sickles and daughter and one small son remained in the house until some of the neighbors called upon him.