On Sunday the 20th of June, 1999 ( Fathers day ) I drove down to Magoffin County Historical Society to meet some of the great folks there that have helped me through out the years with my research. Most of all I was going down to put my foot down ( so to speak ). I wanted answers and I wanted them now or I wanted to employ someone to help me. I was going full force and nothing was going to stand in my way.

In the weeks prior to my trip I had discovered that there was a very good chance that the date on Zona's headstone could be wrong. My mother always said she was 13 when her sister was murdered. I knew that on my parents marriage bond ( sent by Judith Tickel Need ) dated Oct., 28 1946, my mother was listed as being 18. My mother had always said she was born in 1929, but how could this be?

I passed it off as being a mistake, because at the bottom of the bond. James Melvin Penix sign in the place of my mother. ( he was her brother in-law ). So I thought perhaps he had to sign for her.

Then my sister came down to visit and showed me her birth certificate that stated my mothers date of birth was 1928. So if this was true then that meant my mother was 13 in 1942, not 1943 as the headstone of Zona May read. The stone must have been bought years after her death.

So the search was on once again. I went into the historical society and marched to the back where I met Warnie Arnett a volunteer at the society. He and I had search the old newspapers many times before in the past. This time I asked to see the 1942 newspapers. He brought them out to me and cleared a space in the back for me to look through them while the society was having their monthly meeting.

It was not long after I open the plastic bag of newspapers of years gone by turning through them very carefully so not to tear them. I came upon the July's issues. I turn one page after scanning it and there it was on the front page of the July 10th 1942 issue of the Salyersville Independent.
The article I had been searching for the past 5 years. The story I had heard about all my life, it was a small column, but it said so much. I was over come with an ocean of emotions. I was so very happy and relieved to have found it. At the same time I was filled with sorrow at the lost of a small girl that this world never knew. I was angered at the fact that this incident cause my mother great pain and illness through out her life which eventually lead to her death.

I scanned the pages after the murder to find the sentence of this person that killed my aunt and my mother. Then I found it! It was as my mother said it was. He got off with a slap on the wrist. Please read the articles below.

The Verdict my the "Judge"


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We all miss and love you mom.