In 1996 Danny Oakley and Doris Harris have been shot and killed, and the cellular house they lived in was set on fireplace. Their case stays unsolved, however it bears a disturbing resemblance to different circumstances within the space that trace at doable involvement on the a part of legislation enforcement. : TrueCrime


Doris Harris met her boyfriend Danny Oakley within the late summer season of 1996. Doris was from Joplin Missouri and Danny lived about twenty minutes south of town of Miami Oklahoma in a trailer park off of Grand Lake. About three months into their relationship the 2 began to get very severe, and Doris spent increasingly time with Danny, not coming house for days at a time.

Finally Doris’s sister Paula Barnett took in Doris’s teenage daughter, and she or he felt Doris wasn’t taking care of her. Paula didn’t approve of the connection, and what it was doing to Doris. She instructed the Miami Information report on June fifth 2005 that “My sister’s complete persona modified about three months previous to her demise. She wasn’t motherly, let her payments go, turned self-centered and was not reliable.”

In that very same article, Paula talked about that in late February Doris instructed her that “Issues will probably be higher in a couple of days. You simply do not perceive. Danny’s blended up with the Mexican mafia,” and Paula didn’t take her severely. Whereas drug use and minor crime was no secret in Miami, Paula didn’t assume organized crime was an actual risk in Oklahoma. Paula didn’t understand it on the time, however Danny was certainly blended up with some harmful folks.

Considered one of Danny’s associates, Denny Ray Hunnicutt was an area drug kingpin. On January seventh of 1996 he pulled a gun on one other affiliate and threatened to kill them in the event that they couldn’t pay their debt. Later that evening he could be arrested when Officer Raines of Glenpool Oklahoma noticed Hunnicutt driving erratically on the highway. The automobile pulled to the shoulder however took time to decelerate, indicating to officer Raines that they might have been stalling to cover one thing.The automobile didn’t belong to Hunicutt. And him and his passengers gave the officer totally different solutions for his or her vacation spot that evening, and the passengers appeared extraordinarily nervous. Officer Raines referred to as in a canine unit and began looking the automobile. They discovered .22 caliber ammunition and intensive monetary information, together with a bag of methamphetamine. Officers completed looking the automobile and located “a knife between the seats and a loaded .44 magnum revolver on the console. On the police station, officers recovered a number of extra weapons, narcotics, digital scales, ammunition, drug dealing information, a police scanner, and used and unused syringes.” These fees would later be documented in the USA Vs. Hunnicutt case.

HUnicutt was launched on bail and only a month and a half in a while February 21st 1996 round eight:10 or eight:15 within the morning, Danny’s neighbors noticed a wierd man who they might later determine as Hunnicutt moving into Danny’s automobile. Police chief Gayle Wells mentioned “Neighbors noticed him put a protracted gun, both a shotgun or rifle, right into a case and place it inside a brown, early ’80s four-door Oldsmobile,”. Simply minutes later round eight:30 am neighbors referred to as the Hickory Grove Volunteer Hearth division to report smoke coming from Danny’s trailer. Firefighters have been capable of get within the house whereas solely a part of it was in flames, and located Danny Oakley and Doris Harris of their mattress, already useless from gunshot wounds to the top. They each had methamphetamine of their methods

Later that day Denny Ray Hunnicutt was arrested in Danny Oakley’s automobile , which he’d parked on a road in north Miami. He’d been there, in entrance of somebody’s home since about 10:30 am and the resident of mentioned property was involved. Kay Darr the North Miami police chief, acknowledged the automobile from an earlier alert and referred to as in Miami Police and Ottawa county deputies to assist, and Hunnicutt was arrested. He gave the impression to be intoxicated, however not drunk.

The following day on February 22nd Hunnicutt appeared in Ottawa county court docket on a felony cost from 1994 on the request of DA Ben Loring. He was dealing with a 1994 cost for illegal supply of marijuana, together with misdemeanor warrants that had been the results of failure to pay fines with regard to 1992 fees. He was held on $552,000 bail. Jennifer Earls the assistant DA for Delaware county mentioned they’d obtained a warrant to go looking Hunnicutt and his residence, and are evaluating samples to these discovered on the scene of the crime. That very same day the OSBI searched Oakley’s trailer

On february 24th Gayle Wells instructed the Joplin Globe that “we now have at the very least two doable motives for the killings. They’re taking us to quite a lot of folks we now have to interview and leads that must be adopted earlier than we all know something particular.” Wells went on to say “over the following few days this case goes to be like watching grass develop to the skin observer. We’re concerned in issues we are able to’t focus on till we now have extra strong proof.” This text says Hunnicutt was discovered with two handguns within the automobile and Methamphetamine possession fees have been added to the mounting proof towards Him. Wells went on to say that they have been ready till the post-mortem studies got here again earlier than they examined the handguns as proof, and have been persevering with to observe up on any leads that got here in for others concerned. Wells additionally talked about that the OSBI was nonetheless sorting by bodily proof in and across the trailer.

After the OSBI was achieved with the crime scene, Paula went to Oakley’s home and located two duffel baggage packed by the door. The duffel bag tells Paula that they have been planning to depart possible the following day as Doris would procrastinate with packing for a visit and all the time throw issues collectively the evening earlier than. It seemed as in the event that they have been going someplace with heat climate as her sister had packed quick t-shirts and swimsuits.

Doris additionally discovered a calendar ebook that had not been taken into proof. The ebook went again fifteen years, and contained conferences and telephone numbers. Danny stored three totally different telephone numbers and Doris says police by no means seemed into anybody that he’d talked to on his telephone main as much as his demise, or tried to come up with his numerous telephone information.

Considered one of Danny’s associates wrote Paula a letter quickly after the murders, detailing a few of Danny’s involvement in medicine in addition to a disagreement he’d had with one other particular person over the possession of a ship. The creator of the letter talked about that the disagreement was messy and police have been referred to as, however didn’t level to it as being vital to the case. The letter was principally simply to let her know what kind of unlawful actions Danny could have been concerned in.

On February 27th the Joplin Globe reported that 31 yr previous Oklahoma resident Ronnie Faulkner was being held as a doable witness within the crime. He’d been arrested on the 24th at an area drug supplier’s house close to Grove in relation to the case. Two days in a while February 29th the Globe reported excessive velocity rifle was possible the homicide weapon used, and mentioned that Faulkner was nonetheless being held and had given conflicting statements. Undersheriff Kent Vice mentioned “he was requested about his and Hunnicutt’s actions and actions within the interval earlier than the crime, and he has given two fairly totally different statements with severely conflicting info.”

That very same article talked about that authorities had dominated out two doable motives. They didn’t imagine there was a romantic jealousy aspect to the killings, and so they additionally dominated out that the murders have been drug associated. Ken Vice mentioned “Each drug supplier within the space has been in to inform us it was a success by one other one, however thus far not one of the allegations and rumors have proved to have any substance.” He went on to say that the OSBI had expedited numerous exams of proof regarding the case, and so they have been hoping they may have some solutions quickly, and have been even anticipating a couple of check outcomes again that day.

On April fifth, over a month later the Joplin Globe ran the following piece protecting the case. This text says that Faulkner was seen driving Danny’s automobile someday earlier than the murders however doesn’t specify when. It additionally talked about that every time Faulkner was interviewed he gave a unique story, now as much as 5 totally different accounts. He additionally mentioned that the proof exams taking place on the OSBI lab have been working about 12-16 weeks behind, however hopefully might shed some mild on the case.

On April 11th Ronnie Faulkner’s bail was lowered to $5,000 as a result of he wanted to look earlier than the federal grand jury in Tulsa. Delaware county might have stored custody of Faulkner, however had determined to grant him bail as Faulkner’s legal professional was demanding a each day witness price for his consumer. Vice mentioned they couldn’t afford to carry Faulkner and was unable to get any info on why Faulkner had gotten a federal summons, however mentioned it could have needed to do with the murders.

On April 22nd Assistant District Lawyer Winston Connor argued towards a bail discount for Hunnicutt. Connor argued that the state was planning on submitting two first diploma homicide fees on Hunnicutt with regard to Oakley and Harris. Connor mentioned that medicine have been clearly concerned within the murder, however choose Robert Reavis dominated that they couldn’t maintain Hunnicutt on a bail set for homicide when the one fees filed towards him have been drug associated, so his bail was diminished to $255,000.

In early Might Denny Ray Hunnicutt acquired right into a fistfight with one other inmate and needed to go to the emergency room for a damaged wrist. In the meantime Ronnie Faulkner returned to Delaware county and was required to test in each day to make sure he was staying for the trial.

On Might 21st a preliminary listening to for Hunnicutt mentioned the methamphetamine fees towards him. The arresting officer Kay Darr gave extra particulars about Hunnicutt’s arrest the day of Danny and Doris’s homicide. There was additionally a bag or marijuana, a pouch with two needles and two knives discovered within the automobile. Tom Might requested Darr if Hunnicutt had any precise methamphetamine on him and he replied that Hunnicutt had it in his bloodstream as a result of he was intoxicated, however didn’t odor of alcohol.

On August 10th simply 5 days earlier than he was scheduled to go to court docket in Ottawa county, Denny Hunnicutt was launched to the custody of the U.S. Marshals who have been taking him to Tulsa to face federal fees. The choice was partly made as a result of Hunnicutt wanted surgical procedure on his hand after his damage in Might, and it could have price round $16,000 which the county jail couldn’t afford.

Hunnicutt would go on to face federal fees, and could be described as a drug kingpin within the space, working from at the very least September of 1995 to January of 1996. He was charged particularly with the medicine and weapons discovered on him on January seventh and was sentenced to seven years.

The case grew chilly after that, however round 2002 Paula Barnett and Lorene Bible, mom of Lauria Bible sat down collectively and mentioned the likelihood that their circumstances could possibly be linked. To offer a short abstract of the Lauria Bible case, Lauria had been at a sleepover together with her greatest good friend Ashley Freeman in 1999. The following day authorities discovered the our bodies of Ashley’s mother and father of their burned down cellular house, each shot within the head earlier than the trailer was set on fireplace. On the time Paula and Lorene met, Lauria and Ashley’s destiny was unknown, however the case could be considerably solved in 2018. Three males, Phil Welch, David Pennington, and Ronnie Dean Busick, have been finally recognized because the culprits who had killed Danny and Kathy earlier than taking the ladies and holding them captive for a interval of days earlier than killing them. They have been all concerned in meth making and distribution. Each crimes occurred in the identical space in northeast Oklahoma, simply three years aside, and had hanging similarities in the best way that the murders have been carried out.

In 2003 somebody broke into the house of Carl Oakley, Danny Oakley’s father. In keeping with the Miami Information report, the one gadgets taken have been two weapons that had initially belonged to Danny, in addition to Carl’s paperwork that associated to Danny’s demise.

In some unspecified time in the future earlier than 2005, Paula went to fulfill with a brand new sheriff after he took workplace to introduce herself. When she visited, she discovered the file for her sister’s case was lacking. The unnamed sheriff promised to assist, however the file has by no means been discovered. Every time she meets with legislation enforcement, Barnett brings alongside a blue pocket book containing post-mortem studies, newspaper clippings, and bits of Danny’s journal. That is successfully the one file on the case, because the official one is lacking, and Carl Oakley’s information have been stolen.

In 2005 serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones, referred to as the redneck Ted Bundy would confess to killing Danny Oakley and Doris Harris. This introduced Paula Barnett into the eyes of the media to debate the likelihood. Jones had been arrested for the homicide of Lisa Nichols who had been shot within the head and had her cellular house burned down to cover the proof, and the similarities to the Oakley Harris case have been simple. Jones additionally confessed to the Bible Freeman murders

On January 12th 2005 the Joplin Globe ran an article about Paula Barnett’s concept that the Bible Freeman murders and the homicide of her sister and Danny Oakley have been linked. Paula and Carl Oakley each expressed their frustrations that neither Gene Haynes nor sheriff Jimmie Sooter would speak to them in regards to the particulars of what Jones instructed them. Carl mentioned “I noticed Danny virtually daily and I by no means noticed this Jones down there”. He mentioned that even when Jones was concerned, he was not the one one and mentioned “However I hope he retains speaking, I hope he drags all of them into it” Carl went on to say that he suspects Hunnicutt could have killed Oakley and Harris, however even when he didn’t, that he possible is aware of who did.

In Might of 2005 Paula went to Ottawa county courthouse to overview the information of Doris’s demise with legislation enforcement. She had observed that there was an unidentified finger print and 4 palm prints that didn’t match Hunnicutt, Harris, or Oakley. Barnett requested a couple of totally different officers concerned with the case in the event that they’d matched Jones’s prints to these present in Oakley’s automobile, however they wouldn’t present her with a solution both means, and mentioned they couldn’t go into element about Jones’s confession.

Barnett determined to jot down to Jones herself, and spent the day that may have been Doris’s 50th birthday composing the letter. Usually she would spend the day bringing flowers to Doris’s grave, however determined she needed to do one thing extra for her. Jones by no means wrote her again.

Someday within the late spring of 2005 Paula met with Agent Steve Nutter to narrate her frustrations, and he was not overly useful. He merely careworn what he’d been saying all alongside, that she mustn’t go to the media together with her info. To convey again the Bible Freeman case once more, Steve Nutter is the OSBI agent referred to as out by identify by Ashley freeman’s grandfather Glenn, Ashley’s uncle Dwayne Vancil, and Personal Investigator Tom Pryor as being suspicious or incompetent. They, together with a couple of witnesses within the affidavit declare that Steve Nutter repeatedly rejected info introduced ahead that may have solved the case sooner. One notable occasion being that the insurance coverage card of Phil Welch’s girlfriend was discovered by Tom Pryor on the scene of the crime only a day or two after the ladies have been taken. Nutter rejected this proof, and instructed Pryor and Vancil that they have been wanting into different suspects. This successfully turned the investigation away from Phil Welch whereas the ladies have been nonetheless alive and being tortured in Welch’s house. One witness within the affidavit tried to report what he knew in regards to the murders years later, and particularly talked about the insurance coverage card discovered, and Steve Nutter reportedly referred to as him a liar, and instructed him no such card was discovered. There have been quite a few different incidents that created stress between legislation enforcement and the Bible Freeman households, however many individuals level particularly to Steve Nutter as being the one who botched the investigation.

As of 2005 DennyRay Hunnicutt was a free man. He was nonetheless racking up minor fees, DUI and visitors violations however by no means did anymore time after his launch from his preliminary federal fees. He was by no means charged in relation to the deaths of Oakley and Harris regardless of the media circus in 2005 bringing consideration to the chilly case. On August 12th of 2006 Denny Ray Hunnicutt handed away, and it’s doable that any likelihood of discovering solutions for the case dies with him.

Throughout one of many final articles that introduced consideration to the case, Paula didn’t appear optimistic about getting solutions, telling the Miami Information Report “My sister did not need to die this fashion. Neither did Danny Oakley. I really feel like we’ll by no means know who killed them.” She has her suspicions although, after studying by related homicides and drug associated deaths, Paula Barnett instructed the Miami information report that “There are too many unusual coincidences that occur again and again in Delaware County.” Methamphetamine, homicide and arson are widespread elements in lots of murders or suspicious deaths in northeast Oklahoma, and Paula thinks that most of the names rumored to be concerned in these deaths could all be linked to one another.

The case of Danny Oakley and Doris Harris didn’t get swept up within the media frenzy when the murders of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman have been solved, and it hasn’t seen any form of media consideration since 2005. If that unknown set of fingerprints was ever examined towards Welch, Pennington, or Busick it was not reported. However the chance that the 2 circumstances have been linked nonetheless exists. Lorene Bible maintains that the Bible Freeman case just isn’t 100% solved. The three males who killed her daughter, together with Ashley and her mother and father have been a part of a bunch referred to as the Chetopa 5, and solely the three suspects have been recognized. Who the opposite two have been stays a thriller.

Each Lorene Bible and Paula Barnett assume there are different culprits concerned their respective circumstances. Each Denny Ray Hunnicutt, and the three males recognized within the Bible Freeman murders have been excessive up within the ranks of native meth manufacturing and distribution. Whether or not they knew one another or have been concerned in the identical networks is unclear. Paula Barnett was the one individual documented saying that the 2 circumstances have been possible linked, and didn’t identify some other circumstances that fell below the “unusual coincidences” umbrella. However Glenn Freeman has made related statements in regards to the Bible Freeman case. He believes extra blood has been spilled over the quilt up of his granddaughters homicide. Whether or not or not the 2 circumstances have something to do with one another, Paula Barnett just isn’t alone in pondering that there are extra folks concerned in a legal community in northeast Oklahoma who’re answerable for drug working, arson and homicide, who’ve but to be delivered to justice.

Newspapers used are: The Joplin Globe, The Miami Information Report, The Oklahoman, and Tulsa World from the years 1996 and 2005.

Right here’s the wiki web page on the Bible/Freeman murders

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Lauria_Bible_and_Ashley_Freeman

Listed below are the articles I can hyperlink straight:

https://www.miamiok.com/article/20050601/news/306019981

https://www.tulsaworld.com/archive/man-questioned-in-grove-deaths/article_9ea194bf-1f1f-5be2-a564-73cc731c3af7.html