Death rode the highway on highway 161 east of Centralia, early this morning and claimed the life of Charlotte Frazier. Authorities claim to be a murder, and as aftermath resulted in suicide of unnamed Kell man. Mrs. Frazier was found lying in a pool of blood, about 5 miles east of city. She died an hour after reaching St. Mary’s hospital. Her shoes were sitting on embankment, near automobile, and a blood-stained car crank was lying on pavement. Trio of Mrs. Frazier and a woman and man had been to Wamac and had quarreled all evening, with hostile words between Mrs. Frazier and man. They had left Centralia at 4am, apparently had been drinking quite a bit. The man was weaving all over road, swerving back and forth threatening to kill Mrs. Frazier. Woman in car with them, turned off switch, because she was scared, got out of car and hitched a ride to Salem. Mrs. Frazier was beaten to death, the Kell man walked a distance of 20 miles to rural home, got shotgun from in front of door of elderly woman and shot himself. Investigation by Homer Lewellan, sheriff, and Robert Hancock, who was coroner, revealed Mrs. Frazier had died by being hit by blunt instrument. Verdict of self-inflicted head wounds by 12-gauge shotgun was returned in death of man.
Contributor’s Note: This happened on Dec 24, 1944. Mrs. Frazier was my grandmother.
Submitted by Janice Staples (Frazier)