The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Thu May 14, 2015 10:12 am

Hi Jim;

The suspect was Purnell. Garry posted some of the relevant info here some years ago and also made it available online, here is the first post which has a letter from Dave Jones from the Phoenix city police, and he also was a deputy for Pinal county sheriff.

http://finemodelworks.com/ldmgold/forum ... e1a#p17007

I had posted similar info a few years ago too but for some reason those images will not pull up for me and I am now using a different computer that does not have those scans.

Purnell seems to have later lost the map in an exciting courtroom drama, as he was in a lawsuit with an erstwhile partner, and just when the proceedings were ending, his partner fled the court with the map and Purnell in hot pursuit. I think that was in Utah too.

What I usually do if trying to quote somebody is to just write out:

"name-of-poster" wrote:

and then use the code [ quote ] etc for a quote. It would be nice if there were a way to edit the posts here but apparently there have been issues in the past so that is disabled.
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Fri May 15, 2015 1:03 am

Hi Oro,

Thanks for the link, good stuff. I have to admit I'm curious about the wordiness and willingness of a police detective to share details of what may have been an ongoing investigation with anyone, much less the family of the victim. I'm very surprised he included any rumors at all, info about con games, etc. He did, however, spend a lot of words and time hinting around about maps and the need to have something to compare anything he might turn up with the real deal, in order to solve the case.

Very strange, indeed. I'm aware of who John McGrath was, has anyone checked up on Dan Jones?
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Tue May 19, 2015 7:12 am

Jim,

I’m not sure what kind of info you are looking for on Daniel E. Jones but there is a death certificate for him on the Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates site (Free).

http://genealogy.az.gov/

Daniel E. Jones died in 1961 and his occupation was listed as a policeman.

In the 1910 Census he was still living at home and he was listed as a farmer.

In the 1920 Census he was married with two children and Listed as a Machinist for a Copper Mine.

In the 1921 Phoenix City Directory he was living in Phoenix and his occupation was listed as a Machinist

In the 1930 Phoenix City Directory he was living in Phoenix and his occupation was listed as a Detective.

In the 1940 census Daniel is listed as a detective for the Phoenix City Police Department.

There are several other City Directories available for Jones but I haven’t pursued them but I suspect we could tighten up the timeframe for the Detective/Policeman occupation.

Also, we might be able to turn up more in a search of the newspaper records.

If there is anything you would like for me to pursue let me know.

What do you have on John McGrath?

Garry

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:39 am

Hi Garry, realize this is an OLD thread, but I didn't reply to you (3 years ago!! 8O ), sorry. Somehow life got in the way and I haven't been doing much LDM research but have gotten back into it as of late...

Anyway, thanks for the offer of help...also, wanted to let you know that I didn't have anything on John McGrath, I am only aware of who he was and am aware of his career in the Phoenix PD. At the original time of these posts, I think I was uncertain of whether or not Daniel Jones was actually employed by the PD or was acting in some type of private capacity.

Thanks for the info you provided on Dan Jones, hope all is going well with you! Best regards, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:26 pm

Just a quick note here but if memory serves, the Phoenix city police were working on the murder of Adolph Ruth in their own off-time, not officially as police of the city but as a sort of private detective work. Not that this makes a world of difference but a private detective can do some things that a policeman cannot, although the evidence thus collected is of less standing in courts. I could be mistaken on this point and would have to search for the letters exchanged in which Erwin Ruth had hired them to do the private detective work in their off duty time.

I hope this thread will continue, there is much more that could be unearthed with a bit of research.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:48 am

Hermano Oro,

I agree, I hope this thread will continue...I think your point about the Phoenix PD actually DOES make a world of difference...it's the same thing I was thinking back when we were hashing this around. These guys had no jurisdiction. On top of that, the letter is out of character. No POLICE investigator would reveal that type of information. The letter, as I recall, seemed nothing more than a rather crude attempt to get ahold of any map that the family had. It's been years since I've looked at it, lots of links are now dead, and I can't access Garry's site because Rootsweb got hacked and will be down for months...so I can't look at the letter, I'm going off my foggy memory. Perhaps you still have it?
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:13 am

Gosh I am not sure - I think I saved copies but will have to look. Give me some time to check, will get back to you. Sorry to hear about that hacking crap, one wonders what would be the motivation for it?
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:16 pm

Roy, apparently some hacker was able to figure out a way into the free rootsweb pages, and suck up all the user names and passwords...unfortunately, many people use the same u/n & p/w's for their paid ancestry accounts...so they had to take rootsweb down until they can figure out what happened and secure it...so goes their story, anyway.

I wouldn't look too hard for that letter unless you want to for your own reasons...I remember the gist of it...bottom line, who do you believe had Ruth's map? (rhetorical question) Tex and Adams, or Purnell? Don't think Purnell had a genuine map unless Tex and Adams never really found a map on Ruth's body...I believe Tex, as he gave a copy of the original handwritten note they found on Ruth's body to {someone whose name I don't wish to say here, but will PM you as it's no secret...I like to avoid putting people's names in posts if I can, it's rude...you probably know who it was anyhow} ... So what was it that Purnell had?...that's my question...Best, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:08 am

Hi Jim - I believe that Purnell had a map, in fact it is pretty much a certainty that he had a map as this became an object of contention when he enlisted a new partner, and the partner ran off with his map during a court hearing with Purnell in hot pursuit! Ruth had several maps apparently, which he probably shouldn't have been telling everyone about.

I will keep looking, think I may have copies on a thumb drive that is on loan at the moment. Don't give up on me yet!
Roy
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:47 pm

Hi Roy,
I know he had a map, but was it a "Ruth" map? Here's what I'm thinking: If Keenan and Purnell had any involvement in Ruth's death, how was it that Tex and Adams found Ruth's notes and at least one map on his body a few months later? Wouldn't Keenan/Purnell have taken those items when they killed him, along with the map that Purnell also later had in the courtroom? Best, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:16 am

Potbelly Jim wrote:Hi Roy,
I know he had a map, but was it a "Ruth" map? Here's what I'm thinking: If Keenan and Purnell had any involvement in Ruth's death, how was it that Tex and Adams found Ruth's notes and at least one map on his body a few months later? Wouldn't Keenan/Purnell have taken those items when they killed him, along with the map that Purnell also later had in the courtroom? Best, Jim
Well I could be mistaken as I am writing from memory, but as I recall, a girlfriend of Purnell had 'ratted' on him to the Phoenix police, and she claimed that Purnell said to her he had taken a map from Ruth after killing him, and that he would be able to find the mine with ease. If I can find the letters you can read it for yourself. I can't speak for what Keenan and Purnell would do immediately on killing Ruth, perhaps they felt the other map (left behind) was unimportant, or had found ONE and didn't know another was there, or who knows? I wasn't there so can't say for sure. Anyway the letters between the Phoenix detectives and Erwin Ruth tell quite a story, it could be correct and of course it could be wrong too.

I am still looking, don't give up yet!
Roy
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:28 am

Jim send me your EM address, think I can help now thanks to the assistance of a friend.
Roy
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:26 pm

Hi Roy, thanks to both you and your friend who provided the letters to me via e-mail. As I said in my reply email, I now think I was wrong in my initial assessment that the police in question were only trying to get maps from the Ruth family.

Garry, if you happen to log in and read this: It looks like a PD clerk typed the letters we have been talking about, that you found and made available. Did you get them from the Phoenix PD? Reason I ask, is I thought I might check in with a friend there, but don't want to bother him with it, if you have already looked to see if there's more on file with the PD.

It sounds like they interviewed Purnell's lady friend in AJ at least once, might be revealing to see any files left from that time-frame. Best regards, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by novice » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:01 am

Jim,

I hope the Rootsweb site will be available again soon but who knows.

The Jones letters were given to us by Eleanor Clark, Erwin Ruth's daughter several years ago. She gave us all of her documents that she had retained from her father. We in turn arranged for the whole collection to be passed on to Greg Davis and the Superstitin Historical Society. I did scan all of the documents and posted them on the web site.

I hesitate to get involved with the Jones letters since there is much more info related to the story that was on the rootsweb site. That information needs to be available to paint a more complete picture of the events of Adolph's death and Erwin's activities (1931-1936).

BTW, my wife and I kept in touch with Eleanor and spent a couple of days visiting her in Mobridge, South Dakota a few years ago. She was a big horse person and dearly loved following the triple crown races. We spent a lot of time talking on the phone (nothing about the LDM just sharing life experiences). In 2017 just before the Kentucky Derby she passed away. She was quite a lady and a dear friend. {92 years old}

Garry

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:00 am

Garry,

Good to see you posting. Hope all is well with you folks.

Sad to hear that Eleanor passed away. Just lost my sister about a week ago. Guess we are just at that age when those who have touched our lives are getting to the end.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:37 pm

Garry, thanks for your response. I’m going to go ahead and see what I can dig up at Phoenix PD. I know some people there that might be able to point me in the right direction. It’s a long-shot, I doubt there’s anything there at all, but I might as well pursue it.

Sorry to hear about Eleanor’s passing, I remember seeing a Ruth family picture (in one of the LDM books I think?) where she was a little girl standing by her Dad. It’s good to hear you got to meet her and become friends with her.

Joe, I just sent you an email with a request for help. I also attached an academic document from the 1950’s that I hope you’ll find interesting. I sent the same document to Roy a few days ago. I hope you’re doing OK considering your loss, and hope it will provide at least an opportunity to think about something else, but I would imagine you’re pretty busy with family obligations at the moment. I would appreciate your help but don’t want to impose, take a look at it ONLY if you feel like doing so, OK?

Garry, I will follow your lead on not getting too involved with the Jones letters until your site is back up and the larger story is once again available. If I’m successful in locating anything at Phoenix PD, I will forward everything I find to you. Best regards, Jim
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Oroblanco » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:48 pm

Jim - all thanks are really due to Garry for his excellent and tireless research, and generosity for sharing it without charging us for the privilege.

Garry THANK YOU for your efforts!
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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:46 am

Jim,

You might check around to see if anyone copied the information on Garry's site. Paul might have it, or Greg Davis. I just checked again and the site is still down. If anyone has the information, Garry should. It would be a terrible shame if it's all lost.

Good luck,

Joe

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:48 am

Hi Joe,

From what Garry said in his last post, I took that to mean he was done talking about the Jones letters until his site was back up and people could get a clearer picture of everything in context. Not sure.

As far as the PD, here is what I’ve found out so far from a friend:
1. The files probably don’t exist or wouldn’t be able to be located.
2. If they do exist, they probably wouldn’t be released to the public.
3. If they do exist and there’s a chance they could be released, a certain amount of finesse would be required to make that happen. The bad part is that it’s going to take some time, which I’m told I shouldn’t worry about as it might take more than a year to get an answer back anyway through normal channels. So there it stands for now.

A few years ago and earlier in this thread, you made a comment about something that was found with Ruth's body that wasn’t commented on. I’ve been mulling that over. For what it’s worth, here’s my theory of how it all went down:

1. Ruth didn’t hike to where his body was found. (Leg hurt too much to even get off mount to walk during his trip in)
2. Ruth was sleeping before he was killed. He was roused from sleep and taken somewhere. (No shoes found with body, and his boots were found in “camp”)
3. He was not killed in his “camp”. (No bloodstains or anything “amiss”)
4. Ruth was moved from wherever he was sleeping (not necessarily his “camp”), to some intermediate location for interrogation, then at some point he was executed. Some of his possessions were then taken and at some point placed with the body with the intent to make it look like he died while out hiking. The items were taken before or not long after he was killed, but they forgot to get his boots and they were found in “camp” some days later.
5. Ruth’s remains and items were subsequently packed to where it was found. (No cane found with body)

Where is his cane? Does anyone know if it was found? Thanks, Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by ThomasG » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:39 am

Jim,

Interesting and astute observations. I do not know how thoroughly the area around Ruth’s remains was searched. N0r do I know if there was listing or cataloging of all the items found. If Ruth’s shoes had been their for months would Barkley have retrieved them?I thought I would just add the following.

The lower jaw is attached to the skull by soft tissue only (muscles, ligaments , tendons). There are multiple stories of beheadings in the mountains, one being Ruth’s skull.

If someone’s head is removed and transported to another site, and some time later the skull is found. One should also find the lower jaw somewhere in the vicinity.

In Ruth’s case if he was murdered and his head removed — as some speculate — then the lower jaw should have been somewhere around.

It would be very interesting to know if the bones gathered my Tex Barkley included the lower jaw,

If so then it would imply that Ruth’s skull was quite possible removed by animals and the holes were made by animals (cougar, vulture, ?) to get to the brain matter.

Another interesting thing to know is why Hrdlicka identified the hole in the skull was as made by a bullet.

When a bullet passes through the skull is leaves coning. If you look a glass window hit by a BB you can see a very good example of coning. The outside of the window has a nice round hole, but the interior shows a larger hole in the shape of a cone. I would be most interesting to see Hrdlicka’s notes. But I know not wether they have survived.

What I find interesting is that while Hrdlicka changed his mind on the type of weapon he thought may have been used, he seems to have never wavered on his opinion that the the hole was made by a projectile.

What is also interesting is that Hrdlicks was very familiar with skeletal remains with bullet holes. He had examined skeletal remains of Civil War soldiers killed by bullets, including skull entry and exit wounds.

The above is from memory ….

T

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:06 pm

Potbelly Jim wrote:Hi Joe,

From what Garry said in his last post, I took that to mean he was done talking about the Jones letters until his site was back up and people could get a clearer picture of everything in context. Not sure.

As far as the PD, here is what I’ve found out so far from a friend:
1. The files probably don’t exist or wouldn’t be able to be located.
2. If they do exist, they probably wouldn’t be released to the public.
3. If they do exist and there’s a chance they could be released, a certain amount of finesse would be required to make that happen. The bad part is that it’s going to take some time, which I’m told I shouldn’t worry about as it might take more than a year to get an answer back anyway through normal channels. So there it stands for now.

A few years ago and earlier in this thread, you made a comment about something that was found with Ruth's body that wasn’t commented on. I’ve been mulling that over. For what it’s worth, here’s my theory of how it all went down:

1. Ruth didn’t hike to where his body was found. (Leg hurt too much to even get off mount to walk during his trip in)
2. Ruth was sleeping before he was killed. He was roused from sleep and taken somewhere. (No shoes found with body, and his boots were found in “camp”)
3. He was not killed in his “camp”. (No bloodstains or anything “amiss”)
4. Ruth was moved from wherever he was sleeping (not necessarily his “camp”), to some intermediate location for interrogation, then at some point he was executed. Some of his possessions were then taken and at some point placed with the body with the intent to make it look like he died while out hiking. The items were taken before or not long after he was killed, but they forgot to get his boots and they were found in “camp” some days later.
5. Ruth’s remains and items were subsequently packed to where it was found. (No cane found with body)

Where is his cane? Does anyone know if it was found? Thanks, Jim
Jim,

Can't really argue with much that you have written.

If you read Sims Ely's account of where Ruth's BODY was found, it's a long way from the popular location of his bones. Reread Sims on this subject. Did he just forget where West Boulder Canyon actually was, or did he know exactly what he was talking about? Was that passage something that was missed when the Bark family was editing Ely's book?

Good thinking, as far as I'm concerned.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Potbelly Jim » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:14 pm

Hi Joe and Thomas,

From memory (and MUCH speculation) also…

Thanks Joe, I’ll get Sims Ely out tonight and check it out!

I’ve never seen a list of items recovered with the remains either. I remember reading somewhere that his boots were found in his “camp”. I also don’t believe he was beheaded, as there would have been clear evidence of that on his bones. I think his skull was retrieved and placed where it was found just prior to Brownie’s expedition.

Ruth’s lower jaw is in the picture of Tex bagging up his bones etc. So the jaw was apparently with his body. We are told this was the location found by Tex and Adams in DEC after Brownie found the skull about ½ mile away.

If an animal had broken the skull, the medical examiner /s that looked at it before it was shipped to DC would have likely seen some puncture wounds or scrapes. The cougar or mountain lion has the most powerful jaws (PSI) of any animal in the area, (except possibly a big bear? But I’ve seen bear kills of animals and a bear would have spread Ruth’s bones everywhere…a cougar would have stashed his body so that kinda fits, except his hat, thermos, etc was there. So not a cougar either, unless it was a very polite 8O one and carried all his stuff up there). In both cases, they both have large canines and claws which would have left marks. Don’s explanation of a large bird dropping the skull onto rocks is the only possible animal explanation IMO. But, as you know, there are other areas of the skull that would have also been damaged in such a scenario. So I personally doubt the animal theory, winged or not, in relation to the skull. We are also told that Ruth’s hands and feet were missing, which does sound like post-mortem small animal predation.

I hesitate to say the following with any degree of confidence, as I’m not a doctor, and I think Thomas is…so I’m going to give my scenario with the caveat that it’s total speculation. I agree with the “coning” theory (like a bb leaves in a window) to a certain point. I’ve seen that in armor. We called it “spalling”. I have a little experience with head wounds sustained in combat, and a small fast moving round with a steel core like a 5.56 might do that kind of damage (coning/spalling) to a skull (as we all know, green tip 5.56 ammo wasn’t in use back then, just using it as a comparison to what I’ve seen). The ones I’ve seen to that area of the head looked like a small hole with very little apparent skull damage on entry. I don’t know what the skulls looked like under the skin, but it wasn’t what Ruth’s head looked like.

What Ruth’s skull looks like to me is a slow-mover with a lead core, like a .45 ACP ball round fired at close range (obvious broken skull around the wounds in small and large pieces). Hydrostatic shock, or just the energy transferred to tissue, could also cause bits of bone to be forced out and lost. So to me it looks like Ruth got a slow moving large caliber round that had a soft (lead) core. I don’t know about a shotgun as I’ve never seen a shotgun wound. Whatever caused the holes, I do believe it was a firearm, and not an animal…due to the lack of canine and claw marks, and the delicate bones of the face being intact. I would also say that he was standing, he was aware a gun was pointed at his head (he was probably standing very still), and the person who shot him was about a foot taller than him, and possibly left handed. This is all speculation as to the location and angle of the entry/exit wounds, where someone would stand in relation to a captive when holding someone at gunpoint, and that it would appear he wasn’t a moving target (it would be a very lucky shot to get a moving target in the head, perfectly, from side to side).

Well, that’s my theory, anyway. I don’t think anyone will ever know for sure unless they hear from some old timer that knows what happened. I’m just at the “Ruth” point in Twice Told Tales, so I hope to learn something there also!

Best regards, (and sorry so long winded) Jim
Jim R.

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:15 pm

Jim,

I was told by Gene Reynolds that this was the view that Ruth was looking for. He was in the hunt fairly early after Ruth's murder. Not sure where he got this information.

Image

Just a coincidence that there is a claim at that spot. It's also a coincidence that Ely's location for Ruth's bones also matches this spot.

The name on the claim marker was "DelMonte".

Good luck,

Joe

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by cuzzinjack » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:49 pm

Joe,

Is it just a coincidence that this is what the comparison of the Del Monte photo and photo3 taken from Cerro Negra looks like? Photo3 was posted in the Salazar Survey thread. Should Ruth have backed up a couple miles?

Image

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Re: The Legend of the Superstition Mountains

Post by Cubfan64 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:11 am

Mighty similar view

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