Wednesday, July 26, 2017


                        MURDERS  IN  THE  CHICKEN  SHACK

                                        NORMAN  V.  KELLY


It was a cool morning around 6:15 when a man walked into the dining room of the old Chicken Shack over at 40l6 New York. It was September 20, 1964, fall was in the air, but the dramatic changing of the leaves was still a couple of weeks away. The man hesitated a moment, glancing over at the five people sitting in the dining room, playing cards and sipping coffee at a dining room table. The five card players recognized the man but there was no cheery hello to him, they sure as hell were not fond of this intruder.


He walked over to the table and pointed his finger at one of the women,

                   “I want my forty dollars and I want it now.”

The man then walked back to the door he’d entered and disappeared. Before he left one of the men shouted out after him, “Shoeshine…don’t start that stuff in here.”


The three ladies looked at each other as one of the men walked over to close the door. A few minutes later the man came back inside and walked briskly over to the table, he stopped a few feet from the lady and again, pointing his finger at her said “I want my money and you have four minutes to give it to me.” He turned his back as she protested, walking over to the jukebox in which he deposited a coin. The folks at the table looked at him:  he stood there, looking over at them. “You got three and a half minutes left,” he said, pointing at the clock.


The man waited until the music ended then walked over to the table. In a quick movement of his hand he pulled out a wicked looking black gun and fired the weapon at point blank range! The huge slug smashed into the woman’s forehead knocking her backward in her chair.


The victim’s friend screamed “My God you shot Dorrie!” The others

looked on in stark terror.


The killer pointed the gun at the lady, “Yeah, and I’m going to shoot you too, you bitch.” The gun then roared twice in rapid succession sending two slugs into the hapless woman’s head!


After the first shots were fired the two men and one of the ladies scattered, one man even managed to run from the building.

The lone female survivor ran to the TV room to hide underneath one of the windows until she heard the man leave. With trepidation she looked out of the window and watched as the killer tried to start one of the cars in the parking lot. The man gave up, got out of the car, and walked off toward War Memorial Drive.

The frightened woman then ran to the telephone. “Get me the police!”

Screaming, she told the operator “A man’s been shot…a man is dead!”


                              A  KILLER  ON  THE  LOSE


Actually the Chicken Shack is what all of Peoria called the place, but in reality it was the Peoria Heights Motel. A man certainly well known here in town, Cabrisco (Bris) Collins owned the place. Hell, legally he didn’t actually own It but had a lease to the property. His sister-in-law Shirley McDonald ran the motel, which came with a reputation. The local health authorities had come down on the place more than once and had had a hearing the same week that the murder occurred. For you folks old enough to have visited the Chicken Shack back in the old days, I’m sure you have your own ideas about the place.


Over there at 4016 New York the motel suddenly became the busiest place in town as the detectives and technicians swarmed all over it. Once the witnesses made it clear to the police that the man they wanted was Arthur (Shoeshine) Anderson, the word was flashed and the all out search for him began immediately. An inch by inch search of the place was made hoping that the killer had either dropped his weapon or hidden it, but the officers never found it. Deputy Jack Ewend found a suitcase that had been left in the hallway at the rear of the building, which they quickly identified as Anderson’s property. They found a very interesting little black box in the suitcase, which they coveted as evidence.


The first lady that was shot, Dorrie Cooley was pronounced dead at the scene, while the second victim, Marjorie Hurd was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital. She was pronounced dead there in the emergency room.


Detectives found two holes in the walls, spent cartridges on the floor and

fingerprints around the dining area. Down at the hospital, a physician recovered a .45 slug that had fallen into the bloody towel wrapped around the second victim’s head. The officers were building an airtight case against the alleged shooter, now all they had to do was find him.

While police cars roared around town running down tips and leads,

Anderson was cooling it along side the railroad tracks in a weed patch. He had stayed there during the day and as the sun began to go down, he activated himself and walked toward Prospect Road. He ate something there in the heights then walked down toward the Clark Station in the 4400 block of Prospect Road. He stood just inside the open door looking out at the traffic, talking to John Davis, the night attendant. Jack told the police that Anderson had told him that he was trying to get to Chillicothe to catch a train.


Who was this man, this Arthur Anderson? Shoeshine was his nickname

and at Age 40, he was well known by several police departments. The reporters were told by several officers that Anderson had been arrested 66 times in his lifetime. There is no real verification of that but he certainly knew his way around a police station. Back in the l940’s he’d been arrested numerous times for pilfering, assault with a deadly weapon, gambling, soliciting and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He had more than one arrest for carrying a concealed weapon, assault and battery and disorderly conduct. He had spent 40 days in jail for carrying a concealed weapon; his last arrest was in l964 on a traffic charge. He had spent time in prison in Joliet and Menard for larceny. In Portland Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver he had arrests records as well. Top those off with his record in Pittsburgh, California and Chicago, and you get an idea of this man’s career in crime. The folks in Peoria asked just one question; why in the hell was he out walking our streets?


A call came into the Peoria Heights Police Department that sent officer

Pendleton to the Clark Station. There he found the man they were looking for and immediately he had him raise his hands. Pendleton said “What’s your name?” Anderson answered “Al.”  Officer Doyle Funcannon from the Peoria Police Department pulled up to the gas station. He saw that the suspect was leaning against the wall with his hands against it and under control. He walked up and said “Shoeshine you are under arrest on suspicion of murder.” Anderson was cuffed and put in the back seat of the police car and taken to the Peoria Heights Police Station. The prisoner was then turned over to Sheriff Trunk and taken to the Peoria County Jail. The massive manhunt was called off and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. When Sheriff Trunk tried to talk to the suspect, Anderson turned his head away.

                              “I ain’t got nothin’ to say.”



                                       THE  VICTIMS                                    



Horace Payton the venerable coroner talked a little bit about the victims

during the inquest over their bodies. Marjorie Hurd was a married woman separated from her husband who lived in Merrill, Wisconsin. She was 30 and listed her occupation as an exotic dancer appearing around town, especially at Mike and Mike’s in Peoria. She lived out at the Heights Motel with the other victim, Dorrie Cooley, age 25


The coroner said that both women met their deaths at the hands of a man wielding a .45 caliber automatic, dying within moments of each other. The coroner said they had died almost instantly from the heavy caliber slugs. The two friends had been in Peoria about one year. Marjorie Hurd came here from Little Rock Arkansas to work and be with her friend Dorrie Cooley. They shared a cabin out there at the Heights Motel and had been there about five weeks before they were killed. The bodies were taken back to their hometowns for burial.


In a sense the survivors of the shooting were victims by being so near a terrifying ordeal like they had gone through. It was traumatizing and the things nightmares are made of. The state’s attorney’s office decided that these three material witnesses needed to be secured so the SA brought them up before a judge and had them bonded in the amount of $5,000.00 each.  Hell, that’s like bail. They asked the court just who the hell the suspect was them or Anderson?  None the less the SA wanted to make sure they stayed around for the two trials and that was the only way they could assure it other than jailing them.


The three witnesses, Shirley McDonald, Agnew McDonald and Willie

Venable accepted their plight and put up the bond. The SA told them that his cases rested upon their testimony; after all they were the rarest of rare breeds in a murder case…an eyewitness. Shirley was notified that a trial was set on 9-24-l964 concerning the attempt by the Peoria County Health Department to shut her down. The authorities led by Doctor Fred Long of the health department and the SA, James Cunningham wanted the motel and the restaurant closed and declared a public nuisance. Not because of the murder, but previous complaints. So life went on as it usually does once the suspected killer is behind bars, and by the time the leaves began to fall, Anderson was forgotten about.


The grand jury voted true bills against Arthur Anderson, which included the two murder charges. These were first degree capital crimes and that meant the death penalty. In capital crimes the defendant is not eligible for bond, and Anderson would wait behind bars for his trial. Actually, the SA would try the murder cases one at a time, first Cooley then Hurd.


                               TRIAL NUMBER ONE


I said the charges meant the death penalty, that sounds good, but in reality, here in Illinois the jury has to recommend the death penalty. If you look at the trial history here in town, you will soon realize that they rarely vote for that recommendation. In fact you would have to go back as far as l948 to find it when that jury voted to execute Herman Weber for killing Flavel Fueger. Would history repeat itself in this capital murder trial?


Prior to the trial the SA let it be known that he would indeed seek the death penalty which immediately would make selecting the jury much more difficult. Let’s face it; the death penalty is very controversial. Citizens that would quickly put a defendant in jail for 300 years would bulk at a death sentence. As it turned out it took four days, and 65 rejections to pick the jury, and the reason was the knowledge that the jurors would have to vote death or not death in the event that the defendant was found guilty. I hate to say it out loud, but there are jurors who seek to get on a jury for one reason and that is to vote against the death penalty. Sad but true.


A public defender was selected for Anderson, but he soon rejected him and told the judge he wanted someone else. Attorney Elmo Koos was then appointed for the defense by the judge. Koos was a damn good lawyer and certainly had his successes. Of course he was paid well for his services, but not in this case. Still, later the judge and the prosecutor would say publicly that he did “an admiral job.” I can tell you this, Elmo took a hell of a lot of abuse and personal attacks from Anderson throughout the trial but somehow managed to maintain his dignity and do his duty at the same time.


Another stumbling block was the fact that this trial could run well over a week and that the jury would be sequestered. For those unfortunate jury prospects that did not understand the word sequestered, they soon found out that it meant staying in the Pere Marquette for a week or so. Not bad duty if you are free to enjoy yourself, but to them it meant being in a cell, comfortable, yes, but still in jail for a week. They could not have lengthy telephone calls, read about or talk about the trial or freely walk about the hotel. Now you see another reason why 65 prospective jurors walked out the door wanting no part of that strict regime.


It was January l965, when the courtroom of Judge Henry Ingram filled up with spectators, and the trial finally got underway. The opening arguments were very emotional and the folks leaned forward in anticipation of a damn good trial. State’s Attorney George Kennedy told the jury “you have the right to fix a death penalty.” Kennedy walked closer to the jury looking at each of them “I will not stand here and demand anything, but I can conceive of no case that would warrant or merit the death penalty than this one.”


That certainly set the tone and it was obvious that the SA wanted this man to die in the electric chair and he set out from the opening bell to make sure that he put him there.


The People presented their case, opening with the three witnesses to the shooting. Shirley McDonald, Agnew McDonald and Willie Venable followed each other to the stand explaining to the jury the horror they witnessed that day the defendant shot Dorrie Cooley. They were warned and rehearsed about mentioning the shooting of Marjorie Hurd. The jury could not hear one word about Hurd’s shooting. Mr. Kennedy made a serious error when he mentioned ‘the two murders.’ He spent the next five minutes begging the Court’s pardon and asking the jury to disregard the remark. Koos made two motions for a mistrial, but Ingram allowed the remark to be stricken from the record and told the jury to disregard it. The jury sat mesmerized as the horrible shooting unfolded before them, dramatic stuff indeed. The judge ordered a short recess and as the crowd milled around outside the courtroom it was obvious to them that this jury would take less than an hour to convict this man…hell, maybe less.


From the opening round the defendant seemed agitated, talking to his lawyer, writing furiously on a legal pad, appearing as if he were ready to jump up at any moment. Finally he did just that, bolting from his chair, alarming the deputies on duty. He approached the bench carrying the legal pad. Koos looked up at the judge he shrugged, showing the judge that he was not in control. For those of you who knew Judge Henry Ingram you know that this kind of behavior was dangerous. He glared down at the man in front of him. “You have a motion?” 

Arthur Anderson then began to rant and rave to the judge making motion after motion, asking for a mistrial and suppression of all the evidence. Ingram listened to the man’s rant then calmly said “motions denied.”


The trial continued until late afternoon before another outburst brought the trial to an end until the matter was cleared up. The jury was excused, as arguments began in front of the judge’s bench. Anderson told the judge that Koos was trying this case without consulting him. He complained that his court appointed lawyer spent more time consulting with the prosecution than he did with him. He told the judge that Koos was not asking the questions that he wanted asked of the witness and demanded that the judge order a mistrial. Politely the judge listened then again he looked at the distraught defendant “motions denied.” Before the trial was over Anderson would make ten personal motions to the judge, all were denied. Koos then made a motion of his own asking the court to have his client examined by two court-appointed psychiatrists. This motion was granted and Ingram ordered the defendant to be seen by Dr. Jerome Cripe and Dr. Tangle. Court was adjourned and Anderson was taken back to his cell continuing his tirade as he was shackled and taken away.


Over at Anderson’s cell the turnkey read the order to the defendant and was about to take him to a room where the doctors would talk to him. Anderson refused to budge stating that his rights were being violated. He then began to read from his notes citing his right to remain silent. The doctors gave up and left the jail. Back in court Elmo Koos filed an oral motion asking to be excused from the case. “Motion denied,” said the judge. The judge then waived the order for the examination telling the lawyers to get back in the courtroom and start the trial again. After that, Anderson pretty much sat back and watched the proceedings against him move forward.


                                  AND  THE  ANSWER  IS?


After so much time, in and out of the courtroom, sequestered, left in the dark, surely the jury was ready to render a verdict on this case and go home. Reporters and spectators gathered outside the courtroom during the break, milling about talking. “Three people saw this man kill those women, what in the hell more could they ask?” One of the reporters took an informal poll among the thirty or so people standing there, each and every one of them felt that Anderson would get the death penalty.


Once both sides rested their cases the courtroom filled up again for the final arguments. This phase of any trial gives the lawyers a bit of freedom to tell the jury what they had just heard. It always reminded me of TV personalities telling the viewer what the President of the United States just said. Jesus, we just heard him, why do they feel they have to tell us what he said? Of course the lawyer is going to put his own spin on it, and sometimes that brings a string of objections from the other side. Kennedy told the jury that this was a heinous, brutal crime and that the penalty should be the death penalty.


Elmo Koos told the jury that it was a conspiracy by the witnesses. His client did not kill Dorrie Cooley and demanded that Anderson be acquitted. Even the SA told the jury “that if you can find a reasonable doubt then you should acquit.” He was that certain that the evidence showed that Arthur Anderson had killed Dorrie Cooley in a brutal, cold-blooded manner. Hell, hadn’t he just proven that beyond a reasonable doubt?


Eighteen days, that’s right, eighteen days it had taken to bring this case to a close. It was now February 22, l965 and as the trial concluded the jury stirred with eagerness to get on with it. They got the case and began deliberations. They took breaks, broke for lunch and found themselves deliberating on Saturday morning, and still no verdict. The judge called them in and sent them back to deliberate further. Finally after fourteen hours the jury was called back into Judge Henry Ingram’s Courtroom.


                     ‘I assume you are unable to reach a verdict?”


Foreman Don Schaffer concurred, “That’s correct your honor.”


So the jury of five men and seven men were dismissed. They had heard the evidence, listened to 32 instructions of the law by Judge Ingram and were unable to agree as to the verdict. Eighteen days, all those witnesses, all that testimony for nothing. The prosecution was bitterly disappointed; the defense was tasting somewhat of a victory. But…in the end it was all for naught, the entire process would have to be done all over. Justice is a fleeting mistress.


                                  TRIAL  NUMBER  TWO


MARCH 26, 1965                                                        PEORIA, ILLINOIS


The new trial began with the lengthy process of picking another jury, with both sides trying to incorporate what they had learned from picking the last jury. Think about it for a moment, the SA’s office would put on the same evidence and the defense would counter just like the first trial. What then was the big difference? Of course it was or would be the jury. Nothing really changed in the second trial it had the same defendant, same facts, different jury and a different victim. This time the jury would not be allowed to hear anything about the murder of Dorrie Cooley, this time it would be all about Marjorie Hurd.


Judge Albert Pucci would preside.  He was a small, fiery man from Putnam County. Pucci was a no nonsense judge, a judge that leaves no doubt in anyone’s  mind that he is in charge. George Kennedy, the State’s Attorney would have Tom Trager as his assistant, and again, court appointed defense attorney Elmo Koos. Based on the relationship he had with Anderson there wasn’t a lawyer in town who envied the job he had ahead of him. 


The battle raged just like it did in the first trial, but this one moved along at a quicker pace. Bother lawyers knew from the last trial what evidence would be allowed, so less shadow boxing was done. There was a black box I told you about that became a bone of contention. This cuff links box was found in the suitcase of the defendant when he left it at the motel. Inside it, along with a set of cuff links, were five .45 caliber bullets. The prosecution had on the stand a ballistics expert, Mr. Litterly. Kennedy picked up Exhibit 22 and walked over to the witness. Koos objected telling the court that the exhibit had not been admitted into evidence. After some heated argument, the Judge refused to allow the little black box into evidence. Kennedy seemed a bit perplexed as he looked at his notes then up at the judge “Your honor I have no further questions for this witness.”  


The story unfolded from the witness box until the People finally rested. The defense put on two employees from Illinois Bell to verify that the telephone call that morning of the murder had come from the Heights Motel. Koos asked the operator about what the lady had said when she called. He wanted the jury to hear the woman say that the caller had told her that a man had been shot not a woman.


So the trial of Shoeshine Anderson for the murder of Marjorie Hurd came to an end. This time the jury consisted of eight women and four men. They got the case and then went out to lunch and upon their return began their deliberation. What would the verdict be this time?


                             BETTER  LUCK  THIS  TIME?


After six hours the jury came back, it was April 2, l965. Jury Foreman John Anderson handed the piece of paper with the verdict written on it to the bailiff. The courtroom was quiet as the judge looked at the verdict then over at the Defendant. The bailiff handed the verdict to the judge as Elmo Koos and Shoeshine Anderson stood.


 “The jury finds the defendant Arthur Anderson guilty as to all counts.”


Elmo Koos then asked that the jury be polled. The judge asked each and every juror if that indeed was his or her verdict. They all answered that it was. The jury did not recommend the death penalty so the sentencing would be up to Judge Albert Pucci. He could not give the death penalty but he certainly could sentence Anderson to the maximum time if he chose to do so. The judge then told the lawyers that they had until May 5 to file any post trial motions, bang went the gavel, court dismissed.


                                 JUDGE  PUCCI  DECIDES


It was May 26, l965 when Judge Pucci entered his courtroom to pass sentence upon Defendant Arthur Anderson for the murder of Marjorie Hurd. He sat at the bench looking out at the spectators, waiting for them to quiet down, which they quickly did.


            “The court of this state has but one function and that

              is to protect the liberty of its citizens. If a man injuries

              another and damages that man then the plaintiff should

              be made whole”


The judge went on to tell the folks in the courtroom how precious liberty was. Then he got to the sentencing aspect of the trial.


             “The jury that found the defendant guilty for taking the life of

               Marjorie Hurd spared him the ultimate loss of liberty. Marjorie Hurd will never know liberty again. What was her liberty? It

is the duty of this court to take the defendant’s liberty.”


Judge Albert Pucci then sentenced Arthur (Shoeshine) Anderson to 80 years minimum to a maximum of 85 years in the state penitentiary. 

Before the judge was able to leave the bench, Anderson was there in front of him with another list of hand-written motions. “Motions denied,” the judge said. Pucci then asked if the defense wanted to appeal, which they did.


Anderson would be delivered to the penitentiary where he would await the appeal process. There was one little bit of business left and that was the trial for the murder of Dorrie Cooley. Would they try Anderson again?



                                 SHOESHINE  IS  BACK


Down in the Bat Cave, which is what I call the Archives, where Barry and his small staff serve Peoria without benefit of windows, I read the court files. All of the handwritten notes from Anderson are in the file. They are tirades, scribbles, yes, but they made some strange sense taken in the overall view. I realized that the man was fighting for his life, he’d most certainly taken the lives of two women, but his was important to him. The case was on appeal and Anderson was in the Psychiatric Division of the Illinois State Penitentiary up in Menard.


On June l0, l965, the warden sent Arthur Anderson down to Peoria under heavy guard for a hearing in front of Judge Pucci. The state’s attorney had asked the court to set the second trial of Anderson for the murder of Dorrie Cooley. All parties met that day and the decision was made to put the case off “Generally,” which meant that it would probably never be heard. Assistant State’s Attorney Richard Eagleton and Tom Trager were eager to try the matter, but it didn’t look like they would get a chance.


So let’s leave this case and move on to the next story. Arthur Shoeshine Anderson died in l987 while still a guest of the State of Illinois.

Editor’s Note:   Norm is a Peoria Historian and author of twelve books available only in the Peoria Library.







Peoria, Illinois:  A lot of Peorians, when they think of Prohibition here in Peoria, think it was like Chicago and the Al Capone gangster days.  It was not.  According to what reports you read well over 500 to 700 people were killed up there during Prohibition.  Here in Peoria we had 72 murders reported from 1920 thru  1933…ONE  That’s right ONE was connected in anyway with a “Bootlegging’ operation or shoot out.


1920         7                 1921       10         1922      9          1923      4


1924         4                 1925        2          1926     2           1927      3


1928         2                  1929        5          1930      9          1931      5


1932         9                   1933        1       


Prohibition is over    1934    we have  6   murders..


Total during Prohibition    72     that averages out to  5.5 murders per year here in Peoria, Illinois during the   13 years of Prohibition…..


1924 Detective Keene in attempting to stop the break in of one of his RR cars he was paid to protect was shot.  The body of a member of that gang was a man called HORN.  His body was in a field on Griswold Street…Ballistics at that time, according to police  showed that the slugs in Horn came from RR Detective Keene...the bullet in Keene came from the gun police found with Horn…believe that?  Well, that’s the official record.




MURDERS    1940


           Fowler was killed in a fight over a woman…No arrest made


           Ed.  Canady   Killed his wife then shot himself

            Jim Comien shot and killed his Mother

            Walter Barnewalt shot over a Half Dozen  Eggs.


                                         MURDERS     1941


Booker   and James   Killed  DOYLE PING   he insulted their wives….

 Louise Cohen  Found Dead…NO Gun?   Later police said his sister took the gun and threw it in the river????

 2 other domestic killings as well

                                               MURDERS   1942




Lyle Mooberry Killed his  Son-In-Law  he just never liked him




                                                       MURDERS    1943






Miller shot Caldwell with a shot gun…Caldwell was tying to kill his sister.


Mille Allen found dead in her bathroom  Boyfriend Jim Strother arrested.


Attorney WALTER   DONLEY  missing  went out to lunch  never came back.


  A Man Named   ALCAREZ    stabbed his girlfriend   Miss Campos to death


Mildred   Cornelius Shot her husband with his shotgun attempted to kill herself…


Roy ROBERTS was killed because he insulted a Man’s wife.


Art Williams killed Bernie Harris with a knife  they were arguing over a rug their wives wanted to buy.



        Sorry…A 9 year old girl ran out in front of CaRL Shelton’s car…

Coroner’s y exonerates.


                                MURDEROUS   TEENS








The killers:             JERRY  PEDDICORD     ROBERT  TAYLOR


David  wanted to fit in   he was not friends with these guys  but HE had a 1953  Chevrolet   so they all ended up in his car  flipped him back of head  tormented him  they also told him they wanted to borrow the car..  drove around one kid broke a bottle and cut his hand  they went to ER  there they stole a can of   ETHER..  Plus they had a fifth of whiskey etc   in the car    CUT   hand


Put Fifty-cents of gas in and he agreed to drive them over to East Peoria  they ended up on fondulac drive and the hitting got severe  he stopped the car to defend himself   they drug him out  beat him tormented him and finally knocked him out   Let’s DRIVE over his head…. Finaly they beat him with a fence post    Ran Over his legs and killed him  they rolled body off the road down a slight revine into  WOODFOR COUNTY    DURST    JURISDICTION  I WENT TO HIS HOUSE   GOT TO ME HIM AND HIS LOVELY WIFE…


They finally did drive over his legs  tossed him off the road and took the car…he rolled into  WOODFORD   COUNTY>>> SHERIFF     QUENTIN    JIM     DURST….


Gas station guy called  sheriff and Police   so Peoria Tazewell and Woodford county…


Sensational headlines   crowds  at  Coroner’s Inquest and people Gasped at the medical examiner’s details of David’s injuries..


Grand jury  indicts   Trial set for March 26-1965


They all plead guilty   sentence to  30-60  years


Most of them out by 1976  or so.


DAVID   WATERS     out  back in jail when he made a deal with police to take them to the bodies  of   Atheist   Madelyn O’Hare  her adopted daughter and son…Down in TEXAS  he was given immunity to testify  although he two  was one of the killers.  So he took them to the dismembered bodies  horrible details of that murder   but they never would have solved it or found the bodies   not sure but I think David Waters finally died in jail  I hope so anyway.


Witness  and quickly Sheriff got a name   called Peoria and soon all 4 of the killers were identified and picked up by Peoria Police…