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Due to the graphic nature of this murder case, listener discretion is advised this episode includes dramatizations and discussions of murder and assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.
Now, as you shuffle the deck, feel your energy flow into the cuts, how are these little cards supposed to help you read my fortune?
The cards speak with the signs they present. Ah, Mr. Suchan, I see that you have been a fool fool.
Hey, now, I didn't even want to come here in the first place.
Take no offense, Mister said the fool represents an optimistic adventure in life, someone who is unafraid to explore the world.
I can see the years have blessed you with big adventures. Many friends and I'm yielding love. You have been quite the lucky fool.
Are you sure you haven't spoken to my wife or something? I have not. First, Hierophant Hiura What the Hierophant symbolizes the rigid institutions in our lives, I can see that you are an unshakable force, Mr. Suchan one that abides by the laws of man and nature. But I worry. I see that this current institution you follow it may bring more harm than good.
Everyone knows I work in law enforcement. Dangerous part of the job description. Now what about my future? What I'd rather not just tell me and death, the death card is not always a bad omen.
Sometimes it is simply metaphorical that there will be a great transformation in your life, but your fortune taken as a whole. I see death in your future, Mr. Set.
This is unsolved murders, true crime stories, a podcast original, I'm your host, Carter Roy, and I'm your host, Wendy McKenzie.
Every Tuesday, we dive into the world of a real unsolved murder and try to solve the case.
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This is our final episode on the 1930 murders of federal prohibition agents Dale Francis, Carnoy and Zacchaeus Raymond Sutton. Last week we covered the brutal murder of Dale Carney and the disappearance of Ray Sutton.
This week, we'll dive deeper into their investigations and the theories connecting their unsolved murders.
We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. In the early hours of July 6th, 1930, 30 year old federal prohibition agent Dale F. Carney was shot and killed while walking the city streets of Aguilar, Colorado, as the first federal prohibition agent in Colorado to be killed in the line of duty since prohibition took effect.
Government officials were quick to assemble a team of dogged investigators to bring those responsible to justice. They were known as the Kanae Investigation Task Force.
Deputy regional administrator of New Mexico Charles Stearns sent one of his best men to join the team, 57 year old prohibition agent Zacchaeus Raymond Sutton, who was called Ray.
Oh, hello, Stearn's here. Sorry for the early morning call, Ray.
No problem at all, sir. How can I help you?
I need you to report to Trinidad immediately. And reassigning you, sir. Dale Kearney was just murdered, shot in the middle of the street up in Agua. I need you to find out who was behind it, Karney, of all people. I'll be there right away, sir.
Agent Sutton had worked with Kanae on interstate missions, so he possessed an intimate understanding of the bootlegging organizations that would have wanted Kanae dead.
He followed his orders and drove north to Colorado to attend his first Kanae investigative task force meeting. By July 7th, 1930, the task force was seemingly making progress. Agents believed that the DEA's initial and Carlino crime families might be responsible for Kernis death, but were unable to find any witnesses willing to break the omerta code of silence.
Desperate for leads, task force agents began targeting any and all crime families linked to Carney's work in Colorado and New Mexico. Sutton took particular interest in one of New Mexico's most powerful bootleggers, John Campanella.
On July 22nd, 1930, after an in-depth investigation, Sutton led a successful raid on Campanella Cimarron property. While he was unable to collect any evidence linking Campanella to Carneys murder, Sutton severely bruised Campanello ego.
Despite landing big wins for the bureau, Sutton was nowhere closer to breaking Carneys murder case. So in mid-August, he initiated a new sting operation to entrap corrupt individuals with ties to the bootlegging industry. Sutton let the word spread that he was in search of two nonexistent stills near Dallas and New Mexico. Anyone who would respond with information regarding these stills would likely reveal themselves to have mischievous motives and perhaps help the task force discover new leads for Carneys murder.
While most of his associates offered little to no help, one man took the bait. Sutton's ex colleague turned informant, 41 year old James Perry Caldwell.
Caldwell had previously worked alongside Sutton as a prohibition agent, but was eventually dismissed of his duties. Well, no reason was given for his termination. It's known that he had ties to the Campanella Crime Group.
While Sutton was well aware of Caldwell's past, he also knew that the disgraced agent was willing to betray his bootlegging loyalties for the right price.
Hey, Ray, you wanted to talk. Good to hear from you, Caldwell. I wanted to ask you if you knew anything about two spills over near Dawson and Dawson.
Nothing's confirmed on my radar over in those parts. I see. But I'll tell you what, I'll go check it out myself. You do that? Yeah, sure. Just give me a few days and I'll ask around and I'll get back to you.
That's awfully kind of you, James. Don't mention it. You know, I'm always happy to lend a hand. While Sutton had known Caldwell for close to a decade, the astute prohibition agent may have been surprised by his informant's eagerness to help. This was not the norm when Sutton parlayed his conversation to the Kanae task force, agents John Richardson and William Naans were skeptical.
You're telling me that James Caldwell jumped at the chance to assist you?
I know it's a little off, but some of his leads have helped us before. I'm just going to hear him out and see if any of his intel sticks.
You want some backup now? It might scare them off. The whole point is to get him to talk himself into the ground, at least until I can catch him in a lie big enough for a warrant.
I don't know what if he's still the same snake he was when he was working for the bureau? If he's still got ties to Campanella, the sting operation might poke you instead.
I appreciate your concerns, but I can handle Cauldwell just fine if I can break them. I know we can break Campanella and then hopefully find the real killers behind Coneys death.
On August 28th, 1930, Sutton received a phone call in his hotel room, possibly from Caldwell. They had agreed to meet that day.
Witness reports later placed Sutton on the shoulder off of Dawson Road, apparently waiting for someone before heading off.
Sutton ate lunch with his friend Joe Gilstrap, who also advised Sutton to be wary.
Rae. Yeah, Joe, I've heard some rather alarming news recently. What about you?
Me? There's a rumor going around that you're not as safe as you might think.
Oh, please don't tell me you believe in that nonsense.
I don't think it's nonsense, Ray, especially with what happened to Dale Carney. Frankly, I'm worried about you.
Some of these bootlegging families, well, they'll do just about anything to keep their booze flowing.
If anyone ever gets me. It's not going to be some no good bootlegger. Trust me, I'll be fine.
Just like Dale Carnegie, Raymond Sutton took no heed of baseless threats after lunch, Sutton potentially drove to meet Cauldwell off the shoulder of Dawson Road, although no one ever saw the two men meet.
Local Undersheriff George Fletcher later told officials that he saw Sutton waiting on the shoulder of the road, standing outside of his car.
Assuming his friend was working on a new lead, Fletcher drove on to this day, he remains the last law enforcement officer to have seen Sutton alive. Next, we'll dive into the sudden investigation. History, politics, true crime, the new Spotify original from past has it all.
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And now back to the story. In the mid-afternoon hours of August 28, 1930, 57 year old prohibition agent Raymond Sutton stood by his Pontiac sedan on the shoulder of Dawson Road.
This was the last time the world ever saw him alive.
Over the next few days, Sutton failed to send his daily reports to the bureau, missed several meetings and even failed to show up at a hearing known for his punctuality. It was abnormal for Sutton to miss any appointment without some sort of notice.
What's more, Sutton failed to check in with his doting wife, Maggie May. By September 4th, it became clear something was gravely wrong. Raymond Sutton was now a missing person, the very man who assigned Sutton to the Kanae Investigative Task Force.
Deputy Regional Administrator Charles Stearns, now had to build a second team of agents to find Sutton.
On September 5th, 1930, the Sutton investigation team convened in Raton, New Mexico, to review the missing agents room at the Seeberg Hotel.
Sutton was a regular at the Seaburg due to his interstate work, while his badge and gun were nowhere to be found, Sutton reports, and personal belongings were still in the room. It was evident to the investigators that Sutton had planned on returning to the hotel.
Then they found a pivotal piece of evidence. James Perry Caldwell's name was scribbled inside of Sutton's notebook.
Carney task force agents revealed that Sutton was supposed to meet with Caldwell, then go over his findings with them on the 29th. Sutton, however, never showed up.
The Sutton investigative team now had their first real lead.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement, along with experienced trackers, began an extensive search and rescue mission for Sutton, starting with his last known whereabouts.
Despite their tireless efforts, time and nature were working against them. A few days after Sutton's disappearance, a rainstorm hit the area, making it nearly impossible to track Sutton down.
When Deputy Regional Administrator Stearnes finally met with Sutton's wife, Maggie May, on September 8th, 1930, he knew that any hope of finding Sutton alive was most likely gone.
Thank you for coming all this way, Maggie. I won't press you for too long. We just need you to confirm that all of the belongings in this hotel room belong to your husband.
It's it's fine. I packed him these socks the last time he came home, he always wears mismatched socks, you see, but what's mismatched socks compared to solving a murder case, Ray is definitely committed to his profession, a no denying that.
As far as I can tell, these are all of Raman's clothes. Thanks, Maggie. I have to ask, did Ray mention anything to you the last time you saw him? We didn't really have time to chit chat.
He stopped by for a clean set of clothes and then he was off again.
I see. Maggie, I want you to know that we are putting our best man in charge of finding your husband.
And I will do everything in my power to bring Ray back to you. I'll bring him back. And if I had known that it would lead to all of this, I wouldn't have assigned him to the task force, I recommend always said you are an honest man, Charles.
I need to know, do you think he's still alive? I don't.
I'm sorry, Maggie. No. Thank you for the truth. Keeping his promise would be even more difficult than Stearnes expected, with no tangible proof to make an arrest, both the Carnoy and Sutent teams found themselves at dead ends. That is, until they received word that someone had cast Ray Sutton's expense check four days after he'd last been seen alive on September 13th, 1930.
Federal agents flocked to the Harvey Eating House in Trinidad, Colorado, where they interviewed the manager and the cashier who had completed the transaction.
Miss Stutman clearly remembered the man who came in to cash Sutton's check, although he did not provide her with any formal identification. He showed Miss Stutman his Masonic ring and ID card, both of which displayed Ray Suttons name upon receiving approval from her manager. Miss Stutman completed the transaction.
Miss Stutman further described the forger as a tall, burly man with light sandy colored hair in his late 30s as Sutton was nearing his 60s with gray hair. It was clear to the agents that the man described was not Raymond Sutton. When shown an array of photographs, Miss Stutman immediately pointed to James Perry Caldwell as the man who forged Suttons check on October 18th, 1930.
Federal agents raided Caldwells home and charged him with forgery.
Prohibition Bureau open up. What do you think you're doing?
Search the entire premises, boys. What's the meaning of this? James Caldwell. You're under arrest for the forgery of a federal check in the name of Raymond Sutton. For what? I would never.
Sure, we hit the jackpot. He's got Sutton's ring. I can explain.
Explain it to the Judge Caldwell. Things were starting to look up for the Sutton investigation team the same day Caldwell was arrested, a local ranch hand found Ray Sutton's car hidden beneath brush near Kolar Lake in New Mexico, just south of Raton.
Although a body was not found, agents discovered two fingerprints, a bloodied handkerchief and a back seat stained with blood.
News of Sutton's car quickly spread and locals gathered in mass to watch the investigators in action, making it nearly impossible to isolate the area to make matters worse.
Federal agents soon realized that they had been duped by a man impersonating a visiting agent. E-L Byrne fooled officers into letting him hand deliver the bloodstained carpet floor to the Denver police lab.
Although Byrne was arrested soon after the damage had been done, news of the tampered crime scene hit local newsstands, potentially making any evidence found at the Kolar site inadmissible in court.
Despite these blunders, the prosecution remain confident that they had enough evidence to prove James Caldwell was guilty of forgery if they could prove Caldwell forged Sutton's paycheck. Some thought it was only a matter of time before they could prove that he was also connected to Suttons murder.
The case was called to order in court on January 15th, 1931, and the prosecution would soon present powerful opening remarks. Not only did they have witnesses who corroborated that Caldwell had forged resentence check, they also had handwriting experts confirm that Caldwell had signed Sutton's name.
It should have been a slam dunk case. The prosecution was not prepared to hear mistreatments, testimony.
Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing more so help you God?
I do. Thank you. Miss Stutman, could you please tell us a little about what you do for a living?
Sure. I work over at the Harvey Eating House in Trinidad. I'm a cashier. I deal with clients and maintain the register.
Fascinating. Do you recall cashing a check for a man named Raymond Sutton on September 1st, 1930?
Yes, sir, I do. Most of our clients are regular. So when a new person comes into town, I take extra measures before I cash a check.
That's mighty irresponsible of you, Miss Stutman. Do you recall the measures you used for this certain transaction?
The man, he didn't have a photo ID, so he showed me his Masonic ID card and his reign. It had his name engraved in it. I showed my manager and he said that it was enough to complete the transaction.
I see you took all of the cautionary steps, Miss Stutman. But the problem is Raymond Sutton had gone missing several days earlier, so it couldn't have been him. Whoever presented you with his Masonic ring stole it from a prohibition agent now presumed to be dead.
Miss Stutman, can you tell us all who you cash the check for? I, I if you're nervous, you could just point him out.
I don't see him here. I'm sorry, mr.
Based on federal reports, you were confident that the defendant, James Perry Caldwell, the man sitting right over there, cash Ray Sutton's paycheck, I, I was mistaken.
What's your game, Stutman? Why are you flipping your story?
I, I don't know. I just know it's not that man. It's not James Caldwell.
Order. Order in the court. Prosecutor what's going on? She's your witness.
I, I don't know.
Your Honor, in the four months since Sutton's disappearance, it's possible that the memory of the witnesses had faded and the defense team seemingly took advantage of that uncertainty during their cross-examination, planting the seeds of doubt to rub salt into the wound.
Caldwell's wife, Jessie, testified under oath that her husband could not have been the culprit to Ford Sutton's check as he had spent the entire Labor Day weekend at home with the family.
On January 19th, 1931, James Perry Caldwell was acquitted of the forgery charge while the Sutton investigation was falling apart.
The Carni task force fared no better.
In the months following Carneys murder, Kanae task force agents were able to interview Jacomo, known by the alias of Jack Dionisio, in mid-September 1930. He was believed to have been a Dionisio family member with connections to Dale Carnegie's ill fated July Fourth dinner.
Prohibition agents began an intensive and allegedly brutal interrogation of Jack Dionisio. Instead of giving a confession, Danisco filed a complaint against two federal agents for unethical and unlawful interrogation tactics.
Upon being released based on Jack Dionysius allegations and the degree of his physical wounds, the DEA's initial lead apparently came to an abrupt end. It's unlikely that the bureau was willing to risk their already less than stellar reputation on the Danisco family anymore.
By 1931, the Prohibition Bureau was at their wit's end with the DiNicola. Largely, Dunn and Caldwell acquitted. Federal agents returned to their methods of pursuing any and all leads.
But while the bureau was struggling to solve the murder cases, the Colorado Carlino brothers were facing problems of their own. After law enforcement raided a regional mob conference, Pete and Sam Carlino struggled to maintain their footing over the other crime families. Rival factions were determined to overthrow them.
For months, the crime families battled between themselves. But by the fall of 1931, the war was over. Both Carlino brothers had been killed and with their last breaths, went the best chance at solving Dale Carnegie's murder. The Carni task force was all out of leads. Next, we'll cover the confessions regarding Ray Sutton's murder that came a little too late. Now back to the story. While the Federal Bureau of Prohibition worked tirelessly to solve the murders of agents Dale Carney and Ray Sutton, by 1931, investigators found themselves grabbing at straws.
Despite strong leads for both of their murders, misfortune and missteps had brought their investigations to ruin.
Nevertheless, federal prohibition agents pushed forward in their war on wet's continuing to enforce the 18th Amendment through raids, seizures and arrests on July 10th.
Nineteen thirty two federal agents detained Joe McAllister, a member of John Campanello gang, within hours of his interrogation. Federal agents were able to produce a signed affidavit detailing McAllister's recollection of Ray Sutton's murder. I had nothing to do with it.
We've been tracking your every move, MacAllister. There's no point in lying. We know you, James Caldwell and John Campanella are behind Sutton's death. So tell us, before you get locked up for life, if you really had no hand in Sutton's death, then I promise whatever you tell us will remain private until those responsible are behind bars. You'll be safe, OK?
I've never seen John so mad before after Sutton raided his compound. He couldn't stop thinking of ways to take him out.
I'm sure John had run ins with prohibition agents before. Why'd he take it so personally?
Why? Because he never should have been arrested in the first place. John had been paying Sutton hush money through Caldwell. That's ridiculous. Sutton would never take bribes.
Whether he did or not, it didn't matter. Campanella wanted blood again. I took no part in his murder. But John and Caldwell, they came over to my house one day and they hatched the plan to take Sutton out.
What was the plan?
Caldwell was supposed to play nice with Sutton, you know, be helpful and friendly enough so that Sutton would meet him alone and then they would make him suffer.
They killed him. Yeah.
What did they do with his body? John's always talked about how they buried it somewhere it could never be found.
Is there anything else you remember?
Caldwell took the initial heat for Sutton's death. So, John, he fixed the jury for Caldwell's trial.
Cheesus. While McAllister's confession brought great insight into the disappearance and murder of Ray Sutton, they were just the words of one man.
To make matters worse, in 1933, newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt repealed the 18th Amendment. The Bureau of Prohibition would eventually come to a sobering end.
Sutton's investigation appears to have been transferred to the Bureau of Internal Revenue Service. Carney's investigation, however, was eventually closed administratively.
Five more years passed before federal agents received any new word on Sutton's death.
It came in the form of an alarming new testimony in 1938 while being questioned for the death of his father, George Pobre, 17 year old John Pobre recounted his father's extracurricular activities in the bootlegging industry.
I didn't kill my father then who did?
He had a lot of enemies. He made some threats that he would talk about. What I was about eight years old when I.
I saw my father kill a man, I think it was a dry agent who went missing a while back. I know they found his car parked not too far from our dairy farm near Colar Raymond Sutton.
Yeah, I think that's the one. Why would your father have wanted Sutton dead?
I don't think he ever really did. But he was also acquainted with John Campanella.
Your father was a bootlegger? Yes, sir. Tell me what happened that day.
We never had many visitors, you see. But when I crept around the barn that day, I saw four men inside. They were standing around an older man who was barely hanging on to life.
If that older man was Sutton, who were the others?
Besides my father? I only recognized two of them, John Campanella and James Caldwell. I couldn't really place the fourth. What happened next? They took turns beating him up until he just went limp. I remember that his face was so swollen, there was blood everywhere. What did they do with his body?
They put him in the back seat of a car and they drove off. I couldn't really see everything, but I remember hearing that pop. I'll always remember it. While local law enforcement took John Pobre statement to heart, there was still no tangible evidence linking the alleged criminals to the crime.
But the summer of 1962 changed all of that. Federal agents received a new lead or rather a recanted confession from a woman who could have altered the course of Caldwell's trial. Jesse Caldwell revealed that she had perjured herself during her husband's forged Czech trial. He was not at home with her the entire 1930 Labor Day weekend as she had confessed when she realized the error of her ways.
Jesse recounted that she began to suffer a nervous breakdown of sorts. Not only did she feel immense guilt for her false testimony, she lived in a constant state of fear of her husband.
She was right to be afraid, possibly to keep her from talking. Caldwell had allegedly tucked his wife away at the New Mexico State Hospital for over three decades.
Misfortune then struck the case once again before federal agents could take action on her confession, Jesse Cauldwell passed away.
Sutton's investigation sat on ice. It seemed that it would stay cold forever. But six years later, one last piece of evidence would surface.
Chuck Hornung, one of the talented authors of Trail of Shadows, played a few rounds of pool with James Perry Caldwell in 1968 while preparing to write a biography about revered Frontier lawman Fred Lambert, who met with the then 73 year old Caldwell to glean a better understanding of Lambert and his glory days in Cimarron, New Mexico.
Much to Hernon surprise between jocking pool cues and cinching shots, Caldwell started to recount a third person narrative of the murder of Prohibition agent Ray Sutton, called Welspun a detailed account of Suttons disappearance and murder that Hornung would later learn matched the accounts of other testimonies.
Caldwell even told the writer that Sutton's body was buried under the newly paved Ratones Cimarron Highway, a place where it could never be found.
At the time of this meeting, Cornin hadn't had much interest in the unsolved murders of Ray Sutton and Dale Carney and didn't think to push for more answers. However, he knew that there was something about Caldwell that rubbed him the wrong way, he writes in Trail of Shadows.
I looked into the old man's still gray eyes and saw death. I believe Perry Caldwell was an obdurate criminal.
Based on the seamlessly interwoven testimonies of Joe McAllister, John Pobre, Jesse Caldwell and writer Chuck Cornin, it's highly probable that James Perry Caldwell, John Campanella, George Pobre and a fourth accomplice murdered Prohibition agent Ray Sutton.
I agree Campanella had the motive to kill while Caldwell had the ability to beat Sutton into their deadly trap. And based on the account of writer Chuck Cornin, Caldwell essentially admitted to the crime.
But as their stories are not supported by tangible evidence or even a body, the case of Raymond Sutton remains unsolved to this day.
The same remains true for Agent Dale Carney. While the events leading up to Dale Carneys murder are well-documented, it's still unclear who actually fired the fateful shots that took his life in the early hours of July 6th, 1930.
What is clear, however, is the fact that Carneys murder was most likely linked to bootlegging organizations in Colorado or New Mexico. With that said, I think the Dionisio family was behind it. One of them must have marked the young prohibition officer at the diner the night before he was killed.
I understand where you're coming from, but I have to disagree. If the Dionysius were really behind it, I think the tenacious team of dry agents wouldn't have just let that lead drop.
To me, it seems the Carlino family was most likely involved, although it's tough to say definitively either way, whatever the case may be, the murders of federal agents Dale Francis, Carnoy and Zacchaeus Raymond Sutton sent a sobering message to the American public.
Prohibition was extremely short sighted. It may have solved the problems of drunkenness, but it caused a whole host of others without the 18th Amendment.
It's arguable that organized crime never would have gotten the boost that it did. And Prohibition agents like Dale Carnegie and Ray Sutton might have met a happier fate.
Thanks again for tuning into unsolved murders. We'll be back next Tuesday with a new episode for more information on Agents Carney and Sutton. Amongst the many sources we used, we found shot Cornin and Beeley Charlton's Trail of Shadows extremely helpful to our research.
You can find all episodes of unsolved murders and all other Parkhurst originals for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify already have all your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite cast originals, like unsolved murders for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream unsolved murders on Spotify. Just open the app and type unsolved murders in the search bar.
We'll see you next time if we live till next on.
Unsolved Murders, True Crime Stories was created by Max Cutler and is a podcast studio's original executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Kenny Hobbs with production assistants by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Isabel Away. This episode of Unsolved Murders was written by Jane Oh with writing assistance by Abigail Cannon. The amazing cast of Voice Actors includes Tom Bower, Bill Butz, Tiana Camacho, Joe Hernandez and Harris Markson. It stars Wendy Mackenzie and Carter Roy.
It's the most powerful position in American politics and arguably the world, but behind the oath to preserve, protect and defend lie dark secrets posed to leave some legacies in disgrace.
Don't forget to check out the new Spotify original from past very presidential with Ashley Flowers every Tuesday through the 2020 election. Host Ashley Flowers shines a light on the darker side of the American presidency, exposing wildly true stories about history's most high profile leaders.
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