Home Back Next

This is the newspaper account of the Charging of Harry Goodman for the murder of Raleigh (another spelling) Wilder and Clara McNutt :
Headlines dated August 13 , 1937:

Harry Goodman Is Charged In Double Killing

Child Hit by Stray Slug From Single Shotgun Blast by Julian Howard

Raleigh Wilder , 20 year year old employee of the Hignite Coal Company , and his seven year old neice, Clara Mae McNutt , only child of Mr. and Mrs. Jake McNutt are dead as the result of one blast fired early last night from a shotgun in the hands of Harry Goodman , 27 , an automobile mechanic.Goodman is being held in the Middlesboro jail charged with the double slaying.
According to police , the trouble was the outgrowth of an altercation several days ago between Wilder and Goodman in which Wilder beat Goodman with a blackjack.
Last night , the coal miner returned from his work to his home near the intersection of Exeter Avenue and Twenty-First Street , at supper, and started to walk to town. His little niece was playing in the yard of the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Wilder and the McNutt family.
As Wilder walked down the street, Goodman was standing on the corner talking to Charley Powers. He raised the twelve - guage shotgun he was carrying and fired.
Four slugs from the discharge struck Wilder , one struck him in the left side of the neck with such force, it made a gash three inches in length where it entered.Another struck him below the left ear, and a third above the ear.The fourth slug took effect in the left shoulder.
One slug pierced the body of little Clara Mae McNutt , entering her right breast.
Wilder was rushed to a local hospital where he died as surgeons prepared to operate.
The little girl fell on the porch of the house when the shot was fired, but the members of the family did not realize she was wounded.She lay screaming , "I'm burning up inside" for several minutes before a neighbor went to her and discovered she was wounded. She died as she was being taken to the hospital. One shot was fired , Two lives were taken. . Not a word was spoken between the two men. . Goodman fled from the scene of the crime after taking time to remove the other shells from the death weapon. The gun was found unloaded by Patrolman Guy Hartwell. Immediately , officers and citizens began scouring the countryside for the man. Police received a tip that Goodman had taken to Cumberland Gap by a mororist , but a hurried trip in pursuit of the fugitive was to no avail. About one-thirty this morning , Goodman was brought to the City Hall , by Chappell Peace and Hoy Sharp , who had joined the search.
"When I left" Goodman told officers and a daily news reporter this morning, "I walked along the railroad over to the tunnel,took up the mountain, and walked along the pike, I was sitting on the porch of a little store beyond Powells River bridge getting ready to come back when a car drove up and somebody asked how far it is to Middlesboro, "I said, 'You going to Middlesboro and they said 'We're thinkin' about it, "I said , "How about a riding that way a little piece?" and they asked me my name, I told them , and they said "You're the man we're looking for".
"Over at Cumberland Gap," Goodman continued , "they stopped and wanted to call the Middlesboro police to take me across the mountain, but I said , "No , you take me on to Middlesboro". "Goodman said he was carrying the shotgun at the time of the shooting because he was trying to sell it to Maynard Yoakum. He said he had seen Yoakum on Exeter Avenue a short time before the slaying. Referring to the death of the child Goodman said "About that little kid, I didn't know anything, that was an accident'.Goodman was inclined to talk freely this morning when interviewed.
He was asked , "Did you say anything to Wilder?" he was asked.
"No !" he replied
"Did Wilder say anything to you?"
"I'd rather not talk,he replied".
He did , however , attempt to exonerate Charley Powers, who was standing on the street corner with him when the slaying occurred. He said he and Powers had been together for about an hour previous to the shooting , but Powers was innocent.
"Did Powers know what you were going to do" he was asked.
"Powers didn't have any idea what I would do,He answered".
Goodman fixed the time of the previous trouble between himself and Wilder as about a week ago or hardly that long. He admitted buying the shells for his shotgun at a local hardware yesterday.Police have been told that he showed a shotgun shell to some friends yesterday , telling them that it was for "Wilder".
The young man is survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary Wilder , his wife and three brothers , Nelson, Arthur , and Paris. The little girl is survived by her parents.
Funeral services for the two victims will be held tomorrow at ten o'clock at the Yellow Hill Cemetery. The bodies will remain at Cawood Funeral Home , until nine o'clock tomorrow.

The article below about the funeral was from the Middlesboro Daily News , Monday August 16 , 1937

Wilder,McNutt Rites Are Held

Double rites were held yesterday for Raleigh Wilder ,20 and his niece , Clara Mae McNutt , who were slain Thursday night by a single blast from a shotgun in the hands of Harry Goodman ,27. Goodman is in Pineville jail awaiting a hearing.
A short funeral service was held for the two at their home on South Twenty-First Street , conducted by the Rev. Dunn. Another service was held at the Yellow Hill Cemetery. The interment took place.
Active Pallbearers for Wilder were :
Marshall Rowlett
Charles Hurst
Toby VanBeber
Clay Carroll
Joe P. Beeler
Fitzhugh Miller,Jr.

Bearers for McNutt child were:
Ben Hurst
A.J. Pruitt
Larry Money
Phillip Kinder

Flower Bearers were:
Mrs. Floyd Young
Mary Miller
Edith Patterson
Dorothy Bussell
Gladys Hurst
Willene Bussell
Hazel Massingale
Dorothy Sowders
Frances Long
Edith Pruitt

Evidently this is part of the Grand Jury testimony.I looked for more when I was at the Middlesboro, Library and could not find anything else.So here is the Newspaper article about the Grand Jury testimony:

Goodman , Charged In The Double Slaying, Held Without Bail

Harry Goodman , Middlesboro , was held to the grand jury without bail when arraigned before Judge D.M. Bingham in Pineville this morning on charges resulting from the double slaying of Raleigh Wilder , 20 ,and Clara Mae McNutt ,7. Wilder's niece on August 12.
Two witnesses were presented by the commonwealth who testified that they heard Wilder gasp that it was Harry Goodman who shot him. Several other witnesses were presented by the prosecution. The defense submitted to the charges without presenting testimony and there was no argument.
The first witness called by the commonwealth was Mrs. Mary Wilder , mother of Raleigh, who said she was in their home dressing to go to town when she heard the shot fired. She said that at the report , Clara Mae McNutt jumped and screamed , and I said "lord Clara mae is shot","I said Clara Mae are you hurt?" and hugged it to me but it didn't say anything, just looked up at me". After that , Mrs. Wilder testified , someone shouted that Raleigh was shot and she looked up and saw her son lying in the street and ran out to him.
"I ran to him" she said, "and said, Lord , honey , who shot you?"He seemed to be saying something but I couldn't understand. I said "Lord with every breath you draw, pray, and his lips were moving and I believe he was praying."The second witness was Josh Burdette, who saw Wilder crossing the street toward Jenkins store, at Exeter and Twenty-First Street. Burdette said he heard the shot and saw Wilder fall.
Lexie Kinder also testified that she saw Wilder crossing the street, heard the shot and saw him fall , while she was seated on the porch of the Patterson Apartments.
H.A. Pruitt , who was also sitting on the porch of the Patterson Apartments, testified that he saw someone , who he believed was Goodman, and another man, who the police investigation the night of the shooting revealed was Charles Powers, standing on the corner an hour before the shooting. He said Goodman had a gun but he did not see the other man with a gun.
Pruitt stated that at the time of the shooting he saw Wilder coming down Twenty-First Street , toward the store, that he saw him leave the sidewalk and start across the street , and saw Goodman and Powers walk behind the sign board. He said that about that time the shot was fired. He said his wife had a nervous collapse and he took her into the house, then rushed over to where Wilder had fallen. He said he heard Mrs. Wilder ask her son who shot him and that "to the best of my knowledge, Raleigh said Harry Goodman.
Maynard Yoakum , to whom Goodman told Chief of Police Charles Minton during the investigation, that he was trying to sell the gun that night, was called. Yoakum testified that at about 5:30 Thursday afternoon , Goodman tried to pawn the gun to him but that he had told Goodman he was a little short of cash and did not want to take the gun. He said Wilder told that he did not want to pawn the gun "just yet."Yoakum also stated there was one shell in the gun.
Mrs. James Miller , who was walking along the street and was an eye witness to the shooting , testified that she saw Goodman across the street from Wilder, saw Wilder step from the curb, and Goodman and the person with him step behind a telephone pole, she said Wilder had started to cross the street and was glancing back in the opposite direction from Goodman when she heard the shot fired.
Mrs. Miller stated that she was the first person to reach Wilder and that he was unarmed. She said that Mrs. Wilder came out to Wilder and she heard her ask him,"Who shot mother's baby?" , Wilder , the witness said replied "Harry Goodman." Mrs Miller said Powers had a pistol.