Owner Found Murdered At Tulsa Restaurant

Friday, August 7th 2015, 9:29 am
By: Richard Clark

The victim of a homicide at a west Tulsa restaurant was the owner, according to Tulsa police.

Police identified the victim as Jim Coulson, 65. Police said he'd been stabbed, but the medical examiner later put the cause of death as shooting.

It happened at Ted's Hamburgers in the 2900 block of West Edison, across the street from Central High School.

The landmark restaurant, in business for more than 50 years, became a crime scene early Friday.

Officer Leland Ashley said two employees arrived at the restaurant just before 8 a.m. and found Coulson's body. They told police Coulson usually arrived at the restaurant at 7 a.m. each day.

Ashley said he didn't have any other details because the investigation had just begun. It's the city's 39th homicide of the year.

Friends say Coulson liked to compete in fishing tournaments and was a member of the Tulsa Southside Hookers Bass Club. 

John Sayles says his son found owner Coulson's body inside and fainted.

"I jumped up and ran over here and that's when I saw him passed out. ...as soon as he walked out of Ted's, he hit his head, he fell back," Sayles said.

Sayles says Coulson was a mentor to his oldest son and trained him how get the restaurant ready for the day.

"Jim taught him everything that Jim does," Sayles said. "He would always do something. His employees, if they have problems or whatnot, Jim was there, not complaining, he was always a helpful person."

Gerri Barnes can't believe her boss she called "Jim Bo" is dead.

"He was more our friend than our boss," she said. "[He was] an outstanding person. He's always helped anybody and everybody... I don't know who would do this or why."

The stabbing at Ted's even brought back childhood memories for some of the investigating officers.

"I think [Ted's] is a staple in the community," TPD Officer Leland Ashley said. "It's been here for several years, in fact one of our officers that graduated Central High School mentioned that it was kind of a daily ritual to come up to Ted.s. [I] had worked part-time security at Central High School... I came across to eat at Ted's."

Friends of Coulson said he was supposed to be in a fishing tournament this weekend with his buddies at Tenkiller Lake.

Detectives still don't have a suspect description or a motive for the killing.