A Number Of Rural Oklahoma Murders Unsolved

Tuesday, March 24th 2009, 10:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

UNDATED -- A deadly home invasion is the type of crime you usually associate with big cities.  The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is working a number of murders in rural parts of Oklahoma and many remain unsolved.

They are the kind of crimes that most people move to the country to try to avoid.  So, when murder strikes a small town it can really rattle a community.

There's the case of a couple found shot to death on Christmas Day.  The "grandparents" to a close-knit community gunned down.  And, the case of two little girls who went for a walk and never came back home.

They are the type of crimes you don't expect to hit rural Oklahoma.  Crimes much harder for friends and loved ones to deal with because they're all un-solved.

"Ya know, they're just nice people, sweet people, and they didn't deserve this.  No one does, but they damn sure didn't," said Marc Copeland, a neighbor to Jack and Elaine Denney.

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Neighbors say Jack Denney had just retired from GRDA and he was looking forward to spending his golden years with his wife, Elaine.  The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation just renewed a $5,000 reward in the case last week.  But, 16 months after their murders, the Denneys' killer or killers still have not been brought to justice.

Almost one year after the Denneys, another older couple, another small town, another unthinkable murder.

11/10/2009  Related Story: Couple Found Shot To Death

"I've been here 10 years and this is the first thing that's ever happened out here," said William and Leona Huls neighbor, Nancy Shadbolt.

Before William and Leona Huls were found shot to death, Craig County hadn't seen a murder, since two girls disappeared from Welch in 1999.  There was no sign of forced entry and only Leona's purse was missing.

The people of Weleetka are still lighting candles and praying for justice for Taylor and Skyla.  The reward is up to $30,000.  And, the OSBI says four to six agents are constantly culling through leads.  They still haven't found a person of interest.  And, they haven't stopped searching for answers.

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"There's still a lot of grief, a lot of bewilderment. Until the murderer or murderers are discovered who they are, I don't think we'll have any peace," said Weleetka's First Baptist Pastor Steve Gneich.

The OSBI says small towns have never been immune to crime.  And, in this day and age, people need to be careful.  Residents are advised to lock their doors and be aware of their surroundings, no matter where they live.