Durant (Okla.) Daily Democrat, May 27, 1980
Troopers Remembered in Service
CADDO Caddo remembered Monday.
For 45 minutes on a muggy Memorial Day morning, about 200 townspeople and three dozen law
enforcement officers said thank you to Highway Patrolmen Pat Grimes, Houston (Pappy)
Summers and William Young.
The troopers died trying to end a multi-state reign of terror by two Oklahoma prison
escapees, one of whom once lived in Caddo, on May 26,1978.
A granite monument in their memory, installed just inside the front door of the town's
Indian Territory Museum, was unveiled by state Safety Commissioner Paul Reed Jr. and
Patrol Chief Jerry Biggers while troopers J. R. Jones and David Blackburn stood as honor
The program drew Congressman Wes Watkins and state legislators Roy Boatner and Guy Davis,
but it was farmer Russell Washington who brought it all home.
"Time kind of helps heal the wounds, but this brings it all back," he said.
"I just praise the Lord we have men like these who will do what they must do. I think
what they did was a tremendous thing, an example for us to live up to."
Washington was the last man to speak to desperados Dennis and Lancaster before they died
on a grassy lawn on Caddo's Court street. He and a farmhand had walked in on the convicts
at Washington's home north of Durant and were left behind, tied with electrical cord.
"It seems we always must have sacrifice before something good can come of it,"
he recalled Monday. "We can't let it stop here. We must take the inspiration these
men gave us and go on with it."
And he asked the crowd to pause in silent thanks to the slain patrolmen. Among the ranks
of city, county and state officers, standing at parade rest through the ceremony, was
Grimes' brother, Lt. Mike Grimes, now attached to the governor's security unit. None of
the widows attended.
The killers stole Washington's pickup truck, and Young and Summers ran into their ambush
before Washington could free himself and sound the alarm. A highway patrol plane spotted
the pickup moving toward Caddo and guided other officers to it. Grimes died in the final
hail of bullets in Caddo.
Watkins, a Bible in hand, quoted from John 15:9, asking that if all people had knowledge
of love, there would be no need for armies or peace officers.
"The greatest love," he said, "is shown when a man lays down his life for
his friends." The slain troopers "gave their lives for a greater protection, a
Before leaving, he presented an American flag to museum curator Beulah Markham.
Baptist minister Bud Jenkins, who spearheaded the drive that resulted in the memorial,
served as master of ceremonies and recalled the special meaning of the memorial: the end
to the terror many of Caddo's residents lived under during the week long manhunt centered
on Lake Texoma for
Dennis and Lancaster.