The Daily Oklahoman, Monday, May 29, 1978
Witness To Shootout Watched From Porch
By Jon Chavez
CADDO I was in the yard working in my flower garden when I saw this pickup
pull up at their driveway. Two men jumped out and down they went guns were going
Addie M. Sailaday, 83, was still nervous as she described the gunbattle that shocked this
sleepy southeastern Oklahoma community of about 900 Friday morning.
Im so nervous that Im still jerking bad and I dont think Ill
get over this for a few days or so. Ive never seen anything like it.
Mrs. Sailaday was near the front porch of her southwest Caddo residence Friday morning
shortly before 10 a.m. when Oklahoma prison escapees Claude Eugene Dennis and Michael
Lancaster decided to stage the final chapter in their multi-state death spree just three
Dennis and Lancaster were gunned down by lawmen on the front lawn of the residence of Mr.
and Mrs. Earnest Slack, but not before Trooper Lt. Pat Grimes was killed and Trooper Hoyt
Hughes was wounded.
Highway Patrol Trooper Houston Pappy Summers and William Young were killed
minutes earlier in another gun battle a few miles away near the town of Kenefic.
Mrs. Sailaday, who lives alone on the 400 block of Court Street, said she noticed a blue
pickup truck which the two killers had stolen from a Kenefic farmer Friday morning
drive slowly down her street about 9:30 a.m. and pull into the Slacks
driveway at 510 Court Street.
It just drove up to the place slowly, she said. When I saw them pull up,
I thought it was Mr. Slack coming home early.
Two men got out of the pickup and walked to the front yard, then jumped to the
ground, she said.
Mrs. Sailaday said a few second later a white unmarked police car drove up slowly and
stopped in front of the Slack house and gunfire started immediately.
I couldnt tell you who started shooting first, she said.
But all of a sudden the policemen came up and guns started firing. She said
after shots started ringing out she moved from her garden to the front porch to watch the
Within minutes, between 15-20 police cars pulled up, she said.
They were lined up on the streets. Boy, the gunfire was like youve never
Mrs. Sailaday said the first shots rang out about the time the unmarked police car
containing two plainclothes officers pulled up. "They (Dennis and Lancaster) just
barely got out of their pickup. They were in the cab when the police car pulled up.
She said one patrol trooper (Hughes) got out of the vehicle. The other trooper (Grimes)
didnt even get out of the car, she said.
Mrs. Sailaday said the shooting between the men on the lawn and lawmen went on for what
seemed like 40 minutes.
Dennis and Lancaster never did get up off the lawn, she said.