The Bryan County Star, June 1, 1978

TRAGEDY IN CADDO...

Editorial

Apall darkened Bryan County this Memorial Day weekend as the state reeled from news of the violent deaths of three state troopers and two escaped prisoners.

It is tragic that Caddo became nationally known in only a few hours because of two bloody mid-morning gun battles.

slack.jpg (13828 bytes)  As editor of the Star I debated on how to report this tragic story.
  The violence of Friday has monopolized the daily papers, radio and
  TV news.

  As I was reading the accounts of the event I came across a
  touching article in the Lawton Constitution. It was an interview with
  an aunt of Lt. Pat Grimes. Grimes was the 36-year old trooper
  killed in Caddo.

  The interview is by Paul McClung of the Constitution staff and is
  reproduced below in part.

  "Pat loved his work and he wouldn't have been happy doing
  anything else. That is the only solace we have," Mrs. Mona Thomas
  of Lawton said Saturday of her nephew, Lt. Pat Grimes.

Pat's father, Bill, 64, was an Oklahoma trooper until his retirement, He now lives in McLemoresville, Tenn. Pat's twin brother, Mike, is also a state trooper.

Pat and his wife, Kay, have a daughter, age 5. They live in Moore.

"He loved his family and his work," Mrs. Thomas said. "It's a shame a young man in the prime of life is so senselessly taken."

A cousin, Mrs. Kay Tillman of Search, Ark., went with Mrs. Thomas to break the news to Pat's grandparents. His grandfather, James Elwood Grimes, and grandmother, Tressa, are both residents of McMahom Tomlinson Nursing Center. The grandfather was 90 on April 9.

"Mother doesn't really understand what happened. But it knocked the props out from under Dad," Mrs. Thomas said. "We brought Dad home so he wouldn't just sit and cry alone."

He was sitting at a kitchen table Saturday and trying to concentrate on a domino game with a relative. He was a farmer at Altus until his retirement.

His son, Bill--Pat's dad--farmed with him at Altus before joining the highway patrol many years ago.

The day before Grimes died his testimony here helped convict a man accused, in another case, of shooting trooper Louis Chase.

Pat was assigned to the internal affairs division of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. His main duty was investigations, including investigations of complaints against highway patrolmen. Ironically, he would not ordinarily have been involved in a chase.

Pat's twin brother, Mike, who lives in Yukon, was severely burned about three weeks ago when gasoline in a carburetor ignited when he was trying to help a stalled motorist. His face will require skin grafts, but he is out of the hospital.

"Mike is fair and blonde. Pat was dark and had black hair. They didn't even look like brothers. But finer boys you would never find," their Lawton aunt Mona Thomas said.


--By Paul McClung

The gun battle in Ernest Slack's yard Friday settled everything--everything and nothing. A high price was payed to end the terror of two killers, Dennis and Lancaster.

Heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families of the three brave state troopers.

Upon the request of the people, a Memorial Fund has been established at the Bryan County National Bank. If you would like to make a donation to this Memorial Fund for the families of the troopers, Nancy Miller of the bank will assist you.

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