The Tulsa World, Saturday, May 27, 1978
Slain Troopers Take Last Trip Home
By David Averill
OKLAHOMA CITY A trooper squatted beneath the clatter of the helicopter propeller
with his arm across the white sheet-covered stretcher, as if to guard the body of his
A hundred yards away two others, with their campaign hats cocked forward on their heads
and their hands in their pockets, rocked back and forth on their heels, helpless, as they
guarded the gate that leads to the helipad behind the governor's mansion.
A block away, in front of the state Capitol Building, the flag, newly lowered to half
staff, rippled in the wind.
Two miles away at patrol headquarters hang plaques honoring men killed in the line of duty
as Oklahoma Highway Patrolmen.
The helicopters behind the governor's mansion bore the bodies of the men whose faces and
names will appear on the 14th, 15th and 16th plaques.
Pat Grimes, 36, Moore, Billy G. Young, 50, Woodward, and Houston Summers, 62, Enid, were
gunned down by two McAlester penitentiary escapees who terrorized a multi-state area for a
month and who in turn died in a hail of law officers' bullets.
Ironically, the gray skies that had threatened rain throughout the day cleared and the sun
shone as the helicopters arrived behind the governor's mansion about 2:20 p.m. Friday. One
had taken off from Durant with the three bodies and one would carry two of them on their
final journeys to Enid and Woodward.
Hard-hatted groundskeepers paused and leaned on their rakes and shovels to watch the
silent drama. A small group of news reporters and photographers were kept by a high
chain-link fence and the length of a football field from prying at close hand into the
Firemen, who routinely are called to be on hand during helicopter landings, stood quietly
beside their trucks and watched along with the other spectators as, one after another, the
sheet-covered stretchers were removed and transferred .
A television crewman screamed instructions into a walkie-talkie. A few cars slowed down as
drivers tried to see what had attracted the TV crews.
In a few minutes it was over. First the Army helicopter and then the others lifted from
the concrete pad, propellers whirring.
A plainclothesman in shirtsleeves accompanied the body in the hearse. In the patrol car
following the hearse the grim-faced driver gripped the steering wheel. Beside him a fellow
trooper sat with a clenched fist pressed against his mouth.
As the little caravan wheeled away down Northeast 323rd Street another spectator, this one
a Capitol policeman who had paused outside the gate in his car, leaned with his elbow out
the window and spoke to the reporters.
"Gentlemen," he said. "this has got to be the saddest day in the history of