Need help editing articles? Start out with the new Introduction to Editing Articles Video.

Melon Patch Murder

From Bloomingpedia

In 1934, farmer Charles Languell was shot and killed in his watermelon patch near Gosport.

Lon Hartfield, Jr., 15 years old at the time, was in the patch stealing fruit. Languell fired a shot at him, hitting him in the arm. Hartfield fired back, and ran from the patch, dropping his booty. Languell died later in the hospital.

Hartfield later returned with his father, Lon Hartfield, Sr., Frank Hill, and Frank Demming, to recover and add to the stolen fruit.

The four suspects left shortly afterward and were arrested on a bridge on S.R. 67 southwest of Gosport. They later confessed to the crime.

After funeral services in Gosport authorities feared mob violence, and moved the suspects from the Spencer jail to an undisclosed location (possibly Greencastle). The Hartfields and Hill were black.