Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Early Dawn Ghost Cruiser?

In early spring a few years ago a witness reported seeing something a little strange in Oklahoma City.  In the golden light of a spring morning, a light ground fog hugging the road and giving things a soft look, the witness saw an old style cruiser on the exit just ahead of  her.  The style was a big boxy car with the large oversized round lights, features that caught the driver's attention.  Her first thought was that someone had taken their refurbished classic out for a morning spin. Then, on second thought, this did not make sense. Who takes a drive like that in the pre-8 a.m. morning traffic?

In the time it took for her to glance into her rearview mirror and back to the road ahead of her, the vehicle had vanished! There was still a good amount of driving in the exit lane before the next intersection, so there was nowhere the vehicle could have turned. Uncertain if she had simply missed the auto's move out into the traffic, she paused at the stop sign and there above the ground fog the roads on either side of the overpass were clearly visible.

No cars anywhere.  To the south the avenue leading to the airport and to the north the wide open country before an industrial area.

A recent discovery has shown police officers did indeed drive out that way.

Some, however, never returned.  On the morning of April 5, 1972 at about 6 a.m. a call was sent to police dispatch to a remote pond along the airport perimeter near SW 74th and MacArthur.  A 26 year old policeman named Joe McArthur had committed suicide and had called for a homicide unit and coroner to cover his own death.

Who is to say if there is a police officer still out there patrolling in the early mornings when the air is amber and the fog hugs the ground?
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"Dead Officer Hinted of Act." The Oklahoman (April 6, 1972)37. Third suicide in 15 years on the OKC force.
"State Deaths." The Oklahoman (April 7, 1972)73. Indicated he was 26 and from Ardoin, Oakdale, LA.
"'Suicide Month' Tag Given to April." The Oklahoman (April 11, 1972)7.
Owens, Ron. Oklahoma Justice: The Oklahoma City Police. (1995) p209.

2 comments:

Julie M said...

Would you mind telling us where you got this information? The police officer was my uncle and I'm looking for more information about the event. There was a book I found that discussed his suicide at one point, but have been unable to find it again. The book was about multiple true stories regarding Oklahoma police officers. Thanks so much for any help you could provide.

Cullan Hudson said...

The book you mention is probably Roy Owens' Oklahoma Justice: A History of OKC Police. The story, however, came from an article in The Oklahoman. The author of this post was looking for any validation of the sighting made of the ghost cruiser. By happenstance, she found mention of it in Owens book. She is digging through her research and I will keep you posted if I find which issue that article was found in.