The mysterious death of Adolph Ruth

deducer

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deducer,

That was not the first or last time that Tom would describe Purnell and Keenan as "cowboy-prospectors". Someone considered them prospectors. I know I have read or heard that the two had not worked for Tex. Not sure how accurate that is.

Good luck,

Joe

Garry looked into the Arizona census and found that Keenan had listed his occupation first as a laborer and mechanic in Mesa (which would fit with his allegedly having worked at the Morse gas station) and then as farm laborer. He apparently never stayed at one job too long.

Purnell is more difficult to track down. Apparently he was in and out of prison (Salt Lake City, possibly Arizona prison at Florence). He was also an on and off prospector but the closest he came to staking a claim in the Superstitions was the Mountain View Claim on March 2, 1931 near the Superstitions, according to Kollenborn.

If either of them were very familiar with the Superstitions, why are there no claims in their names, in the mountains?
 

azdave35

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Dec 19, 2008
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Garry looked into the Arizona census and found that Keenan had listed his occupation first as a laborer and mechanic in Mesa (which would fit with his allegedly having worked at the Morse gas station) and then as farm laborer. He apparently never stayed at one job too long.

Purnell is more difficult to track down. Apparently he was in and out of prison (Salt Lake City, possibly Arizona prison at Florence). He was also an on and off prospector but the closest he came to staking a claim in the Superstitions was the Mountain View Claim on March 2, 1931 near the Superstitions, according to Kollenborn.

If either of them were very familiar with the Superstitions, why are there no claims in their names, in the mountains?

deducer...sometimes old mining claims can be hard to track down...when the recorders office transferred all the records online many records didn't make it....years ago when i researched claims i went the the recorders office and went through the microfiche...i noticed after they put everything online that claims i had originally found in microfiche never got transferred online...also like i had explained before...its common among miners not to put claims in their names...sometimes they would put them in their wives names..ect...or if they were paranoid they wouldn't stake a clam at all...just work it on the sly
 
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Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

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deducer...sometimes old mining claims can be hard to track down...when the recorders office transferred all the records online many records didn't make it....years ago when i researched claims i went the the recorders office and went through the microfiche...i noticed after they put everything online that claims i had originally found in microfiche never got transferred online...also like i had explained before...its common among miners not to put claims in their names...sometimes they would put them in their wives names..ect...or if they were paranoid they wouldn't stake a clam at all...just work it on the sly

azdave35,

When all the Arizona mine claim records were held at the old BLM building second floor on 7th Street and Osborn it was easy to access the files and they had everything there. That was in the early 1980's and that is where I got most all of the claims I copied.
When they decided to move is when they began their microfilming of all the records. The money for the project ran out, the people hired to do the filming were let go and when the BLM moved out of the building a lot of the records simply disappeared. You are right about claimants often not using their names. Geroge Draculick used the name George Miller for the Miller Mines claim and Crazy Jake had all his mining claims in the names of Trudy Rae and Nancy Cochran.

Matthew
 

azdave35

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azdave35,

When all the Arizona mine claim records were held at the old BLM building second floor on 7th Street and Osborn it was easy to access the files and they had everything there. That was in the early 1980's and that is where I got most all of the claims I copied.
When they decided to move is when they began their microfilming of all the records. The money for the project ran out, the people hired to do the filming were let go and when the BLM moved out of the building a lot of the records simply disappeared. You are right about claimants often not using their names. Geroge Draculick used the name George Miller for the Miller Mines claim and Crazy Jake had all his mining claims in the names of Trudy Rae and Nancy Cochran.

Matthew

the early 80's is when i was down there looking up claims also....sadly there are alot of shady characters involved in mining and that's where the aliases come into play ...many different reasons for the aliases....ex wife troubles..irs troubles....some have prison records and aren't allowed to own mining claims....some are receiving govt benefits and cant own claims..and some are just too paranoid to put their name on a claim
 
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Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

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When I first seriously began to look at the Adolph Ruth mystery I was like so many others had been, overwhelmed by the mountain of contradicting news reports, rumors and stories that have circulated for the past 80 years. None of it made sense and reading the many books and articles that were published on the subject just repeated the same conflicting and confusing story over and over again.

It took a long time of putting together all the newspaper articles, personal accounts and Sheriff's reports to finally make some sense of it all. The only way to cut through the fog of misinformation that had stood for years was to try to establish a timeline of all the events from the time Ruth left Washington D.C. to the time the Ruth investigation finally closed. This included an accurate account of the names of everyone who was involved and their involvement with Ruth and each other. Had it not been for B. David Russell, a Phoenix Businessman, Historian and Preservationist, this would never have been possible.

To begin to understand the Ruth mystery you have to start with the man who was responsible for Adolph Ruth coming to Arizona, Cal Morse.

Who was Cal Morse and how/why was he involved with Adolph Ruth ?

Collins R. “Cal” Morse was the youngest son of Joseph R. Morse. It was Joseph Morse along with Collins Hakes and the Merrill brothers, Oren and Orlando, who in 1892 discovered the Goldfield mines on the west side Superstition Mountain.
Joseph Morse was a Mesa pioneer. A successful prospector, land owner and was involved in developing some of the most successful mines in Pinal, Maricopa and Gila Counties. His son “Cal” Morse followed in his father’s footsteps prospecting and locating mining claims until a hunting accident ended his days in the mountains.

Cal Morse was a successful Mesa businessman. He operated two gas/service stations, a grocery outlet, fruit orchard, cotton fields, restaurant, a rural mail drop and a bus stop for the Motor Transport Bus Line of America.
Cal Morse never lost his appetite for prospecting. He was known to grubstake many enterprising men ready to search the mountains and swing a pick. Morse was well known to everyone in the Mesa community. He was active in the Mormon Church and influential in the politics of Mesa in the early 1900’s. His close friends included Sharlot Hall, Arizona’s first woman State representative, and Arizona Governor George W.P. Hunt.

Cal Morse employed many men over the years as mechanics, farm labor, fruit pickers, cooks and odd jobs for his various business enterprises. Two of the men in Morse employ in 1931 when Adolph Ruth came to Arizona were LeRoy Purnell and Jack Keenan. Both men had worked for Morse for several years at a variety of jobs. Keenan lived in a little shack he rented from Morse behind one of Morse’s gas stations. LeRoy Purnell also occasionally rented living quarters from Morse. Cal Morse had a ranch and large comfortable ranch home along the “Apache Trail” some 15 miles east of Mesa.

Morse regularly grubstaked a few prospectors who were more or less in partnership with him on mining enterprises. These people were close personal friends of Morse. Some had worked and done odd jobs for him and one in particular had prospected with Morse in the days before Morse’s accident. These people had more than just a passing relationship with Cal Morse.

The people involved in prospecting with Morse in 1931 when Adolph Ruth came to Arizona were:

Charles Knickerbocker, an auto painter by trade who often prospected the Superstition Mountains while grubstaked by Morse. Morse and Knickerbocker were deeply involved with a prospecting discovery in early 1931 and it was this discovery that led to Adolph Ruth coming to Arizona in May 1931.

John Sellars, a construction worker by trade, Sellars and Charles Knickerbocker had prospected together many times and both men were grubstaked by Morse. Sellars was a large strong man capable of hard back breaking work.

George Bashford, a longtime personal friend of Cal Morse. Bashford had known and prospected with Morse’s father. Bashford himself was a successful prospector around the Prescott and Mayer areas around the turn of the century (1900). In 1931 Bashford was at Mesa prospecting the Superstition and Mazatzal Mountains and being grubstaked by his friend Cal Morse. Bashford was down and out at this point in his life (1931) having lost almost everything in the depression of 1929. He divided his time between living out in the mountains and on Morse’s ranch east of Mesa. Bashford was an old Arizona pioneer, a hard, rugged man who had fought in the Spanish American war and was known by many to be a dangerous man to trifle with.

When Adolph Ruth came to Arizona in May 1931 to search for the Peralta/Dutchman mines he came at the request of Cal Morse and stayed with Morse at his ranch east of Mesa. These are the men, for better or worse, Adolph Ruth became involved with upon his arrival:

Cal Morse, Charles Knickerbocker, Jack Keenan, LeRoy Purnell, John Sellars and George Bashford.
 

motel6.5

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Just adding, Erwin Ruth, gave various bits of information to {Dan Jones,} a Phoenix City detective, who was trying to solve his fathers murder...Courtisy of B.Storm, End Notes,Thunder God"s Gold. May or Not, be helpful.
 
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Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

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Just adding, Erwin Ruth, gave various bits of information to {Dan Jones,} a Phoenix City detective, who was trying to solve his fathers murder...Courtisy of B.Storm, End Notes,Thunder God"s Gold. May or Not, be helpful.


motel6.5,

You have hit the nail squarely on the head. Correspondence between Erwin Ruth and Phoenix Detective Dan Jones, raised the important question of who were the only people in a position to kill Adolph Ruth.

All of the actual letters between Erwin Ruth and Dan Jones are posted here on page 27 of this thread.

The letters to read carefully are the March 8, 1936 letter from Dan Jones to Erwin Ruth Page 2. And the April 2, 1936 letter from Erwin Ruth to Dan Jones Page 2.

Read these two letters very carefully, relate them to the critical information given within this thread and you will learn the name of the man who killed Adolph Ruth.

Matthew
 

cactusjumper

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Starman wrote:

"Now throw in the existence of monuments high up on the east side of W. Boulder Canyon that contained two stone maps that takes you all the way to the end of the trail and one can see why Ruth started where he did and died where he did. I believe he saw those maps and sketched out a copy and left them there, for the simply reason he could not carry them."
__________________________________

For those who have been to Ruth's camp at Willow spring and climbed from there up the east side of West Boulder to the ridge where the two monuments were, there would be little doubt that Adolph Ruth could not have made that climb. I made that climb with my brother many years ago. There were many places where we had to help each other to reach the next level. Same story when we made the decent into Willow Spring.....in the dark. Adolph Ruth did not find those two monuments.

Our old campsite at Willow Spring:



General area where we found the two monuments:



We started our climb to the left side (north) of this:



On the other hand, it makes for an interesting story for any future book. Since Starman knows all about those two monuments and their supposed contents, perhaps he could post a picture or two. A couple of simple pictures would seal the deal for him......so to speak.

Good luck,

Joe Ribaudo
 
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cactusjumper

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Greg,

Hope all is well with you. Any chance you can post a few of those pictures you took riding up the north side of the main mountain with Tom?

Thanks,

Joe
 

starman 1

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Jun 3, 2010
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It is not the where it is the when

Hello Mr. Ribaudo,

Sometimes the obvious answer is the hardest one to see. The monuments have always been at the center of this mystery. As such consider that Ruth opened up the monuments early on in his visits to The Superstitions.

If this is so it explains how Ruth could easily have gotten to the monuments and the discovery would lay the foundation for other searches that opened up a portal on the way. Sadly this portal led to death and suffering for those who literally fell into it.

Have you ever wondered why those monuments were removed with such precision and total destruction? Simply because those who destroyed them thought they had found the prize within and the orientation of those monuments were almost as important as what was in them.

Who built the monuments? Now that is a question worthy of asking. Just a hint not the locals.

Good luck in you searches.

Starman
 

cactusjumper

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Dec 10, 2005
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Hello Mr. Ribaudo,

Sometimes the obvious answer is the hardest one to see. The monuments have always been at the center of this mystery. As such consider that Ruth opened up the monuments early on in his visits to The Superstitions.

If this is so it explains how Ruth could easily have gotten to the monuments and the discovery would lay the foundation for other searches that opened up a portal on the way. Sadly this portal led to death and suffering for those who literally fell into it.

Have you ever wondered why those monuments were removed with such precision and total destruction? Simply because those who destroyed them thought they had found the prize within and the orientation of those monuments were almost as important as what was in them.

Who built the monuments? Now that is a question worthy of asking. Just a hint not the locals.

Good luck in you searches.

Starman

Starman,

No pictures of those monuments????

Good luck,

Joe Ribaudo
 

Steve Jenkins

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cactusjumper,

I agree that it may have been Brownie and Bill Barkley that were the first to find Ruth's body or knew where to look for it. That would certainly explain why Tex and his wife (and some others too) were so secretive and evasive about the whole Ruth mystery.

The Peters Mesa story was not only told to Gassler by Tex, it was told to Jim Bark by Jeff Adams and to several other people also. So Walter was not the only one who was told this account. I would accept the theory that Tex may have deceived Walter about where Ruth died except for the fact the Maricopa County Sheriff's investigators (Lon Jordan) noted in the Ruth file where Ruth perished and it was Peters Mesa. The Maricopa County Sheriff was aware of Ruth being found somewhere other than Black Top Mesa. That is why Maricopa County took authority of the entire disappearance and death investigation including the Maricopa County death certificate that stated Ruth died in Maricopa County Superstition Mountains. The official investigation would not have concluded that Ruth died there on Tex Barkley's say so alone. They came to that conclusion because they had indisputable evidence that went beyond anything Tex Barkley may have said.

You have to remember that Tex Barkley wasn't the only person who knew about Ruth being found and where he was found. Jeff Adams knew, Hosea Cline knew, Gabriel Robles knew, Asa Gardner knew. All these individuals were questioned by the Maricopa Co. investigators. You would have to believe they all made up a story and they all stuck to it under questioning. It was Asa Gardner who came clean and told everything he knew. If you've been a good detective and really dug into the Ruth mystery you know why Gardner was completely forthcoming with the Maricopa Sheriff.

Also if you've been a good detective you would have read in one of the letters that survive from the Ruth investigation the one person the Maricopa County investigators should have questioned but in fact never brought him in or asked him a single question. That man knew everything from start to finish.

Matthew

Can anyone tell me why Gardner was forthcoming?

Can anyobidy tell me who should have been questioned but was not.

I am not lazy and will research this on my own if somebody could point me in the right direction.

Any help would be appreciated.

What an incredible mystery.

My brain is smoking.
 

Steve Jenkins

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Yes Mathew, I just read them. Thank you very much. I hope to lead a group up to Crown King in the next few months thought that location would be a fun historic stop along the way.
 
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Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

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Steve Jenkins, ..... The reason Asa Gardner finally talked was due to his friendship with Pinal County Sheriff, Walter Laveen. The man everyone should have been interested in from the start was George Bashford. It was a full year after the Ruth matter had cooled down that Sheriff MacFadden, Erwin Ruth and a Phoenix detective made the connection.
 

wrmickel1

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Matthew

That pic you posted a while back of that tasty Gold Ore, You said the mine you thought may have been the Dutchman’s was covered up by BLM, you said it was North. Was that let’s say Northeast or Northwest in the Supers, And is it contained within The wilderness area, and in Maricopa County.

Thanks Wayne
 
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Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

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Matthew

That pic you posted a while back of that tasty Gold Ore, You said the mine you thought may have been the Dutchman’s was covered up by BLM, you said it was North. Was that let’s say Northeast or Northwest in the Supers, And is it contained within The wilderness area, and in Maricopa County.

Thanks Wayne
I remember posting a couple photos of gold ore but don't remember ever saying the blm covered a mine. Maybe that was someone else.
 

wrmickel1

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I remember posting a couple photos of gold ore but don't remember ever saying the blm covered a mine. Maybe that was someone else.

Yeah I believe your right, you said it was covered over, Most likely with growth, I was just wondering if it was in Maricopa County.

Thanks Wayne
 

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