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James Waybern HALL






A.K.A.: "Big Jim"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Parricide - Apparent robberies
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: 1944  - 1945
Date of arrest: March 15, 1945
Date of birth: January 28, 1921
Victims profile: Fayrene Clemmons, 19 (his wife) / Carl Hamilton / E.C. Adams / Doyle Mulherin
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
Status: Executed by electrocution in Arkansas on January 4, 1946

Hall, James Waybern (1921 - 1946)

Killed 4 people, including his wife, in Arkansas between 1944 and 1945. Was sentenced to death in May 1945 and executed on January 4, 1946.


James Waybern Hall

Drafted by the navy in 1943, despite his best efforts to escape military service, Hall was dishonorably discharged after eight weeks of training. Back home in Little Rock, he married 19-year-old Fayrene Clemmons on March 14, 1944, but their relationship was a stormy one, marked by a brief separation in June. 

On September 28, Hall paid a visit to his father-in-law, reporting that Fayrene had deserted him three days earlier. Police were notified, logging reports of the young woman's promiscuous behavior, and they closed their investigation after a week, declaring her a probable runaway. Their theory was bolstered two months later, when relatives received a Christmas card with Fayrene's signature, postmarked from Bakersfield, California, but Jim Hall "borrowed" the card and envelope before officers had a chance to examine it, and it was subsequently "lost."

On January 29, 1945, loggers discovered an abandoned car in Ouachita County, southwest of Little Rock. There was a dead man slumped behind the wheel, a bullet in his heart, identified from fingerprints as Camden barber Carl Hamilton. The victim had been dead for several days when found, but homicide detectives had no reason to connect his murder with the disappearance of a wayward spouse in Little Rock.

The toll began to mount on February 1, when E.C. Adams vanished en route to his job at a Little Rock war plant. His car was found outside of Fordyce, northwest of Camden in Dallas County, and searchers located his body in some nearby brush, a single bullet in his brain. That same day, trucker Doyle Mulherin was reported long overdue on a scheduled meat delivery, his vehicle found hours later near Stuttgart, 40-odd miles to the southeast of Little Rock, in Arkansas County. A sweep of the area turned up his body, one shot through the head, his pockets emptied of $125 in company cash.

Police were still without a suspect on March 2, when James Hall was arrested in a Little Rock bar fight, fined $106.90 on his plea of guilty to simple assault. Authorities became more interested in Hall when an acquaintance told of loaning him a car on January 28. There was a loaded pistol in the glove compartment, and a single round was missing from the clip when Hall returned the car on January 29. Ballistics tests revealed the gun had been employed to kill Carl Hamilton.

On March 9, 1945, a burned-out car was found near Heber Springs, in Cleburne County. An incinerated body was recovered from the back seat, identified from dental charts as J.D. Newcomb, Jr., late of Little Rock. A search of Jim Hall's lodgings, meanwhile, had revealed substantial quantities of ammunition and shaving gear stolen from Hamilton. Picked up near Little Rock on March 15, Hall readily confessed to the series of holdup-murders that had earned him less than $300 overall. He led detectives to the site where his wife was buried, surprised to learn a farmer had retrieved the skull months earlier. Identified from crooked teeth, Fayrene was finally laid to rest.

Convicted of murder after a two-day trial, in May 1945, Hall was sentenced to death. Escorted to the chair on January 4, 1946, he was all smiles, laughing and joking with his guards. "Boys, I'm not afraid," he told them as they strapped him in and fastened the electrodes. "I can take it."

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers



MO: Murdered his wife, followed by three men in apparent robberies.

DISPOSITION: Executed Jan. 4, 1946.



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