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Clarence Leon RABY





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: July 7/August 1, 1960
Date of arrest: August 28, 1960 (surrenders)
Date of birth: 1933
Victims profile: Frank C. Keith, 61 (store owner) / Ben DeVault, 58 (Deputy sheriff)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Union County, Tennessee, USA
Status: Shot to death as he tried to shoot his way out of jail on October 24, 1960

Desperado Dies in Escape Try

Ocala Star-Banner

October 25, 1960

Clarence Leon Raby, who became one of the FBI's 10 most wanted criminals after he shot and killed two men, was shot to death Monday night as he tried to shoot his way out of jail.

A deputy, Kenneth Milligan, was wounded as he shot it out with Raby in the jail's corridor.

Officers sais Raby called officers to his fourth floor cell on the pretense he wanted to make a statement in connection with another death in his case.

He pulled a gun on them and said: "I'm getting out of here".

He forced Tennessee Bureau of Identification agent Walter Bearden and Sgt. Clarence Brown of the highway patrol to get on an elevator -the only way out of the building- with jailer Dave Humphreys.

On the first floor, Raby got off the elevator, fired at other officers through the glass partitioned jailer's office and ran toward the front of the building.

Raby was felled by two bullets on the front lawn.

Raby faced trial on Nov. 7 at Clinton on charges he killed Frank C. Keith, an  Andersonville, Tenn., merchant last July during a robbery.

Sheriff's deputy Ben DeVault was killed Aug. 1 as he tried to arrest the fugitive on the murder charge.

On Aug. 28,  the fugitive, bearded and dirty from living in the hills, turned himself in to former Knox County Sheriff E. B. Bowles and was lodged in the Knox County jail for safekeeping.


Posse Hunts Killer Of Sheriffs Deputy

Stevens Point Daily Journal

August 2, 1960

CLINTON. Tenn. (AP) A former convict sought on a murder charge and the killing of a sheriff's deputy was the object of an intensive search today in east Tennessee.

Police are seeking Clarence Leon Raby, 26, of near Knoxville, in the robbery-slaying of an Anderson County merchant and the killing of a Union County deputy sheriff. The merchant was slain July 7. The deputy was killed Monday.

Another man was shot to death and his father wounded critically in an exchange of gunfire with police searching for Raby.

Dan Cooper, 27, was killed and his father, Kaley Cooper, 52, was wounded by Knox County officers who were hunting for Raby with bloodhounds.

Knox County Sheriff E.B. Bowles said four of his deputies felled the Coopers after the latter opened fire at the officers with a rifle and shotgun. The sheriff said Kaley Cooper,shot in the arm and chest, had been charged with felonious assault with intent to murder.

Bowles said the Coopers, residents of the Heiskell community where Raby lives, had ambushed his officers. Heiskell is about 15 miles southeast of here.

The elder Cooper, who underwent surgery at a Knoxville hospital, told police: "We thought you were Raby." But Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim Colquitt, one of the four officers, said the bloodhounds were baying and added: "I don't see how it was possible for them (the Coopers) to think the four of us were Raby."

Authorities said Raby gunned down Ben DeVault, Union County deputy sheriff, after he and a brother, Lloyd, spotted the fugitive on a rural road 20 miles to the east.

DeVault. 58. shot at Raby in a truck which the latter commandeered from Fred Rutherford, a farmer. Raby, armed with a pistol, felled the officer with a bullet in the head.

The killer released Rutherford unharmed and later abandoned the truck on the outskirts of Knoxville, 25 miles to the southeast.

Police there said a man answering Raby's description held up a couple outside a tavern, pistol whipped the woman and fled in their car.

The car was found abandoned a few miles from Knoxville. Raby and another Knox County man, Billy McCoy, 22, have been charged with murder in the holdup-slaying of Frank C. Keith, 61, at his Andersonville, Tenn., store last month. Officers said two gunmen took about $1,000 from Keith before felling him with a shotgun blast.

Raby has served a brief term in the state prison for theft. Police said he escaped from the Knox County workhouse near Knoxville the day before Keith was slain.

He was serving a sentence on a drunken driving conviction. McCoy. who had been sentenced on a forgery charge, escaped with Raby.



MO: Career criminal; shot holdup victim and policeman.

DISPOSITION: Killed in escape attempt, Oct. 24, 1960.



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