No new developments... the investigation goes on. That's the situation Friday as Harrison County authorities seek to unravel the pre-dawn murder early Thursday at a Mississippi City beachfront tourist cottage. A minute study is being made of several articles found in the cottage, occupied by Frank H. (Blackie) Slaven, about 45, who was felled by a shotgun blast and pistol slug in the back.
Sheriff's deputies hope something may be uncovered leading to the motive for the shooting and the identity Of the three heavily-armed men and a woman who fled from the tourist court immediately after the shooting.
Sheriff's Deputy Maxie M. Broadus, one of the investigators, said the attractive brunette, who was driving the get-away late-model high-powered automobile, is believed to be the wife of the dead man. He did not elaborate on his reasonings for this as sumption. Three men and a woman had registered at the court on three occasions during the past two weeks, the woman posing as Slaven's wife, Broadus said. Two of the men were Slaven and Joe Hamilton, alias Judson Andrew Hamilton, and the third registered as Harry Gray, Clara, Ga., the deputy stated.
The woman and Gray have been unnaccounted for since Slaven's body, crumpled in his own blood, was found in front of his tourist cottage.
"We (Harrison County officers) want to question the woman and Gray. Maybe they could throw light on the case," Deputy Broadus said.
During the course of the investigation, Broadus said, officers learned that Slaven and the woman posing as his wife quarrelled the day before the shooting. The nature of the quarrel was not disclosed.
The officer said investigators were told the woman got in an automobile and drove away from the tourist court.
Hamilton, who was taken into custody shortly after the shooting, remained in the Harrison County Jail in Gulfport. He also remained mum, telling officers at the outset that he couldn't talk because "he would be next." He did tell authorities that when the shooting started in the cottage, he jumped through a sereen window and ran.
SPENT SHELLS FOUND
Deputies Broudus and Jim Young said three spent 12-gauge shotgun shells were found at the scene, one on the ground near the body and the other two inside the cottage. Also found was a discharged 32-20 pistol cartridge.
Immediately after the shooting about 4 a.m. Thursday, a Gulfport police prowl car gave chase to a late model sedan which left the court at "a high rate of speed," and proceeded eastward on U.S. Highway 90. At the time they gave chase, the officers did not know of the slaying.
The policemen said the automobile, a 1951 Oldsmobile sedan, was occupied by three men and a woman. The description of the woman, as given by the police, was "almost identical" to the description of the woman who was a guest at the tourist court, Broadus explained.
Since its encounter with the Gulfport policemen early Thursday, officers have received no information as to the whereabouts of the automobile or its occupants, Deputy Young said.
Meanwhile, Slaven's bodv remains unclaimed at the Riemann Funeral Home in Gulfport, where an inquest was conducted Thursday afternoon by County Coroner Frank Hightower. The coroner's jury, who listed the victim as Blackie Slaven, said he came to his death "at the hands of unknown persons."
At the time he was shot, Slaven was attired only in his underwear, a pair of socks, and one shoe. Investigating officers said a blast from a shotgun entered Slaven's back under the left shoulder. Other pellet marks were noted on his left leg and hand.
Biloxi (Mississippi) Daily Herald, August 22, 1952.
(Note: Frank "Blackie" Slaven was an alias of Lonnie Russ, so you probably don't have a gangster in your family tree.)