Confession of Kelsie Morrison (At the Federal Building in Guthrie, Oklahoma on May 18, 1926)

Morrison confesses to shooting Anna Brown and implicates Byron Burkhart and William Hale in Anna's murder.  He also implicates Hale and Ernest Burkhart in the explosion that killed three at the home of Bill and Rita Smith.


Anna Brown


Statement of Kelsie Morrison to Mr. T. J. Leahy on May 18, 1926, at the Federal Building, Guthrie, Oklahoma, in the presence of F. S. Smith and J. V. Murphy, special agents, Department of Justice, and Assistant Attorney General Dabney, State of Oklahoma.

Examination by Mr. Leahy:

Q. Kelsie, you knew Anna Brown during your life?

A. Yes sir.

Q.  How long did you know her?

A.  How long? About six or eight months.

Q.  You also knew W. K. Hale and Byron Burkhart?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long did you know them?

A. About five years.

Q, You remember of the death of Anna Brown?

A. Yes sir.

Where you present when that happened?

A. Yes sir

Who else was present?

A. Byron Burkhart.

Did Bryon Burkhart have anything to do with the killing of Anna Brown?

A. Yes, he held her up

And you fired the shot, did you

A. Yes sir.

What kind of a place was it were Anna Brown was killed, with reference to a canyon or ravine?

A. It was a ravine, rocky, trees around it and very little water.

About how far is that from Fairfa

A. About three miles from Fairfax.

Is there a spring in this canyon?

A. Yes sir.

About how far from the head of the canyon was Anna Brown killed

A. About 75 yards.

Do you know how Anna Brown came to be there?

A. Yes. Byron Burkhart and I took her there.

Was anyone else with you?

A. Yes, Katherine Morrison.

She was your wife then?

A. Yes sir.

Is she known as Katherine Cole?

A. Yes sir.

At the time you took Anna Brown down there, what kind of a car was you riding in?

A. A Buick.

Whose car was it?

A. Ernest Burkhart.

Who drove the car?

A. Byron Burkhart.

Was you sitting in the front seat or back seat?

A. The back seat.

Who was in the back seat with you?

A. Anna Brown.

When you drove out to this place and stopped the car, how did Anna Brown get out of the car?

A. Byron helped to take her out.

What was her condition with reference to being drunk?

A. She was drunk.

When you took her out of the car, what did you do with her?

A. Took her down in the ravine.

About how far from the car?

A. About 40 steps.

After you got there what did you do with her?

A. Gave her a big drink and left her.

Was she so drunk as to be helpless?

A. Yes sir.

What did you do then?

A. Went back and got in the car.

Where did you go?

A. Rode around two or three hours.

Did you take Katherine home?

A. Yes sir.

Did you come back again to where Anna Brown was?

A. Yes sir.

And was that when she was killed?

A. Yes sir.

At whose instance did you and Byron Burkhart take Anna Brown out there?

A. Bill Hale.

Did he request you to kill her?

A. Yes sir.

Did he furnish the gun?

A. Yes sir.

And did you kill her with Bill Hale’s gun?

A. Yes sir.

Did he pay you for it?

A. Yes sir.

How much?

A. One thousand dollars and what I owed him.

How much did you owe him?

A. About six hundred dollars.

After Anna Brown was killed, did you report to Bill Hale?

A. Yes sir.

The same night?

A. Yes sir.

You mean his ranch house?

A. Yes sir.

When did he pay you this one thousand dollars?

A. About thirty days after it happened.

How did he pay it?

A. He paid it in signing notes at the Osage Bank at Fairfax.

You mean he signed the notes with you?

A. Yes sir.

Did he afterwards pay the notes?

A. Yes sir.

Now Kelsie, with reference to the killing of Bill Smith and his family, say whether or not Hale ever talked to you about killing Smith?

A. He did.

More than once?

A. Yes sir.

About how many times?

A. I could not say, any number of times.

Did he suggest that he would pay you well for it?

A. Yes sir.

Ever give you any figure?

A. No sir.

What did you tell him about it?

A. I told him I did not want to do it.

What way did he suggest that you might kill him?

A. Told me to shoot him.

Shoot him in the day time or night?

A. In the night.


A. At his home at night.

Did he ever suggest to you about burning the Smith home?

A. Yes sir.

What did he want you to burn the house for?

A. He wanted me to set it on fire and when Bill Smith run out to shoot him.

Shoot who?

A. Bill Smith and his wife.

Did he tell you why he wanted you to kill Bill Smith and wife?

A. No sir.

Bill Smith’s wife was a sister of Anna Brown?

A. Yes sir.

Did you ever hear him suggest that he wanted to get all the estates of those sisters in the hands of Mollie Burkhart?

A. Yes sir.

Just how did he express that?

A. Well, he said Mollie would fall heir to the estates, and then Ernest Burkhart would make it right with me.

Make it right with you for what?

A. For the killing.

Was that when he suggested to you about killing Rita Smith and Bill Smith?

A. Yes sir.

Did you ever discuss the matter with Ernest?

A. No sir.

When you refused to do the killing and told Hale you did not want to do the killing, did he say he would get someone else to do it?

A. He said he would get someone else to do it.

How long before Smith and wife were filled in the explosion was it when hale wanted you to kill then?

A. It was six or eight months.

Was that while Smith and wife were living at Grayhorse?

A. Yes sir.

You know where that house was?

A. Yes sir.

                                                                                                            Kelsie Morrison