Residents in the southern district of the city were terrorized by a series of footpad robberies on the night of August 20, 1925. Eleven homes in that part of the city were entered by thieves who slipped stealthily into the homes and snatched money and jewelry. They departed in most cases without arousing the people robbed.


Residents in the southern district of the city were terrorized by a series of footpad robberies on the night of August 20, 1925. Eleven homes in that part of the city were entered by thieves who slipped stealthily into the homes and snatched money and jewelry. They departed in most cases without arousing the people robbed.

At only one place was the man of the house aroused by the marauder. J.W. Langley, of south Kickapoo, was awakened at 12:40 A.M., by a man who grabbed his trousers and dashed into the darkness. He had two dollars in the pockets of the trousers stolen by the prowler.

Langley called the police department, but the officers were unable to find any trace of the footpad. However, Langley had hardly retired again until the thief re-entered his house. Langley jumped up, grabbed his gun and fired one shot at the man as he fled.

Police officers believe the same man committed all the robberies. The other homes reported robbed and the articles stolen were: J.R. Dobbs of south Pottenger, $3.69 in money; J.E. Harmon of south Chapman, $15; J.C. Colter, south Chapman, took trousers, but there was nothing in them, so the robber tossed them into the garden; James Martin, of south Chapman, $3.60 and an open-faced watch, a ladies’ wrist watch and bracelet; H.C. Collier of south Pottenger, $10, ladies’ wrist watch; and a few other items.

Reports of similar robberies in McLoud, Chandler, and several other towns near Shawnee prompted the belief by the police that an organized group of footpads were going through the area.


The major portion of Friday, September 11, 1925, was spent on selecting a jury to try Leroy Manwarin, alleged “Kid Gloved Bandit,” for the murder of Raymond Hebble. County Attorney Randall Pitman made the opening statement and started unfolding his chain of evidence which he expected to send the defendant to the electric chair. The obvious reason for the death penalty being asked was evidenced by the examination of the prospective jurors. State immediately challenged any prospective juror who had scruples against infliction of the death penalty.

Forty-four veniremen were examined before the final 12 were secured and sit down in judgment. Of the 44 examined, 17 claimed they held conscientious objection against the death penalty.

From early morning until late in the evening, the courtroom was packed with spectators. It was necessary at times for the sheriff and his deputies to clear the aisles that the jurors might file in and out during recess periods. The gallery was also packed with men and women.

Through the examination of jurymen, Manwarin maintained his characteristic nonchalant attitude, and at no time during the entire proceedings did he show any indication of concern. His eyes roved over the courtroom and he found amusement frequently in the remarks made by potential jurors. He was especially amazed when Judge Leander G. Pitman excused one man who said he was not a qualified voter and recommended that he should go to Russia.

The following men were selected for the jury: J. Lloyd Ford, J. Watt Barton, R.B. Rippletoe, F.J. Bristow, George Graff, E.F. Fox, E.E. Gray, C.D. Hathcock, H.C. London, H.L. Emerson, J.M. Bragdon, and W.W. Turner.


Leroy Manwarin, the “Kid Gloved Bandit,” was found guilty of the murder of Raymond Hebble, young oil field worker, by the jury in superior court on the night of September 14, 1925. His penalty was fixed at execution in the electric chair. The jury brought in the decision after about five hours of deliberation.

J. Lloyd Ford was selected as foreman of the jurors and led the procession when it filed into the well-filled courtroom with its decision. The verdict was handed to Judge Leander G. Pitman, who read it and passed it on to Court Clerk Mabel Marlatt.

Manwarin received the news with his usual indifference, while his mother fainted. Outside of her episode, no one in the defendant’s party showed any emotions. Judge Pitman then called the defendant to the bar and informed him that formal sentencing would be passed on Friday, the 18th.

“All right, your honor,” was Manwarin’s reply. These were the only words uttered by him since he was brought into the courtroom several days earlier.

Officers pointed out that this was the first time a person in Pottawatomie County was sentenced to death in the last 18 years. In 1907, William (Bill) Johnson was hanged at Tecumseh for the murder of May Crumpy. In 1915, Ed Berry was hanged by an angry mob at the Beard Street bridge. It appeared that the execution of Johnson was the only legal one in the history of Pottawatomie County.

On Friday the 18th, the convicted slayer was formally sentenced. He was also denied the request for a new trial. He was sentenced to die in the electric chair, “old sparky,” at the McAlester Penitentiary on Friday, November 27, one day after Thanksgiving.

E.J. Geddings, attorney for the convicted slayer’s mother, entered the case for the first time. He presented several affidavits which sought to show that his client had not received a fair and impartial trial. Among them was one signed by Manwarin himself, in which he stated that he was at home sick in bed the night of May 20, when Hebble was killed.

Geddings made an appeal to the court, stating that he had known the individual since he was a child and that he bore a reputation for honor and honesty. This pervaded until he became involved in a robbery in Oklahoma City, to which he pled guilty and served a term in the state pen.

Judge Pitman then went through the proceedings of all events in the trial and then rendered a denial for a new trial. The defense attorney immediately announced their intentions of an appeal.

  (These stories and hundreds more appear in the first volume of Shawnee history, entitled: “REDBUD CITY: SHAWNEE, THE EARLY YEARS, 1830-1929.” It can be purchased by calling Clyde Wooldridge at (918) 470-3728, or by visiting the Pottawatomie County Historical Society at the old Santa Fe Depot. The cost of purchase is $35. Volume two, “1930-1949,” is also available for $30. Volume three, “REDBUD CITY: SHAWNEE, THE MIDDLE YEARS, 1950-1969,” is now available, at a cost of $35. All three volumes are more than 400 pages with hundreds of photos and illustrations. A combination of two or three can be purchased at $30 each. They are fully indexed, making it easy to look up individuals or places of business. Volume four 1970-1989, is scheduled for the fall of 2020; volume five 1990-2009, should be available in the fall of 2021; and volume six 2010-to the present, is scheduled for the fall of 2022. They are also available on thumb drive at the PCHS Museum.)