Mon, June 24

1914: CLARKDALE; Maria Rodriguez Killed, November 28, Part 1.


"Last Sunday Marie Roderiquez, a Mexican woman, was shot in the chest, in a wood camp north of Clarkdale, and instantly killed. The supposed murderer is Antonio Tapateo, but as there was some uncertainty in the matter the coroner's jury which conducted the investigation, found a verdict that she came to her death from a gunshot wound, fired by Tapateo or by Bartena Valdez."

"She had been living with Valdez in the wood camp, and his story as told to the local officers was that on Sunday night while she was lying in the bed in the tent Tapateo came in and shot her with a rifle, the bullet entering her chest and causing instant death. He then turned upon Valdez and fired at him five or six times, hitting him once in the arm and once in the hand. Then Valdez ran and Tapateo pursued him, calling to him to stop, but never firing again. He chased him clear to the river and then stopped, and Valdez came to Jerome and told his story."

"Officers immediately set out to search for the other man and found several traces of him, but were unable to find him. They went to the scene of the shooting and found that several points in the story as told by Valdez were not borne out by the condition found in the tent. In fact there were so many conflicting conditions that it influenced the jury in finding its verdict in such a way as to include both men."

"Valdez sticks to his story and cannot be caught tripping in any detail of it. He is in the Jerome hospital in a rather weak condition and will probably be confined there for some time."

(Jerome News; Friday, December 6, 1914; page 1.)


"Deputy Jeff Case brought one of the most exciting man-hunts known in the history of Arizona to a close Sunday afternoon at three o'clock when he shot and killed Antonio Lopez, alias Antonio Pappeo, after a battle in which at least twenty shots were exchanged. The tragic end of this remarkable hunt occurred about three miles west of Casa Grande."

"The man killed was the one who killed Maria Rodriguez and wounded Ventura Valdez at a wood camp eight miles from Clarkdale on the evening of November 28th. He was able to escape after shooting and wounding Deputy Sheriff Henry Alfred, then capturing his horse and rifle, this facilitating his escape which up to this time had been a very difficult flight, owing to the close proximity of the persuing officers."

"Sheriff C. C. Keeler of Prescott and Sheriff Jeff Adams and his Deputy Joe Murphy of Phoenix, were on the trail eighteen miles in the rear when the fugitive was captured and killed."

"Sunday morning Lopez was seen by a section hand at Bon Station, who at once set out for Casa Grande on his gasoline speeder to advise the officers who at once began the pursuit of the fugitive. Sheriff Case encountered the bandit at a distance of one hundred yards and demanded him to throw up his hands and surrender. This demand was met with a shower of bullets to which the sheriff replied, one of the bullets bringing down the man with a shot which struck him on the hip and glanced into the stomach causing death in three-quarters of an hour."

"Sheriff Keeler was at once notified and he and his men began the return journey, arriving at home on the evening of the seventh."

"Lopez started on foot through the Verde Valley after the tragedy which resulted in the killing of the woman and the wounding of the man at the wood camp at Clarkdale. For two or three days Lopez was hard pressed by Indian trailers who were working in co-operation with the Yavapai county officials. At no time were the officials at a greater distance than two or three miles and at one time were only one and one-half miles behind Lopez. Upon his securing the horse of the Deputy whom he shot, he took an entirely different course into the Casa Grande country through which it was almost impossible to trail the man. However, Sheriff Keeler kept on the trail and all the officers in the county were notified. Lopez was known as a desperate character, having come to Yavapai county after having fought with Zapata in Mexico. The wandering course of the chase extended over a trail of 200 miles, being 142 miles by section lines. Lopez traveled a great part of this distance by foot and was sure to have escaped had it not been for the expert Indian trailers who accompanied the posse from Clarkdale to the Tonto country."

"The bandit's body will be buried in Pinal county on the orders of Sheriff Keeler."

(Jerome News; Friday, December 11, 1914; page 1.)