Re-Live the Chilling Tale of Kennewick’s 1906 Halloween Massacre
4 men were killed in a shootout over mistaken identity on Halloween in 1906.
It's become known as the "Shootout in Poplar Grove." It happened late in the afternoon when Kennewick Sheriff Deputy Joe Holzhey and a saloon owner, H.E. Roseman approached a camp site known as "hobo jungle" to question 2 men about burglaries on the previous night. The two suspects, 44-year-old sheepherder Jake Lake and 16-year-old George "Kid" Barker defended themselves, warning the Deputy and bar owner to stay away unless they wanted trouble.
For their safety, Holzhey and Roseman left the site.
They met up with Benton County Sheriff Alex G. McNeill and Kennewick Marshal Mike Glover. These two were also investigating the burglaries. It was then, that the 4 agreed to return to the "hobo jungle" campsite.
As they got close, the sheepherder Jake Lake appeared with a rifle.
Lake demanded to know why he and "Kid" Barker were being followed. As the men reached for their weapons, Lake shot 3 of them. Holzhey and Glover went down. Sheriff McNeil was able to take refuge behind a tree, although he was shot in the abdomen. Roseman was able to get McNeill into a handcart and wheeled him to railroad tracks nearby and returned to Kennewick.
Back in Kennewick, a posse was formed and they galloped to Poplar Grove.
Glover was found dead, Holzhey was wounded and passed away the following day. Lake was found dead in the trees. Barker was gone. Although, he was found later by posse member Forest Perry hiding in a ditch near the shooting. Barker was ordered to come out with his hands up. The rest of the confused posse opened fire. Perry was shot dead. The posse mistook Perry for Barker.
Barker was taken into custody sent to Prosser to stand trial for murder. Barker escaped and was NEVER seen again. And the kicker...after investigation, it was determined that Lake and Barker weren't involved in the burglaries. You can read the full story here.
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