Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town

Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town

by Bitty Martin
Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town

Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town

by Bitty Martin


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By 1966, Hot Springs, Arkansas wasn’t your typical sleepy little Southern town. Once a favorite destination for mobsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, illegal activities continued to lure out-of-state gamblers, flim-flam men, and high rollers to its racetracks, clubs, and bordellos. Still, the town was shaken to its core after a girl was found dead on a nearby ranch. The ranch owner claimed it was an accident. Then the rancher was found to be the killer of another woman – his fourth wife. The story begins when 13-year-old Cathie Ward was found dead after horseback riding at Blacksnake Ranch on the outskirts of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Frank Davis, the owner of the ranch, tells authorities Cathie’s death is an accident. He claims her foot caught in a stirrup and she was dragged to her death despite his pursuit of the runaway horse. People who know the 42-year-old skilled horseman don’t believe his story, and soon rumors of her rape and murder begin swirling around town. The rumors reach a crescendo after Davis viciously guns down his fourth wife and mother-in-law in broad daylight outside of a laundromat. Davis is arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Soon after, Hot Springs authorities re-open the investigation into Cathie Ward’s death. Snake Eyes is the first book to examine this decades-old murder and cover-up, and the only in-depth account of the man who would become the town’s most notorious villain. Featuring personal interviews, crime scene records, court documents, and Davis’ own prison files, author and lifelong Hot Springs resident Bitty Martin reveals the true story for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633887763
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 05/15/2022
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 455,021
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Bitty Martin earned two college degrees, one in marketing from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and the other in nursing from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She has worked in research, executive leadership, financial marketing and advertising in Hot Springs and was a member of the Little Rock, Arkansas, media community in print and TV sales with the Arkansas Times magazine, KATV – Channel 7/ABC affiliate and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette statewide newspaper. Returning to school to earn a nursing degree, Bitty became a registered nurse and has worked across America as a traveling operating room nurse for the past two decades. She is the founder of a private national nursing network for highly specialized rapid response nurses and is nationally known among America’s 3.8 million nurses and nationwide staffing companies. Bitty currently lives in her hometown, Hot Springs, and is a board member of the Garland County Historical Society, where she uses her love for Hot Springs historical research along with her media and sales background to benefit the community organization. For more information:

Table of Contents

Author's Note v

Part I Blacksnake

1 The Teenage Girl and the Ranch Owner 3

2 The Father and the Friend 15

3 The Funeral and the Skateboard 21

4 The Killer 31

5 The Drowning, the Women, and the Mother 39

6 Mental Health and the Getaway 49

7 The Rumors 55

5 The Sprees 59

9 The Stalker 63

Part II Redbird

10 The Redbird 71

11 The Crime Scene Photographer and the Cousin 77

12 Evil Personified 81

13 The Picture in the Casket 83

14 The Post-Murder Meltdown 87

15 The State Hospital 91

16 The Psychiatric Team Diagnosis 101

17 The Posthumous Birthday Gift 105

18 The Foreclosure 111

19 The Trial Stay to First Day 113

20 The Admission 117

21 Faking Bad 125

22 The Psychiatrists' Say 135

23 The Jury Deliberates 145

24 The Verdict 149

25 The Sentence 151

Part III Cowboy Convict

26 The Death Row Inmate 157

27 Rockefeller's Goodwill and Peace to Prisoners 161

28 The Fifth Marriage and the Escape 167

29 The Chest Pains and Newspaper Clippings 179

30 The String Pulling 189

31 The Keep Forever Letters 195

32 Oregon or Bust 201

33 The Logjam Loosened 207

34 The Final Headline 211

35 The Cathie Road Trips 215

Appendix: What Happened to Them? 219

Acknowledgments 227

Source Interviews 231

Source Documents 233

Notes 235

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