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Missing Murder Case: Where Did Mrs. William Holder Go? (Part 2)

By Grace Donahue

The Murder Trial for Mrs. Gladys Holder began on September 21, 1925. Holder was pleading not guilty,  claiming that the gun went off in an “accidental matter.” The case against her seemed tough- she shot  Daniel Arwine “Reckless” Honeycutt Jr., and Honeycutt died. The court went through a particularly  dramatic trial, as the prosecution’s argument centered on how it’s impossible for Holder’s gun to have  gone off “accidentally.” Prosecutor Darby, Sheriff Curry, and the Chief of Police Clay found the best way  to make their argument was to throw the weapons amongst the floor, as well as making every member  of the jury hold the gun, cock it, and pull the trigger. After the prosecution went, Mrs. Holder argued her  case. She said she was nervous that fateful day, and that Honeycutt, upon coming to collect the car that  Mr. Holder still owed $40 on, was very insistent and swearing at her. Mrs. Holder claimed that she was  told the night before that the gun was unloaded, and she got it out only with the intention to “bluff”  Honeycutt with it. However, when she removed the weapon from the holster, it “accidentally  discharged,” and killed Honeycutt. Mrs. Holder’s killing of Honeycutt, whether intentional or not, was  the first female murder case in over twenty years- so what happened?

The next day, September 22, 1925, the verdict was in. And Mrs. Holder, as she was expecting, was found  not guilty. Mrs. Holder, along with many members of the public, were celebratory in response to the jury’s finding. The jury debated the case of Mrs. Holder for only a few hours, deciding that it was better  for her to go home to her children than spend more time in prison. Mrs. Holder said she never doubted  that she would be found not guilty.

Daniel Arwine “Reckless” Honeycutt Jr. was killed on May 20, 1925. Mrs. Holder spent a total of four  months and two days in jail, awaiting trial.


Bloomington Telephone, “Holder, Gladys” September 21-22, 1925, page one