COOK, WILLIAM EDWARD "BILLY" JR - Jasper County, Missouri | WILLIAM EDWARD "BILLY" JR COOK - Missouri Gravestone Photos

William Edward "Billy" Jr COOK

Peace Church Cemetery
Jasper County,

December 23, 1928 Joplin, MO
December 12, 1952 San Quentin State Prison
Executed by asphyxiation-gas
Buried in an unmarked grave in Peace Church Cemetery near his parent's graves. Son of William Edward Cook, SR and Laura May Hinkle

Often referred to as:
*"Billy Boy" because of his height.
*"Cockeyed Cook" because he was born with a growth on his eye lid and after it was removed it left him with a droopy eye lid.
*"Hard Luck Billy" because he had the words hard luck tattooed on his knuckles.

Kidnapped, murdered and dumped in the Chitwood mine shaft near Joplin, a vacationing family who had the misfortune to pick him up as a hitchhiker in OK: Carl Mosser 33, his wife, Thelma, and their three children Ronald Dean 7, Gary Carl 5, and Pamela Sue 3. Sentenced to 300 Years in Prison by an Oklahoma City Court for these crimes.

Murdered Robert Dewey, 32, a vacationing Salesman in California, who had the misfortune to pick him up as a hitchhiker. Sentenced to death by a California Court for this crime.

Kidnapped Lee Archer in Texas, who escaped from the trunk of the car.

Kidnapped Deputy Homer Waldrip near Blythe, CA. Billy let him live because he had worked with Waldrip's wife Cecilia and she had been nice to him during that time.

Kidnapped James Burke and Forrest Damron and forced them to drive him over the Mexican border where he was finally arrested.

The 1953 film noir The Hitch-Hiker, directed by Ida Lupino, was based on the Cook crime spree. It starred Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy, with William Talman as “Emmet Myers,” a killer modeled after Cook, right down to the deformed eyelid. The plot is a dramatization of Cook’s kidnapping of James Burke and Forrest Damron and their flight to Mexico.

Cook's mental state, posing as a hitch-hiker, as well as the Mosser murders, were all referenced to in the Doors song, "Riders on the Storm".

Contributed on 1/27/14 by tslundberg
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Record #: 747086

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Additional COOK Surnames in PEACE CHURCH Cemetery

Additional COOK Surnames in JASPER County

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Submitted: 1/27/14 • Approved: 1/28/14 • Last Updated: 7/1/19 • R747086-G0-S3

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