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Jack Burris (May 27, 1917 – June 1952)[1] served as County attorney of Mayes County, Oklahoma from 1947 until his murder in June 1952. He was the subject of one of the most famous unsolved murders in Oklahoma history[2]. His assassination and the investigation by Sheriff Slim Weaver[3] and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation[4] has been the basis for several books and screenplays for over 50 years.[5] It occurred near the scene of another unsolved case known as the Girl Scout murders.

During a 1979 documentary[6] on the Girl Scout murders, Sheriff L.L. "Slim" Weaver referred to the Burris case and retraced his route to scene. Comparing the two he claimed he picked up photographer Merle Caldwell on the way to the Burris house and they were passed by a white pickup truck with a cattle guard going in the opposite direction. Weaver said he believed this to be the killer. Caldwell had been with Burris earlier in the week taking photos of illegal activities in Langley, Oklahoma. According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, the killer waited outside the house for Burris with a shotgun. A newsman from KOLS radio station[7] in Pryor, Oklahoma later secretly recorded an interview with a man claiming to be Burris' killer. The newsman described him as a "quiet man from Vanita" but never turned the tape over to authorities. Weaver said he didn't learn of the existence of the tape until October, 1958. Rather than notify the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation of its existence, Weaver spent the next five months "negotiating" for it. In March, 1959 the newsman disappeared and the case remains unsolved.

The cover of a 1975 fictional book based on the murder displays an of a tape spool and recorder.


  1. ^ The Robertson - Smith Connection - Person Page 23
  2. ^ Cold Case OKC — Uncover the secrets of Oklahoma City’s unsolved mysteries -
  3. ^ Photos Of Yesteryear
  4. ^ Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation - 1950 Timeline
  5. ^ The Mammoth Book of Unsolved Crime: The Biggest and Best Collection of Unsolved Murder and Mystery Cases
  6. ^
  7. ^ OHS Film Collections


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