Archive for November, 2015

Signal Six


Sequel to Ellaville


The three escaped convicts lay about 10 feet apart in a slight depression behind the pine trees and palmettos. They were armed with several hand guns and hunting rifles that they had stolen. The leg of one of the escapees was bleeding from a shotgun blast. That blast came from about 50 yards away from the road where a prison van and pickup were parked facing each other. There were three correctional officers behind the vehicles, but only one of the three were still mobile. The other two were down hard. One had a sucking chest wound and the other had taken a round in the hip and shoulder. The mobile officer, (Lieutenant Eric Daniels, nick named Stormy), had dragged the two wounded officers behind the van and now was leaning over the front of his pickup with a shotgun pointed in the direction where the convicts lay. He reached through the window and grabbed his radio mic.

“Security One this is Security Three, 10-24, repeat 10-24!” he called on his radio.

“Security One to Security Three, what’s your twenty?”

“I’m with Hamilton two, and both officers are down hard. I need a code 71 dispatched ASAP to the power line road just off County Road Six west of County Road 141. Hold them at Road Six, the Signal six’s are about 50 yards away and heavily armed.”

“Good grief, Stormy, you’re ten miles away! How did they get there?”

“I think they stole a pick up. I passed an abandoned one just up the road. They must have run out of gas or blew the engine. Hamilton Two drove up on them from the other way and the Signal six’s opened up on them. I think they want the van. Stand by, Security One,” Stormy said.

Lieutenant Daniels turned to the officer waving his good arm at him.

“Stormy, I hit one of them. I shot him with the shotgun,” he said.

“Security One, Hamilton Two said they hit one of the Signal six’s with a load of buck shot. I need back up right now.”

“Help is on the way, Security Three. We have a 10-71 in route and they are checking with county to see if they have any units in the area.”

The Lieutenant could not answer as he was returning fire. The convicts had opened up on him with the hunting rifles they had. At that distance his buck shots, while lethal, mostly just kept their heads down.

“Security One to Security Three.”

There was no answer so he called again.

Security One to Security Three, talk to me Stormy!”

“Kind of busy now, Chief! Taking fire and need help now! We’re low on ammo! We got about two minutes to live!”

“Security Ten to Security Three, I’m about a mile away, I’m coming buddy.”

“Ten-four, hurry David!”

Lieutenant Daniels counted his empty shells, realizing he only had two left in his shotgun. He had already shot up one of his two spare revolver speed loaders leaving him just six rounds for his hand gun.

“Stormy, Akins don’t look too good,” Officer Lamb said.

“Help is on the way, Lamb.”

“He looks dead!”

The convicts started shooting again only they had separated further causing Stormy to drop down behind the front wheel.

“Lamb, can you still shoot?”

“I can try, but I ain’t no good with my left hand.”

“I think they are going to try to rush us from two sides and try to get one of the vehicles. You’re going to have to stop that one over there.”

“Yes sir.”













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August 1928 – Somewhere east of Ellaville Florida on the Suwannee River.
The fog was still pretty thick this early morning insuring that the humidity would still be high to go with the rising temperature. Two men were removing the catfish from their trot lines that were tied to the low hanging tree limbs when the taller of the two saw the head tangled in the half submerged brush.
“Great Scott, do you see what I see?”
“It looks like a head of a man,” the other man replied.
He paddled the boat close enough to the brush while being mindful of any water moccasins that might be lying on a limb. The tall man poked at the head with the paddle and it came loose and bobbled in the water.
“What are we going to do with it?”
“How do I know, I ain’t never seen a head with no body?”
“We got to get the sheriff.”
“It will be gone by the time we get back.”
“Pick it up and put it in the boat and we will take it with us.”
“What! I ain’t touching that thing. You pick it up,” he said.
“Maybe we can put it in the boat with the paddles,” the tall man said, while wondering out loud, if it was anyone he knew.
With the head in the boat they paddled down the river to the bridge at Ellaville and the phone at the Suwannee River Park Store.

August 1988 – Near “Five Hole” on the Suwannee River.
“Come here Bo. Bo, come here boy. Now where is that dog? Probably digging a hole.”
The couple was walking along the trail with their chocolate lab. Jordan called again for Bo but with no results. So he and his wife April left the trail in the direction that Bo went. After about 10 minutes they saw him.
“I knew it, he’s digging a hole.”
As they got closer they could see he had uncovered what looked like bones.
This area was named by the locals because of the five sink holes that are joined by a spring then emptying into the river. The Suwannee River along with the Withlacoochee River defined Hamilton County Florida. Both rivers having originated in Georgia and merging a couple of miles west of here, thus connecting the county to the rest of Florida by bridge only. The Suwannee River was one of the few remaining unspoiled pristine rivers in the South. Along the banks of the Hamilton County side ran the Florida Trail. The trail was maintain by an association by that name out of White Springs. Locals loved the area for swimming at Five Hole and hiking the trail on weekends because of the unspoiled wilderness river. Such was the case on this beautiful Saturday morning.
“Bo leave those bones alone. You’re not going to take those old animal bones home with you,” Jordan said.
“Honey look!” “That looks like human bones!” April said as she put her hand over her mouth as if to stop herself from speaking more.
“Bo come here, back away Bo!” Jordan reached to grab Bo’s collar and keep him away from the bones, but not seeing the one in his mouth right away.
“Kind of looks like an arm and hand bones – you may be right – we gotta call the sheriff and report this. Bo, put down that bone!”
“I will stay here and you go call.”
“I don’t want to leave you here alone,” April said.
“Ah come on, ain’t no one watching over this grave, if that’s what it is. Go call Virgil and take Bo and leave him at the house.”
April grabbed Bo’s collar and walked to where they parked their pickup.

Ellaville will be published the first of 2016

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