Show Notes: A Murdering Pastor John Douglas White and Hero Bass Reeves

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast-talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Episode 8: Pastor John White kills on Rebekah Gay on Halloween and Bass Reeves

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music (because we couldn’t find any we liked enough for a theme song)
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
  • Ali peppers Jenn with questions and they giggle fits.
  • You can hear Jenn’s dog drinking water at one point. It’s cool, it is just that some beings can’t hold their lickers.

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Pastor John White kills on Rebekah Gay on Halloween

  • October 31, 2012, Pastor John White killed Rebekah and hid her body in nearby woods
  • He then dressed Rebekah’s son in his Halloween costume and then drove the son to his father’s house to trick or treat
  • John had killed Rebekah by strangling her with a zip tie and beating her with a mallet
  • He was her pastor
    • The congregation was fully aware of John’s colored past
    • He had been released from prison in 2007 after serving 12 years for the manslaughter of a 26-year-old woman
      • John had received probation for stabbing and choking a 17-year-old girl
    • A fellow parishioner said that John was doing a lot of good in the community and Satan didn’t want him to do that, causing John to kill Rebekah
      • Ali believes that statement is meant to absolve him of personal responsibility
      • Jenn thinks they were trying to make themselves feel better
    • At 2 a.m. John went to Rebekah’s house to kill her
      • He confesses to the strangling and beating and having sexual fantasies about murdering her and having sex with her body
      • However, he could not remember if he did have sex with her after he murdered her
      • The police did have her body, but they didn’t mention if she had been sexually assaulted
    • John Douglas White was a woman attacker with a history
    • Six months after being sentenced to jail, he killed himself
      • He was 55 years old at the time of the murder
      • Rebekah was only 24 years old
      • You can see John’s mug shot online
    • Just because men look like Santa, doesn’t mean they are nice
    • Ali and Jenn discuss whether Rebekah’s son is in therapy and why didn’t John admit to having sex with Rebekah’s body

Bass Reeves

  • Born into slavery, living from July 1838 to January 1910
    • 6’2”, good manners with a sense of humor
  • Jenn, who is a small person, has the confidence of a person who is 6’2”
    • It may be her liquid courage height
  • As a slave, he was held under George R. Reeves, a sheriff and Texas legislator
    • Served in the Civil War, fighting for the Confederacy
      • Ran away between 23 and 27 years old
    • There are a couple stories as to how he left his slavery situation ran away
    • One is that he was in a fist fight with his master and had to run afterwards
    • One is that he saw other freedmen during the war and decided to make a break for it
  • He fled to the Indian Territory, lawless area, to live with Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indians
    • Until the 13th Amendment abolished slavery
  • He married Nellie Jennie from Texas and had 10-11 children
    • Nellie Jennie sounds is the name of a pure and loving woman
    • No hospital for all those kids
  • They were a family of farmers until Bass was in his 30’s and Isaac Parker was appointed federal judge over the Indian Territory
    • Parker appointed James F. Fagan as US Marshall, directing him to hire 200 deputy US marshals
      • Fagan had heard about Reeves who was familiar with the territory and spoke several Native American languages
      • Reeves had also served as a scout and guide for marshals in Indian Territory
      • He was considered an expert marksman with both a rifle and a pistol
        • He was barred from competitive turkey shoots for being too good
        • He was known for wearing two colt pistols, butt forward, for fast draw
        • Ambidextrous, either hand could shoot to kill you
      • recruited him
    • It was a very dangerous area of law enforcement
      • Before OK became a state, more than 200 marshals had been killed in the line of duty
      • Not a job for sissies
    • First black deputy US Marshal west of Miss. River
      • He works the territory until 1893 then transfers twice to other departments before retiring
        • Worked for 32 years as a federal police officer (at age 68)
        • This is the same year OK became a state
        • After retiring from the territories, he joined the Muskogee Police Department, serving two years before retiring at age 70
      • Arrested more than 3,000 felons
        • Shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defence
        • He was one of Judge Parker’s most valued deputies, bringing in some of the most dangerous criminals
      • He was never wounded although he had his hat shot off a few times, his gun belt was once shot off, and once someone’s shot managed to break his horse’s rein, but not hit either him or the horse
    • He became a legend in the area and was the inspiration for… the Lone Ranger
      • NOT a white man on a white horse with a white hat but a black escaped slave
      • Reeves was imposing with his height
      • Had a reputation for being courageous and successful in his pursuit of criminals
      • He rode a white stallion and a red one
        • Known for having healthy large horses
      • He was a sharp dresser, known for politeness and courtesy
      • A master of disguises, and often used aliases
        • He would pretend to be a cowboy, farmer, gunslinger or an outlaw
      • The first TV show to be put into reruns was “The Lone Ranger”.
      • He had his own trials:
      • His hardest arrest had to be the time he arrested his own son for murder
        • Bennie Reeves was charged with the murder of his wife.
        • Bass Reeves demanded the responsibility for bringing his son in
          • After tracking him and finding Bennie, Bennie was convicted
          • Bennie served his time in Leavenworth, before being released and living the rest of his life as a law-abiding citizen
        • Bass Reeves, himself, was charged with the murder of a posse cook
          • His trial was presided over by Judge Parker and Reeves was represented by a former US Attorney WHH Clayton
          • He was acquitted, not a surprise when the judge is your friend
        • Cool facts:
          • Bass Reeves was a great uncle to Paul L. Brady, who became the first black man appointed as a federal judge in 1972
          • OK was renamed the Bass Reeves Memorial bridge
          • a bronze statue of Reeves was erected in Pendergraft Park in Arkansas
          • Bass Reeves was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame
          • Also, books and TV shows have been made about his life
          • He is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OK
        • Are we the only ones who didn’t know about Bass?
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