In the Adair County News, October 16, 1946, page one


Mrs. Frank Bennett Brutally Murdered Sunday Afternoon


Mother of Eight Children Beaten to Death By Husband In Chance Community.


  Mrs. Dellia Gibbons Bennett, 51, was found beaten into unconsciousness by blows to the head which resulted in her death several hours later, when Deputy Sheriff George Simpson, Judge E.G. Hardwick and County Clerk H.B. Taylor were summoned to the Bennett home in the Chance community early Sunday afternoon.

  Neighbors called the officers after her husband, Frank Bennett, stopped Lano Bryant, son of Virgil Bryant, on whose farm the Bennett family lived, and asked him to tell his daughters, Ruth and Ruby Bennett, who were visiting in the neighborhood, to hurry home. "My wife shot me and I tried to beat her damn brains out and guess I have done so," Bennett is quoted as having said.

  The officers said a single shot from a .22 calibre rifle had struck Bennett under the chin and that powder burns were found about the wound. He and his wife were brought to Columbia and taken to the office of Dr. N.A. Mercer for treatment. Mrs. Bennett died the at 6:00 p.m. and he was removed to the Glasgow Hospital where attendants report he is recovering.

  Before leaving the scene of the tragedy officers recovered the rifle and two empty cartridges indicating more than one shot had been fired. They also found a bullet which had lodged in the ceiling. On Monday T.P. Lewis and other neighbors searched the house and found a hammer in the heating stove with the handle partly burned away and the head covered with blood and matted hair, evidentially the weapon with which Mrs. Bennett was brutally beaten to death.

  She was found slumped on the kitchen steps leaning against the outside wall of the house with fourteen wounds on her head. Puddles of blood were inside and outside the house and blood was splattered on the walls.

  Boys playing in a field not far from the Bennett home, reported hearing frightening screams and cries which were followed by two shots.

  According to officers investigating the case, this and other evidence leave them of the opinion that Bennett beat his wife to death and then shot himself, the first bullet merely grazing his chin and mouth. They said that the angle from which the second entered his chin clearly indicated a self inflicted wound. When released from the hospital Bennett will be charged with wilful murder.

  Judge Hardwick termed the woman's death as one of the most brutal murders in the history of Adair County.

  Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were parents of eight children. The four who live at home were away when the tragedy occurred.

Funeral Services Tuesday


  Funeral services were held for Mrs. Bennett Tuesday afternoon at the Lowgap Church, conducted by Rev. M.B. Hodges. Interment was in the Lowgap Cemetery.

  The deceased was a native of Adair County and a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Gibbons. She was a well-liked and respected woman in the community where she resided.

  Surviving children are: Mrs. Ina Turner, Miss Ruth and Ruby Bennett, Forest, Ray, Talmadge, Virgil and Alfred Bennett.

  Pallbearers at the funeral were: Messrs. Alfred Baker, Elbert Janes, Verner Bennett, A.D. Sparks, O.G. Rowe and Amon Stotts.