Crime An unsolved murder haunted this western town.
Forty years later, an arrest. Rumors swirled for decades about the whereabouts of the suspect. Some believed he had been murdered in revenge.
Now answers have emerged. Nearly 40 years ago, Dan Woolley was shot in the parking lot of a small-town bar.
Until a sunny summer morning last year, when boyfrienc came that the man who shot Dan Woolley was living in Texas under an assumed name. Today just seven people live in the town proper, though the village was in a veritable heyday when Brett Woolley was growing up in the early s. Many kids, like Brett, lived in homes with limited plumbing and worked from a young age to help support their families.
No running water, no money to speak of — asDan Woolley would catch and milk the skittish range cattle for extra cash. He expected the same work ethic from his. On Sept. Brett was in the house, recovering from voise motorcycle wreck. When his father asked if year-old Brett wanted to head into town for a beer, he declined.
Forty years ago, Brett Woolley's father Dan Woolley gour shot in the parking lot of a small town bar deep in the Idaho mountains. He was interrupted a few hours later by knock on the door.
Brett went downstairs and heard the news. They made me put it down; I was going to go to town. They were getting ready boyfrien their 28th anniversary. Dad was In most versions, however, a few details stay constant: A couple of Montana boys who worked the mines were at the bar. In most s, a scuffle broke out between the Bojfriend boys and the man, identified by witnesses as a former pro rodeo cowboy named Walter Mason. Mason was a bully and not well liked, most people say, but he did have one friend: Dan Woolley.
Dan was friends with everyone, described as someone you could count on to share a beer or lend a hand.
As the fight between Mason and the Montana boys spilled into the parking lot, the bartender and Dan Woolley jumped in. Maybe they were trying to keep Mason from getting beaten too badly, or maybe they were just trying to break things up.
Either way, witnesses said, Mason broke free of the melee and ran to his truck. Police reports say Mason came back with a gun and fired at least twice.
One of the Montana boys was shot in the arm. Dan Woolley was shot in the face. He was easily recognized — a horse had stepped on his face during a rodeo in Arizona years earlier — and quickly developed a reputation, in part because of penchant tbe fighting and in part because of a rumored connection to Las Vegas mobster and casino owner Benny Binion.
It was at that rodeo that Mason was injured by the horse, Michael said. Mason boyfiend there for a time, eventually boyfrienc a singer from the Golden Nugget and moving into a trailer behind the France family home. Michael, a longtime pro rodeo supporter and rancher who now lives in Amarillo, Texas, lost touch with Mason arounda short time after her husband died in an accident.
They did know each other, though.
Books, articles and historians give conflicting s of Binion. The finals were a boon to all the casinos, filling hotel rooms and gambling halls. Binion started a side business as well, launching what has become an iconic livestock sale at the finals every year. Rodeo riders are strong and scrappy, and not afraid of getting rough. If they owed Binion a favor, he may have called it in servvice the form of muscle.
They were his pals and people who worked for him. The highways leading in and out of Clayton were patrolled for any of Mason. But he was gone.
Nearly four decades later, a woman in Texas came across a Facebook post on a dedicated to unsolved crimes in Idaho. Walter Mason, living under the name Walter Allison, was arrested on Oct.
But that seems unlikely to happen. Mason was brought to Idaho, appointed a defense attorney and housed in a rural county jail for a time. He pleaded not guilty and then the case stalled.