Murder of Ludington police officer took place July 20, 1958. 

July 20, 2022

Arlo Slagle

Murder of Ludington police officer took place July 20, 1958. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief 

with contributions by Lisa Cooper. 

Only two police officers have been murdered in the line of duty in Mason County. The most recent was the shooting of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield II on Sept. 9, 2013 on Custer Road in Free Soil Township. The first took place in the early hours of July 20, 1958 when Ludington Police Patrolman Arlo Slagle was shot during a disturbance at the Grand Hotel (now known as The Grand) on South Rath Avenue in Ludington. 

The evening of Saturday, July 19, 1958 was a typical summer evening with temperatures in the mid-70s. 

Chuck Hanna

Arlo Slagle was 27-years-old and working as a part-time patrolman for Ludington Police Department. He was on patrol on the evening of July 19, 1958 when he stopped at his home in the 800 block of North St. Catherine Street to get a copy of coffee with his wife, Helen while their two children, ages 2 and 5, slept. On the side of town an incident was brewing at The Grand. 

About 10:45 p.m., two men from Chicago, Benjamin Davis, 30, and Charles “Chuck” Hanna, 25, entered the bar. Davis was looking for Jayne Clark, 24, who was working at the bar as a waitress. Davis had met Clark a few years prior when she was working in a bar in Chicago. 

According to news reports, Clark said Davis had been in the bar for a couple hours when they asked Clark to return to Chicago with him but she refused. A few minutes later Davis called her over to their table and handed her a .38 caliber bullet saying, “This one has your name on it if you don’t come back to Chicago.” At the same time Hanna revealed to her a gun he was wearing. 

According to her testimony during the murder trial, Clark talked about the bullet. 

“Benny showed me a bullet and said this has your name on it and Chuck pulled back his coat and showed me a gun in his belt,” Clark testified, adding that she gave the bullet to Beatrice Mapes, another waitress who told Anthony Karp, the proprietor of the bar. 

Karp apparently then notified police that an armed man was threatening one of his waitresses. One report states he walked over to the police station.  At that time, the Ludington police station was located at City Hall, which was in the 200 block of North William Street (across from modern Ludington Municipal Marina), just a block from the Grand. About 13 minutes later three Ludington Police patrolmen, Slagle, Stanley Kollar and Wallace Bentz entered the bar and approached Hanna and Davis. 

Davis, at the time, was standing a short distance from the table in the rear of the building where Hanna was sitting alone. The three officers confronted Hanna and Davis and told them to come along to the police station. 

Another waitress reported that Hanna complained of having a pain in his stomach and placed his hand to his side. Slagle and Bentz began leading Hanna out of the building with Kollar taking Davis into custody. 

“As they neared the door, Karp said he heard tables being banged into one another and looked up in time to see Hanna shove Slagle to one side and at the same time he drew his revolver,” a newspaper report stated. “He fired quickly and struck Slagle in the chest, with the slug tearing through his body and lodging in the ceiling above the bar.

“Hanna then broke for the door and as he reached it Bentz fired and hit the fleeing killer. Hanna staggered but continued to run towards the Star Watch Case Co. (which was located across the street, present day Waterfront condominiums).”

Mason County Sheriff Ed Anderson, left, Hanna, and Ludington Police Chief Fred Nankee.

Davis immediately surrendered to police and was arrested. Police later found a 1953 Plymouth which the pair had driven from Chicago. In the trunk was a suitcase, another gun and ammunition.

“I was about 8-feet away when the shooting started and I just stood there,” waitress Jayne Clark said in a Grand Rapids Herald interview. “The gun went ‘pow-pow-pow.’ It sounded like a cannon.

“I didn’t even think. All the customers hit the floor. He fired about five or six times and then ran out of there. The police followed him and I ran to Arlo. Arlo was lying by the juke box and I felt his pulse and rubbed his wrists. I picked his head up and put it in my lap. I kept his head on my lap until the stretcher came and they took him away.” 

Clark, who was the reason the two men came into the bar, was described by the newspaper as a “pretty 24-year-old divorcee and a central figure in the slaying of Patrolman Arlo Slagle.” 

Mason County Sheriff Ed Anderson and his deputies, along with Ludington city police officers began putting up road blocks on US 10 and US 31 along with sending patrols into the railroad yards “in case Hanna attempted to follow the tracks.” 

The Michigan State Police joined the search by 1:30 a.m. Road blocks took place throughout the county including Scottville.

“Armed with shotguns, carbines and machine guns, police combed the Watch Case grounds, the Ludington Lumber Company area and all of the tracks running through the west and east yards.

“The officers received a couple of false alarms during the search which lasted until Sunday night. About 3:30 a.m. Sunday, police received a report that a man was seen walking along the tracks near the roundhouse. He was chased by a C&O switch engine but the subject was checked out satisfactorily. Another person was reported sleeping in sand dunes just east of the city. About 20 officers converged on the scene only to find a drunk.”

What police officers didn’t know at the time was that Hanna had made his way to Dowland Street where he stool a 1955 Mercury automobile owned by Emil Rostek, who lived on Dowland Street. Within 15 minutes after the shooting, Hanna was already heading out of town.

Three days later, Hanna was arrested near the Georgia-Florida line by the Valdosta, Ga. police department. 

“I saw a car with the keys in it and I took the car and left,” Hanna said in a statement to the Valdosta Police Department. “I picked up a hitchhiker around Saugatuck whose name was George. This was about 1 1/2 hours after I picked up the car. 

“I told George that someone had hit me over the head and rolled (robbed) me. I took him to Griffith, Ind. where his home was.

“On the way there, about 20 miles from Hammond, Ind., or near there, I picked up a woman hitchhiker who wanted to go to Fourth Avenue (in Gary, Ind.). I left her off at Fifth or where the roads goes to Griffith. 

“Then I took George to 123 Elmer St., Griffith. He gave me $2 for gas and told me that if I did not have any place to stay I could stay there a few days. I told him that I had to go to Chicago first and that I would be back in a few hours. The time about about 5 or 6 a.m., July 20. 

“I arrived at Chicago about 7 a.m. I borrowed some money from my mother and went back to Griffith at about 8 a.m. but couldn’t find where George lived because it was night when I was there before. 

“It was about 10 a.m. when I found his house. I stayed at George’s house until 11 a.m. Tuesday. I took George to Morocco and told him I wanted to see someone and that I would be right back. 

“Right outside Morocco on Highway 41 I picked up three hitchhikers who were going to Florida also. 

“George didn’t know anything about what I had done.” 

On Wednesday, July 24, an interview with Valdosta Police Chief Wilbur Parkerson was published in the Ludington Daily News by reporter Paul S. Peterson (who later became managing editor of the newspaper). That same day, Arlo Slagle was buried in Scottville Brookside Cemetery. 

“We received a telephone call from a service station attendant that a motorist had attempted to pawn a tire for $3.50,” Parkerson stated. “The station attendant, William O. Houston, told us that he became suspicious of the driver of the auto because he was so willing to accept the small amount of cash, also because of his unkempt appearance. The driver had a heavy growth of beard and was covered with mud. 

“I took Capt. Turner Johnson and Patrolman Donald Hunt and we followed route 41, going south. This was the direction given to us by Houston. 

“At about noon, we came upon a black and white 1955 Mercury with Illinois license plates. We were then about 14 miles north of the Florida state line. 

“I stopped the car and noticed that there were four men in it. We told the driver to get out and asked for his driving permit and also for the car’s registration papers and his bill of sale. He could produce only a driver’s license. 

“We took the four of them to the station in Valdosta where we began to question them. Hanna quickly admitted the slaying of a police officer in Ludington. 

“I questioned him further about the killing of a Comstock, Mich. man, a Nelson Elwood, who was found beaten to death in Gary, Ind. Hanna insisted he knew nothing of Elwood’s death. I asked him if he passed through Gary on his way to Chicago but Hanna said he couldn’t remember which route he took.” 

In his statement to the Valdosta police, Hanna described the events leading up to the murder. 

“I met a guy in Chicago July 20, whose name was Ben. He asked me to drive him to Ludington to see a girl who was a waitress,” Hanna said in the statement. 

“We were in this tavern where the waitress worked. Ben was joking with her about going back to Chicago. Someone must have called the police because three officers walked in. 

“One of the officers walked over to where Ben (Benjamin Franklin David) was playing pool and told him to stand still. I was sitting at the table by the pool table.

“When one of the officers walked over to me I stood up. He was very nervous. He had his billy club and he was shaking. All three officers had their billy clubs out.

“The officer… took me by the arm and led me away… about 15 feet. I had a pistol in my belt. I thought this was why the police had come to get us. So I started to pull the gun out to give it to him. I don’t know if I got the gun out of my belt… The next thing I knew I was on the floor. The officer had hit me on the head with the club several times. There was blood all over my face. 

“The next thing I knew I saw flashes of fire like… from a gun. The next thing I knew I was across the street. A police officer was on the other side of the street and was shooting at me.

“When I saw he was shooting at me I turned around and as soon as I turned around I feel flat on my face. A bullet had hit me in the head. I got up and he was still shooting at me. The next thing I knew I was at a place where there were some box cars (likely the carferry docks). 

“I opened the pistol and saw that all the rounds had been fired. I knew that I must have fired the pistol. I threw the gun away and caught my breath and walked to an alley.

“I saw a car with the keys in it and I took the car and left.” 

Hanna waived extradition to Michigan. On July 28, Ludington Police Chief Fred Nankee and Mason County Sheriff Ed Anderson brought Hanna back by train to face arraignment in Mason County. 

“During the trip, Hanna was kept well handcuffed and manacled. He appeared unshaven and still dirty after his escape from Ludington,” a newspaper report stated. 

Because the Mason County Jail had been condemned, Hanna was lodged in the Manistee County Jail. While in Manistee Hanna apparently picked the locks on his handcuffs, his leg irons and his cell door. Manistee County Sheriff Harry Holmgren then had heavy chains woven through the bars of the cell doors. 

“Holmgren said his deputies sit guard at the jail every night in shifts with a loaded shotgun,” a newspaper report stated. 

“‘Hanna is permitted to wear only his trousers, and so far no instrument has been found with which he might have picked the locks,’ Holgren said.” 

Hanna waived a preliminary examination and his case was bound over to circuit court. 

Benjamin Davis, the other suspect in the case, was arrested on a weapons charge. 

On July 29, Hanna appeared in Mason County municipal court (now known as district court) in front of Judge Clay F. Olmstead. According to a newspaper article, Hanna refused to speak until he had the services of a lawyer. 

“Hanna, still unshaven, his hair tangled and appearing calm on the outside, was taken before Judge Olmstead who read the warrant charging Hanna with murder. The warrant was signed by Patrolman Stanley Kollar, who was with Slagle at the time of the shooting.”

The judge read Hanna his constitutional rights, which were either to waive or demand examination. 

“If he waived examination he would be bound over to circuit court,” the article stated. “If he had demanded it, he would have had a hearing to determine if there was sufficient reason to try Hanna for murder.

“Hanna was then asked if he understood what his rights were and if he understood their meaning.

“‘I’m getting the general idea,’ Hanna said. ‘But, I think I would rather consult a lawyer before making any decisions.’

“Judge Olmstead explained that he did not have the power to appoint a lawyer, that it must be done by the circuit court judge, Rupert Stephens.

“Mason County Prosecutor William Stapelton told Olmstead that Judge Stephens would be in Ludington sometime this afternoon and that he would secure an appointment with him at that time to explain the situation.” Judge Stephens lived in Manistee.

The arraignment was then adjourned. 

“Hanna, wearing a black and white sport shirt and black pants, fumbled in his shirt pocket for a cigarette while the proceedings were going on. He talked only when spoken to and then only if the judge or Chief Nankee were asking the questions. 

“Hanna did not shy away from a small battery of photographers who crowded around him. He was handcuffed and his legs were shackled.”

Ludington attorney Wilfred Hocking, a World War I veteran, was appointed as Hanna’s public defender by Circuit Court Judge Rupert B. Stephens.

Hocking kept a detailed diary of the case along with a scrapbook. Both are now in possession of his great-granddaughter Lisa (Burgess) Cooper of Victory Township. 

“I spent most of Saturday afternoon conferring with Hanna at Manistee County jail and I am convinced that I have secured certain facts and information,” Hocking said in a newspaper interview. “Hanna cooperated with me. I told him to tell the truth and I thoroughly explained his constitutional rights to him. He asked me questions, as to what he is charged with and the various degrees of the offense. I read the pertinent statutes to him. I asked him to tell me freely of the facts as far as he was concerned, and he said he would. He also gave a copy of an alleged written statement he is said to have made to officers at Valdosta, Ga., where he was taken into custody. He informed me that he had made no confession or statement to the law enforcing officers of this county.

“I feel certain that this case needs further study. I am not satisfied that the case can be presented until some matters are cleared up. 

“I am convinced that a preliminary examination should be held in municipal court in which I have an opportunity to question witnesses of the prosecution. I am not in a position at this time to enter a plea of any kind on the part of the respondent or to advise him to stand mute.” 

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney William Stapleton (who later became a judge in Manistee County) responded: 

“The people have no objection to a preliminary examination. Under the statute, when a respondent, not represented by counsel, appears before a magistrate, an examination should be held. Hanna was not represented when he made his waiver. The municipal judge conferred with me at the time and we had a tacit understanding that there would be no objection to remanding the case.” 

A preliminary examination took place on Thursday, Sept. 4, 1958 in front of Judge Olmstead. After seven hours of testimony, Judge Olmstead charged Hanna with first degree murder and bound the case over to the October term of Mason County circuit court. 

Benjamin Franklin Davis, who was 29-years-old at the time of the murder, testified in the preliminary examination that he had met Hanna sometime during the spring of 1958. Davis testified that he had come to Ludington because of a car that had been impounded by Chicago police. He said the car was registered under an assumed name. 

“Before I could get the car back I had to either produce the title or have the person under whose name it was registered get it back for me. The name I had used was that of Jayne M. Clark.”

Later, when Stapleton questioned Clark about the reason for Davis and Hanna coming to Ludington, she said she knew nothing of a car in Chicago. 

Davis testified that he had been to Ludington three times prior to the night of the shooting. 

Davis had a criminal history that included three robbery convictions in 1946, 1949 and 1953. He was convicted twice in Illinois and once in Indiana. He denied that he knew Hanna was armed and denied seeing Hanna shoot Slagle. 

In October, Hanna waived his right to a jury trial after offering to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge, but not to first or second degree murder. Prosecutor Stapleton said he was willing to accept a second degree murder plea. As a result, the judge entered a plea of not guilty. 

Hanna’s attorney, Wilfred Hocking, then informed the court that Hanna had waived his right to a jury trial, allowing the judge to hear the testimony and determine the plea. 

The trial was the first in Mason County to be tried without a jury and began on Thursday, Oct. 9, 1958 and lasted until Tuesday, Oct. 14 (with recess on Sunday, Oct. 12). 

The prosecution’s witnesses included Ludington police officers Stanley Kollar and Wallace Bentz, who were both with Slagle in the Grand when the shooting occurred. 

Kollar testified that Bentz approached Davis while Kollar and Slagle attempted to take Hanna outside. He said Slagle was “frisking” Hanna when Hanna grabbed Slagle’s hands and began to tussle. 

Kollar told the court that he struck Hanna twice with his nightstick and Hanna started to slump to the floor, pulling both Slagle and himself off balance. He said both he and Slagle were shoulder to shoulder on the floor when Hanna sprang up to a crouch and drew the revolver and fired. 

“When he drew the revolver I thought he was going to shoot me,” Kollar said. “I thought I was a goner.” 

Kollar said Hanna then made his way to the door after shooting Slagle. Hanna then turned and aimed at Kollar but Bentz, who was with Davis, fired at Hanna. Kollar said Hanna whirled, grabbed his shoulder as though he had been hit and escaped through the door. 

Other witnesses included Benjamin Davis, who was the man who brought Hanna to Ludington, and Jayne Clark, the woman Davis had come to see, Dr. Roger Morris, Coroner Benjamin Doll, Dr. Harry Clark (who performed the autopsy on Slagle), George Dorrell (funeral director), Oscar Larson, E.L. Barber, Ludington Police Chief Fred Nankee, Det. Sgt. Clarence Bloomquist of Traverse City, Dt. Charles Meyers of the Michigan State Police crime laboratory, Dr. Edward W. Kievela of the Michigan Department of Health laboratory, Mason County Clerk A.E. Johnson, Dr. John F. Knop of Manistee, Anthony Karp, Beatrice Mapes, and Oscar W. Larson (a millright at Star Watch Case Co. who found a bullet near a tree) and Walter Garland, who was described as a surprise witness. Garland was an employee of the C&O carferries and witnessed the shooting. 

Both the prosecution and the defense rested their case on Monday, Oct. 13. Defense attorney Wilfrid Hocking said Hanna had advised him that he did not wish to take the stand. The only witness called by the defense was Dr. John Konopa, a physician from Manistee. 

On Tuesday morning, Oct. 14, Judge Rupert B. Stephens announced that he had found Hanna guilty of murder in the second degree. 

On Friday, Oct. 17, 1958, Stephens sentenced Hanna to 20 to 40 years in prison. 

“It was a cruel and inhuman act to take the life of Arlo Slagle and I am sure you realize it,” Stephens said to Hanna during the sentencing. “I am also sure in my own mind that you would do anything or give anything to rectify what you have done.”

Immediately after the sentencing Hanna was taken to Michigan State Prison in Jackson by Mason County Sheriff Ed Anderson, Ludington Police Capt. Clarence Gable and Dep. David Wilson. 

One interesting aspect of the trial was that the murder weapon had not been found. Two years after the murder, Fred Morgandollar was working at Blodgett’s Used Cars and was replacing seat covers in a 1955 Mercury, recently traded in by Emil Rostek. He discovered in the vehicle a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol wedged in the springs of a seat. Slagle was killed by a .38 caliber bullet. The pistol was sent to the Michigan State Police crime lab for testing. The Ludington Police Department received word from the Chicago Police Department that in 1958 the gun was the property of a Cook County, Ill. sheriff’s deputy. The deputy was also a proprietor of a gasoline station in Chicago. 

The gun turned up missing in early summer of 1958. The deputy suspected one of his employees had stolen it. 

In January 1966, a motion was presented on behalf of Hanna in Mason County Circuit Court for a new trial. Court appointed defense attorney John Claire presented the motion along with four others including a request that Hanna’s conviction and sentence be set aside. 

Claire presented letters from a prison warden and a guard praising Hanna for his behavior in prison. Claire also entered as exhibits copies of Pageant Magazine. Each issue contained an article concerning the work Hanna had done while in prison transcribing books into Braille and teacher other inmates the procedure. 

Claire introduced several points why the conviction should be reversed. He stated that a key witness, Jess Vallero, was not called to the stand. He also stated that Hanna was denied private conversations with his attorney, hearsay testimony was allowed, and, among other points, the people failed to establish the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, no transcripts of the opening and closing statements were made. 

Claire stated that Hanna was denied his constitutional rights and due process of law, that that a key witness, Jess Vallero, was not called to the testify. Additionally, he stated that the court failed to explain to Hanna his right to testify on his own behalf; that Hanna was denied the right to have private conversations with his attorney; “That undue influence was exerted against defendant by police officers in charge of said case, in an effort to obtain a plea of guilty, and to induce defendant to waive trial by jury.” Claire also stated that the prosecution was allowed to introduce hearsay testimony, contrary to law and in violation of Hanna’s constitutional rights and contrary to due process of law and rules of evidence; that Hanna was denied the right to interrogate witnesses by the examining magistrate; the court erred in failure to suppress evidence based upon a false arrest; the court erred 

Judge Stephens, who still presided over the circuit court, died before he could act on the motion. John B. Swainson of Reed City was then appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court administrator to review Hanna’s request for an appeal. On Aug. 31 Swainson ordered a new trial for Hanna, who was now 33-years-old.  Hanna was then taken from prison in Marquette and brought to the Mason County Jail where he was held for a new trial.  

A hearing was held on Dec. 19, 1966 in front of Judge Swainson in Detroit. Mason County Prosecuting Attorney David Betz and defense attorney John Claire both attended. 

The judge determined that Hanna had served more than the minimum term of his sentence and, as a result, set Hanna free. 


Arlo Slagle was born in Mason County on Dec. 13, 1930, the son of Ruth and Hale Slagle, and grew up on a farm near Scottville. His father died in 1938 and the family moved to Scottville. Arlo graduated from Scottville High School in 1948 and drove truck following graduation. 

On Jan. 6, 1951, he married Helen Alta Dickey (also a Scottville High School graduate) in Central Lake. The couple then moved to Ludington where Arlo got a job at Handy Things Manufacturing Co. until enlisting in the Army July 19, 1951. 

Arlo served as a tank driver with the rank of sergeant, in Headquarters Tank Co., 32nd Infantry in Korea. After receiving a shrapnel wound in his leg, he was presented the Purple Heart and was honorably discharged on June 5, 1953 at Fort Custer. 

He returned to Handy Things in June 1956 and also joined the Ludington Police Department that year.

In a newspaper article, published on July 21, Ludington Police Chief Fred E. Nankee and Ludington Police Capt. Clarence A. Gable talked about Slagle and described him as “a real fine boy.” 

“He liked it on the department, he liked his work and we were well satisfied with him,” Nankee, who had been chief since 1950 and had served on the police department for 28 years, said. 

Gable described Slagle as “an honest, hard-working and responsible person who executed orders well. He was a good man to work with.” 

Arlo and Helen had two children, Marie and Duane. At the time of the shooting, Marie was 5-years-old and Duane was 3-years-old. 

Arlo is buried in Scottville Brookside Cemetery. 

Charles Eugene Hanna was born on June 17, 1933 in Chicago. According to a newspaper report, Hanna stated that he had joined the Army after graduating from a Chicago high school and served as a paratrooper, mostly stationed to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He was discharged in 1954. No more information was found about Hanna, but will be updated when it is located. 

Jayne Marie Clark (name also spelled Jane) was 24-years-old when the murder occurred. She was born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on Aug. 14, 1933, the daughter of Lewis and Clara (Lefler) Clark. In 1952, she married Russell Alfred Greinke under the name Jayne Marie Clark Cool. 

At the time she was living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Clark, at their home in the 500 block of West Tinkham Ave., with her 7-year-old daughter, Vicki Lynn. She had met Ben (Benny) Davis when she was working at a bar in Chicago in 1955. 

In 1963 she married Ansis Smits in Kalamazoo. In 1967, she married Richard E. Jones in Indianapolis. Records showed her living in Santa Clara, Cali. in 1976 as Jayne Marie Russell. Public records showed that in 1993 she was living back at the house on Tinkham Avenue in Ludington. Jayne died on Dec. 27, 2001 at the age of 68.

Stanley Kollar was born in Montpelier, Ohio. on July 16, 1925. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1943 to 1945. On June 17, 1950 he married June Anderson in Ludington. They had two children, Larry and Linda. At the time of the shooting, Larry was 7-years-old and Linda was 2-years-old. The Kollars lived in the 400 block of North Lewis Street in Ludington.

Kollar was sworn into the Ludington Police Department on June 8, 1954. He resigned on Jan. 14, 1960, explaining to the Ludington City Council that he was “moving to a warmer climate due to illness in the family.” Kollar and his family moved to Texas. 

Kollar died at the age of 73 on March 1, 1999 in Phoenix. 

Wallace Bentz was born in Ludington on Dec. 28, 1925. He was a combat soldier in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving in Europe. On Jan. 27, 1944 he married Audrey Stickney in Ludington. They had five sons, Larry, Terry, Rickie, Ronny, and Mark. Bentz worked for Consumers Power Co. and he and Audrey owned the Dairy Queen located at Stearns Park. He was also a home builder. 

On April 8, 1958 he was sworn in as Ludington police officer, just over three months prior to the shooting at the Grand Hotel. In 1964, Bentz ran for sheriff, against long-time sheriff Ed Anderson and won by 42 votes. He resigned from LPD on Dec. 15, 1964 and began serving as Mason County sheriff on Jan. 1, 1965 serving until 1968.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, 1965, a 28-year-old inmate named Harold Robert DeLong of Mayville, Mich., escaped from the Mason County Jail. DeLonge had been arrested the day before and had been charged with breaking and entering at a downtown Ludington store, the Charm Shop. DeLong had asked the jailer on duty if he could use the telephone to talk to his parents. After completing the call at 7:30 p.m. he told the deputy his parents wanted to talk to the officer. As the officer was talking on the phone, DeLong jumped over the counter and ran out of the building. 

Sheriff Bentz and Undersheriff William Lange responded to search for DeLong, who was seen in the area of Harbison-Walker, near the railroad tracks on US 31 (modern South Pere Marquette Highway). Bentz’s wife, Audrey, was with him as he responded. He was traveling on US 10 and as he turned south onto US 31 (PM Highway), his vehicle slid into a traffic island and overturned, throwing Bentz out of the car and Audrey partially out of the car. 

Both were transported to Paulina Stearns Hospital in Ludington. Wallace was discharged. Audrey died the next day, succumbing to her injuries. 

DeLong stole a semi truck, without its trailer, from the Wolverine Express truck terminal on US 10-31. He was later apprehended by the Michigan State Police north of Bay City. 

On May 15, 1972, Bentz married Beverly Ahlgren, who died on Nov. 21 of that same year. Bentz died in 1976 at the age of 50.

Ed Anderson served as Mason County sheriff for 24 years. He began his career at the Mason County Sheriff’s Office (then known as the sheriff department) on Jan. 1, 1927, under Sheriff George L. Colyer. In an interview upon his last day of office in Jan. 2, 1965, reporter Russ Miller wrote that Anderson was paid $75 a month plus board at the Mason County Jail. 

“He said he will never forget the first night as the two of them slept on cots in the jail until about 2 a.m. when the city police brought in a woman who was drunk. They then moved downstairs to another section of the jail. Ed didn’t get much sleep that night.”

The jail was built in 1879 and was located in the same location of the present Mason County Jail, which was built in 1960. During that time, the sheriff and his family lived in the jail building. 

“Their only equipment was a Model T Ford, owned by Colyer, and one Savage automatic revolver. Fortunately Ed owned a revolver so they could each have one. There was no typewriter in the office, one was purchased several years later.” 

In 1938, Anderson ran against Colyer for sheriff but was defeated in the primary election. He then went to work for the C&O Railway and a railway officer, returning four months later to work again as a deputy for Colyer. Colyer resigned in 1942 to take a position at Dow Chemical and Anderson was appointed sheriff. 

“He has never shot at anyone, although he has fired warning shots over their heads,” the article stated. 

Anderson was born on Oct. 27, 1900 in East Lake (Manistee County), the son of Andrew and Christine (Lehr) Anderson. 

Ed and his wife, Ruth, were married in 1958 and lived at 716 E. Danaher St. in Ludington. Ed and his first wife, Cora (Brankert) were married on Sept. 6, 1933 and had two children, James and Cora. 

Following leaving the sheriff’s office, Anderson worked as a night manager at Paulina Stearns Hospital on South Washington Avenue in Ludington. 

Anderson died on Oct. 2, 1981 in Ludington. 

Fred E. Nankee was born on Aug. 6, 1894 in Filer City (Manistee County). He grew up and attended school in Victory Township and moved into the City of Ludington in 1922. At the time of his death in 1970, he lived at 113 S. Staffon St. 

Nankee served in the U.S. Army in France during World War I. He then worked as a foreman for Stearns Motor Co. and joined Ludington Police Department in 1930. He served as police chief from 1952 until his retirement in 1962. 

On Oct. 11, 1922 he married Adeline Kolberg, who died on Sept. 9, 1958, seven weeks after the murder of Arlo Slagle. The Nankees had two children, Lois (Runkel) and Robert. 

Nankee died of a heart attack while working in his yard on April 3, 1970 at the age of 75. 


William W. Stapleton opened a law practice in Ludington in 1951. He was born the son of John and Lillian (Gramza) Stapleton on Oct. 18, 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, deployed to the South Pacific during World War II serving as a quartermaster and signalman. 

Stapleton received a juris doctorate degree from University of Notre Dame Law School and an AB degree from Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters. Received an honorary Ph.D. for his bench service.

He and his first wife, Phoebe (Goulet) had 13 children: Phoebe, William “Bill”, John, Diana (Bartos), Barbara, James, Christopher, Lillian, George, Lee, Eva, Timothy, and Louise. 

In 1953, he was appointed assistant prosecuting attorney for Mason County and later that year became prosecuting attorney, serving until 1958. 

In 1968, he ran unsuccessfully for election as judge of the newly formed district court of Mason and Oceana counties. In 1970, he was elected district court judge for Manistee and Benzie counties and served there until 1984. 

In 1978, he married Alice Miller. Stapleton died on Jan. 4, 2013 in Fremont at the age of 88. 

Wilfrid Hocking was born on Feb. 15, 1896 in llogan Highway (Redruth), Cornwall, England, the son of Edwin and Susan Hocking. In 1906, the Hocking family immigrated to the Upper Peninsula’s Copper Country where Edwin worked as a copper miner. 

Hocking graduated from Lake Linden High School and was drafted to the U.S. Army and served in Co. H, 337th Infantry during World War I.  He was shot in the leg and captured as a prisoner of war. He was released to the American Red Cross on Dec. 26, 1918 (the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918). He was awarded the Purple Heart and returned back to Michigan and enrolled in University of Michigan Law School. 

On Feb. 1, 1930, Hocking married Frederica Annie Williams and they moved to Ludington, where they lived at 401 E. Court St., the corner of Court and Delia streets, the rest of their lives. They had two children, Wilfred and Shirley (Linscott). 

Hocking spent his entire 50 year career as a lawyer in Ludington, retiring in 1967. He also served a term as Mason County prosecuting attorney. He was active in several service clubs including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Mason County Barracks 405 veterans of World War I, Disabled American Veterans, and American Legion. He notably was one of the speakers of the dedication of the Father Marquette memorial cross on Buttersville Peninsula in 1955. 

He died on Jan. 15, 1975 at the age of 78, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Ludington. 

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Four law enforcement officers have been killed in Mason County throughout the county’s 166 year history. Of those, two died in traffic crashes. Mason County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Max Leonard Altman, died on March 12, 1966 after being struck by a vehicle at the intersection of US 31 (now Pere Marquette Highway) and US 10 in Pere Marquette Township. Manistee County Sheriff’s Office Det. Robin Arnold, was killed in a head-on vehicle crash on Quarterline Road in Grant Township on Feb. 4, 1994. Two officers died after being shot. Michigan State Police Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II, was shot and killed on Sept. 9, 2013 during a traffic stop on North Custer Road in Free Soil Township. 

This is the story of the murder Ludington Police Department Patrolman Arlo Slagle, who was shot and killed on Sunday, July 20, 1958 at the Grand Hotel bar, at the corner of Rath Avenue and Filer Street in Ludington. 

The murder took place just after midnight. 

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