William R. Benningfield, Civilian Work Crew Supervisor
Soil Conservation Camp
Atoka County, Oklahoma
End of Watch: August 11, 1941
On August 11, 1941, a trusty working at the Soil Conservation Camp near Kenefic, Oklahoma in Atoka County, complained of feeling ill. Mr. Benningfield, an unarmed supervisor at the conservation camp, agreed to transport the inmate to the doctor in Atoka, but they never arrived.
Benningfield’s car was found abandoned near Wewoka with the gears stripped. The inmate was arrested that night while hitchhiking near Shawnee, Oklahoma, on Highway 270. Confessing to Benningfield’s murder, he led officers to the body in a ditch 14 miles north of Durant. Benningfield had been beaten to death with a claw hammer.