The Death of Roy Rickey


Carter County News Articles
Compiled by  Glen Haney

August 1, 1932

Soldier, KY—Three persons were held by police tonight for questioning tonight in the death of Ray Rickey, missing 10 year old boy whose body was found suspended from a tree near his home today.

Those held are, Clyde Rickey, 52, his father, Elizabeth (Bitha) age 36, his stepmother and James Andy Day, 40, a neighbor.

Coroner C.W. Henderson of Carter County said that the body showed marks of severe beatings but was undecided whether the boy was dead when tied to the tree. He added that footprints found near the tree compared with those of Day but there were no footprints for the boy.

The boy’s parents made no search for him, neighbors said, although the boy was missing several days.

[G. Haney postscript. Lovers, Elizabeth and Day would be tried and
convicted to life for the slaying of Ray. According to testimony by Day,
Ray Rickey threatened to tattle on them whereupon Elizabeth choked the boy to death. In a poorly conceived  attempt to make it look like suicide, Day hung the dead boy from a tree. The tragic story was recounted and immortalized in a ballad, "Death of Ray Rickey composed by Bart Blevins."]

SG postscript: The name "Bart Blevins" was almost certainly fabricated by Jean Thomas. See Ballad Makin' in the Mountains of Kentucky. I have no idea if James Andy Day was related to J. W. Day ("Jilson Setters").


Last Update: August 26, 2011