Historical Information

Louisiana takes no chances with Toni. She is handcuffed when she is taken from the jail for the short walk to the courthouse.

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Taken from the Lake Charles American Press, Tues, Feb 20th, 1940:

After a midnight meeting with her husband, arranged in Beaumont by local and Beaumont authorizes, the 24 year old woman broke her silence and said “Arkansas” was the man with her when together, they thumbed Joseph P. Calloway for a ride Wednesday.

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From Lake Charles American Press Tuesday, February 23rd, 1940

In the bare and barred main corridor of Calcasasieu parish jail this morning, Mrs. Claude D. Henry, 24, and Horrace Finnon Burks, 23…met again for the first time since their crime ways parted them eight days ago in Arkansas, she having left him, she declared, because he was a “little yellow rat,” and he having deserted her, he said, because he was “afraid of her.” Each accuses the other of having fired a .32 caliber bullet into Joseph P. Calloway’s brain as he knelt behind a haystack near here.

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Taken from the Lake Charles American Press, Thursday, March 28th, 1940:

Mrs. Toni Jo Henry, 24, is shown about as her trial for the murder of Joseph P. Calloway, Houston salesman, on Feb. 14 opened in district court here this morning. Seated beside her facing the bench with Judge John T. Hood presiding is Deputy Sheriff Weston Fanguy.

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From Lake Charles American Press:

These men, and a twelfth who had not been chosen when this picture was made, will decide Toni’s fate. They are the jurors. Rear row, left to right: Adam L. Vincent, E.H. Wingate, George D. Neely, I. L. Lacy, R. Rau and Charles Quirk. Front Row: O.J. Roberts Jr., C.B. Melancon, Milton A Giovanni, O. I. Hooper and Ducie Benoit.

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Actual hand-written letter by Toni Jo Henry to her sister, written from her jail cell:

“Darling Kids,

Honey, I’m sending you five dollars to buy my baby a birthday present. Get her a coat or a skirt and sweater. Tell her it’s from me with oceans of love and kisses.

Wish you had been here to help me eat goose and dressing. Gibbs went out hunting yesterday and shot two geese; boy they were some eating too. Did you make the kids their cake?

I got a telegram tonight from Claude. He is at Huntsville. I sure feel a thousand times better. You write to him at box 32, Huntsville, Texas and tell him what I told you to.

Honey, I don’t guess there’s anything else to write so I’ll just say so long! You can write Gibbs and tell him if you get the money. Just write him Gibbs Duhon at the same address as when you wrote to me.

I’ll be thinking of you all. Love and kisses, Toni”

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From the Lake Charles American Press, Thursday, November 26, 1942

Thwarted in his effort to see his wife once more…Claude (Cowboy) Henry, escaped Texas convict, Wednesday morning was captured in a Beaumont hotel. His wife told officers from her Lake Charles jail cell that she was glad he was captured since an attempt to see her might have cost him his life.

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Toni Jo in 1942

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