Aging Killer Cleans Slate

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Rancher, 73, Returns to Williamstown, Ky. to
 Confess 50-Year-Old Love Shooting

Special Dispatch to the Enquirer

Williamstown, Ky., March 2 - After half a century absence, Noah Readnower came back home to Williamstown to confess to a murder he committed in his youth, but tonight he was free to return to his ranch near Lusk, Wyoming, if he so desires.

Calmly, the 73-year-old rancher walked into the office of Lee Lanter, Grant County Attorney this morning and said, "I killed a man here 48 or 50 years ago and want to know if there are any charges against me."

Readnower then related, to the best of his memory, Lanter said, how he and Carl Hightower became involved in a pistol battle when both were young men, that Hightower was killed, and that wounded, Readnower fled from Williamstown.  Lanter said Readnower told him that the shooting was over a girl.

Readnower said he could not remember the details  of the shooting, such as the date.  Official records failed to disclose much, Lanter reported, except that the shooting had occurred.  The records did disclose, the County Attorney related, that no charge was ever filed against REadnower.

When he left Williamstown, Readnower went west and eventually settled in Wyoming, as a sheepherder.  He prospered, and today owns nearly 500 acres of land there, he told Lanter, adding that he never married.  His conscience bothered him throughout the years.  Readnower informed Lanter, and his purpose in returning here was "to clear myself or face [the] penalty."

Lanter said the case will be referred to the next session of the Grant County Grande Jury, in June, but that Readnower is being released on his own recognizance pending any further appearance he may be asked to make here.


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from the Cincinnati Enquirer, March 3, 1946