A walk through the last 30 years of news stories from The Springfield Sun has yielded some captivating news stories that garnered attention all over the county, state and sometimes nation.
This is part one of a project that will examine the last 30 years of Washington County’s history, as told by The Springfield Sun.
The marijuana-patch murder
On Aug. 10, 1983, two men disappeared.
Jasper Neal Maddox, 26, and Harold Southerland, 26, listed in one news story as residing in Casey County, weren’t seen again until Sept. 26, 1984 (28 years from the publication date of this edition of the newspaper).
Their decomposed remains were discovered in a shallow grave on a remote, wooded hillside that day in northern Washington County, located one mile east of KY 53 near Sharpsville.
The burial site sat 20 feet from a former marijuana patch. Volunteer plants were sprouting up in the 20-foot wide by 80-long patch, where marijuana likely grew the year before.
The site was the scene of an attempted cremation in a barrel of the men.
During a five-day search, police also found human remains in a creek bed two or three miles from the grave site.
Detectives had found Southerland’s vehicle in Aug. of 1983, nearly a year earlier. It was pushed over a cliff at Scott’s Ridge near Raywick in Marion County.
A 13-month investigation came to fruition with the arrest of Frank Tamme, 36, a Danville man.
William “Tuck” Buchanon, 30, was also A warrant was issued on Tamme’s farm on KY 34, about eight miles west of Danville.
When police arrived, they found marijuana leaves in the back of Tamme’s truck, cutting tools with marijuana residue on them, bulletproof vests, weapons, camouflage fatigues and sleeping bags.
Police also found an alleged marijuana-drying operation on the second floor of a farmhouse, as well as scales and measuring instruments.
Tamme and Buchanan were also linked to another case involving marijuana in Shelby County on the same day the bodies were recovered.
Around 2,000 plants were found and destroyed in eight acres of corn.
No bond was set for either man. Buchanan asked to stay in Barren County Jail because Tamme had associates in Marion and Taylor counties and Buchanan feared for his life.
According to a news report, it became clear that Buchanan was the informant in the case.
“We have eyewitnesses who stated that Mr. Tamme did shoot these people,” County Attorney Hamilton Simms said during Tamme’s court appearance, according to a news report.
According to a June 19, 1985 report in the Sun, a Washington County jury found Tamme guilty of the double-murder and sentenced him to death.
The trial lasted a week and began with attorneys interviewing 60 people for 12 juror positions.
Tamme’s wife, Elizabeth, took the stand to tell jurors about her relationship with her husband.
She told them that Tamme dropped out of high school to go into the service and was deployed to Vietnam.
He later attended Eastern Kentucky University and earned a master’s degree in business.
Elizabeth also told jurors that their 11-year-old son died earlier that year in an accident.
“I know he’s not guilty,” she said to the jury before breaking into tears, wrote Parson.
The jury deliberated for two hours before returning with its verdict.
“Tamme’s face turned white when the jury foreman read the verdict, but he remained motionless,” wrote Kim Parson, a summer intern at the Sun.
After reaching a guilty verdict, the jurors were told they had four choices for sentencing Tamme.
He could serve 20 or more years in prison, he could serve life in prison, he could serve life in prison with no parole or probation until 25 years were served or he could be sentenced to death.
The jury deliberated for seven hours and chose to sentence Tamme to death. According to the news report, Tamme showed no emotion.
Buchanan, who was arrested with Tamme but appeared to be the informant, testified for three hours in the trial.
He told jurors he met Tamme six months before the murders. He started growing marijuana for Tamme in July of 1983.
Buchanan told jurors they had been growing marijuana on a farm near Willisburg in Washington County. He told jurors that Tamme confided in him, telling him about problems he had with Southerland because Tamme was having an affair with Southerland’s wife.
“He said Tamme told him he would kill Southerland if he ever hurt her,” Parson wrote.
On the day of the murders, Tamme called Buchanan and asked him to take Southerland and Maddox to the Tamme farm in Boyle County.
After work at the Boyle County farm, Tamme said they would go to work in the marijuana patch in Washington County.
Buchanan rode to the Washington County farm in Southerland’s car with Southerland and Maddox. When they arrived, Tamme and his driver were already there.
Buchanan told jurors that they all walked into the marijuana patch, when he heard a gunshot.
He turned around and saw Southerland laying face down. He told jurors that Tamme left the patch with a different gun to shoot Maddox.
In a later trial, Southerland said Tamme had shot the men, but thought one of them was “playing possum” and went to shoot him again. The gun didn’t fire, so Tamme went back to get a different gun.
Buchanan told jurors that they left the bodies there for the night and went back to Tamme’s Boyle County farm to retrieve Tamme’s vehicle.
They stripped Southerland’s car of the license plate and removed any papers with Southerland’s name on it. They then dumped the car in Scott’s Ridge.
The next day, Buchanan said, he went back and put the bodies in a ravine near the marijuana patch. He covered the bodies with agricultural lime, rocks and brush, as ordered by Tamme.
About three months later, Tamme and Buchanan returned to the scene to burn the remains of the bodies in a barrel.
When all of the remains wouldn’t burn, they dumped them in a creek about five miles from the murder scene.
The bodies were later discovered after Buchanan went to the police about the crime and led them to the site.
In the Aug. 14, 1985 edition of the Sun, it said Tamme was formally sentenced to death.
In a handwritten statement read by his attorney, Tamme pleaded for mercy, denying he had committed the crime. He urged the judge not to give him the death sentence.
Tamme was taken to Eddyville, a federal penitentiary. He joined 25 men that were already on death row.
According to the Sun, the death penalty laws were ruled out by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. But in 1976, the ability to enforce the death penalty was reinstated in some states, including Kentucky.
Norma Southerland, the wife of the deceased Harold Southerland, was later indicted and charged with perjury.
During the trial, she made several false statements about her relationship with Tamme.
She denied that Tamme was the father of her child, denied that she had dated or gone out with Tamme, denied that she and Harold Southerland had ever separated or were having marital problems and denied knowing Buchanan well.
In a March 12, 1986 story in the Sun, which was written by Danville Advocate-Messenger reporter Brenda S. Edwards, Buchanan, the informant, told about his former life of crime.
He told her he had a $1,000-a-day cocaine habit and that he and Tamme had gotten a marijuana crop ready for harvest, but that Tamme decided he wanted all the profits.
According to Buchanan, Tamme and his cronies tied him up and stole the crop.
After Buchanan got untied, he went to the police and gave them evidence in the murder case.
Buchanan pleaded guilty to a lesser charge for his involvement in the murder and was freed from custody. He was given a 20-year suspended sentence and placed on probation.
He told the reporter that growing marijuana was a good way to make fast money.
In the Aug. 6, 1986 edition of the Sun, it was reported that a motion had been made for a new trial for Tamme based on new testimony.
In an affidavit, Howard Glidewell said he was with Tamme on the day of the murders and testified under oath that Tamme didn’t commit the crimes.
Glidewell said that Buchanan and another man, whom he didn’t know, committed the crime. Glidewell said Buchanan and the other man thought someone was robbing the marijuana patch and shot the two men.
“There was no way Mr. Tamme could have done this, as we went to Taylorsville, Ind., and didn’t get back until later that night when we were told about the incident,” Glidewell testified.
Glidewell said that he spent several months in jail with Buchanan and said that Buchanan told him about the murders and how he did it.
According to the Aug. 13, 1986 edition of the Sun, prosecutors produced evidence that Glidewell was, in fact, in the Barren County jail on the day of the murders. Records showed that Glidewell was an inmate from July 12, 1983 until Sept. 9, 1983.
Prosecutors also showed that Glidewell erred when he described the location of the crime, saying it occurred in Casey County.
When handed a road map, Glidewell couldn’t point to the location of the crime.
It was also noted that he received cash from Tamme’s attorneys and letters were found from friends of Tamme’s asking Glidewell to help by signing a statement and testifying.
“You will be paid well,” the letter said, according to the Sun.
Glidewell was charged with perjury.
In Sept. of 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the ruling that the Washington County jury made and ordered a new trial.
It was overturned for two reasons. The court ruled that jurors should not have been asked if they were willing to recommend the death penalty in the case. The word ‘recommend’ may have left jurors with the belief that they could only recommend and not set the sentence.
The court also ruled that the jury should not have been presented evidence that the men had been murdered in a marijuana patch.
In the June 9, 1993 edition of the Sun, the report was that the trial had been ordered to Fayette Circuit Court due to the publicity surrounding the first trial.
In the June 22, 1994 edition of the Sun, it was reported that the trial was underway and would continue.
Buchanan told jurors how Tamme went through the pockets of the men, separating their money and burning their wallets.
“I put the bones in the barrel; Frank put the gas on it and lit the fire,” Buchanan was quoted as saying in the Sun.
He told jurors that he didn’t remove all of the bones so he could locate the grave later if he wanted to prove the story to police.
The barrel, which was discovered over a cliff near the river where its contents were dumped, was exhibited in the courtroom.
According to the June 29, 1994 edition of the Sun, after an eight-day trial, the Fayette jury also found Tamme guilty and issued the death sentence.
Several jurors cried as the sentence was read, according to Ninie Glasscock, the editor / general manager at the Sun during that time.
Family members of the victims also cried. Tamme was stoic, Glasscock wrote.
The case, as was any death penalty case, was automatically appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
In July of ‘94, Tamme was formally sentenced to die by a Fayette County judge. He was scheduled to go to the electric chair on July 21, 1995.
At that time, the last person executed in Kentucky was in 1962.
The case went on to the state supreme court, but no decision was found in the 1997 archives, the last year used in part one of this project.
Tamme was not listed as an inmate on death row at Eddyville as of Monday afternoon.
The nudists are coming! The nudists are coming!
In the spring of ‘94, a one-inch classified ad that appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader would cause a large conflict in Washington County for years to come.
In the ad, Kevin Hux sought members for a nude outdoor recreation club called Cedar Hills Naturist Club.
There were already 30 members of the club and they pooled their money to buy an 81-acre site in northwestern Washington County. They had already begun building camp sites and had plans for 20 homes for year-round dwellers.
There were plans for a pond, volleyball and croquet court.
The land was purchased in Judy Hunziker’s name, a key detail as the story progressed.
Hux told the Sun he was 39, had moved from Alaska and had been a nudist all his life. He said the club was family-oriented and would be open to couples and families.
Members would be carefully screened, he said, and the club would not be open to the public. Membership to the club would be confidential.
“This is a place for families who want to live their lives naturally. These aren’t just a bunch of people out here running around naked in the woods,” Hux told the Sun.
According to the newspaper report, the law required a permit for a nudist facility.
The permit comes from the county, county judge-executive Bobby Brady told the Sun.
According to Hamilton Simms, the county attorney, a license could be granted if the county judge found that the applicant is of good character and the club operates for health or religious purposes and is remote so that it was shielded from the public view.
The license was $100 and could be revoked if the facility was not concealed or if the applicant had been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor due to the nudist operation.
The next week, the newspaper reported that over 1,000 people signed a petition opposing the facility. The petition was provided to the county judge by local ministers.
They urged the judge to deny the license because “this type of immoral and perverted behavior will be detrimental to the wholesome community values that the residents of Washington County have established,” according to the story.
Brady told the newspaper that if everything checked out, he legally had to grant the license.
During an investigation of Hux’s character, it was found that his wife, Hunziker, was found arrested of multiple prostitution charges in Alaska.
The latest charge was in 1990.
Hunziker also owned two motels, known to Anchorage officers as houses of prostitution.
Hux would tell police he hadn’t lived in Alaska since 1989, but police records would show him there as late as 1993.
He told police he’d forgotten he was in Alaska in 1993.
Hux told the Sun he was married to Hunziker, but later told police that he wasn’t and was never married to her. He told Brady that the couple had a common-law marriage.
After the prostitution charges came to light, he backed off and said Hunziker wasn’t his wife and that they were just close friends.
Records showed that he did apply for a marriage license in Alaska with Yang Soon Duk, but no marriage record was on file.
Brady scheduled a public hearing and 12 media outlets - which spanned the nation - picked up the story.
On Friday, June 24, 1994, Brady denied the facility a license.
“I do not find Kevin Hux to be of good moral character,” Brady told the assembled media.
According to Ninie Glasscock, the editor / general manager of the Sun at the time, the tangle of media equipment blew the breakers in the 1816 Courthouse twice.
The Hux investigation also showed that he owned a massage parlor in Lexington for four years. An employee there was convicted and arrested for prostitution.
Hux hadn’t mentioned to Brady, or anyone else, that he had been shot on three different occasions and that Hux feared someone had hired a hit man to kill him.
After the license was denied, Hux told the media that Brady’s reasons for denial were full of lies and said that Brady lied about his wife’s arrest record, but police records indicated otherwise.
He told the media he intended to sue the county for monetary purposes and the Sun for liable. He also planned to sue Brady for unfairly denying a license.
The case was taken to circuit court, where a judge dismissed Hux’s lawsuit.
William M. Hall, the judge in the case, said there was sufficient evidence to support Brady’s decision.
In May of 1995, Hux applied again for a license.
This time, he said, all dealings would go through his attorney.
Hux sent a press release to the state media, but not to the Springfield Sun.
“It looks like we’re in for the same song, second verse,” Brady told the Sun.
In mid-May, Brady again denied the license.
Later, in June of 1996, Hux came back and claimed the nudist camp was a Christian retreat.
He called it The First Church of New Eden. He was the founder.
Hux told Brady to address him as Rev. Hux or Brother Kevin.
In Oct. of ‘97, Hux tried to file again. Brady denied him again, saying that nothing had changed. The application was for a Christian nudist retreat.
I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.
In February of 1993, a pilot that departed from the Lebanon - Springfield Airport fell asleep, went 700 miles off course and landed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Jim Rich, the fixed-base operator of the airport, told Ninie Glasscock what it was like to wake up over the Gulf of Mexico.
“All I could think of was that line from ‘The Wizard of Oz:’ ‘Toto...I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,’” Rich said.
He said he knew he wasn’t looking at Lake Cumberland when he woke up.
Rich told Glasscock that he left the airport around 5:30 a.m. to test fly a plane that had been repaired by mechanics.
He had just returned from a night-long drive from McMinnville, Tenn. and was too wired to sleep.
Wide awake, he thought he’d take the plane for a flight to Crossville, Tenn. and back. It was only a 40-minute flight and he needed to go there anyway.
Rich took off, climbed to 4,500 feet and set the plane to auto-pilot.
About 17 minutes into the flight, he told Glasscock that he blinked. When he looked back up, all the information on his instrument panels was scrambled.
“When I re-focused my eyes, the instruments were all wrong...or at least I thought they were wrong. It was 11 o’clock. But it couldn’t be 11 o’clock. The fuel gauge showed only 15 minutes of flying time left and I’d filled up the tanks before I left,” he said.
Rich was 180 miles over the Gulf of Mexico and 700 miles from his intended destination.
There was not enough fuel to reach land, but he knew he could land the plane on water. The problem was, he couldn’t swim.
Rich sent a distress signal and was overwhelmed by the responses. He was contacted by the Coast Guard, Air Force and the Navy.
The Coast Guard had a jet 100 miles away, but it would only take 12 to 15 minutes to reach him.
The Air Force told him to head west for Clearwater because it was closer.
Rich then climbed to 9,500 feet because the thin air would reduce fuel consumption. He throttled his air speed to a level where the plane was “barely hanging in the air.”
He told Glasscock that the prettiest sight he’d ever seen was the Coast Guard jets.
The Coast Guard members told him they would drop a raft as soon as he hit the water.
The engine began to falter. It sputtered, then quiet. He told Glasscock the only sound he could hear was the crackle of the radio and the whistle of the wind beyond the wings.
He knew it would take six minutes to reach water, and a rescue chopper was still 20 minutes away.
At that point, he thought he was going to die, he said, because he couldn’t swim.
He then landed the plane in eight- to 10-foot waves. The plane bounced for 800 feet before settling. He took off his earphones, unbuckled his seat belt and stepped onto the wing of the plane. The water was already knee deep.
He panicked, but then he saw that the seat cushions were floating. He took a cushion under each arm and stepped off of the wing.
The Coast Guard made a low pass and dropped a raft 100 feet away.
Then, the airplane he landed sunk and sucked him underwater with it. He told Glasscock that he figured his death was imminent.
After several dunks underwater and a lungs full of water, a Navy diver dove in from the rescue helicopter and gave Rich a life jacket.
Rich said he remembered vague details after that, and that he had to shake his head yes and no to respond to questions.
“Out there over the ocean, I had 45 minutes when I knew I wasn’t going to make it. But it was OK, you know. It had all been settled between me and God years ago. So it was...kind of peaceful in a way. I hope when I do die that it’s as peaceful as that was,” Rich told Glasscock.
A few months later, in April of 1994, Rich was arrested for trafficking marijuana.
His arrest resulted from a lengthy undercover investigation by Kentucky State Police.
Police found over 30 pounds of processed marijuana when they arrested him and another man at Morganfield Airport in Union County.
Eventually, Rich would have two airplanes seized. The airport board terminated his contract.
In March of 1995, he received a 14-month sentence in federal prison.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to traffic in marijuana.