The Murder of John Evens

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The Murder


After hearing conflicting testimony of what occurred on June 30th, 1906, authorities came to the conclusion that John Evens and Cyrus Long had come to Lee's Saloon to talk and have a few drinks. Shortly after Ray Long had gone inside to join his father, he heard someone in the crowd say, "throw him [Cyrus Long] out." [1] In response, Ray stood up and pulled out his thirty-two caliber revolver and shouted "I would like to see anyone try it."[2] Trying to defuse the situation, John Evens stood up to act as the mediator for the situation. At this time, Ray Long was said to have moved and fired his gun at Evens head. Ray Long and John Evens were said to have and old grudge that may have caused the shooting. Witnesses stated Evens had shared a secret of Longs that involved him serving time in a penitentiary that Long supposedly never got over. Ray had been drinking and was heavily intoxicated. [3]

Alternate Story

Other witnesses suggested Ray Long was acting merely in self defense. It was said that young Long had been beaten on the floor before the shooting. Using his strength he managed to get his pistol and fire, killing Evens instantly. [4]

Ray Long on the Run

After the murder, Ray Long was said to have ran out of the saloon, dropping the laundry package he had been previously holding. Even after being spotted multiple times the police were never able to catch Ray Long. [5] Both the police and Evens father put out multiple reward to catch Long. At one point police suspected they had found Ray Long after a train had hit a man fitting Ray's description. Sadly, it turned out to be Rays brother on the way to their fathers funeral. Ray Long was suspected to have moved to a town in Pennsylvania where he remained. [6]

Newspaper Articles


  1. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 4th, 1906.
  2. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 4th, 1906.
  3. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 4th, 1906.
  4. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 4th, 1906.
  5. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 18th, 1906.
  6. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. November 22nd, 1911.