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MOONSHINE FAME-PART II

Learning of three cars parked along the road, Walt rolled the barrels into the brush and set off toward the river with the still. Shortly after he confronted the officers at his home.

A search for the still began. The copper boiler and the coil were located in a clump of trees under a bluff near the river. Walt told officers he had never seen the contraption before but judged it might be a still. When arrested the last time, the still and other material for booze making were located in Clarke County where he was tried and penalized to serve term in the penitentiary.

His trial was a sensation. In his long, unkept hair and beard, Walt presented a remarkable spectacle in the courtroom. The State had a clear-cut case, and the jury deliberated only a few minutes to determine Walt was guilty. The prosecuting attorney pictured the alleged criminals’ misconduct in the most scathing terms and accused him of being a menace to the good citizens of four counties. In response to the twits and jibes given him by the defense attorney, the County Attorney questioned the piety and sincerity of the remarks made by his opponent and likened the attorney’s speech to the Platt River, in that it was a thousand miles long, a hundred miles wide and six inches deep.

The defendant’s attorney’s plea abounded in eloquence, was illuminated with humor. He showered the Sheriff with compliments and then used him as a shield for witty javelins he fired at the County Attorney and the Deputies who accompanied him on the liquor raid. He shook the jugs and kidded the officers because the containers were not full. The Court smiled and the audience laughed. The attorney for the defense knew he was pleading for a lost cause.

Walt had used many plans to peddle booze and cover his tracks at the same time. One of the ingenious schemes practiced was in representing himself as a spectacle peddler. He traveled about the country and did sell glasses to the unwary. His spectacle case had a false bottom and this compartment carried the supply of bottled goods which he sold wherever possible.

Walt reappeared later in his old haunts and apparently went back to work at his still. A squad of federal agents combed the woods for him but were unable to locate him or his still. Those who knew him said he would probably be a menace to law enforcement several more times before giving up the title of the Bootlegger King of the Grand River Bottoms.

Walt Case stirred up his last batch of mash, made his last successful eluding of federal and state officers and served his last term in state and county penal institutions. Case had apparently been asleep at home when his clothing caught fire while he slept. He ran from the blazing building and plunged headlong into a tangle of thick brush where he died. 1935.

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