|The Deaths of Billy Powell and Caroline Aiken|
And GI Are Slain
Miss Annie Aiken, Pvt. Bill Powell Apparent Murder, Suicide Victims
An Anderson girl and her soldier lover were dead today following an apparent murder-suicide early Sunday morning North of the city on the Clemson Highway.
The girl is Miss Annie Carolina Aiken, 25, of the A-Line Road; the soldier is Pvt. Bill Powell, 25, stationed at the Greenville Army Air Base.
Miss Aiken was killed instantly with two bullet wounds through the heart, and Powell died four hours later at Memorial Hospital. He had a bullet wound through the head.
THE SHOOTING happened at Rockcrest, a service station near the intersection of the Clemson and Liberty Highways. Frank Keaton, who operates the service station, told officers that Miss Aiken came to his place about 11 o'clock Saturday night and ordered a beer. Just before midnight, he said, Powell arrived by taxi, came in, and sat by Miss Aiken. At midnight, Keaton said that he told patrons that it was time to close. Miss Aiken got up and walked out, with Powell following, he said.
"I was looking through the window," Mr. Keaton related. "I saw Powell grab Miss Aiken by the shoulder and jerk her to him. Then I heard the shots in rapid succession. There were four or five of them. I ran outside. Miss Aiken was sprawled on the ground, and Powell was laying across her. Leonard Powell carried them to the hospital
DEPUTY SHERIFF Joe Kay said that he was told that Miss Aiken approached a patron of the place before the shooting and asked him to take her to Anderson. When he hesitated, she replied, "You don't want to see me killed, do you?" She explained that she had been dodging Powell for two days and had caught a taxi to Rockcrest to escape him. He found where she had gone and followed her.
George Aiken, father of the victim, said today that Powell and his daughter had known each other for about five years, but that "they were not married." Miss Aiken has two children.
"THE REASON Powell shot her was because she wouldn't marry him." Mr. Aiken charged today. "She never got a cent of allotment money from him while he was in the service," Mr. Aiken said.
He said that she had received benefits from the Department of Public Welfare, but emphatically denied that she had ever gotten any allotment.
An inquest into the two deaths has been set for tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock at the courthouse. Coroner J. Olin Burton said that the following witnesses had been summoned to appear and testify: Leonard Powell, Frank Keaton, Frances Foster, Muriel Bailey, Columbus Heaton, Pat Hicks, Charley Moore, James Broadwell, and Bill Broadwell.
The jury will include P.T. Saylors, foreman; Grady Watson, Walter Todd, J. Wesley Brown, George Crawford, and Ligon Moore.
SOURCE: News article, Anderson, South Carolina, Anderson Daily-Mail, 16 August 1948 (Monday), p. 1 and 3.