Jailer Eli Othel Bray

Jailer Eli Othel Bray

Carthage Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Saturday, December 13, 1930

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Eli Othel Bray

Jailer Eli Bray was shot and killed with his own service weapon during an escape attempt from the Carthage Jail.

Jailer Bray was working as a relief jailer, so the normal jailer could have a day off. An 18-year-old man and his 20-year-old wife came to the jail to see a prisoner. The man attacked Jailer Bray from behind, gained control of his service revolver, and shot him four times. The couple wanted to break a prisoner out of jail but failed in their attempt and fled.

The suspects were arrested after fleeing to Chelsea, Oklahoma. The man was convicted of Jailer Bray's murder and sentenced to death on April 25, 1931. His sentence was later commuted to 50 years. In December of 1954 he escaped from the Missouri Penitentiary. On November 14, 1958, he was captured in Los Angeles, California. His wife was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 21, 1931.

Jailer Bray also served as a Carthage police officer and Marion Township constable. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, five brothers, and two sisters.


  • Age 49
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 50 years

correctional Facility, escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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I am pleased to note that the Missouri house Bill no. 2797 will honor my Grandfather E.O. Bray. It was a hard time for my , mother , one of his daughters and family to lose this great man. My grandmother never remarried. Wish I had known him.

Marilyn Hendrix Kalvelage, daughter
Retired, Deputy Director, CA Deputy of Corrections and Rehabilitation

May 1, 2024

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