Joe Neff Murder: How did Raymond Larry Nichols Die? – Joe Neff, 61, was reported missing on May 14, 2009, when a worker at Neff’s Long Branch Saloon in Poteau noticed blood on the bar’s floor.
Numerous individuals searched the region for Neff for several days in the hope that he was still alive. On the other hand, Neff’s body was discovered on May 17 by a fisherman in a body of water near a strip mine. Neff had been murdered with a gun. His remains may have been in the water for a few days, according to investigators.
Authorities in Leflore County have detained the former brother-in-law in connection with the murder of deceased bar owner Joe Neff.
“Murder Comes to Town: Say it Ain’t So“, a documentary on Investigation Discovery details how the police utilized traditional investigative techniques to link the murderer to the murder weapon. Let’s investigate what occurred, shall we?
How Did Joe Neff Pass Away?
Joe was born in Poteau, Oklahoma, in July 1947. In addition to being a member of the National Guard and having previously worked as a welder, Joe also ran a well-liked tavern between Poteau and Heavener, Oklahoma. The 61-year-old enjoyed spending time at the pub with friends and was regarded as a wonderful parent by his two children. His loved ones characterized him as a kind and giving person. Therefore, it came as a surprise when the worrying incident was revealed in May 2009.
When one of Joe’s staff members went to the bar on May 14, 2009, to open it, they found blood, Joe’s cowboy hat, and his lighter inside. But Joe was nowhere to be found, and his car was parked outside. After three days of searching by friends, family, and the authorities, a fisherman discovered Joe’s body floating in a strip-mine pond close to Pocola, Oklahoma. Joe died as a result of a single 9mm pistol shot to the back of the skull.
Who Killed Joe Neff and Why?
Since Joe had money on him when he was discovered, the investigators didn’t think the motivation was a robbery. They believed the murder to be personal. The businessman’s head was covered in duct tape, and his hands and legs were restrained with wire and zip ties. Joe’s body was further weighed down in the water by being connected to a cement block. The police now had to track down the murder weapon and its shooter.
The police discovered through interviews that Shirley Neff, Joe’s ex-wife, had been pleading with him for money, but he had refused to give it to her. Witnesses claim that Joe had previously stated that Shirley and her brother, Raymond Larry Nichols, would be the main suspects if anything happened to him. With this information, the detectives started looking into the lives of Shirley and Raymond.
Then, the police discovered that in 2001, Raymond’s common-law spouse purchased a Ruger 9mm pistol from a pawn shop. She confessed to handing it to Raymond when questioned. In July 2013, the police sent a dive team back to the pond where the body was discovered to look for the weapon. The serial number of the Ruger 9mm pistol they discovered in the pond matched the one Raymond’s common-law wife had purchased. Tests also showed that it was a murder weapon in reality.
What Happened to Raymond Larry Nichols? Is He Dead?
In August 2013, Raymond was detained, and a trial was held the following year. The defense argued that there was no concrete evidence connecting him to the crime while maintaining his innocence. The jury, on the other hand, had a different opinion and decided Raymond was responsible for killing Joe after less than four hours of discussion.
He was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole in July 2014. Raymond eventually passed away on March 28, 2015, (when he was 62 years old) at Lindsay Municipal Hospital in Oklahoma, with lung cancer being listed as the likely cause of death.