Cold Case Oklahoma
by CHARLES W. SASSER | OKLAHOMA MAGAZINE
A forest of trees has been sacrificed to newsprint in speculation of who killed 32-year-old millionaire rancher E.C. Mullendore III. Estranged from his wife pending divorce, the rancher was on his sprawling 40,000-acre Cross Bell Ranch in Osage County with ranch hand Damon “Chub” Anderson the night of Sept. 26, 1970, when he was beaten and shot to death.
Summoned by Anderson, deputies found Mullendore dead in a pool of blood in the basement and Anderson shot once in the back of his arm. There was evidence of a savage struggle.
According to Anderson’s statement, he was upstairs getting ready to take a bath when two intruders broke into the house and attacked Mullendore, beating him before shooting him between the eyes. Hearing the gunshot, Anderson rushed downstairs and exchanged fire with the assailants.
Investigators learned the rancher was deeply in debt and had reportedly obtained loans from underworld crime figures, leading to rampant rumors that his slaying was a mob hit. Anderson was widely regarded as a prime suspect, possibly having cooperated with the mob.
Tulsa private investigator Gary Glanz, a former Tulsa Police detective, arrived at the murder scene within hours, having been contacted to provide security for the dead man’s wife. News outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have referred to Glanz as a “super sleuth.”
“This was never about a contract hit,” he states flatly. “The case should have been solved within the first 72 hours.”
Anderson died in Kansas in 2010 at 70-years-old after a medical release from prison on other convictions. Glanz, who had maintained contact with the case, arrived at his deathbed in time to tape a stunning statement.
“We have got the answer,” Glanz reveals. “There was another man with Chub the night of the murder, who helped cover it up. I’m working with the DA in Osage County to resolve it.”
An indictment may be pending.