Oklahoma notorious crimes author to visit
As an attorney for more than 50 years, Kent F. Frates has mostly seen the bad and the ugly when it comes to Oklahoma’s lawlessness, and much of it he’s captured in six books detailing some of the state’s most vicious crimes.
The Museum of the Great Plains will host Frates Sunday afternoon for a free presentation on his work. Frates also will sell and sign copies of his books, including “Oklahoma’s Most Notorious Cases, Vol. II,” which includes the story of the infamous Geronimo Bank Case.
In 1984, Comanche County was rocked by one of the worst mass murders in Oklahoma history. The crime occurred in Geronimo at a branch of the First Bank of Chattanooga. Three female employees were brutally stabbed to death, and four customers were shot in the head by robbers. Miraculously, three of the gunshot victims survived.
The perpetrators were caught due to the quick investigative work done by the FBI and the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Lawton, Granville Long. However, multiple trials in Comanche County and numerous appeals were necessary before the killers were finally brought to justice.
Frates’ collection, “Oklahoma’s Most Notorious Cases,” won the 2015 Ben Franklin Award for political/current events. The Ben Franklin Award is a national award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association.
Before the books and the awards, Frates made an interesting connection that would lead to his interest in crime writing. He was researching the capture and trial of notorious gangster Machine Gun Kelly for the kidnapping of a man named Charles Urschel, an oil tycoon and businessman from Oklahoma City.