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Slaying of Augusta Police Department officer still unsolved

Investigators to take fresh look at 1958 cold case

Sunday, May 26, 2013 5:56 PM
Last updated Monday, May 27, 2013 5:13 AM
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Frank Henderson Wall Jr. was cruising his police motorcycle eastbound along Walton Way when the fateful call came across the radio.

Augusta Police Department Officer Frank Henderson Wall Jr. was gunned down Nov. 18, 1958. This photo was taken that summer, on Monte Sano Avenue.  AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Augusta Police Department Officer Frank Henderson Wall Jr. was gunned down Nov. 18, 1958. This photo was taken that summer, on Monte Sano Avenue.

On a cloudy, unseasonably warm No­vem­ber night, dispatch called for all cars to be on the lookout for a black-and-white Chevrolet, suspected to have been stolen on Monte Sano Avenue by a gunman who minutes earlier robbed Sheehan’s package shop on Wrightsboro Road.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Nov. 18, 1958, Wall stopped a vehicle in the 1300 block of Walton Way. Growing suspicious, the Augusta Police De­­part­ment patrolman drew his weapon from his holster. He barely had time to dismount his bike when the assailant emerged from the car firing a .32-caliber pistol.

Six shots rang out. Wall fell to the ground critically wounded.

The 33-year-old husband and father of three sons was taken to University Hospital, where he died two hours later, according to The Augusta Chronicle archives.

His slaying is the lone unsolved death of an Augusta-area law enforcement officer. Thirty-eight officers from Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties have been killed in the line of duty.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said earlier this month that he is asking investigators to reopen the cold case.

He acknowledged that finding any new leads on a nearly 55-year-old slaying is not likely but said taking another look at the file is a duty owed to Wall’s family and the community.

“It’s a shot in the dark. We know that,” he said. “Because it’s a fallen officer, it’s worth that shot.”

Accounts from the time say Wall recognized his killer but that the identity went with him when he died.

In a 1963 Chronicle story, Officer Thad Cal­houn recalled Wall saying in the emergency room: “I know that face, lieutenant. I’ll bet I’ve seen it a thousand times but I just don’t know his name. It’ll come to me in a minute, just give me a minute.”

In the immediate days after Wall’s slaying, little evidence emerged and police pushed the public to help find the killer. Detective Chief Bill Terry led investigators tracking hundreds of tips and interviewing at least 70 suspects without finding the killer.

Then, on Oct. 7, 1963, police charged Richard Hogan, a 30-year-old patient of the Len­wood Divi­sion of the Veterans Administration Hospital, in Wall’s death.

Hogan maintained his innocence and traced his whereabouts on the night of the slaying under oath.

Hogan and some others said there was a conspiracy to convict him. Hogan accused investigators of manufacturing evidence.

Hogan was found guilty by a jury March 5, 1964.

“They have put me in the vicinity of the crime but haven’t been able to prove I had anything to do with it,” Hogan said at a hearing.

Hogan’s lawyers, Franklin Pierce and Bill Fleming, appealed to the Georgia Su­preme Court. Hogan got a new trial and was acquitted.

When Hogan was released in the summer of 1965, Terry said he had no plans to pursue a new investigation into the slaying. The case went cold.

Roundtree learned about Wall’s case weeks ago when he was preparing for a May 15 luncheon honoring fallen officers on Peace Officer Memorial Day.

Investigators were tasked with locating Wall’s file, but Roundtree did not know whether it could be located. Many files before 1970 were lost in a flood.

Advancements in technologies that test blood, hair, DNA and ballistics can help solve a cold case, Roundtree said. Additionally, witnesses reluctant to speak might finally come forward.

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hwduncan
57
Points
hwduncan 05/26/13 - 08:34 pm
3
0
Good Luck!

While there may be slim hope in solving this murder, my wish is that the resolution to reopening the case will be success, that closure may come for all involved.

GnipGnop
11460
Points
GnipGnop 05/26/13 - 11:50 pm
4
3
Why?

Shouldn't the focus be on recent cases? Any shooter involved in this case is likely dead or in his 70's. As are witnesses. Here are a few cases to be worked on. The 2 shootings by the race track on Windsor Spring Road. One resulting in a death and the other resulting in a teen being shot and robbed of his motorcycle.

nocnoc
38302
Points
nocnoc 05/27/13 - 07:23 am
6
0
Something many older LEO's know

But not commonly (PC reasons) used anymore.
Officers kept private details in a pocket notepad of what they did each shift, plus there are traffic Ticket books. In 1950's There were no dash-cams, computers, smartphones, and typewriters were limited to serious arrest reports.

Many of the notepads and ticket books have been dumped in the trash over the last 50 + years. But some have been saved for historical purposes. Plus any ticket written, would have resulted in a collected fine or court date and appearance. So input and run this info through a computer to correlate persons that Officer Frank Wall Jr. came in contact with frequently.

Whoever did this likely had other criminal problems.

This even sounds like a great assignment for a LEO Reserve Volunteer(s) and a few citizens willing to help out, inputting 1954-58++ related cases that this officer would have seen (ticket issuing or in court) the person bunch of times.

CobaltGeorge
149789
Points
CobaltGeorge 05/27/13 - 07:55 am
2
3
Yes,

by all means open up this case and find the killer.

Nobody should ever get away with murder except the King SMNCICBHO(M).

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 08:20 am
5
0
Too Long Ago

Most likely everyone involved in the case is dead by now. It would be impossible to determine the killer. Even if you could, you can't put a dead man in prison. I wouldn't waste resources even though the death of the officer was tragic.

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 08:24 am
3
0
Cold Case

The cold case that interests me is the shooting murder of the physician in the parking lot of the hospital in the 80's. That murderer may also be dead, but the case would be recent enough to find evidence, interview people and come to a conclusion. It was truly an unusual murder.

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 08:52 am
1
0
Officer killed at Apartment Complex in 1980's?

I remember an Officer killed at an apartment complex on Wrightsboro Road during the 1980's. Was that case ever solved? The Officer was the complex's resident security, lived there or ....well, I don't remember the details...but, I thought that he was killed protecting the complex. Was that case ever solved? I support reopening 'Cold Cases'. Justice served later is better than never. Every time I see an unsupervised child riding a bike - I think of the little Tiffany that disappeared from South Augusta. I wish that this community could come together and offer a large REWARD - so that little Tiffany's case could be solved. Her kidnapper/murderer could still be riding around our community stalking other children.

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 09:24 am
1
0
Riverman: You needed to read between the lines on that case...

Riverman: You needed to read between the lines on that case....witness protection ..usjusticedept...badabing

fatboyhog
1800
Points
fatboyhog 05/27/13 - 09:15 am
4
0
Stunned 2

That officer was Sgt. Tommy Hammock. He was a Sergeant with the Augusta Police Dept. His killers were caught. I believe two are serving life sentences and one is walking free (he was acquitted).

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 09:23 am
2
0
Stunned2, oh, I understand

Stunned2, oh, I understand ALL angles with that case. I don't believe for one second it was an assassination by a foreign government. It was a targeted murder no doubt. He may have been from Syria, but the Syrian government wasn't about to send people to Augusta to kill him. If the Syrian government falls with their current revolution maybe that angle can be explored more.

nocnoc
38302
Points
nocnoc 05/27/13 - 09:33 am
1
0
What happen to:

The Sam's store Manager Murder?
did they solve that one?

Questions:
is there a list of fallen CSRA LEO's someplace and who the murderers were (are)?

is there a list of Cold case murders for the CSRA?

BTW:
I understand there are still 15 to 20 May 11,1970 missing persons presumed dead and buried or fed to the gators.

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 09:34 am
1
0
Sam's store murderers were

Sam's store murderers were caught.

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 09:59 am
1
0
Riverman: Badabing

I never assumed a foreign government was involved.
That said, when children are forced into the Witness Protection Program, I assume that the details of the case that forced them there will remain sealed for many, many years. The general public will be left guessing for even more years.

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 11:25 am
2
0
Stunned2, do you know if the

Stunned2, do you know if the doctor's wife is still living?

griff6035
3902
Points
griff6035 05/27/13 - 11:55 am
2
0
Officer Killing

I remember that night very well. There were a lot of rumors that spread about who did it and why.

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 12:16 pm
1
0
Which one?

The mistaken identity or the missed target?

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 02:21 pm
2
0
The one he was married to

The one he was married to when he was killed.

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 06:17 pm
0
0
Riverman: No, I do not know about the wife of the murdered Doc

Riverman: No, I do not know about the wife of the murdered Doctor.
Hint: The intended target was never identified publicly. Someone shot the wrong guy. (the last sentence is from news reports)

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/27/13 - 08:14 pm
0
0
Who investigated the murder?

Who investigated the murder?

carcraft
24082
Points
carcraft 05/27/13 - 09:11 pm
0
0
Back in the 80's I lived in

Back in the 80's I lived in Fairington Subdivision. There were several murderer never solved. A fellow used to park his semi by the old entrance to the race trace on Windsor Spring Road, he was found shot to death by his rig! A young couple were necking in a pick up by Spirit Creek. the girl looked up, saw camouflaged person with a gun at the edge of the woods. The guy opened fire killing the young man. The girl managed to shove the guy out of the way and drive to a convenient store. A young couple were living in the woods in tents in back of Fairington Sub division and were murdered by thier tent's. A young mam got a four wheeler for Christmas and was driving it around the old race track area. The four wheeler was found covered with blood
The young mans body was never found. I do not believe any of these murderer were solved!

Stunned 2
3102
Points
Stunned 2 05/27/13 - 09:16 pm
0
0
I don't know

I don't know, I don't many gun-slingers with badges, I know medicine men. A few years after that horrific murder, I was out with an out-of towner...and, it was brought up....concerning a fellow healer

Riverman1
79201
Points
Riverman1 05/28/13 - 05:00 am
1
0
Stunned, you threw a lot out

Stunned, you threw a lot out about witness protection and the wrong person being killed. I will agree with you on one thing, the case was handled strangely.

GnipGnop
11460
Points
GnipGnop 05/28/13 - 11:06 am
0
0
3 thumbs down?

For encouraging the police to focus on recent cases? Really?

ggp0706
2
Points
ggp0706 05/29/13 - 06:07 pm
0
0
Police officer killed in 1958

Hank Wall was my uncle. I was only 4 years old at the time. I don't remember much about him or the circumstances surrounding his Murder. He still has a son in the Augusta area. I know the family would like some closure.

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