Tainted Love Becomes Bloody Valentine in Lake Charles History on Valentines Day 1940

By
Real Estate Agent with Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s

A Bloody Valentine Tale

Lake Charles  LA is full of interesting and colorful history.  Continuing with my series of Lake Charles, LA history, today we will re-visit Valentine's Day 1940.

One of Lake Charles famous stories is that of Toni Jo Henry who came up with a plan to break her husband out of jail on Valentines Day in 1940.

Toni Jo married Claude Henry (nick-named Cowboy) in 1939.  Shortly after their marriage Cowboy Claude went on trial for killing a former police officer in a bar room brawl. When his newlywed bride Toni Jo heard the sentence of  50 years in prison, she shrieked, "I'll get you out, Cowboy! Don't worry!"

Toni Jo Henry took her vow seriously, and she plotted to get her man back.  Deciding that the best Valentine's Day gift  would be to surprise her Sweetheart with a jail break  her weapon of choice in the plan was not Cupid's arrow of love!  Instead Toni Jo would shoot a man between the eyes in the process!

On Valentine's Day, 1940, Joseph A. Calloway, set out from his Houston home in a sparkling new Ford coupe, headed for a business meeting in Louisiana. He disappeared.......

Toni Jo needed a get away car to break "Cowboy" out of jail.  Calloway in his Ford Coupe fit the bill for what she needed...Toni Jo and her accomplice Finnon Burks hi-jacked Calloway and his car.  No one had a clue of what had become of Calloway until Toni Jo showed up unannounced at an aunt's house near Shreveport and announced that she had killed a man.

 

The Travel Channel lists The Calcasieu Parish Courthouse as one of the top ten haunted places in America.  It is said that the courthouse is haunted by the ghost of Toni Jo Henry who was sentenced to death for murdering Joseph Calloway in a car-jacking that involved a plot to break her  husband out of jail in 1940. Toni Jo became the only woman executed in Louisiana’s electric chair. The execution took place in the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse in 1942.  Apparently Toni Jo never left!   There have been reports of electrical outlets not working, doors locked and even the smell of  a woman’s hair burning. Lights flickering and electrical system failures have all been blamed on Toni Jo!

Lake Charles is rich in culture and history.  Lake Charles has been my home for 29 years where I have enjoyed living, working and playing throughout the years.  I  love Lake Charles and enjoy sharing my knowledge of our city with those relocating to Lake Charles or visiting Lake Charles. 

  To learn more about Lake Charles  and Lake Charles Real estate, visit my website.  I am passionate about real estate and enjoy "matching people with properties"

 

  Other Historical Blogs of Interest:

 Lake Charles History in Video

 

    Lake Charles Historic Churches

 

   Historic Places in Lake Charles

 

   Re-Visiting The Charleston Hotel

 

   1912  Lake Charles US Post Office/Courthouse

 
 

Louisiana Celebrates Bicentennial Series

 Historic Margaret Place

 


 

 

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Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s

4410 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70605 USA

337-478-1578 or 337-499-9592

CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.  The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments are not warranted or implied representation of it's accuracy,  All information is copywritten and the property of the Author, Marilyn Boudreaux.  

 

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Topic:
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Local History
Louisiana Lagniappe
"Whacked"!!!
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lake charles history
valentines day

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Rainmaker
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Adrian Willanger
Profit from my two decades of experience
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Marilyn-That's quite a Valentine Day story. Toni Jo must have been a real pistol back in the 40's in Lake Charles. Thanks for the history lesson. Have a great week.

February 13, 2012 07:28 PM
Rainmaker
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Juli Vosmik
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739
Dominion Real Estate Partners, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ

Marilyn - that's interesting history, there.  And, all for love.  

February 14, 2012 12:47 AM
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Author Bio: Marilyn Boudreaux Marilyn Boudreaux is a full time REALTOR® licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission and affiliated with Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s in Lake Charles, LA. Marilyn Boudreaux is one of the top 100 real estate agents within the entire Century 21 South Louisiana/Texas Region

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