Harry Elliott

Image of Prohibition Agent Harry Hampton Elliott
Date of Birth: 
Date of Death: 
June 22, 1933
Location of Death: 
Spencer, IA
Image of the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms badge

Circumstances of Death

Prohibition Agents Harry Hampton Elliott and A. A. Murphy were following a suspect vehicle along Highway 2, near Spencer, IA.  As they pulled alongside the other vehicle, Agent Elliott recognized the driver as Claude Ridout, a twice convicted bootlegger.  He ordered Ridout to stop the vehicle and pull to the side of the road.  When Agent Elliott alighted from his vehicle, Ridout immediately began shooting.  Agent Elliott was hit several times and fell to the ground mortally wounded.  Ridout also shot at Agent Murphy when he came to assist and although Murphy was wounded, he managed to wrestle with Ridout, but he escaped.  The following day, agents and local officers found Ridout hiding in a cornfield.  Knowing that he was trapped and could not escape, Ridout committed suicide.  Mrs. Ridout, who had been with her husband throughout the entire escapade, was arrested by State authorities as an accessory to murder.


Agent Elliott joined the Bureau of Prohibition on July 28, 1928, with an annual salary of $2,300.  He carried badge #318


Agent Elliott was born in Grinnell, IA.  He was survived by his wife, Esther and their three children.

Associated Artifacts: 
Image of telegram regarding the death of Harry Elliot
Image of telegram regarding the death of Harry Elliot
Image of newspaper article in The Evening Tribue, dated June 24, 1933, with headline: Iowa Slayer Suspect Takes His Own Life
Image of newspaper article in The Charleston Gazette, with headline: Suspected Slayer Commits Suicide
Image of newspaper article in THe Ogden Standard Examiner, with headline: Suspect Kills Self When Capture Looms
Last Reviewed April 17, 2019