Circumstances of Death
Prohibition Agents Leroy Richard Wood and Ralph Keck were patrolling the highways in Poinsett County, AR. They stopped a suspicious vehicle and arrested Fred Wilkerson, Ott Wilkerson and Albert Bradley for transporting illicit liquor. Since the Government car was only a two-seater, the agents and suspects had to split up. Fred Wilkerson was in the lead driving the government car with Agent Wood sitting beside him.
Agent Keck followed in the suspect's car with the other two prisoners. As they proceeded towards Jonesboro they passed the Wilkerson family farm. Fred Wilkerson suddenly drove down the driveway at a high rate of speed, stopping in front of the house. Agent Wood and Wilkerson then began fighting inside the car. They were soon joined by Wilkerson family members from the farm house and Agent Keck, who had followed them down the driveway.
In the melee that followed, Fred Wilkerson grabbed one of the agents' guns and while others held them, he shot Agent Wood in the head and also wounded Agent Keck. Agent Wood was taken to St. Bernard Hospital in Jonesboro, but he died the following morning. Agent Keck survived. Fred Wilkerson later confessed to the murder of Agent Wood and was convicted in State court.
Agent Wood joined the Bureau of Prohibition on March 25, 1931, with an annual salary of $2,300. He carried badge #503.
Agent Wood was born in Luxora, AR. He was survived by his wife, Evelyn.