Mistaken Witness

Suppose that you interdicted a rape-murder in progress, and saved…

Suppose that you interdicted a rape-murder in progress, and saved the victim not only from death, but from what used to be called “the fate worse than death.” And then, suppose that she went into court and testified that you were the bad guy, and the guy you had to shoot to rescue her was an innocent victim. Yes, it has happened.

Witness Who Misunderstood
In 1967, Jimmy Dale Taylor had just completed a three-year hitch in the US Navy, and decided to try his luck in the Pacific Northwest. Hitchhiking there wouldn’t just be cheap travel; at his age, it must have seemed like an adventure. In a bar, he met a 46-year-old man named Glenn True Clark, who offered to drive him. Soon, the two were off on a road trip.

Along the way, however, it became apparent to Taylor that his newfound boon companion was a criminal. Clark showed him the two stolen .38 caliber revolvers he had in the car, which was also stolen. He spoke to the young man of doing a bank robbery together, and perhaps committing the crime of rape…and then, the time came when Clark pulled over to pick up a pretty 18-year-old girl who was hitchhiking too.

Slowly, things began to go downhill, and Clark’s intent to rape the girl became apparent. When the two were speaking alone in the course of the long trip, Clark made it clear to Taylor that he was perfectly capable of murdering the girl when he was done raping her, to ensure her silence.

When Clark momentarily left the young man with the girl, Taylor assured her that he wouldn’t let her be harmed. He slipped one of Clark’s stolen guns into his pocket, and warned her that Clark had the other one.

On a remote Oregon mountainside, Clark pulled the stolen car off the road, and told Taylor to grab some alcohol, take a walk, and leave him alone with the female. Before long, Taylor heard her scream. He drew the revolver and ran back to the car. There he found Clark on top of the hysterical young woman.

Taking Clark at gunpoint, Taylor ordered him out of the car. The criminal reluctantly obeyed, and the terrified almost-victim busied herself with pulling her suitcases out of the car so she could leave on her own, on foot.

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