Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Haunted Calcaseiu Courthouse - Lake Charles, Louisiana

Born Annie Beatrice McQuiston in 1916, Toni Jo was a beautiful woman, however she did not have such a beautiful childhood.  Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Toni Jo had a rough upbringing which led to drug and alcohol addiction then eventually prostitution to support her habit. At some point she changed her name most likely during her days as a prostitute.
Toni Jo Henry


As a working girl, Toni Jo met "Cowboy" Claude Henry a man from Texas in 1939, then eventually fell in love.  They were married a short time later and stayed in California for a while after they were married.  Cowboy managed to get Toni Jo to go clean during their stay there and things were looking brighter for Toni Jo.  However, when they returned to to Louisiana Cowboy was the law caught up with him and he was arrested for a murder that he had committed back in Texas.  Cowboy was imprisoned and it was not long before Toni Jo went back to her wicked ways.

Toni Jo grew to miss Cowboy and together with a man named Henry "Arkie" Burks whom she convinced to help her, started to hitchhike their way to Texas to break Cowboy out of jail.  Joseph Calloway picked the pair up just outside of Lake Charles.  Unfortunately for Charles, they made him pull off the side of the road where he was stripped and tortured.  Toni Jo then took a pistol and put a bullet right between his eyes and left him in the ditch.  Incredibly, the two would-be jail breakers stopped along the way to Texas for a few drinks and in a drunken rant started bragging about their kill they had just made.  It was not long before they were taken into custody and put on trail for murder.  


Calcasieu Courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana

What should have been a simple trial turned out to be a long ordeal due to the fact that both were convicted and sentenced to death while each claimed the other had done the shooting.  Toni Jo went through three trials appealing each ruling.  She became a celebrity due to her beauty and charm and was given special treatment in the county jail.  She became known as "Tiger Girl" in the news papers, news reels and such.  Toni Jo was even allowed to have a pet in her jail cell.  Eventually, the court system tired of Toni Jo's appeals and she was sentenced to be executed in November 1942.  She became the first woman in the State of Louisiana to be executed via electric chair.



Toni Jo has never left the Calcasieu courthouse however.  Strange occurrences have happened with the office equipment in the building.  An electronic revolving file system has been known to just turn off suddenly while no one is near the switch.  A strange presence has been felt by many and doors have locked themselves. Some have heard a muffled sound of a female voice and footsteps while no one is around.  The scent of the perfume that Toni Jo wore can be randomly smelled within the building.  The most notable presence that Toni Jo has shown however, is the smell of burning hair that occurs on occasion.  Most believe it is the smell of Toni Jo's hair burning as she was being executed.



The grave site of Toni Jo Henry



6 comments:

  1. what a tragedy... pity her .She was never given a second chance. If this were to happen now, surely she would be given the chance to repent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What dream world are you living in? Did you miss the part where she shot a man to death?

      Delete
    2. What do you mean never given a second chance she was tried 3 seperate times.

      Delete
  2. dont expect repent.. of someone who shot an innocent man on the head...

    good thing..she CANT rest on peace
    she deserve it..

    ReplyDelete
  3. They had to shave her head before she went to the electric chair and they buried her with her hair

    ReplyDelete
  4. There were no finger prints , no evidence...his word againt hers. today she would not have been put to death without evidence.

    ReplyDelete