Arkansas Highway Police, Arkansas State Police, Clinton City Marshal, Crime Detective, Dashing Romeo, Doyce Casinger, Fact Detective Yearbook, Harrison, Haskell Sitton, Inside Detective, Melbourne City Marshal, policeman, Yellville City Marshal
Sitton, a retired law enforcement officer, lived in Harrison for about the last 47 years. He was born Nov. 23, 1908, in Leslie. He was a Christian and a member of Eagle Heights Baptist Church.
Sitton served in the infantry in World War II. He was a long-time area policeman, starting his career in 1935 as deputy sheriff of Boone County. He also served as a Harrison City Policeman in the ’30s and ’50s; Yellville City Marshal from 1939-1943; Clinton City Marshal from 1945-1950; and Melbourne City Marshal from 1956-1957. In 1958, he joined the Arkansas State Police weights and standards division (which later became the Arkansas Highway Police). Sitton retired as a lieutenant in December 1975.
Sitton survived an attempt on his life due to enforcing the liquor laws in a dry county as Clinton City Marshal. According to the April 10, 1949, Arkansas Democrat, Sitton was shot with buckshot from an automatic shotgun in the arms and chest by an alleged bootlegging suspect who was arrested after hitting Sitton with a blackjack on April 9. The suspect and an accomplice drove to Sitton’s house and began shooting through the bedroom windows where Sitton and his wife lay. Neither his wife nor his children were injured in the shooting. Van Buren County Sheriff Doyce Casinger, who helped arrest the assailants, told the Arkansas Gazette that Sitton was a “fearless and scrupulous officer whose stringent enforcement of all laws in Clinton had made him many enemies.”
Sitton helped solve a murder case which garnered national attention in magazines including Crime Detective, Inside Detective and Fact Detective Yearbook in 1948 and 1949. These magazines were the forerunner to such police shows as Cops and Stories of the Highway Patrol, which cover stories taken from actual police work. The murder involved a media-named “Dashing Romeo” who poisoned his mail-order bride, then spent her money on other women before she was even buried. Through the detective work of Casinger and Sitton, the suspect was sentenced to life in prison. Sitton worked on many such cases during his career as a police officer. Continue reading