40 years later

Forty years after the murder of my Uncle Bruce, on May 15, 2009, the Macon County Sheriff’s office held a news conference to announce that John J. Joynt, III had been arrested for the crime. Most of the family was happy with the arrest. Some family members felt that it was history and did not need to be brought up. I suppose I should explain, the murder changed my family’s history. At one point the Macon County Sheriff arrested one of my Uncle’s for the murder. A cousin of mine was said to have told the Sheriff that my one Uncle would be the culprit if a family member was a suspect. Needles to say this created a deep chism in the family – often with some relatives leaving as some were arriving.

During the course of bringing Mr. Joynt to justice, our family learned how bumbled the case had been in 1967. Also, my Uncle had Mr. Joynt arrested for stealing gas from the station on Febuary 16, 1968. At one point Mr. Joynt actually admitted to murdering my Uncle while he was in prison on another charge. It seems that the confession was buried.
Luckily, one of Mr. Joynt’s relatives finally came to the Sheriff’s office and told them everything she knew and heard in the past forty years – that made them re-open the case. The pain that Joynt caused my family was at times unbearable for some family members. Having him arrested has caused us to re-mourn our loss. The saddest thing is that this case should have been solved before my grandparents passed away. Pre-trial hearing is set for August 25, 2009.

Bruce Clark, murdered October 7, 1968

On October 7, 1968 sometime between the hours of 4:20 and 5:00 A.M. in Blue Mound, Macon, Illinois, Bruce Wyman Clark, age 35, was shot and killed at the Fina Gas Station. Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the scene at 5:19 A.M.

Upon entry to the scene they noticed a glass display case located near the south door was broken and had blood on it. The cash drawer was open and one lead bullet fragment was found in the drawer. The cash drawer was missing all paper currency. The victim was located in the men’s restroom behind the restroom door. The body was lying in a large pool of blood and appeared to have been shot numerous times.
During the initial investigation three 22 caliber shell casings were located by the south entrance door, three 22 caliber shell casings were located on the ground outside the north door of the station, six 22 caliber shell casings and one live 22 caliber bullet were located near the body.
Crime scene investigators arrived and performed a detailed investigation of the scene. They located three bullet holes in the glass window on the north side, just east of the north door. The bullets were inches apart and about four and a half feet from the ground. On the north side of the building, two feet from the window with the bullet holes was a picnic table. Parked about two feet from the table was Bruce Clark’s vehicle. The deputies located three spent 22 caliber casings indicating that the shooter was standing outside the north door in front of the window and had fired into the window.
An empty 22 caliber casing was located under the south door, suggesting that it was shot into the station from the south door. Further investigation located a bullet hole in the broken glass case near the south door.
Lead bullet fragments were located throughout the front room of the gas station. Two fragments were on the floor near the north door. One fragment was located on the display edge of the northwest corner, and one in the cash drawer. The cash drawer was in line with the bullet holes in the window by the north door.
The body of Bruce Clark was found lying on the bathroom floor with his head and upper body leaning against the northwest corner and the door of the men’s restroom. The restroom door had shoe and kick marks on the outside of the door indicating that someone had kicked it open. Large amounts of blood were on the bathroom floor and toilet. Smear marks in blood were found on the back of the door and on the wall. The crime scene report indicates that the victim was standing, fell against the wall and door and then the body slid down to it’s final resting place. The evidence indicated that six shots were fired inside the restroom and one miss fire, four shots were fired outside the station near the north and south entrance doors.
Bloody footprints were located on the floor leading from the restroom to the entrance of the office door. The footprints showed the murderer exited the station out of the north door onto the gravel beside Bruce Clark’s automobile. The prints then indicated the murderer walked in a north to north east direction towards a corn and bean field. A pack of cigarettes was located 75 yards north of the station and three bean rows east.
Bruce Wyman Clark was my uncle.