Dale Kuhrt mentioned last week that at four o’clock in the morning on the night of E.C.’s shooting; Kent Green had knocked on his door. Dale, who was shocked and frightened, just about shot him through the door. This is a brief history of Kent Green’s criminal life.
Kent Green was born in Burns, Kansas on August 12, 1927 into a well respected and successful family. An only child who was given every advantage, he should have had no trouble staying on the right of the law but that is not how things worked out.
On June 2, 1949 when Green was twenty-two years old he stole 14 head of cattle in Chase County, Kansas. He was arrested almost immediately afterwards and sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary at Lansing, Kansas. While out on bond waiting to be taken to prison, Green committed Grand Larceny when he stole a metal building.
This crime resulted in another sentence of one to seven years which was to be served consecutively. After his parents spent a considerable amount of money on lawyers, Governor Fred Hall granted him a Citizenship Pardon. In all he had served three years, six months and twenty-seven days. Then in 1956 Green was rebooked for fraud and parole violations by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and returned to Lansing Prison.
According to a letter sent to the prison warden from county attorney Morris Moon:
“This fellow (Green) is probably moderately fixed in his own right having inherited quite a large amount of property from his father. His folks were prominent residents of Butler and Chase counties and they also enjoyed a good reputation. There is undoubtedly a psychological quirk in this man’s nature because of a divided household and because of the indulgence shown to him as a youth.”
Green was paroled again on April 1, 1957 and as soon as he was released he went to work on a scam that involved advertising for Golden Glove Boxing Tournaments.
This lasted until 1959 when Kansas Parole Agent Carroll Way issued a warrant for his arrest for parole violation. While he was awaiting sentence on that charge, the U.S. attorney found Green guilty of wire fraud. This conviction was brought about when Green and accomplice Don Bender called TWA with a bomb threat targeting an in-flight plane in an attempt to extort the company.
When he was released again in 1960, Agent Wray attempted unsuccessfully to locate him once more for parole violations and sent out warrants stating that Green was a smooth operator and was quite possibly working a scam out of state. Green was finally captured in Wichita, Kansas in 1961 and pled guilty to inter-state car theft. After this arrest Judge Delmas C. Hill sent him to federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas with orders that when this sentence was served he would do his state time.
After claiming criminal insanity Green was moved to a mental institution which he escaped from a month later. FBI warrants were sent out across the country and he was quickly arrested in Jackson, Mississippi. However through a bureaucratic mistake, he made bond and was never seen in the area again. Now the United States Marshals, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were all on his trail.
Green was captured again in May of 1962 for hijacking “swinging beef” or beef carcasses from semi trucks. Once again he was also charged with multiple parole violations.
Upon his release Green got involved in several more scams, always reporting to his parole officer that he was working for Green Oil and Production Company, a fictional business with no credible assets.
After E.C. Mullendore’s murder Green did more time in jail on various charges but was always paroled. In 1983 Green and his new partner Bud Carmichael had been going to gun shows selling zip guns, an illegal two piece contraption that fired a single shot. The pair would set up two different booths and sell the guns separately, then move on to another show before local law enforcement caught on. They had just wrapped up a show in Austin and were traveling to San Antonio on I-35 when Green suddenly grabbed his chest. Carmichael pulled over and Green lay down in the back of their van and died. When emergency personnel arrived they took his body to the Brackenridge Hospital Morgue in Austin until it was claimed by his family back in Kansas.
Green had been questioned several times by Osage County law enforcement while he was in prison and his widow told me recently that Green had told her that he did not believe that any criminal elements had been involved in the death of E.C. Mullendore.
Green was buried in the Burns, Kansas Cemetery.
Dale Kurtz knew nothing of Green’s criminal past the night he knocked on Dale’s door or he would have shot him for sure.