Footprints in the Dew: Damon “Chub” Anderson and the Unsolved Mullendore Murder

By JIMMIE TRAMEL World Scene Writer | Updated 3 days ago

On the night of Sept. 26, 1970, E.C. Mullendore III, heir to the Mullendore ranching empire, was beaten and fatally shot at his ranch house in Osage County.

Mullendore, 32, was killed by a large caliber bullet fired into his forehead.

Also shot that night was Damon “Chub” Anderson.

A badass ranch hand with a checkered past, Anderson was in the house when Mullendore was shot. Anderson, who survived being shot in the shoulder, told authorities he saw two men flee the house. He said he fired at the men with a pistol.

The men were never found. No one was charged. The case is nearly 46 years old — and 46 years cold?

As far as many — Oklahoma author Dale R. Lewis among them — are concerned, one of the most famous “unsolved” murders in state history is solved.

Anderson has long been the primary suspect. Lewis struck up a relationship with Anderson following a serendipitous courthouse meeting in the summer of 2006. Anderson died in November 2010. In between, they had hundreds of face-to-face conversations, many recorded by Lewis.

Lewis said he did not pressure Anderson to talk about the thing everybody wanted to know: Who killed E.C. Mullendore?

But details came over time, and they can be found in “Footprints in the Dew,” a book written by Lewis.

The Mullendore case spawned big headlines in Oklahoma and captured the nation’s attention. Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal wrote a book about the case in 1974.

The biggest difference between the old book and the new book is “Footprints in the Dew” is a book about Anderson.

“Outlaws and people that break the law, they have to keep their mouths shut while they are doing it,” Lewis said.

But in the twilight of Anderson’s life, he wanted his story to be told.

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