Atkinson admits killing Horne.

The early edition of the Daily Times reported that Raymond Horne‘s body had been found in dense woods near Saratoga. The man had been missing for two weeks.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 November 1942.

The late edition disclosed Payton “Pate” Atkinson‘s confession in the crime, and his retraction of an allegation that Dock Rose had helped.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 November 1942.


  • Payton Atkinson

In the 1910 census of Olds township, Greene County, N.C.: Danil E. Atkinson, 44; wife Patsy, 34; and children Cornealous, 10; Masendy, 16; Birther, 8; Peyton, 7; Ginnie, 4; and Lueser, 8 months.

In the 1920 census of Carrs township, Greene County: farmer Daniel Adkison, 54; wife Pattie, 48; and children Cornelius, 20, Bertha, 18, Patten, 15, Jennie, 13, Louise, 10, Frances, 7, and John H., 5.

On 13 September 1924, Payton Atkinson, 21, married Della Ward, 18, in Pitt County, N.C.

In the 1930 census of Ormonds township, Greene County: farmer Paten Atkinson, 25; wife Della, 22; and children Sadie H., 4, Paten Jr., 2, and James L., 1.

Payton Atkinson registered twice for the World War II draft. In February 1942, he registered in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 25 January 1903 in Greene County, N.C.; lived at Route 3, Box 125, Walstonsburg, Saratoga township; his contact was Jesse Galloway; and he worked for Rufus Beaman. He registered again in 1943, reporting that he was born 25 January 1904 in Greene County and his contact was brother Cornelius Atkinson. The card was marked “Canc. Jan. 31, 1944 Dup Reg.”

Payton Atkinson died 8 October 1969 in Farmville, Pitt County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 January 1904 to Daniel Atkinson and Patsey Edwards; was a farmer; and was a widower. Fannie Ellis was informant.

  • Raymond Horne

On 24 February 1921, Raymond L. Horne, 23, of Edgecombe County, N.C., son of William and Dora Horne, married Dora Barnes, 22, of Edgecombe County, daughter of Benjamin and Nora Barnes, in Township Number 3, Edgecombe County.

In February 1942, Raymond Horne registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 January 1902 in Greene County, N.C.; lived in Saratoga township, Wilson County; and worked for Drew Horton, Saratoga township. He signed his card with an X. The card is marked “Cancelled — Dead — Oct. 19, 1942.”

Raymond Horne died 19 October 1942 in Saratoga township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 April 1900 in Pitt County, N.C., to Will Horne and Dora Barrett; was married to Genevia Horne; worked in farming; and was buried in Rountree cemetery, Wilson. “Homicide gunshot wound of neck.”

  • Dock Rose

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer Doc Rose, 45; wife Sara, 33; mother-in-law Mary Beaman, 70, widow; niece Alice Lane, 23; and cousin Essie Lee Rose, 4 months. The family reported living in Greene County five years earlier.

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