The Victims


By Jennie Jones Giles
The brutal murder of Vernon Shipman stood in contrast to the way he lived.

Shipman was a kind and gentle man, a host of fine dinner parties, a sharp dresser and a competent, reliable employee. He was a neat, meticulous man who enjoyed cooking and loved music.
“If he could help anybody, he did,” said Betty Carlisle, wife of Steve Carlisle Sr., Shipman’s boss at the N.C. Employment Security Commission. “Vernon was a brilliant person, an immaculate dresser. His posture and attitude were always perfect.”
Soft-spoken, withdrawn at times, Shipman was proper, polite, dignified – described invariably as a gentleman.
“Vernon was quiet, easy going,” said a friend who did not wish to be identified. “He loved to cook and liked to entertain by inviting people over to dinner parties.”
Family, friends and their parents who attended dinners at Shipman’s home enjoyed a well-prepared meal and stimulating conversation.
He normally cooked a large Sunday dinner, with anywhere from six to 20 people sitting at the table in the house he and his father shared at 1021 Maple St.
“Vernon was a real sweet person,” said his cousin Doris Hammond. “He liked to tease as a child.”
Shipman had a large record collection and was a fan of popular music, said cousin Tom Edmundson.
“He loved to listen to the hit parade on the radio on Saturday nights,” Hammond said as she remembered Shipman as a young teen. “That was before there was television. He loved records and had a lot of records.”

Hardworking businessman

Shipman was a 1944 graduate of Hendersonville High School. It was World War II and most young men were fighting in Europe or the South Pacific. He was drafted into the Army.
“All the guys were,” Hammond said.
Shipman was only in the service a short while and never left the United States, she said.
No one knows why he returned so soon back home and Shipman never discussed it with family and friends. No discharge papers are available.
“He was home in less than a year,” she said. “He never talked about it.”
Shipman was a graduate of Blanton’s Business College in Asheville. At one time in the 1940s, he worked in Washington.
“He was very proficient at typing and shorthand,” Hammond said.
Some time in the late 1940s or early 1950s, Shipman met Charles Glass. Both men were homosexuals. They opened a cafe in Hendersonville that lasted a short time.
The men then co-founded Tempo Music Shop. Shipman was the owner of the business and Glass managed the shop.
In the 1950s, Shipman took a job with the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
“Vernon was the best typist in North Carolina,” Betty Carlisle said.
When her husband was selected to represent North Carolina and Virginia at a conference in Toronto, Canada, in 1956, Shipman accompanied him to take notes.
“He was a perfect gentleman and did his work beautifully,” she said.
Steve Carlisle Sr. reported Shipman as missing when he didn’t show up at work Monday, July 18, 1966.
“He was very dependable and punctual,” Betty Carlisle said. “He never missed a day of work.”

Family legacy

Shipman was the only child of the late Harley Shipman and Vesta Garren Shipman.
“He was really close to his mother,” Hammond said.
Shipman’s parents were active members of the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville and well-known in the town.
“His mother was a wonderful person,” Betty Carlisle said. “She belonged to the mission groups at church and helped with all the weddings. She was an artist and painted beautifully.”
Family members and friends still have her paintings hanging in their homes.
Harley Shipman was a front-end mechanic with the Ford dealership in Hendersonville. Mention his name today, and longtime residents say, “Harley was the best front-end man in town.”
“Everybody in town loved Harley,” Carlisle said.
“Uncle Harley had the first Harley Davidson in Hendersonville,” said cousin Eddie Shipman.
Shipman’s family descends from pioneer settlers who moved into the region in the 1790s. Several family members were business owners in town and owned land throughout the county and city.
One of Vernon Shipman’s uncles had what many consider the first convenience store in Hendersonville. Seldon Shipman sold meat, wood, gas and other items at the store on Seventh Avenue East.
Another uncle, Alonzo, owned Southeast Coaches, a large and early bus line based in Atlanta.
“They were innovators,” Shipman said.
Among the entrepreneurs was Vernon Shipman’s cousin, Cliff, who started the first fast-food restaurant in Hendersonville, the Hasty Tasty at the corner of Church Street and Eighth Avenue West.
“Vernon was much closer to his mother’s family, the Garrens, than he was the Shipmans,” said Cliff Shipman, owner of the Chariot (formerly Clifton’s Cafeteria) at the corner of Seventh Avenue West and Church Street.
Shipman’s Garren ancestors were early pioneer settlers in the Hoopers Creek and Clear Creek areas of the county.
Shipman’s funeral at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 24, 1966, filled the sanctuary at First Baptist Church, newspaper accounts said. The Rev. M.M. Goss delivered the eulogy.
Pallbearers were relatives and co-workers: Harry G. Parker, Gardner P. Bly, Kenneth Skaggs, Seldon Shipman Jr. and M.S. Shipman.
His mother was deceased, but his father was in attendance.
“Harley was a wonderful man,” said former SBI agent Gary Satterfield, the lead investigator in 1966. “He didn’t deserve this. I felt real sorry for him.”
“Harley just loved that boy to death,” Carlisle said. “He was so sad afterward.”
Shipman’s body was buried at Oakdale Cemetery next to his mother, who had died in 1954. His father lived 20 more years, and was laid to rest in the family plot in 1986.
Until the day he died, Harley Shipman was still searching for answers to the brutal murder of his only child. At church meetings and gatherings, he was heard to say several times, “I guess they’re never going to find out who killed my boy.”
Residence: 1021 Maple St., Hendersonville

Born: Jan. 7, 1923, Hendersonville
Lifelong resident of Henderson County
Never married
Owner and co-founder of Tempo Music Shop
Employed with N.C. Employment Security Commission
Interests: Music, cooking, entertaining


By Jennie Jones Giles
The Tempo Music Center at 244 N. Main St. takes its name from the business started by Vernon Shipman and Charles Glass, two of the three murder victims slain July 17, 1966.

Shipman was the owner and Glass managed the business, the most popular place in town in 1966 to buy rock and rhythm and blues records.
Shipman started the business about 1952 in the main lobby of the old Bowen Hotel, said current Tempo owner Mike Hall. The Bowen Hotel was on the corner of Church Street and Fourth Avenue West, where the Dogwood parking lot is today.
“He had a corner in the main lobby where he sold records, back then mostly 78 rpms,” Hall said. “Later he sold the 45s. He also sold cheap phonographs.”
There was not much foot traffic there, Shipman told friends. He decided to move the business to 421 N. Main St., where the Purple Sage was located in 2007.
“I used to go in there and buy singles records and needles for my record player,” Hall said. “Singles sold for 90 cents.”
The shop was small, with records down both sides and in an island in the middle, said Lynn Martin Blackwell, a former employee.
At the back of the shop was the counter with the cash register, and behind the counter a back room for storage with a back door into the alley.
“Racks the size of albums were in the island,” Blackwell said. “People would flip through the albums. They were categorized by the type of music – show tunes, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz.”
The bins and racks of albums and 45 rpm records filled the store, Blackwell said. Posters promoting musicians, albums and movies were on the walls above the record bins.
After Shipman’s death, his father, Harley, was left with the business.
“Harley was the front-end man at Garrett Ford,” Hall said. “He didn’t know anything about the music business and didn’t know how to manage a business. He was at a loss as to what to do with it.”
The administrator of Shipman’s and Glass’ estates, Hoyle Adams, began preparations to sell the business. Former employees started an inventory of the store.
“A friend of Harley’s, Mary Kiser, just wanted to help him out,” Hall said. “She had owned a business on Main Street, but not at that time. She offered to help him out and take over the store. She bought the business from him.”
It was the fall of 1966 and people felt strange about going into the store, Hall said.
“There was so much talk and rumors,” he said.
Kiser moved the inventory to 117 Fifth Ave. W. and kept it there nine years. The business sold records, 45s and 33 rpm albums, eight-track tapes, guitar strings, stereos and transistor radios.
A few years after the murders, another record store, Cindy’s, opened on Church Street.
One day in the fall of 1975, Hall walked into Tempo to buy drum sticks. He whistled, rang the bell, Kiser never came out.
“She was lying down in the back, real sick,” he said.
When she finally heard him and came to the front of the store, she asked if he knew anyone who might like to have the business.
That’s when Hall bought it.
As soon as he began managing the store, he realized that he couldn’t make a profit. Not only was Cindy’s almost across the street, but by this time two department stores had moved into town, Roses and Sky City. They sold records cheaper than he could.
Also, First Federal Bank, now First Citizens, was expanding. Bank officials told owners who had leases on the block that the businesses must be moved. Bank plans later changed, but most businesses on the block at that time, including the old Barber photography studio, relocated or closed.
Hall moved his business to Main Street,
He began to sell mostly musical instruments and stereos. Later, he got out of the stereo business.
“I couldn’t compete with Sears, Roses, Sky City,” he said.
He later moved to 305 N. Main St., which was then Scottie’s Jewelry and is now McFarland’s Bakery.
“Scottie’s and I exchanged places,” he said. “I had outgrown the other place.”
In 1991, he moved the business to its current location in place of the old Brunson Furniture Store.
“Now, I sell mostly guitars, drums, sound systems and band instruments,” he said. “The old mom and pop stereo stores are gone. The big stores killed them.”
Tempo celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2006 with Hall as sole owner.
“I was only 13 at the time of the murders,” he said. “It’s amazing the murders are still unsolved. There are reams and volumes of rumors. It’s not a good supper time story.”


By Jennie Jones Giles
She was a mystery from the beginning. No one at the scene that hot and muggy Friday night knew Louise Davis Shumate.
At the time of her death, Shumate worked at the former Taylor Instrument Co. in Arden.
Co-workers knew little about her personal life and neither did her family. She lived at the Ravenscroft Apartments in Asheville for at least four years prior to her death.
“She was a hard person to get to know, but she loved me and would call me up,” said a niece, Linda Shirlin of Asheville. “She was a very private person. She wouldn’t give her address to anyone.”
Shirlin said when she and her mother went to her aunt’s apartment following the murders; it was the first time they had been there.
“There was nothing in that apartment that would make you think anyone lived there, no personal items,” she said.
The apartment contained no letters or photographs, yet family members say Shumate carried a camera and took many pictures. She had no telephone. When she made phone calls, she used a neighbor’s phone.
Shumate only told family members about one friend, Ruby Taylor of Henderson County. Shumate met Taylor when they were both employed at the American Enka plant in Enka years before the murder. Taylor’s husband was a co-owner of Taylor-Murphy Construction Co. Shumate would visit Taylor and stay the weekend, sometimes weeks at a time, according to her family.
Shumate got her mail at a post office box in Horse Shoe. In 1966, the postmaster at Horse Shoe said she received mail there and would come to pick up mail infrequently and at irregular intervals.
Her license plate was bought at the Hendersonville license tag office, with the car registered to an address on Clairmont Terrace. There was no Clairmont Terrace in Hendersonville in 1966, but there is a Clairmont Drive in the Druid Hills neighborhood off U.S. 25 North.
Shumate also kept her age a secret. She was born Aug. 21, 1904, but her driver’s license had a birth date of 1911. People at the Horse Shoe post office thought her age was closer to 45. Co-workers said she had the appearance of someone 15 years younger than she actually was.

A paradox

By all accounts, Shumate led a double life.
“She was a woman of contradictions, in some ways fearless, in other ways paranoid,” Shirlin, her niece, said.
Shumate insisted on a special parking place at the Taylor Instrument Co. under a large outdoor light.
“If a car followed her too close going home, she would pull off the side of the road and let the cars pass,” a co-worker said.
“On the other hand, she would pick up strangers who had car trouble,” her niece said.
Family members said Shumate enjoyed taking long drives on the back roads of Western North Carolina.
She always wore sunglasses. None of her co-workers ever saw her without sunglasses or her work glasses.
At times, she wouldn’t acknowledge people she had known for years, her niece said.
Shumate’s niece said that she never saw her aunt in a skirt.
“She was a pants person,” Shirlin said. “She didn’t dress up.”
Yet, Shumate knew fashion.
Her clothes were bought at an exclusive, fashionable clothing store, co-workers said. She had been a buyer for Neiman-Marcus in Dallas in the 1940s, Shirlin said.
Shumate enjoyed canning fruits and needlework, several family members said. When spending time with Taylor here, they would make jelly and can fruit.
She liked to visit different churches. In June 1966, she and her sister went to the High Hampton Inn in Highlands and visited a church there. Shortly before her death, she attended St. James Episcopal Church in Hendersonville.
Her sister was an easy-going person, said her sister Dorothy Davis Hensley in 1966.
Co-workers gave a different description of Shumate.
They described her as difficult to get along with, even mean and racist at times, said Hendersonville Police Chief Donnie Parks and former SBI agent Gary Satterfield.
Shumate may not have made friends at her place of employment, but she did enjoy parties and dating.
“She was a party-goer, but she never came to family things,” Shirlin said. “She ran around with ladies during World War II who would have sailors and soldiers as boyfriends. She showed me pictures. Daddy always said, ‘Louise still likes the men.'”
A neighbor in the apartment building in which Shumate lived at the time of her death said Shumate was a loner, an intellectual.

On the move

Shumate grew up in Asheville and attended Asheville High School and, from 1923-25, the Highland Hospital School of Nursing.
For the remainder of her life, she never lived in one place for an extended period of time and never used her nurse’s training.
After school, she spent a year in the Coral Gables section of Miami, then returned to Asheville and worked in department stores. She worked at American Enka in 1929-30.
On Easter Sunday in 1933, she married Azel Francis Shumate of Beckley, W.Va., at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher. They moved to Massachusetts.
In 1937, she returned to Asheville alone. And within the year, she went back to Coral Gables to live with her brother, Rodney Davis. She worked at a Burdine’s store in Miami from 1941 to 1944. In 1942, she divorced Shumate in Dade County, Fla.
Sometime after 1944, she moved to Dallas, Texas. By 1952, she had returned to Asheville, and within the year moved to Atlanta, where she worked at Rich’s Department Store until 1959.
“She used to send me storybook dolls,” Shirlin said.
She returned to Florida in 1959 and sometime prior to 1961, family and friends said she became ill and was treated at Highland Hospital in Asheville.
From 1961 to 1963, Shumate worked at the JC Penney store in Asheville, according to employment records.
When her mother became blind in 1963, Shumate lived on Riverview Drive in West Asheville for a time, her niece said. Between 1963 and 1965, Shumate worked at the Bon Marche store in Asheville. She then began working at the Taylor Instrument Co.

Family ties

“It’s July. This time of year it always crosses my mind,” her niece said, remembering the death of her aunt.
Shumate has many relatives throughout the mountains who possibly share the same sentiment.
Her family descends from the earliest pioneers into Henderson and Buncombe counties. Her mother, Lillian Dermid Davis, was born in Henderson County, a descendant of the Dermid, Featherstone, Allen, Osborne and Mills families, founding settlers of Henderson County.
A Dermid cousin, Charlie Dermid, was active in politics in Asheville, serving on the City Council.
Her father, Samuel Adolphus Davis, a millwright in Buncombe County, descended from the earliest settlers in Jackson County. He moved to Buncombe County and worked as a carpenter on the construction of the Biltmore House, Shirlin said. Shumate’s great-uncle was the first sheriff in Jackson County, Shirlin said.
Samuel Davis and Lillian Dermid Davis raised their family in Asheville.
Azel Francis Shumate was living in Beckley, W.Va., at the time of his ex-wife’s death.
“They were friendly,” Shirlin said. “There was no trouble between them that anyone was aware of.”
Shumate was interested in her family history.
“She liked to take pictures of cemeteries and relatives’ tombstones,” Shirlin said. “Aunt Louise loved flowers. She brought me some peonies about two weeks before she died.”
The Dermid and Davis families from Henderson and Buncombe counties gathered near the French Broad River at her funeral July 25, 1966, at the Davis family plot in the historic Riverside Cemetery.
Residence: 43 Ravenscroft Apartments, Asheville
Born: Aug. 21, 1904, in Asheville
Grew up in Asheville, moved extensively
At time of death, lived in Asheville three years
Married Azel Francis Shumate, April 5, 1933, Calvary Episcopal Church, Fletcher
No children
Separated: 1937. Divorced: 1942, Dade County, Fla.
Employed with Taylor Instrument Co., Arden
Interests: Needlework, photography, genealogy, canning foods


By Jennie Jones Giles
A flamboyant showman, music lover, connoisseur of all things Oriental and a man who concocted and sold voodoo charms, Charles Glass was a well known character in Henderson County in 1966.
Tempo Music Shop was the place to buy records – 45s and albums. Glass managed the downtown store that he and Vernon Shipman founded together in the early 1950s.
Rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, folk, country and classical music could all be bought at the store on Main Street.
Outgoing and friendly, Glass, 36, would chat with customers who entered the shop, teens or adults.

Music lover

Glass knew a lot about music, especially blues and rock.
In the late 1940s, he sang in opening acts for Little Esther, a black jazz/rhythm and blues singer.
“Charles allowed me to listen to numerous recordings he had made in the late 1940s when he lived in Baltimore, Maryland,” said Calvert Hunt Jr., who worked part time at Tempo Music from 1955 to 1966. “He had been a blues singer and occasionally teamed with Little Esther. From what he said, few knew of his records and his former life. Charles opened for her on tours.”
Glass would call the singer periodically, according to several of his friends. At least one friend talked on the phone with Phillips when she called to converse with Glass.
The black singer visited Glass in Hendersonville. She arrived by train and stayed at Glass’ house.
“Some people burned a cross in his yard,” Hunt said.
Glass also did opening acts for Sister Rosetta Thorpe, a black jazz and rhythm and blues singer.
When a friend and employee of Tempo Music visited Greenwich Village in New York a year or two before the murders, he met Thorpe. They called Glass in Hendersonville from the club and Thorpe talked with Glass “quite a while.”
Glass was such a big fan of Nat King Cole that he wallpapered his bathroom with the velvet-voiced singer’s album covers.
“Charles liked black music,” said his cousin, Russell Glass of Asheville. “Charles’ favorite singer was Billie Holliday. When she died, Charles decked out Tempo with black drapes and wreaths.”
The record shop proprietor was well liked among black customers.
“They bought their music at Tempo,” said Police Chief Donnie Parks. “The news of his death passed through the black community fast.”

Two records

In the early 1950s, Glass and Shipman made at least two records at the WHKP studio. On one of the records is Screamin’ and Dyin’ and on the flip side is Left My Japanese Baby.
On another record, they recorded Rattlesnake Blues. Richard Waters, who worked at WHKP radio at the time, recalled that Shipman played piano and Glass sang. The late Boyce Orr played the drums. The record labels also list the late Maxine Cauble and an R. Allison.

Cauble, a native of Asheville, was a graduate of Lee Edwards High School and Julliard School of Music in New York City.
“She was a great pianist,” said her cousin-in-law Norma Cauble of Henderson County. “She played clubs all over the country. She was a great musician.”
Cauble had a first cousin, Robert Allison, who might be the R. Allison listed on the label, Cauble said.
Screamin’ and Dyin’ was released nationwide and written up in Cashbox magazine, Waters said.
“In the early ’50s, this was as big as being written up in Billboard,” he said. The article said the tune “was an up-and-coming song and had hit potential.”
“Glass always went around singing the song Lucille,” said another Tempo employee and friend, Lynn Blackwell.
“Charles was also an avid soap opera fan,” Waters said. “He talked about characters as if they were real people and would write letters to the fictional characters.”

Family of musicians

Glass’ love for music was a natural gift, passed down through his family.
His parents, Lawrence Glass and Hazel Steele Glass, divorced when Glass was a child. His father remarried and moved to Norfolk, Va., where he worked as a fireman in the shipyards, said his cousin, Russell Glass.
Glass was named for his grandfather, Charles Glass, who was vice president of the Asheville Harness Co., across the square from the monument business owned by author Thomas Wolfe’s father.
“Grandfather Charles played in orchestras,” Russell Glass said. “He played in all the old hotels in the 1920s.”
Glass also had an uncle named Charles B. Glass, who owned a shop in Asheville that repaired band instruments. His wife, Mary, taught piano.
“They were both musicians,” said a family friend. “They were very prominent people in Asheville, very personable and friendly.”
In the 1950s, Glass’ uncle was the assistant band director at Brevard High School and his aunt, Mary, worked at Ecusta as the librarian, said the couple’s granddaughter, Maria Glass Garren.
“The entire family were musicians,” said Russell Glass. “Lawrence played the trombone. Charles Jr. played the clarinet. Frank Sr. played the trumpet. They played in the American Legion Band, playing Sousa and military marches. It killed them when Charles got into rhythm and blues.”
At least two magazine and newspaper accounts at the time of the murder said Glass was raised by a stepmother and a spinster aunt who smoked cigars. These accounts, as many written at the time, were not true, family members say.
Glass was raised in West Asheville by his mother, who died in 1955. If a spinster aunt lived there, she was not a member of the Glass family. His mother had a sister, Elizabeth, but no information has been obtained about her.
“Charles was always good to me,” his cousin said. “I always liked him. We used to go on outings and picnics with him and his mama.”
Glass was close to two of his father’s sisters, Eleanor Adams and Dorothy Glass. He made many phone calls to them and they visited him at the music store and at his home, according to friends and investigative reports.
Dorothy Glass lived in New Jersey and worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. His aunt retired back to Asheville shortly before the murders.
The weekend Glass’ body was found, the family of Maria Glass Garren was planning to visit Glass’ father, Lawrence, in Norfolk.
“I was 12,” she said. “Before we could leave, his father called us. He was here in Asheville and told us what happened, that the bodies had been discovered.”
Charles Glass’ father died in 1973 in Norfolk, Va., about seven years after his only son was murdered. His stepmother died two years ago in Asheville.

Jobs outside music

Charles Glass attended Asheville High School.
Some time in the late 1940s, he entered the Army. Glass received a general discharge in August 1951 at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. He was based at Fort Jackson from 1950 to 1951. There was no available record showing why he received a general discharge instead of an honorable discharge.
By 1952, Glass was living in Hendersonville. It is not known when or how Glass and Shipman, both homosexuals, met. The two men opened a cafe for a brief period before founding the music store.
During the day, Glass managed the music shop. At night, he worked as a night clerk in Asheville at the Vanderbilt Hotel and the Battery Park Hotel.
He also wrote a column for the WNC Tribune, a weekly Hendersonville newspaper. It was an advice column, similar to Ann Landers, called Aunt Klondike.
“The advice was a biting, sort of satirical humor,” WNC Tribune editor John Sholar wrote in an article published after the murders.

Social life

Glass enjoyed people and parties, and the more people attending the party, the better.
After the murders, neighbors told the Times-News of large parties at Glass’ home with 100 or more people.
He enjoyed visiting nightclubs in the region and “he used to hang out at all the black beer joints,” said Russell Glass.
Charles Glass also liked to visit “supper clubs,” where people went to eat, listen to music and socialize. It was at one of these clubs where he fell and broke his leg Dec. 5, 1965.
“He broke the shin from the knee to the ankle,” said friend and employee Lynn Blackwell.
After he fell, friends placed him in the back seat of Shipman’s car and he was driven to Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, Blackwell said.
The leg did not heal properly and Glass underwent extensive medical treatment.
When he was murdered, he was using crutches and wearing a boot on his left foot.


Glass published a booklet on black magic, Tales of Voodoo and Black Magic. It sold for $2. He ran ads in newspapers and magazines for the booklet. On the booklet, the compiler is named as Charles Le Verre, a French word meaning glass.
Mama Tebe is the main character in the booklet. In each chapter, Mama Tebe tells how to work the magic. The book was published by Tempo Distributors.
“Charles liked to monkey around with voodoo, but it wasn’t serious,” said a friend who asked not to be named. “He used to mix an elixir and sell it to black people. He put mineral oil in it and other homemade stuff. He sold ads in black tabloid magazines for it.”
“He sold voodoo curses,” Blackwell said. “People would pay him for voodoo curses against other people.”
Glass would take oregano, thyme and crunch them up, put them in a sack, tie it up and sell it out the back door of Tempo as charms and hexes, she said.

The Orient

“If Charles got interested in something, it became an obsession and he’d pursue it,” his cousin said.
One of those interests was the Orient.
Glass named his house at 200 Wildwood Road, off Broadway Street, Hong Kong Hill.
Glass collected and had many Oriental art objects and he enjoyed Oriental music. He had a Chinese gong on his porch that he rang frequently.
He would put on a turban and sit by the creek and chant, his friends said.
Asian shrubbery and plants filled his yard.
“He never used an adding machine at the store,” a friend said. “He used an abacus. He loved Chinese architecture and his house was built with Oriental roof and eaves.”
He kept friends entertained with his exotic ideas.
“Charles used to say he was going to come back in the afterlife as a moth,” Blackwell said. “When Bobby Cornman and I were doing the inventory of the store at night after the murders, a big moth was up on the wall. We joked it was Charles.”
A graveside service for Glass was held on July 25, 1966, at Shepherd Memorial Park.
Residence: 200 Wildwood Road, Hendersonville
Born: Sept. 16, 1929, Asheville
Hendersonville resident, 15 years
Never married
Manager and co-founder of Tempo Music Shop
Sang back up vocals for Esther Phillips
Interests: Jazz and rhythm and blues, Oriental art, voodoo
Buried: Shepherd Memorial Park

Listen to the song Screamin’ and Dyin’ by clicking on the link for this article and then to the audio on the left column of the page.


By Jennie Jones Giles
This newspaper article was published several months after the initial series was published in the Times-News
In another strange twist to the unsolved triple murder of 1966, a Bible owned by victim Charles Glass was recently found. And it was found by an employee of the same company that printed Glass’ voodoo booklet and within a few days of a Court TV crew filming in front of the same business establishment on Third Avenue East.
Of the three people brutally murdered more than 40 years ago, the most well-known and eccentric was Glass.
Glass is remembered by friends, family and acquaintances as a flamboyant showman, music lover, connoisseur of all things Oriental and a man who concocted and sold voodoo charms. He managed the Tempo Music Shop that he and murder victim Vernon Shipman founded together in the early 1950s.
Within a few weeks of the murders, the art objects, furniture and personal possessions of Glass were sold at public auction.

Glass’ Bible

“I was recently starting to do some genealogy research,” said Brian Corn, an employee at Flanagan Printing Co. “I asked my Mom where the family Bible was. She said it was in a drawer in the bedroom.”
When Corn opened the drawer, it wasn’t the family Bible he found. It was a Bible with the name Charles Glass written on a front page.
Corn’s mother said she bought the Bible at an auction held shortly after the murders.
“She always said she bought some stuff at an auction,” Corn said.
Along with Glass’ signature, there was writing on other pages, in Japanese and Chinese. Friends and relatives of Glass remember distinctly his interest in the Orient.
Glass named his house at 200 Wildwood Road, off Broadway Street, Hong Kong Hill. He collected and had many Oriental art objects and he enjoyed Oriental music. He had a Chinese gong on his porch that he rang frequently. Asian shrubbery and plants filled his yard.
“He never used an adding machine at the store,” a friend said. “He used an abacus. He loved Chinese architecture and his house was built with Oriental roof and eaves.”
The flip side of the 45 rpm record he recorded with Shipman is titled I Left My Japanese Baby.
A person familiar with Japanese translated the inscriptions in the Bible for the Times-News.

“The writing style is very old, pre-World War II for sure,” the translator said.
The first five characters from top to bottom read: “Honoring God, carry my cross.” The next set of characters read: “Love people, share the gospel.”
The third group of characters on the left, bigger than the other two, is harder to translate. It is possibly Chinese, the translator said.

Family history

During research of the Glass family last year, little could be found about his mother’s family.
His parents, Lawrence Glass and Hazel Steele Glass, divorced when Glass was a child. His father remarried and moved to Norfolk, Va., where he worked as a fireman in the shipyards, said cousin, Russell Glass.
Glass was raised in West Asheville by his mother, who died in 1955. His mother had a sister, Elizabeth, but no information was obtained about her.
In the recently discovered Bible is the family history of Glass’ mother, along with information on her sister Elizabeth’s marriage and the name of a first cousin, Mary Elizabeth Brumfield, born Feb. 10, 1942.

Voodoo booklet

Glass wrote and published the pamphlet Tales of Voodoo and Black Magic. It sold for $2. He ran ads in newspapers and magazines for the booklet. On the booklet, the compiler is named as Charles Le Verre, a French word meaning glass.
Mama Tebe is the main character in the booklet. In each chapter, Mama Tebe tells how to work the magic. The book was published by Tempo Distributors.
The Times-News was not successful in locating a copy of this booklet until Calvert Hunt Jr. was flown to Henderson County from New England by the Court TV film crew. Hunt had kept one of the booklets.
“It was printed at Flanagan’s,” Hunt said.
Flanagan’s Printing Co., where Corn works today, is located across the street from an antique shop owned by Eddie Shipman, cousin of victim Vernon Shipman, and was filmed for the upcoming Court TV show “Haunting Evidence.”