Many murder case convictions often rest upon one single piece of evidence to convict a person. Often it’s surprising what that evidential piece entails.
In the Hunt murders one piece of evidence turned out to be a single Lee Tire. Yes – a tire!
It was not long ago that I came across this Lee Tire sign in a rural West Texas town. I’ve driven by the building at least 100 times or more and never noticed the sign. While it’s not one of the original green and red signs that emblazon “Lee of Conshohocken – Smiles for Miles” or just one of the yellow and green Lee Tires signs, this faded sign still represents the brand of tire that became one central piece of evidence in the Hunt trails.
The Lee Tire brand began in 1912 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. After working with medical supplies since 1887, J. Ellwood Lee recognized the potential in the rubber tire market and he began experimenting with tire production. Even though Ellwood died unexpectedly in 1913 at the age of 53 from heart disease his company flourished making Lee tires under the name of “Lee of Conshohocken.” The company touted the tires as “guaranteed to be puncture-proof.” The factory continued to produce Lee tires until 1980.
Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography
Photograph of J. Ellwood Lee – Find a Grave Website