Ray City Seeress Mollie Hall Helps Solve Moon Murder

Molly Reddick Hall was a widely known psychic who lived in Ray City, GA in the early 1900s. Family members tell us she was the older sister of Stella Reddick Wright and raised Stella after their mother passed away. (See Stella Wright ~ Seeress of Ray City, GA). In early 1920 Molly Hall gained attention for her role in solving the murder of Mrs.  Susan Hinson Moon, near Adel, GA, about 12 miles west of Ray City.   She gave a reading which broke the case and led to a confession.

When Susan Moon disappeared from her LaConte, GA home in the first few days of January, 1920, her nephew Jim Johnson sought  the help of the Ray City seeress in locating  her whereabouts.  After consulting the cards, Molly Hall told Johnson where to look for Susan Moon.  Taking this news to the police, Johnson became a suspect himself.

Jim Johnson, his cousin Lacy Spires, Sam T. Cooper and Melton Moon, the son of Susan Moon, were arrested for the murder.

A series of articles from state papers tell how the crime unraveled.

The first newspaper accounts of the murder focused on the confession of Susan Moon’s son. Although he had taken his mother’s married name, Melton Moon’s actual name was Milton Hinson.  But the state newspapers continued to refer to him as Melton Moon.  He was 34 years old and worked as a farm laborer.  He had registered for the WWI draft in 1918, and claimed a wife as a dependent but in 1920, Hinson, aka Moon, lived with his mother.  Newspaper accounts suggested that Hinson was “weak-minded,” “of unsound mind,”  or “mentally irresponsible, although he had served in the army awhile.”

Within days of Hinson’s confession, the story of Molly Hall’s role in locating the body was revealed in state newspapers.

Melton Moon, aka Milton Hinson, held in the murder of his mother, Susan Moon. Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan 6, 1920.

Melton Moon, aka Milton Hinson, held in the murder of his mother, Susan Moon. Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan 6, 1920.

Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Jan 6, 1920.


Milton Moon Held in Cook County With Another Man on Charge of Murder.

    Moultrie, Ga., Jan. 5. – The finding of the body yesterday of Mrs. Susan Moon, in a swamp near Sparks, was followed by the arrest today of her son, Milton Moon, and S. T. Cooper on the charge of Murder. The woman had been missing since Thursday.  Robbery is believed to have been the motive for the crime.


    Adel, Ga., Jan. 5. – Melt Moon and a man named Cooper, were arrested yesterday at Sparks on suspicion of being the slayers of Mrs. Sue Moon, mother of Melt Moon, whose body was found yesterday about a quarter of a mile from the home, three miles above Sparks on the National Highway.
    Mrs. Moon had been stabbed above the heart.  She had been missing since Thursday.  Searching  parties failed to find her until yesterday, after Moon had told them where her body could be found.  It is said, however, he did not confess the crime.  Moon is subject to fits and is regarded as mentally irresponsible, although he served in the army awhile.

Melton Moon Confesses, Jan 9, 1920, Atlanta Constitution

Melton Moon Confesses, Jan 9, 1920, Atlanta Constitution

Atlanta Constitution
Jan 9, 1920


Describes the Cold-Blooded Crime to Coroner’s Jury in Valdosta.

Sparks, Ga., January 8. – (Special.)  It was learned here today that Melt Moon, who is being held in the Lowndes county jail at Valdosta suspected of being involved in the killing of his mother, Mrs. Susie Moon, confessed last night to the killing of his mother.  H. L. Lovett, justice of the peace here who held the inquest over the dead body, together with two other men who served on the jury in the inquest, visited Moon in the Valdosta jail Wednesday night and while there Moon is said to have confessed to having been the only person involved in the crime.
    He asserts that he came home from the field to get his dinner and got into a general quarrel with his mother.  He struck her in the pit of the stomach, knocking her unconscious,and thinking that he had killed her, began dragging her towards the nearby woods in order to hide her.  On the way, however, she showed signs of recovering consciousness and Moon hit her several times on the head with a lightwood knot.
    After reaching the woods he stabbed her several times in the heart with his knife.   Moon, who is the son of the murdered woman, has been held in Valdosta jail, together with Jim Johnson, S. P. Cooper and Lacy Spires, the latter under suspicion.  All except Moon were released today, following the confession of Moon.
    Mrs. Moon was found dead last Sunday near her home at LaConte, three miles from here, with severe wounds in her head and breast.

No Change in Story.

Valdosta, Ga., January 8.-(Special.)- The confession of Melton Moon to the cold-blooded murder of his mother, which he made to members of the coroner’s jury at the Lowndes county jail Wednesday night, clears up the mystery which had surrounded one of the most brutal crimes ever committed in this section.  Moon has made no change today in the story he told the coroner’s jury last night, and shows no more concern over the matter than he did before.
    In the opinion of Jailer Lofton and others who have observed him closely since he was brought to jail, Moon is of unsound mind and if not actually crazy is very weak mentally.  His appearance is that of an indolent, weak-minded person.  It is presumed that he will remain in jail here until tried in the Cook superior court.

Ray City psychic Molly Hall helps solve murder of Susan Moon, aka Susan Hinton. Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, January 15, 1920.

Ray City psychic Molly Hall helps solve murder of Susan Moon, aka Susan Hinton. Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, January 15, 1920.

Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, January 15, 1920.


Confession of Half-witted Son Exonerates Other Men He Implicated.

SPARKS, Jan. 8. – The sensational murder of Mrs. Susan Moon has been stirred up by the complete confession of Melton Moon, her half-witted son, that he killed the old lady and that other men held in connection with the murder were entirely innocent.  Sam Cooper was released custody, Jim Johnson and Lacy Spires, nephews of the dead woman, were released yesterday.
    The confession of Moon, which was heard in the jail at Valdosta by coroner H. L. Lovett and Rev. G.W. ????, a member of the jury, was started at 11 o’clock today after the coroner’s jury had been convened.  A verdict in line with the confession was rendered.

Moon’s Revolting Confession.
Moon told the coroner and Mr. ???? that he and his mother had been quarreling because she refused to give him $10 with which to go to town. When he came home to dinner Thursday the quarrel with his mother became violent, and he hit her in the stomach.  She knocked unconscious, and he began to drag away from the house. When she showed signs of returning consciousness, he became frightened at what he had done and picked up a light wood knot and beat her over the head. After he reached the branch, where the body was concealed, he drew his knife and stabbed her several times.

    Following the disappearance of Mrs. Moon Thursday, a search was instituted. The body was found concealed under leaves several hundred yards from the Moon home, at Laconte, three miles from Sparks.  There were many —wounds about the head.  Melt then implicated Sam Cooper and said that he did the killing.  Cooper was arrested and has been held since.  Jim Johnson and Lacy Spires were also arrested.  Johnson visited Mollie Hall, and aged negro fortune teller at Ray City, who shuffled the cards and told him where the body would be found.  He told the searchers of this and after the body was located, Johnson was placed under arrest.

Moon Seems Little Concerned.

    VALDOSTA, Jan. 8. – Melton Moon, who has confessed the revolting details of the murder of his mother at Laconte last Thursday, today shows no more concern over the matter than he did before.  In the opinion of Jailer Lofton and others who have observed him closely since he was brought to jail, Moon is of unsound mind and if not actually crazy, is very weak mentally.  His appearance is that of an indolent weak-minded person.  It is presumed that he will remain in the Cook County jail here until tried in the Cook County Superior Court, which convenes in March.

Melton Moon, aka Milton Hinson, is acting the crazy part in advance of trial. Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, Jan 22, 1920.

Melton Moon, aka Milton Hinson, is acting the crazy part in advance of trial. Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, Jan 22, 1920.

Bainbridge Post-Searchlight
Jan 22, 1920

Melt Moon is Acting the Crazy Part Now

Valdosta, Jan 15. – Since the night he made the full confession to Judge Lovett, acting coroner of Cook County, of the murder of Mrs. Susie moon, Melt Moon is reported to have been apparently crazy in the Lowndes county jail.
    The officials at the jail say that during the several days Moon was confined in jail before he made the confession he acted in a perfectly normal manner but immediately following his talk with Judge Lovett, he has changed entirely.
    He talks very little and will answer no questions at all.  If he is pressed for a conversation he will beat himself about the body and butt his head against the wall. He will not remove his clothing at night when he retires and gets on his cot in all kinds of strange positions.
    His sister apparently hardly realizes yet that he committed the crime to which he has confessed.  Since her return to her home in Florida she has written the jail authorities asking them to get further particulars from her brother about the crime.  He will not discuss the matter at all and pays no attention to remarks addressed to him. A relative visited him a few days ago and offered him some money which he refused to notice at all.
    A letter addressed to him was received a few days ago an when it was handed to him he laid it down without opening and has not yet touched it so far as is known.
    While he has [not] been considered real bright, yet he has never been regarded as crazy by the people who knew him.  However, it would seem now that he is laying the ground work for a defense when his case comes to a trial.

Following the confession and the coroners inquest, an indictment for murder was handed down.   The case was heard in the Cook County Superior Court before Judge Dickerson on March 12, 1921.

Milton Hinson, alias Milton Moon, was indicted for the homicide of his mother; and at the same term of court he filed his plea of not guilty, and a special plea of insanity. The defendant was found to have sufficient reason to distinguish between right and wrong and therefore criminally responsible for his actions. On these grounds, the defense’s motion that he lacked the mental capacity to make a free and voluntary confession was overruled, and the confession was admitted.

On the trial of the case the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder, with a recommendation of life imprisonment; and the defendant was accordingly sentenced by the court. He made a motion for a new trial, which was overruled. Milton Hinson, aka Moon appealed the case to the Georgia Supreme court, but the Justices affirmed the guilty verdict.

Milton Hinson was sent to the Georgia State Prison in Baldwin County.  He was enumerated there in 1930, and was released some time before 1940. Afterwards he moved to Florida.

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Stella Wright ~ Seeress of Ray City, GA

Stella Reddick Wright of Ray City, Ga

Stella Reddick Wright of Ray City, Ga.  

In the 1930s Stella Wright lived with her family in Rays Mill (nka Ray City), GA.  Stella lived at the south end of Park Street, way out past Arrin Guthrie’s home, at a place on Cat Creek known as Rock Bottom.  Stella was known around the region as a seeress and a healer.

One Sunday afternoon in the late 1930s, the Guthrie family were all gathered on their front porch socializing and sharing the events of the day.  A car pulled up with some people who were looking for directions; they had a woman with them who was ill and wanted to see Stella Wright.  One of the Guthrie grandchildren hopped in the car to show them the way to Stella’s place.  At the far end of the dirt road, they took a little trail down to Cat Creek to a cabin where Stella was found. They all entered the cabin, which was devoid of furniture except for a single chair in the center of the room. Stella sat the sick woman in the chair and began massaging her shoulders and back.  Shortly, the woman emitted a series of enormously loud belches and that was how Stella “healed” her.

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Berrien County’s Oldest Resident Dies at Ray City

The August 7, 1930 edition of the Atlanta Constitution reported the following:

 Georgia Negro, 106, Dies in Ray City

Ray City, Ga., Aug 6 – “Uncle” Dick McGowan, a negro man believed to be Berrien county’s oldest resident died near here. He was 106 years of age.

McGowan was known to have been a slave, owned by the late Hardy Sirmons, of Ray City.  Hardy Sirmons died several years ago at an advanced age, and it was known that McGowan was at least 35 years old when Mr. Sirmons was born, giving a very authentic idea of the validity of the claim that the negro was 106 years of age at the time of his death.  McGowan had lived in the Ray City section of Berrien County all of his life and was known to all of the older residents of that section.

For a number of years McGowan was given a home and shelter at the home of Molly Hall, a negress who is known throughout this section of south Georgia as claiming to have supernatural powers as a “seeress.” The home of the Hall woman is a mecca to which literally thousands of white people journey every year in efforts to fathom mysteries of the past. Many wonderful stories are in circulation regarding the accuracy with which the woman draws away the mysterious veil for her clients.

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