Showing Animals Respect & Kindness stops yet another big cockfight
STRINGTOWN, Oklahoma––”Here they came to snuff the rooster,” to paraphrase the best known song by “Alice In Chains” guitarist Jerry Cantrell, the most famous of the 410 residents of Stringtown, Oklahoma.
Yet more than 60 carloads of cockfighting enthusiasts barely saw any roosters snuffed on June 26, 2022 before someone tipped them off that Showing Animals Respect & Kindness [SHARK] got there first, already had a drone in the air documenting the proceedings, were collecting license plate numbers, and had alerted the Atoka County Sheriff’s Department.
Unlike many rural sheriff’s offices in Kentucky, southern Ohio, and other places where cockfighting continues in open defiance of the law, the Atoka County Sheriff’s Department appears to take cockfighting seriously––most members of the department, anyhow.
An apparent exception would be whoever alerted the would-be rooster-snuffers on June 26, 2022.
Broke up cockfight nearby in 2021
Showing Animals Respect & Kindness found out that the Atoka County Sheriff’s Department takes cockfighting seriously 13 months earlier, the last time before the weekend of June 26, 2022 that the SHARK team were in the Stringtown vicinity.
“Based on a tip, which we visually confirmed, we informed the Atoka County Sheriff’s Office of an ongoing fight on May 1, 2021,” Showing Animals Respect & Kindness posted to socal media soon afterward.
“Police were dispatched in a timely manner, “ Showing Animals Respect & Kindness said, “and the fight was broken up.
“Subsequent conversations with the police left us with a fairly good impression of their resolve to do their job. We will be monitoring this location,” SHARK pledged, and kept the promise.
Coinciding with International Workers Day, the most important date on the Communist calendar worldwide, the alleged May 1, 2021 cockfight was convened, Showing Animals Respect & Kindness said, at the Montana Dodd Pit just east of Stringtown, at 1096 East Greasy Bend Road.
East Greasy Bend Road
The June 26, 2022 alleged cockfight was to have been held about 11 miles east of the Montana Dodd Pit, where East Greasy Bend Road tees into Highway 43 at Redden.
Redden, now a ghost town, was named for rancher John A. Redden, who established a post office there on June 1, 1903, in what was when Atoka County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, four years before Oklahoma was admitted to statehood in 1907.
The post office operated until Redden’s death in 1954. The community meanwhile acquired a two-room schoolhouse, also closed in 1954, a cemetery, and a corner store, which became a two-paragraph news item when someone bounced a check there in 1955 for $70 cash and $17.23 worth of groceries.
A left turn off East Grassy Bend Road on Highway 43, followed by a second left turn down the first long driveway to the left, at 17031 Highway 43, leads to “pit property owned by Kimberly Lynn Baughman,” Showing Animals Respect & Kindness posted on June 28, 2022, after researching the land deed.
Secrets don’t last long in Redden
“The cockfighting pit is managed by Robert Ray Baughman, of Stringtown, Oklahoma,” Showing Animals Respect & Kindness continued.
“We are told that this massive cockfighting arena was purpose-built for cockfighting by Kim and Rob Baughman about one year ago,” Showing Animals Respect & Kindness said, “after we exposed the cockfight operation a few miles away at Montana Dodd’s. With Montana Dodd’s pit spoiled for them, they moved to this new ‘secret’ location.”
But the secret did not last very long, perhaps not least because 60 cars converging on Redden for any reason would tend to attract notice and questions, and stir gossip in a county of only 14,000 people total, many of whom not only know each other, but have been related for generations.
“If any insiders are interested in making some reward cash for filming inside this location during a cockfight,” Showing Animals Respect & Kindness concluded, “please contact SHARK at email@example.com. Or, if you know about more fighting locations in Oklahoma, please contact us as well. We have a lot planned in the future for the criminals in the Oklahoma cockfighting community.”
Smile for the camera
Of course any presence of strangers around Redden, or Stringtown, for that matter, also tends to attract notice.
Showing Animals Respect & Kindness investigator Mike Kobliska had just watched the 60 alleged cockfight attendees leave when an individual identified by Kobliska as Rob Baughman himself, a sometime rodeo cowboy, accosted Kobliska at a turnout, apparently mistaking Kobliska’s walkie-talkie for a drone controller.
Drone pilot Steve Hindi was actually miles away.
Unknown to the man believed to be Baughman, he was caught on camera in the act of allegedly reaching in the window of Koblisha’s vehicle to try to grab the walkie-talkie––and the license plate of Baughman’s pickup truck was caught on camera, too, along with the Circle B logo on the window of the truck, which matches the Circle B gravitar that Baughman uses on Facebook.
Kobliska reported the incident to the Atoka County Sheriff’s Department.
Concerning possible criminal charges, Kobliska told ANIMALS 24-7, “I’m inclined to just let the cops do their work. They have the plate,” Oklahoma JlG 787.
There are other individuals either currently or formerly residing along the Stringtown-to-Redden stretch of Highway 43 who have attracted attention to themselves in connection with animal fighting.
Most notorious in recent years may have been tattoo artist Veronica Lambert, 35, who according to Abbie Maynard of KXII television in Texoma, was in May 2017 “accused of tying her animals to each other and allowing a pit bull to kill the other dog.”
Jailed and charged with cruelty, Lambert had “five previous misdemeanor charges and a felony driving under intoxication charge,” Maynard reported.
Bonnie & Clyde
Stringtown itself also has a notorious history. Armed robber and serial killer Clyde Chestnut Barrow (1909-1934) on August 5, 1932 attended a dance there in a stolen car, accompanied by two other members of the “Bonnie & Clyde” gang, Raymond Hamilton and Ross Dyer, also known as Edward Milligan.
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (1910-1934), left at home with her mother in Dallas, Texas, was not present.
Approaching the three gang members after trouble broke out at the dance and they were seen drinking moonshine, Atoka County sheriff C.G. “Charlie” Maxwell was shot six times but survived. Sheriff’s deputy Eugene C. Moore was killed.
Barrow had already killed at least two men. He would go on to kill eight more lawmen and two more civilians before he and Parker were shot dead in a law enforcement ambush at Bienville Parish, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934.
Captured on April 25, 1934 after leaving the “Bonnie & Clyde” gang, Hamilton was electrocuted for murder on May 10, 1935.
Miranda Lambert & Reba McEntire
Stringtown is not mentioned by name, though ambiguously referenced, in “The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde,” the 1968 Georgie Fame hit song that may have been the first local connection to popular music.
Another link of passing note may be that country music star Miranda Lambert, 38, born and raised about three hours’ drive straight south in Longview and Lindale, Texas, has cousins in the Stringtown area.
Still another, reported Beverly Cantrell for the Atoka Oklahoman on November 28, 2021, is that country music superstar Reba McEntire, 66, “announced the creation of Reba’s Place, her own restaurant, bar, and live entertainment venue in Atoka” during a performance in Durant, Oklahoma, 32 miles southwest.
“It’s going to be in the old Masonic building. Y’all know where that is if you’ve been to Atoka,” said McEntire.
The rooster “ain’t gonna die”
The strongest local link to legal entertainment, however, remains Jerry Cantrell’s song “Rooster,” a “tribute to his Vietnam veteran dad,” according to Classic Rock author Henry Yates.
Wrote Yates, “The title’s meaning was prompted by a nickname given to Jerry Cantrell Senior by his great-grandfather,” because the elder Jerry Cantrell “was a cocky little kid,” whose “hair used to stick up on top of his head like a rooster’s comb.”
Concludes the song, “Here they come to snuff the rooster. Yeah, here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain’t gonna die. No, no, no you know he ain’t gonna die.”
Showing Animals Respect & Kindness aims to make sure of that.