Independent film crew makes Dog Bite Murders project in Globe

It was a major murder case 110 years ago that also involved the first car chase tracking fugitives through rural Arizona.

Now, this piece of Arizona history is headed to the silver screen, thanks to local filmmakers.

The independent film is being filmed in Globe, in all the places the historic events took place.

"They had a 1907 Cadillac for the pursuit. We were able to find an old Model T Ford to recreate this scene," said Clint Clarkson, a Co-Director and Co-Writer of the film ‘The Dog Bite Murders.’

‘It was the first time an automobile was used here in the pursuit of fugitives," said Gregory Shoemaker, also a Co-Director and Co-Writer of the film.

For several weeks, those with the independent film has bounced around historic jail cells, alleyways and train depots, catching the attention of residents.

High school students in the area have been getting a sneak peek of the production, as well as a few shots at something that might become more common.

"They can walk over during class period, and the photography group can take pictures," said Molly Cornwell with the Globe Downtown Association.

Cornwell said since this is an independent project, cast and crew have been able to keep working through the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.

"For us, it's a local film, so we move forward. A lot of indie films are approved to move forward as well," said Cornwell.

The writers say the story is all Globe.

"We want this to be something Globe can be proud of," said Shoemaker. "We want people to say ‘hey, I know this movie Dog Bite Murders that was shot in Globe. Let’s go check out the jail."

There are plans for the movie to make its premiere during the summer of 2024.

So, what exactly happened with the murders?

According to a Sept. 25, 1910 article published (and digitally re-created in 2013) by the Arizona Daily Star, two men, identified as James Steele and William R. Stewart, were arrested in connection with the murders of Fred Kibbe and Albert F. Hillpot.

In 2019, an article published by the White Mountain Independent states that Kibbe and Hillpot, both of whom were deer hunters, stopped at a place called Tuttle's Station to get supplies. Stewart and Steele (whose real name is actually John Goodwin, according to the Daily Star) were managers of the store, and an argument ensued after Stewart's dog bit Hillpot.

Kibbe and Hillpot, according to the article, returned to Tuttle's Station the next day to spend the night there, and the two were killed following supper. Following the murders, Goodwin and Stewart took Kibbe and Hillpot's horses and their other possessions before running away from the scene.

In an article published by the Globe Miami Times in 2013, It was reported that officials pursued Goodwin and Stewart for days after the murder. Both suspects were later found in a town called Adamana.

Adamana is over 100 miles away from Globe, in what is today Apache County.

Goodwin and Stewart were eventually convicted of the murders. According to the White Mountain Independent article, the two were initially sentenced to life in prison, but their lawyers subsequently filed an appeal, stating that the case should be tried in a federal court because it happened on a Native American reservation. A new trial did take place, but this time, a judge sentenced Goodwin and Stewart to be executed by hanging.

The defense lawyers, according to the White Mountain Independent, appealed for executive clemency from then President Woodrow Wilson, and Wilson did grant a 60-day stay of execution to study the issue, with the stay being granted just hours before the two were to be hanged. However, the stay expired without any further action from President Wilson, and the two were executed.

According to the website ‘The Federal Death Penalty Project,’ Goodwin was hanged in May 1913, and Stewart was hanged in May 1914.