Congrats to Becca Brinkman who found the shoe in Odd Fellows park around 9:35am Monday morning. She has registered her button and will get the full $1500 prize. This was only the 2nd time in 22 years that the hunt went to the final day 6.

I realize this biographical format is wordy with a lot to sift through. I wanted to focus on Frank’s actions during the raid while requiring the searcher to know what was fact and what was fiction about the account.

James was ruthless and a true criminal. When you understand just how brutal he was, it hopefully removes any “Robinhood” mentality that followed the James Brothers.  There was a significant false sympathy towards the brothers, especially in the south. Mostly lies perpetuated by the James Brothers. 

Clue 1.

The main idea is to determine what is true and what is clue. To know what’s real about Frank so that the “odd” statements stick out and act as location hints. In my preface, I use the word “True”.  Implying that what I write is fact, and to be cautious. But, that’s the first big ol’ clue. True. Truth. “Friendship, Love, Truth”. That’s the IOOF motto. It represents the “three links” of their organization. The international order of Odd Fellows. In fact, in Oaklawn Cemetery there’s a large burial section for people that passed while in the care of the IOOF/Three Links throughout the towns early history.  This motto is engraved on the large IOOF monument.

The mention of them “relocating” is made-up.  There have been many houses selling along the street the park is on, starting with Professional Pride Realty on 3rd, all the way down to Odd Fellows. There are signs in yards.

“This was a sign” is a direct reference to the 2005 hunt when Odd Fellows was used and Franklin and Bette Lee placed the shoe directly on the “Water Conservation” sign in this park.

This is the 3rd time the shoe has gone into Odd Fellows Park.  In fact, I’m re-using some of my research from when I placed it in Odd Fellows the very first time I was the solo clue-writer in 2011. Embarrassingly, it was found on day 2 because I used the word “strange” early on. Stange=Odd.  I’m hoping the third time’s a charm. Anyone who remembers this hunt or saved the clues would recognize the use of “signs”. While it is vague, it was the centerpiece of an entire hunt. 

Clue 2.

The first line simply identifies “Northfield” as its location, not Dundas. The 2nd line should seem strange because I used “Northfield Bank” and not First National Bank.  There’s a Community Resource Bank – Water conservation sign at the entrance to Odd Fellows. Line 3 mentioned water. Every year there’s water. But the throw-off is…there’s no water in OF.  Just the water conservation sign. Mingling with citizens is a hint that there is a shelter house and a place where people gather at the OF park. The big decision. Ride on through. Walk through the park and go into that deep, mosquito filled woods at the park. Who’d dare go into that deep wood. Or should I say “Big Woods”. Great point.

Clue 3.

The beginning of this sets up “Friends” (Friendship), the 2nd word in the IOOF’s motto. IOOF is “Three Links”.  When Frank yelled, “softer” is an Anagram of Forest. A word scramble. Forest is one of the boarding park roads.  Too many townspeople on the street. Gathering place. The Gazebo and picnic shelter. Before 2pm the “3 entered” equals “Three” Links.  

Clue 4.

Yes, all the first few sentences set up “Strangely Shape”.  Strange is ODD. And the strange shape is the multi-sided gazebo in Odd Fellows Park. If you look up what was hanging on the wall in the bank that day, there was a calendar clock but also a portrait of the US President at the time, Abe Lincoln.  Lincoln is across the street to this park. In fact, as Lincoln ends, it virtually points at the shoe.

Clue 5. 

5th street kinda is Highway 19. It’s the same road. Cole rode up to the bank 3 times pleading for them to come out.  Not 5 times. Armstrong Road=Strong Arm. Perimeter (where it’s at in the park). The 3rd of the 3 links…”Love” makes an appearance. The IOOF Motto. EVEN the score?  Odd=Even. Odd Fellows. The line about “..the very devil in his face” is a direct quote from Wilcox, who was still in the bank and witnessed the assassination.

Clue 6. 

Well, as I say, we’ve only gotten here 2 times before.  I believe it was 10 years ago, in 2009 when Franklin & Betty Lee (not James) hid it in the east parking lot behind the 400 block of downtown.  Their joke that year was indicating it was in a park(ing lot) in the 6th clue. When people were thinking “park”.

This was the 3rd time the shoe was placed in Oddfellows park. Oddfellows is from the IOOF.  The International Order of the Odd Fellow. Also known as “Three Links”…which stands for Friendship, Love & True, all 3 of which are found in the clues throughout the week.

The first line gives most of it away.  Along the Forest line is literally where it is and also on Forest Avenue.  It’s right along the edge of the Oddfellows forest/wood line. Along the NW outside edge.  You need to duck in under the overgrown tree branch and look on the ground. If you’re walking along Forest past the parking lot towards 19 the sidewalk ends before a sign that says “43”.  I believe that’s like county 43 road. It was between the end of the sidewalk and the sign, along the trees, but still out of the woods in the grass (weeds). I state in this clue that you don’t need to go into the woods.  The last line gives “Odd” as in Oddfellows and mentions its 3rd appearance, along with “Three Links”.  

This quote that ends this year’s hunt is the full quote Frank gave later in life after leaving his lawless lifestyle. Ironically, it mentions “hunted for 21 years”.  This year makes it 22 years.