My name is Joe Genna. I am 23 years of age. I live at DeRidder and was there on Saturday evening August 28th 1926. I desire to make a free and voluntary confession. I am fully aware that I am not required nor can I be compelled to make any statement that will incriminate me, but I feel that I should relieve my conscience by making a free, full and complete confession, and in doing this I know, full well that all statements made by me can be used and will be used in the trial of my case wherein I am charged with the murder of Joe Brevelle, and that the statements I make can send me to the gallows. What I say is the truth, and I am prompted to do so by the sole and only desire to relieve my troubled conscience.
About 7 o’clock on Saturday August 28th I spoke to a boy by the name of Brosco and asked him about hijacking Joe Brevelle. He says “Yes, that’s what I’ve been thinking about doing; hijacking somebody so we can get away from here.” He says “you go up and talk to him and find out how much he’ll charge to take us out to John Miller’s.” I went on and saw Brevelle about going out there and Brevelle agreed to take us out there for $1.50, and so Brevelle and me went on down to the Coca Cola Bottling Works and met Broscoe there and picked him up and rode on out the road about 3 miles at the place where the Lake Charles and Sugartown roads meet. We stopped there and got some whiskey Brosco had hid by the side of the road. And when we got back in the car, I got in the back seat and he got in the front seat. On the way out Brosco had been in the back seat. While we was drinking the liquor Brosco told me he had put a spring leaf on the floor of the car in the back, and says: “You hit him the first lick and stun him and we’ll take the money off of him, and fix his car so he can’t run it and catch a ride back into Lake Charles.” From there we can go on to Tullos. Then we went on out the Sugartown road and crossed Bundicks and took the first road to the left after passing the Shores’ place. This is the road to John Miller’s house. We turned out that road about 300 yards; we was driving slow and I hit Brevelle the first lick with the spring leaf. When I hit him the spring leaf slipped out of my hand. Brosco grabbed he spring leaf and hit him several times with it; I don’t know exactly how many times. Brosco hit him in the head and side of the face. I hit Brevelle on the side of the head. When I hit Brevelle he said “Take my money, boys, if you want my money and let me go.” Brosco said: “Hell, no, we’re not going to let you go.” Then Brosco hit me across my hands and paralyzed my hands and I couldn’t do anything then. He must have hit him ten or fifteen more licks after that; I don’t know how man. After he hit him that many licks, why, Brevelle said: “I’m dying, boys, I’m thru with; let me go; take my money, take my car or anything you want. Brosco cussed him and said “Shut up you S—of a b----; I’ll knock your d--- brains out.” That’s the time he stabbed him with his knife or screwdriver or whatever it was. After he stabbed him he pushed him over to the other side of the seat and turned the car around and started back toward DeRidder on the graveled road. After Brosco stabbed Brevelle he cut his throat.
When we got back to the “Heights Road” we turned off to the South on that road; passed the post plant; turned off at the post plant and come on by Deifendorph’s house. We went on out Bonami street and went as far as the school house and then took the Fal road and just before we got to Fal we turned off on a little road that leads to Pickering and we came into Pickering just at a store. We crossed the track there and went on down by the side of the mill pond; got by the side of the mill pond and I asked Brosco: “What are you going to do with him.” And Brosco says: “We’ll throw him in the mill pond here and he never will be found.” Brosco opened the door of the car and pulled Brevelle out and got him laid nearly on the edge of the bridge and I got out of the car and went around and helped Brosco throw him in there when he was out of the car. We throwed him off right at the edge of the bridge. When we throwed him off there and he hit the water I said “Let’s get on back to town and I’ll get some clothes and we’ll get on away from here. We drove down the alley on side of my father’s house, as far as the back gate; and I walked around the front of the house like I was coming from town and went right on in the house and went right on up to my room. When I got to my room I started to get my clothes out, I got a black suit of mine out, two shirts and a suit of underwear and a couple pair of socks. I got these clothes out and got ‘em in a suitcase. I started to put more clothes in the suitcase and I sit down by the edge of bed and thought things over; and I started at one time to call up Dr. Frazer, the sheriff; I said second thought it won’t do me any good; I’m all messed up and I’m into it as bad as Brosco I guess. Best thing for me to do is to get on away from here; so went on down and got in the car with Brosco and drove on back to Lake Charles.
We left DeRidder about 10:30 or 11 o’clock that night. Got gas in Lake Charles and headed on out for Alexandria. Brosco and me was still together, and using Brevelle’s car. From Alexandria we drove right on into Tullos. Just before we got into Tullos Brosco opened his suit case and got out a set of Texas license plates and put on the Ford and we went on into Tullos. He stuck the old license plates in the back seat between the seat and the upholstering. We drove into Tullos and stopped at the Evans Hotel and met these two girls, I mean Katie and Edna Saddler, and I asked Kate to get away from there with me and I’d intended to ditch Brosco there and me and Katie was going to Amarillo, Texas. She sais we’ll stay here all night tonight and leave tomorrow. We stayed there all that night and all the next day. I mean we got in Tullos Sunday morning and stayed there the rest of the day and night and all day Monday. On Monday night the officers in Tullos arrested Kate and Edna and then Brosco beat it. He had all the money on him and I was broke and didn’t have anything; and stayed there until about 4:30 or 5 o’clock the next morning. Went around the jail to get some money from Kate. Wasn’t nothing but a little old lock on the door; so I twisted this lock off and got Kate and Edna out of there. We come on back to DeRidder around thru Alexandria and Leesville getting to DeRidder about 12 o’clock. But we stayed out in the woods until about the other side of town like the night we and Brosco did when we killed that fellow.
When we got to the gravel road there at the Heights; come on back by the Ice plant there and stopped at the Ice Plant. And the girls said “If you’re going to keep on going you’ll need a partner.” I walked on to the Hodges Café. I called Harvey Perkins out there. I got him to come out there and he got in the car and went with us. Soon as Harvey got in the car we started back to Lake Charles, and he bagin to tell us about finding Brevelle in the mill pond and he recognized Brevelle’s car and he asked me: “Didn’t you kill Brevelle?” And I told him No. Told him I had borrowed the car in Tullos. And he didn’t say anything more about it till we got into Lake Charles and till we got on the road to Orange.
When we got to about Edgerly he brought up the subject about Brevelle again; talking about how hot the law was about it; and about them suspicioning me and Brosco; so he got scared before we got to Orange; in that marsh there. He got scared to ride on into Orange with these girls in the car and he didn’t want to ride in the car no how on account of being scared of being picked up there at the ferry; he could see the blood all over the front seat; so we left the girls and drove off on the side of the road; we washed up a little bit and cleaned up and we let the girls walk on to the ferry to Orange. We drove on down to the marsh a little piece and drove off in a big thicket. He took two of the suitcases and walked on back to the gravel road and I decided the best thing to do to the car would be to burn it up; so I set it afire and took the two suitcases and started to the ferry with them. When we got to the ferry the girls had done crossed and we crossed on the next one and met them in Orange. Perkins and me crossed on the 9 o’clock ferry and got in Orange at 10 o’clock.
The girls kinda suspicioned something; they saw and smelled the blood on the car and Harvey kept asking about Brevelle.
I stayed in Orange from 10 o’clock Wednesday morning until about 10 o’clock Thursday morning when I was arrested.
I feel better all over since I made this statement. I’m not worried as much as I was.
No one has threatened me and no one has offered me any reward for testifying.
DeRidder, La., /s/ Joe Genna
September 2, 1926