James Clyde Arwood

Clyde Arwood was a moonshiner, plying his trade in the woods of Hale’s Point, Tennessee. William M. Pugh, James Howes, and Clarence Rossner were Internal Revenue Service agents who, on November 5, 1941, responded to a complaint filed against Arwood.

After several trips to locate and surveil the carefully hidden distillery, the agents, unbeknownst to Arwood, destroyed the still on November 20. They then went to Arwood’s home to arrest him, but he was not there.

Returning the following day, the officers spoke with Arwood. After extended conversation and without any signs of impending trouble, Arwood shot and killed Pugh. The other agents fled.

Chattanooga Daily Times, November 22, 1941

Arwood was tried in the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Tennessee. His conviction was upheld on appeal.

Clyde Arwood was executed in the electric chair at Tennessee State Prison in Nashville on August 14, 1943.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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