K.B. Brooks

K.B. Brooks had been hired by Samuel Combs, a Big Creek, Indian Territory businessman, to do some work for him while he was out of town. On October 28, 1897, Brooks entered Combs’ home and raped his sixteen-year old daughter, Lulu. The attack alerted Combs’ two younger daughters, who fled.

Lulu Combs survived the attack.

Authorities pursued Brooks for a week, capturing him on November 4. Sentiment for lynching Brooks, a Black man who had raped a white girl, was strong.

With the passage of the 1898 Curtis Act, federal jurisdiction over crimes committed in the Indian Territories was now located in Indian Territory.

K.B. Brooks was tried in federal court in Muskogee. On April 28, 1892, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to death.

Vinita Leader, May 12, 1898

Along with Charles Perkins, K.B. Brooks was hanged at Muskogee on July 1, 1898. They were the first people executed under federal authority in Oklahoma.

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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