There's no doubt about it. Dad RUFUS A. KING was grade-A pond scum. After battering his wife, he took her to her brother's house and dumped her there. According to the brother, the wife told him that "Rufus won't let me see the children and he beat me." Another one of the wife's brothers then signed a warrant for King's arrest, which charged him with assault.
Then it seems Daddy went home and beat up the six kids before shooting them dead. He shot himself between the eyes with his A10 shotgun out in the nearby woods. Officers looking to serve the warrant on King discovered the massacre.
From the New York Times, October 3, 1956
FARM FATHER KILLS 6 CHILDREN AND SELF
Clinton, N. C., Oct. 2 (AP)--A 35-year-old tenant farmer, sought on a charge of beating his wife, today shot and battered his six children to death, then shot himself between his eyes.
The mother was absent from the home when he did it. The coroner ruled the deaths were murder and suicide.
Officers seeking to serve a warrant on Rufus A. King received no response to their knocks at the farmhouse door. They peered into windows and saw the children's bodies sprawled over floors of two rooms of the six-room farmhouse.
Four hours later police bloodhounds lead searchers to the father's body in a near-by woods. His A10 gauge shotgun lay near by.
Robert Tyndall, Mrs. King's brother, said King had brought his wife to the Tyndall home near here earlier today. He said that she told him "Rufus won't let me see the children and he beat me."
Mr. Tyndall said his brother, Otis Tyndall, signed the warrant charging King with assault.
Mrs. King spent the remainder of the night at the brother's home.
Clinton is an eastern North Carolina farming center, sixty miles southeast of Raleigh.