|Birth: ||Aug. 4, 1916|
|Death: ||Mar. 19, 1978|
DECATUR HERALD & REVIEW - 22MAR1978 - MACON CO. DEATHS - BARRETT
Mrs. Grove (Lula Bell Syers) Barrett, 61, of Route 2 died 1 a.m. Sunday (19Mar1978) in her home.
Private family graveside services will be Thurday in Point Pleasant Cemetery, Long Creek. There will be no visitation. J. J. Moran & Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Barrett was born in Decatur, daughter of Alfred & Lula Syers. She was a member of the First Wesleyan Church of God. She married Grover C. Barrett, who died in 1950.
Surviving are sons, Floyd Russell & George Leroy, both of Decatur; 1 grandchild.
One brother preceded her in death.
DECATUR HERALD & REVIEW - 20MAR1978 - SHOOTING DEATH SPARKS DEBATE
The Macon Co. Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the early Sunday shooting death of a 61-year-old rural Decatur woman.
While the investigation proceeded, the incident also became mired in last-minute, preliminary political controversary today.
Lula Barrett of Route 2 was found shot in her one-room home on Route 2, off the Old Sangamon Rd. about 3/4 of a mile north of IL 105, about 1 a.m. Sunday.
Mrs. Barrett was shot in the head with a small-caliber bullet, apparently fired through a window in her home, according to Sheriff Stephen D. Fisher. The weapon has not been recovered. Deputies were to search the area today.
The sheriff's office is holding the woman's 40-year-old son in custody. A Decatur couple who deputies had questioned was released after being given a lie detector test in Peoria, Fisher said.
It was the son who had called a telephone operator to report the death "as a robbery & someone hurt," said Fisher. The call was transferred to the Decatur Police Department, then to the sheriff's office.
A deputy investigating the call found the dead woman, he said.
The son, Fisher said, is incoherent & repeatedly changes his description of the event, implicating himself & then others, Fisher said.
A psychiatric examination of the man might be possible if he is charged in connection with the incident, Fisher added.
Fisher said he has 14 deputies working on the case & that 25 to 30 people have been interviewed about the incident.
Fisher is being challenged by Charles D. Peters, a former sheriff, in Tuesday's Democratic primary election.
Peters charged today that Fisher "is in the process of completely fouling up the investigation."
Peter's said Fisher's office had not informed the state's attorney's office of the incident as of this morning. This was confirmed by State's Attorney Patrick Walsh, a Republican.
Law enforcement agencies are supposed to report such incidents to the state's attorney's office immediately so prosecutors can be in on the investigation & give necessary legal assistance, Peters said.
"This is the most flagrant breach of professional conduct, & it is the perfect example of arrogance & bumbling. Such conduct should not be allowed to continue in the office of sheriff," said Peters.
Walsh said, "Mr. Peters is correct that it has always been the custom & practice of any law enforcement agency to contact the state's attorney's office immediately upon the discovery of a serious crime for the purpose of assistance.
"In this case we have not yet been informed about anything surrounding this death," said Walsh at about 10:30 a.m. today. "I know of no reason why I was not notified about it.
"I first found out about the incident from news reports Sunday evening & contacted the sheriff myself. He offered no information about the incident," Walsh said.
Fisher said that while there had been an agreement with former State's Attorney Basil Greanias, a Democrat, as to what cases they were to notify him about, his office has never been asked by Walsh for similar contacts.
"Our job is to investigate, & the state's attorney's job is to prosecute," Fisher said.
"We have a professional staff & they know what they're doing," he said, adding he won't hesitate to call Walsh's office if technical assistance is necessary.
Making political comments about an ongoing investigation is totally uncalled for, Fisher said. "It doesn't speak well for (Peters') professional attitude to take a political swipe at an ongoing investigation.
DECATUR HERALD & REVIEW - 07JUL1978 - DECATUR DAILY REVIEW - LOCAL REPORT 'POLITICAL' INVESTIGATION CHARGED
Nelda Barrett says the investigation of the shooting death in her rural Decatur home of Lula Barrett, her mother-in-law, has "become a political issue" & brought distress to the survivors.
Donald Parkinson, a former Macon Co. assistant state's attorney, has alleged in a civil suit filed last week that State's Attorney Patrick M. Walsh, a Republican, wants the 19Mar death to remain unsolved & a blemish on Democrat Sheriff Stephen Fisher's record.
Mrs. Barrett noted that the investigation of the unsolved death became an issue in the 21Mar Democrat primary when Fisher's opponent Charles D. Peters was critical of the investigation.
She said since the lawsuit was filed there has been renewed interest in the case by the Macon Co. Sheriff's Office & she believes these new inquiries are politically motivated.
"I'm not going to let this continue to happen. The public shold know what is going on. She (Lula Barrett) has been degraded enough. She is not here to speak for herself."
"At no time have I made this case a political issue," Fisher said today, noting it was Peters who was critical of the investigation in the primary & making a political issue of the case.
Parkinson denied today that there was any political motivation to his suit, which was a claim by Mrs. Barrett.
The son of the dead woman, Floyd Barrett, concurred with his wife's remarks today. "It has all become a big political issue. I've heard so many lies from people in this I don't know what is the truth," he said.
Mrs. Barrett said she believes her rights were abused. "When this all happened I didn't think we needed a lawyer because the truth can't be changed."
She said she regrets that she agreed to undergo hypnosis during the investigation. She agreed to do so, she said, because it was believed she could provide information useful to solving the case.
After the hypnosis, which she said she thought was the result of a private agreement between herself, Fisher & detectives, she "was laughed at" by other office personnel."
Fisher acknowledged the questioning under hypnosis was conducted, but said Mrs. Barrett's privacy was protected & she must be misinterpreting actions of his employees.
He said investigators contacted her this week regarding the case because new detectives have been assigned to the case & it was believed they may provide some fresh ideas & leads in the lengthy investigation.
Mrs. Barrett also was critical about Walsh failing to return a phone call she made to him in connection with Parkinson allegations in the suit.
Walsh said today he does not recall receiving her message. He is available to talk with her, he said.
DECATUR REVIEW - 18JUL1978 - DEAD WOMAN'S SON ADMITS, DENIES GUILT
The son of the late Lula Barrett has admitted killing her, however, he also has placed the blame on numerous other persons, according to testimony given Monday at a inquest into her death.
The son, George Barrett, 40, told the coroner's jury Monday, "I didn't shoot nobody."
Mrs. Barrett, 61, was killed 19Mar after being shot through the window of her one-room home on Old Sangamon Rd.
The coroner's jury ruled the death a homicide "by person or persons unknown."
The murder still is unsolved, & the gun involved in the slaying has not been recovered.
Barrett on numerous occasions admitted killing his mother, sheriff's deputies testified Monday. But the gun never has been located in the several places he has told deputies he put it, they said.
Barett is a resident of Northpark residential care center. A technician who administered lie detector tests - all negative - to about 10 persons, said he felt Barrett did not have the mental capabilities to take one, Lt. Mark Cheviron testified.
Cheviron also offered 2 theories of the shooting. One, he said, is that someone actually was shooting at Barrett & that Mrs. Barrett, who appeared to have been in the process of typing her shoes, suddenly stood up in the line of fire.
The second, said Cheviron, is that someone shot at Mrs. Barrett from outside a window of the home & hit her once but missed a second time. Another bullet was found near the window.
Gil Veach, an investigator in the Sheriff's Office, said Barrett has at times admitted the shooting, even going so far as to re-enact it at the scene.
But he has also blamed the shooting on numerous others, telling varying versions, said Veach.
Barrett himself was the first witness called by Coroner Dr. John Morrison to testify at the inquest.
At one point, Morrison asked Barrett whether he remembered how he shot the gun. Barrett said "no."
Morrison also asked him whether he could show the gun's location.
"I didn't shoot nobody," Barrett replied.
The murder investigation was a subject in a law suit recently filed by Donald Parkinson, a former assistant state's attorney. He alleged State's Attorney Patrick Walsh wants the murder to remain unsolved to blemish Sheriff Stephen Fisher's record.
Alfred George Syers (1871 - 1938)
Louise McGullion Syers (1878 - 1954)
Grover Clifford Barrett (1892 - 1950)
George Leroy Barrett (1938 - 2006)*
Floyd Russell Barrett (1946 - 2001)*
Lula Belle Syers Barrett (1916 - 1978)
Alfred F. Syers (1918 - 1972)*
Point Pleasant Cemetery
Created by: Sue Bergandine
Record added: Sep 18, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76703628
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