John Douglas Kinser

John Douglas Kinser

Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Death 22 Oct 1951 (aged 33)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Pflugerville, Travis County, Texas, USA
Plot Section F, Lot 401, Space 3
Memorial ID 43820420 · View Source
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s/o A. W. Kinser & Evelyn Dawson
The following biography was provided by Ron Humphrey.

John Douglas Kinser was born March 29, 1918 in Austin, Texas. He was murdered on October 22, 1951. John had become a business man in Austin and an opportunity presented itself to him in the late 1940s. On a piece of land located south of the Colorado River and the city of Austin, the Butler Brick company operated a prosperous clay mine. After years of mining clay on the small piece of land, Butler Brick closed down the mine in the late 1940s and turned the property over to the city of Austin. The land was in bad shape. The city of Austin had two choices - clean up the land or leave it in its poor condition. The city opted for the latter. John Douglas had an idea. He wanted to build a nine-hole par-3 golf course on the site. Kinser took his idea to the city in a meeting of city legislators. The city of Austin never hesitated and granted Kinser permission to build the course on the land. After months of planning and preparation, Butler Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course opened on June 1, 1950. The course is located on 201 Lee Barton Drive. As one drives south on Lamar Blvd, it will be seen on the left as you approach the intersection. During this period of time, John had become known around town as a "playboy", joining the Austin Community Theatre group and having numerous affairs while having been married, he divorced.

On October 22, 1951, Douglas was working in the golf course clubhouse when a man entered the door with a gun in his hand. The man was Malcolm E. Wallace, the press secretary for Lyndon Baines Johnson who had yet to become president. Wallace had an issue with Kinser. John had been having an affair with Wallace's wife and Wallace wasn't happy. He confronted Kinser inside the club house while patrons stood outside talking and preparing to tee off. The confrontation didn't last long. Wallace shot Kinser four times; Kinser fell to the ground with mortal wounds. Wallace turned around, walked out of the clubhouse and passed the stunned golfers. Wallace escaped in his station wagon. A customer at the golf course had heard the shooting and managed to make a note of Wallace's license plate. The local police force was able to use this information to arrest Wallace within 2 hours.

Events Subsequent to the Trial

Wallace was charged with murder but was released on bail after Edward Clark, Lyndon Johnson's lawyer, arranged for two of Johnson's financial supporters, M. E. Ruby and Bill Carroll, to post bonds on behalf of the defendant. Also Johnson's attorney, John Cofer, agreed to represent Wallace.

On February 1, 1952, Wallace resigned from his government job in order to distance himself from Lyndon B. Johnson. The trial began seventeen days later. Wallace did not testify. John Cofer, criminal lawyer for the Clark Law firm admitted his client's guilt but claimed it was an act of revenge as Kinser had been sleeping with Wallace's wife. Kinser was also having an affair with Josefa Johnson, the sister of Lyndon B. Johnson, but Josefa at the same time was having a relationship with Mac Wallace, who worked for Johnson. According to Barr McClellan, the author of "Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK", Kinser had asked Josefa if she could arrange for her brother to loan him some money. Johnson interpreted this as a blackmail threat (Josefa had told Kinser about some of her brother's corrupt activities). Referenced below

After 10 days of testimony the jury found Wallace guilty of "murder with malice a fore-thought". Eleven of the jurors were for the death penalty. The twelfth argued for life imprisonment. Judge Charles O. Betts overruled the jury and announced a sentence of five years imprisonment. He suspended the sentence and Wallace was immediately freed. No time in prison—no justice.

Kinser's brother, Winston, was left to pick up the pieces and run the golf course. Wallace, according to Lee Kinser, received the first-ever suspended sentence for murder in the state of Texas. "I'm sure the LBJ connection had something to do with it," Winston Kinser said with a smile.

Texas Death Certificate: #54628 -
Cause of Death: Massive hemorrhage from gunshot wounds

Family Members



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  • Created by: Geno-seeker
  • Added: 1 Nov 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 43820420
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Douglas Kinser (29 Mar 1918–22 Oct 1951), Find a Grave Memorial no. 43820420, citing Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery and Mausoleum, Pflugerville, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Geno-seeker (contributor 46980386) .