Ruie Ann Park was one of the wealthiest people in Van Buren, Arkansas. She claimed to be a descendant of not one but two passengers on the Mayflower. Ruie genuinely believed that the locals looked up to her, but in fact, most Van Buren residents saw her as a crabby old woman. Ruie’s murder on May 17, 1981, shocked her neighbors. Crime wasn’t common in Van Buren, let alone the murder of an elderly and prominent citizen.
Join us at the quiet end for A Murder in the Family: The Ruie Ann Park Story. Sam Hugh, Ruie’s son, was considered the prime suspect in her murder from the beginning. As a gay man struggling with alcohol addiction and living in a conservative southern town, he was used to being judged and criticized. But his mother had always been tough on Sam Hugh, so maybe she had just gone too far this time.
Blind Rage: A True Story of Sin, Sex, and Murder in a Small Arkansas Town by Anita Paddock
The Arkansas Case of Ruie Ann Park, True Crime Daily, 4/13/2016