These two newspaper stories pretty much tell the story of one of the most unusual murders of the year, a killing that resulted from a lunatic plot hatched by young men who believed they could get rich if only they had an airplane . . .

Brooklyn Daily Star, February 24, 1933
SAN BENITO, Texas (UP) — The first aerial murder on record was reconstructed today over the shattered remains of an airplane that crashed to earth with its pilot and a passenger fatally shot.

Lehman Nelson, 33, a flying instructor was dead when taken from the wreckage. Erin McCall, 21, a student flier, died shortly after the crash. Authorities believed McCall shot his instructor while the machine was in the air, and then shot himself.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 30, 1933
Flaming youth, personified by five boys and a 17-year-old blonde girl, slim and lovely, shocked the great state of Texas recently with a tale of fantastic adventure that ended in tragedy.

The boys were to steal an airplane and fly into the wilds of Yucatan. The girl was to act as a “lure de luxe” to help them in the plot, according to the allegations.

But the plot went wrong, murder and suicide were the result. And the girl who figured in the weird case was kept mysteriously in the background. The chivalrous Southern law-enforcement officers carefully guarded her identity for weeks.

The touch of the mysterious, of course, whetted the public interest. Reports said the girl was the sub-deb-darling of a prominent family and heiress to a million-dollar fruit ranch.

Detectives admitted the girl planned to lure an airplane pilot away from his ship so that her boy friend could steal it and fly away after gold. They recited details of how she planned to “vamp the guy,” but that was as far as they would go. Her name? They would keep that a secret.

The story of how the plans went wrong, and it soon became well known how the pilot was brutally shot to death in mid-air, how the plane crashed, and how the boy murderer committed suicide and breathed his last in the arms of the mystery girl.

The girl had been a clandestine sweetheart of Erin McCall, 21, of Harlingen, a village near San Benito. McCall, son of a prominent family, was greatly interested in aviation,, and had been taking flying lessons. One day he read a newspaper story of the princely salaries being paid pilots who flew gold over the mountains of Yucatan. Here were romance and excitement.

He called in four chums — Earl Dodson, Clois Lawson, Gaylaird Pitts and Vernon Bryan, all of Harlingen, and all about the same age. They worked out an amazing plot. McCall promised to get his girl friend, the mystery girl, to help. According to later testimony, they first tried to steal a plane from a hangar, but failed.

A few days later McCall went out to the Harlingen airport for his regular flying lesson. Lehman Nelson, 33, an instructor, was assigned to take him up. They took off in a two-seater, Nelson at the front controls. From then until they cracked up, nobody knows what transpired.

The plot, it developed later, called for McCall landing at a practice airport near San Benito. There the mystery girl was to be waiting. When the plane landed, she was to run up and entice the instructor away from the plane. McCall would then take off in the ship, pick up the other boys, and head for Yucatan, coming back later for the girl.

Apparently, Nelson refused to land at the San Benito field. McCall, seeing his plans going to ruin, grew panicky, whipped out a pistol and shot Nelson in the head, from behind. Probably he planned to leave the body at the airport and resume the flight. The state later charged that the boys had discussed murdering the pilot if it were necessary to get the plane.

McCall brought the ship down with his cargo of death; nosed up too soon. The ship bounded into the air, struck again, and broke the propeller.

McCall jumped from the cockpit and started for the hangar on the run. The girl was standing at the doorway. Suddenly McCall stopped. He jerked the pistol from his pocket, placed the barrel to his temple, and fired.

He was dead when an ambulance reached the field. Nelson had died instantly in the air. Doctors found the girl with McCall’s head in her lap, holding a tiny linen handkerchief to his wound. Her story implicated the other boys

Earl Dodson, it developed, had given McCall the murder weapon. He was tried to abetting the murder. The mystery girl was smuggled into the courtroom and testified against him. Her name was revealed as Grace Kirby.

Dodson was convicted and sentenced to prison for eight years. The other boys, released on bail, are awaiting trial for attempting to steal an airplane. And the girl, it appears, will go free