Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Last Illegal Alcohol Delivery Route of Lucas Doolin

Returning home from service in the Korean War, Lucas Doolin, a resident of the rural mountain area of southern Kentucky, made his living delivering liquor that had been distilled by his father without proper license or any government approval. He was one of several such drivers in the region around Knoxville, Tennessee so engaged.

On April 1, 1954, with increasing pressure from both federal law enforcement agents and organized crime elements from out-of-state, Doolin set out to make what his father had determined would be the last delivery from their distillery.

Doolin took a circuitous route to his intended destination in order to evade apprehension by law enforcement officers. Although Google mapping services show a distance of 125 miles and a projected elapsed time of two and three-quarter hours for the trip, it is likely that Doolin actually traveled further, since he frequently left the main highway and took roads that even angels feared to tread in his efforts to avoid police roadblocks. Nonetheless, he may have actually made the journey in less time, since thunder was his engine and from the very start of the trip he was revving up his mill.

An unnamed federal agent had assured Doolin he would arrest him as sure as fate, but by the end of the evening neither party to the encounter had succeeded. Before he could make his delivery, Doolin died in a vehicle accident when his car left the road while traveling at an estimated 90 miles per hour. Although the law swore they'd get him, the devil got him first.

On Thunder Road.

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