Fort Smith Police Department © Copyright 1999-2005


Detective Ray Tate


In Memory of:
Patrick Carr 1912 NEW!
Sam Booth 1931
William Bourland 1931
Ralph Howard 1931
Randy Basnett 1976
Ray Tate 1981
Billy Simms 1986
Administrative Services
Crime Mapping

Ray Tate was born June 14, 1947 , in Siloam Springs , Arkansas . He was a detective for the Fort Smith Police Department when he died from gunshot wounds he received January 5, 1981 . Ray and his wife, Anita Ruth, lived south of Greenwood with their two children, Charles Anthony (Tony) and Christina. Tony now has two sons, Cameron (6) and Nicholas (2). Christina has twins, Kendall and Samantha, who are one year old. Since Ray’s death, Ruth has remarried and she and her husband, Lloyd Evans, live in Siloam Springs. Ray was a member of the Harvard Avenue Baptist Church in Siloam Springs , Arkansas .

Detective Tate went to 701 No. 48th Street on a Monday evening to investigate the disappearance of 21-year-old Larry Price. When Jawanna Price, the wife of Larry Price, had left for work that morning, her husband was talking with Thomas Simmons about a car that Mr. Price was offering for sale. That day, Larry Price did not report to work, and he did not keep a lunch appointment with his wife. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact her husband, Mrs. Price became alarmed. She asked her boss, Holly Gentry, who was also a family friend, to accompany her to the police department to report her husband’s disappearance. From the police department, Detective Tate followed Holly Gentry and Jawanna Price to the Price residence where the detective checked out on his police radio. None of the three were heard from again. About 11:30P.M. , Detective Tate’s police car was found at a truck stop in Van Buren near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Highway 59. Late Tuesday, January 6, the bodies of Detective Ray Tate, Jawanna Price, and Holly Gentry were found in a river-bottom field in the Kibler community. All three had been shot execution-style in the back of the head. The body of Larry Price, who had also been shot and killed, was discovered a short distance away. Thomas Simmons was convicted of four counts of capital murder and sentenced to death for the slayings. Ray was laid to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Siloam Springs on the 9th of January. Detective Ray Tate was 33 years old.