ORMAN — When Jay and Shandi Williams first saw their east Norman home, they didn't realize it would come with such a history lesson. The abandoned two-story stone house was the home of one of Chicago's top mobsters, Llewellyn Murray Humphreys, second in command to Al Capone in the 1930s.
The land, located at E State Highway 9 and 192nd ave. in far eastern Cleveland County, was complete with a hideout including a lookout tower and Olympic-sized swimming pool, which has since been filled in with debris. The 80-year-old house was covered with overgrown trees and bushes and hidden from the highway. The inside of the home, however, hadn't changed, with original woodwork, Indian style paint, a secret room and custom wood designs of Humphreys.
Included on the land Humphreys owned is a large blue marble crypt, now surrounded by a trailer and mobile home park, with the remains of his only daughter Llewella, ex-wife Mary "Clemie" Brendle and himself.
"We bought the house a year ago from Humphreys' ex-wife's nephew, Ernie Brendle, who has since passed away," said Shandi Williams.
Since purchasing the house in 2009, the two have become fascinated with Humphreys and the historic house, trying to preserve all the history. They have learned a lot about Humphreys through word-of-mouth and books on the "Prince of Crime."
Williams believes Humphreys came to the house to get away from the crime life and hide out. "There were always guards at the entrances, and only certain people were allowed onto the property," Williams said.
"We've heard so many things about the house, including supposed tunnels that go from the house under Highway 9, and that the Olympic size pool at one time was lined with silver dollars," Williams said. "And we've heard those things from more than one person."
On a recent walk around the property, Williams' brother Brett Rogers said he picked up some bones that looked too large to be animal bones, wondering if they were bones of a human.
"They look big enough to be leg bones," Rogers said, examining the bones he brought back to the house.
Also found by Williams was a pair of plaid pants grown into a tree.
"These pants look like they are from the 1920s or 30s growing into a tree," Williams said. "We've tried to get them out, but they are stuck in there really good."
Williams said they have saved everything that was in the house when they bought it, including a sign that was placed on the front gate that said, "George Brady's Ranch."
Brady is Humphreys' grandson, who now resides in Oregon.
"People have come by wanting to purchase things from the house or parts of the house, but we aren't selling," Williams said.
Her favorite part of the original 1930s home is the woodwork done by Humphreys himself.
"To know that he built this house and that he did all of the intricate woodwork, it's incredible," Williams said.
Williams and her husband Jay were looking for a place for her younger brother, Rogers, who is slightly disabled due to recent hip and shoulder replacements, and came across this property.
Williams had previously heard about the history of Humphreys, while growing up in Noble, but never paid close attention and didn't know where the house was located.
"I heard ‘gangster' growing up, but never thought too much about it," admitted Williams. "And my husband is from Florida, so he knew nothing about it."
Eventually, Williams said they would like to use the 11.5 acres of land surrounding the house for a bed and breakfast or themed restaurant.