District Attorney Edmund Tecumseh Manwell accompanied by Sheriff Richard Voss and Deputy Sheriff Eugene Reardon went to the Durst Ranch where a member of the International World Workers, a union, was trying to organize the workers.
Durst Ranch raised hops and many people were employed. Richard “Blackie” Ford was the union organizer and he had been fired and ordered off the ranch by Mr. Durst.
He refused to leave and a warrant was issued. When the officers arrived, there was a large assembly of people and Voss ordered them to disburse. Fighting broke out and in the melee, Reardon and Manwell were shot and killed and Voss suffered a broken leg.