Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Joseph Agofsky Meets Death in Prison

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

A minor news story broke a couple of weeks ago that has had me thinking about life in my hometown - Noel, Missouri:  Joseph Anthony Agofsky has died in a federal prison in North Carolina at the age of forty-six.  The elder of the infamous Agofsky brothers passed away of natural causes on March 5th.

Joe and his younger brother, Shannon, were convicted of one of the most heinous crimes ever recorded in southwest Missouri.  On October 6, 1989, the young men (Joe was 22 and Shannon was 18) kidnapped Dan Short, the President of the State Bank of Noel, from his home in rural northwest Arkansas and drove him to Noel where they forced him to open the bank and its vault, and proceeded to take $71,000.  The brothers then drove the banker to a bridge on Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma where they duct-taped him to a chair, weighed it down with a heavy tow chain, and dropped him, still alive, into the lake. Short's body was found several days later.

Joseph Agofsky was eventually convicted by a jury in Oklahoma of bank robbery and given a life sentence.  Shannon Agofsky, whose fingerprint was found on the duct tape that secured the banker to the chair, was convicted of bank robbery, kidnapping, and murder.  He was given two life sentences by the same Oklahoma jury.

(Shannon Agofsky was later convicted for the 2001 stomping death of a fellow inmate at a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas.  The jury in that case said that he planned the attack, intended to kill, and did not act in self-defense.  Shannon was sentenced to death and is currently awaiting his fate - while becoming a prison lawyer - on death row at a prison in Indiana.)

My family had a lot of connections to the Short family, and we took Dan's death very, very personally. His wife, Joyce, and I worked together at the elementary school in Noel, a school that Dan's son, Scott, also attended.  A few years later my wife at the time, myself, and another couple started a community newspaper, and Dan wrote our sports column - for no pay.  His articles were often remembrances of the role that sports played in his life as he was growing up.  Passages from those columns were read aloud at his funeral service.

The last time I saw Dan Short was a month or so before his murder when he drove to Neosho to handle the financing on a house that we were buying.

My brother-in-law, Bob Smith, was Dan Short's cousin and had a deep interest in the case involving his kidnapping and murder.  Bob died in a horrible traffic accident in 2009 along with Bobby Jack Short, Dan's brother.

Noel is a small community, a place where everyone knows everyone, so the Agofsky family was also well known in the area.  I didn't have Joe in school but did know him when I saw him.  Shannon, however, I remember quite well.    Shannon, as a junior high student, was very physically fit, had a big interest in martial arts, and said, on at least one occasion, that he wanted to be a body guard as an adult. My clearest memory of Shannon was when he spoke to a geography class at the school regarding a trip that he and his family had just taken to the Philippines.

I regret that Joe Agofsky died, especially that he died in prison.  The young man spent over half of his life locked in a cage of his own making.  I also have regrets for Shannon who fantasizes on the Internet that he will one day be released from prison.   He, too, is in a cage of his own making.

But my biggest regrets are for Dan Short, who needlessly died at the young age for fifty-one, his widow and children, and the grandchildren that he never had the opportunity to meet.

Rest in peace, Joe.  The Short family never will.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never once believed that Joe Agofsky was involved in the bank robbery and murder. Whether Shannon was or not is questionable. I understand your feelings about Dan Short. I hope one day the truth does come out. It would be a much more ugly picture than the official one told by the FBI.

Don said...

I find it impossible to believe that capital punishment is an acceptable part of civilized society.

And yet ... the manner of Dan Short's death was so horrible that even this dyed-in-the-wool death penalty opponent finds himself wavering.

I can imagine a jury doing the same.

joe said...

I have no ties to this case but recently watched the episode on lifetime about this case they found both mens figerprints allover the crime scene an thIs scum shannon has a website proclaiming his innocence and asking for money this frustrates and angers me so much and deserves capital punishment for th heinous way he killed mr short.

BBFantastic said...

I hadn't heard of this case before, but saw the show "Swamp Murders" which aired an episode about this case on the I.D. channel. What a waste of precious life. I tend to go back and forth some, on the death penalty, and even though I know I can't really have it both ways, it still is a battle in my own mind of who may deserve it, and who may not. I enjoy reading your stories, Pa. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

They threw the banker into a lake off of a bridge while he was still alive!! They watched him drown. And you people don't believe in capital punishment? What softies you are. If that were your own family you would have slightly different feelings

Anonymous said...

They only found shannons finger prints on the tape and with the brothers being so close there's no dought that they both were involed somehow just makes you wonder who the 3rd person was involed in actully Robing the bank!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope the people that feel they have the right to post comments not knowing all the facts get a little tast someday of what our family has gone through. Don't be so quick to convict because it could someday be you or someone you love. Joe and Shannon were offered deals to lessen their sentences but both refused and maintain their innocence. It's a very corrupt world that we live in.

Anonymous said...

I used to think that capital punishment was a black and white issue. But lately, I'm not so sure. I think the refusal to plead guilty for a lesser sentence says a lot as the last post suggests. I also think there are more victims here than are being considered. My question would be whether there is enough evidence? As for the later murder by Shannon, if he was wrongly imprisoned - can he really be held accountable for that murder?

Anonymous said...

So, I guess if someone claims to be "wrongly imprisoned", you think it's ok to arbitrarily kill other inmates without any consequences? If you were the inmate being stomped to death, I wonder if you would feel that the inmate doing it shouldn't be punished because he claims, unlike countless other inmates, that he "didn't do it". What an idiotic and narrow minded perspective!

Anonymous said...

Well looks like Joe got what he deserved.. Now he will suffer for eternity. I saw this case on the FBI Files and then again on Forensic Files and it REALLY bothered/angered me. Did you have to kill Dan?? I mean really? At the very least did you really have to drown him??? I think when Shannon's number is called for him to meet Satan I think it should be done via drowning. The way they carried this out just makes me SICK!

Anonymous said...

I never knew this family but I am part of the family Shannon killed in prison. I'm kin to Luther "little Luke" and Shannon robbed me of ever knowing him. I believe both played their part in the crime & can only be judged by God.

Anonymous said...

I played with joey and Shannon every weekend as a child. When Joey was about 9years old he told us a story of how he raped a little girl at gunpoint with his dads pistol. We didn't quite understand at the time, but years later realized what a horrible thing had happened. he got what he deserved.

cindy schultz said...

One down and one to go. Why isn't the other jerk dead yet? I only wish that they could strap this idiot to a chair and turn on the juice....then have the chair malfunction. With any luck, maybe the pink juice will cause him great pain.

Itsroughoutthere said...

The remaining brother wants to stop kidding himself that he will one day be released. He's a low down no good loser, I know it, he knows it and most of the English speaking world knows it. What that pair of animals did should never be forgiven. I hope that the animal that still breathes continues to do so for many many more years and that every breath is of miserable prison air. I am so sorry for the family of the banker, and want them to find peace and take comfort knowing that lots of people here in England wish them well.

JCisGOD1 said...

criminals kill because of the way the law is set up. witnesses can send them to jail, so they kill these people in order to try not to get sent to jail. The best thing to do is not commit the crime in the first place, but let's face it, anybody who's involved in these kinds of events, are not normal people. They do not think like a normal person would, and therefore will take the easier way out.shooting him would have left evidence. I believe that this forensic evidence ability has actually caused more murder and not less. it is just the same in cases of rape. Before all the forensic evidence, men who raped women usually left them alive. But now due to the ability of forensic evidence, they usually kill them to try to get rid of some of the forensic evidence. Technology has just gotten to advanced for life. I am NOT in any way excusing anyone for committing crimes, I am just making an observation.

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of knowing both joe and Shannon agofsky. I had nothing but respect for them. Joe was a close friend of mine and I am gonna miss him. As for Shannon, I respect what he did to that child molester in the rec cage in beaumont. The first thing you muse relize is the guards new what was gonna happen to the piece of shit child moLester.

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of knowing both joe and Shannon agofsky. I had nothing but respect for them. Joe was a close friend of mine and I am gonna miss him. As for Shannon, I respect what he did to that child molester in the rec cage in beaumont. The first thing you muse relize is the guards new what was gonna happen to the piece of shit child moLester.

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of knowing both joe and Shannon agofsky. I had nothing but respect for them. Joe was a close friend of mine and I am gonna miss him. As for Shannon, I respect what he did to that child molester in the rec cage in beaumont. The first thing you muse relize is the guards new what was gonna happen to the piece of shit child moLester.

Anonymous said...

Shannon was friends with my brother, he was kinda psycho. He used to smash bugs in his textbooks before returning them at the end of the year to be used the following year. Nasty surprise for some kid to find. Just very in to that tough guy martial arts bully nonsense. When I heard he might be involved in this crime- I was not at all surprised. I did hear all kinds of weird rumors afterwards though- from porn rings to the mafia but none of it sounded credible, but Noel is a truly messed up little town. Glad I live very far away now.

Anonymous said...

Stomping a child molester to death is not redemption for drowning an innocent man. And you had the 'pleasure' of knowing both of them? Who are you, the the third unidentified accomplice?

Anonymous said...

I'm simply amazed how some people, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, refuse to admit the guilt of the Igofsky brothers. It just goes to show you how far emotions and denial can go.
They could of got 20 trials by 20 different juries and there would of been 240 votes for guilty.
People who claim their innocence, because they are friends of theirs, are the same type of people who always think their kids are the best players on the ball field.
In spite of overwhelming evidence, you can't convince them otherwise. Saying "The system is corrupt" or "The cops framed them" is the makes you sound just like the parent's of little Junior. "The coach doesn't like him " or "The coach has to let the town big shot's kid pitch, but my little Junior is better" yada yada yada.
Doesn't matter to them that last time their kid pitched he gave up 14 runs in three innings. Emotions and denial RULE their world. But do the rest of us a favor....could you please quit insulting our intelligence by trying to convince us the Igofsky brothers didn't murder Dan Short. That would be a good starting point---IF you want to have an intelligent conversation.

Christina Chornomud said...

They found Shannons finger prints on the duct tape tied to the bankers body. He was found with tons of wrapped change once arrested after he fled the district. He also continuously refused to provide his prints. How naive you are to think he's innocent.

Christina Chornomud said...

They found Shannons finger prints on the duct tape tied to the bankers body. He was found with tons of wrapped change once arrested after he fled the district. He also continuously refused to provide his prints. How naive you are to think he's innocent.

Christina Chornomud said...

They found Shannons finger prints on the duct tape tied to the bankers body. He was found with tons of wrapped change once arrested after he fled the district. He also continuously refused to provide his prints. How naive you are to think he's innocent.

Anonymous said...

What so many seem to ignore is a honest honorable man was murdered in a hainous manor. He answered his door and was over powered, taken to a bank to be robbed, tied to a chair and drowned. This was a planned, calculated crime. Shannon, Joe and the 3rd perpetrator don't deserve sympathy. Dan Short and his family were robbed of life and their future. They are who are the innocent ones.

Unknown said...

Yes they are real respectible! Are you kidding me!! Killing someone else in prison makes him more respectible!??? Wow....get a life! Starting to wonder if you were the 3rd person! Do you look up to them so much for not implicating you??? The best thing that will occur is the final chapter in this.....Shannons execution!!

Concerned said...

I also replied to his other post and had the same thoughts of him being the 3rd person.

Concerned said...

I also replied to his other post and had the same thoughts of him being the 3rd person.

Concerned said...

Yes they are real respectible! Are you kidding me!! Killing someone else in prison makes him more respectible!??? Wow....get a life! Starting to wonder if you were the 3rd person! Do you look up to them so much for not implicating you??? The best thing that will occur is the final chapter in this.....Shannons execution!!

Anonymous said...

I hope that maddog shannon, feels the same horror, that Dan Short felt,when he went inside the water ,I hope someone kidnaps, their skanky mother, and does the same thing to her, and see how that queer, shannon likes it...oh yeah, I hope Joe suffered, for a long time,l hope he's burning in hell

Anonymous said...

I hope that murdering prick, shannon dies from aids, from all that butt fucking, homos like him like to do ,l hope he drowns in his own puke. Please don't rest in peace Joe I hope you died painfully

Anonymous said...

I was watching an old FBI files on youtube about this.
He (or both, don't remember) also purchased lotta crap right after Dan's disappearance, though he was unemployed.
Why wouldn't they give the name of the third accomplice? Because they're related to them, perhaps? I just saw on his grave it says: Courage and Honor. Love, loyalty, family <- these words don't describe that person btw, but do speak volumes of their family. I live in a small city myself. I'm pretty sure ppl from Noel have a idea about who the 3rd one was, duh

Anonymous said...

I'm kin to Luther Plant and I can assure you that he was by no means a child molester!!! I'm not even sure where you got your information but you need to get the facts straight before you go posting "rumors" that aren't true.

Randy Mcquigge said...

There is something about the bank robbery and murder that bothers me, im not sure what but something.
Like how the second piece of tape was found and the guy that found it happened to be related to one of the FBI agents that was working the case, most people walking along the lakeshore and see a small piece of tape they think " garbage " and keep walking, But this guy sees tape and thinks hey I need to pick that up , put it in a ziplock bag, and take it to the police.
2 The coin wrappers in the car that Shannon was driving were said to be similar to the ones from the bank. "similar" mot the same.
3 I cant see a boddy floating that is tied to a cement block with a chain and pully, thats 50# of extra wieght, it would take more than gas build up to make him float.
boat ancors arent that heavy and a boat cant move when there attatched to one. unless you physicaly pull it, the weight of a boat tuggung on an anchor is more than a floating body.
3 there was a palm print on the wall of the bank up buy the camera and they never even introduced it into evedence.
4 no gun found matching the 45 used.
5 no one heard gunshots that night in that little quiet town.
6 FBI agent changed his story 3 different times about the finger prints. you would think it wouldnt be that confusing.

I dont know Shanon and I just heard of the case on you tube.
but something just doesnt sit right.

I do think He knows who did it, he may have taped him in the chair, but I dont think he knew they were going to throw him off the bridge. I also think there was another person involved and Shannon is paying a price for them, while they got the money.

oh and Shannon was buying things from money he recieved in an inheritance, he stilll had lots left over, but his brother did not.

I dont know, maybe im wrong and hes 100% guilty, but like I said theres something about the case that just makes me wonder.

Suzy Que said...

Yeah. Good points, all of them. Something hinky in the holler, I'm thinkin...mebbe them good ol boyz behind da badges know more than theyre tellin...like their involvement in the robbery/murder? Hmm

Anonymous said...

I hate how good people are subject to pure evil. This could happen to any of us at any time. I feel deeply for Mr. Short, and it pains me that his two relatives died in a car accident. My prayers are with their family and I hope they are healing. To the Agofsky brothers, they have visited hell on an innocent family and that will never be undone. Their stay in prison most likely is not very bad. I hope that there is justice on the other side because there is a very lopsided wrong here.

sportswench said...

Good points? More like complete nonsense. That "inheritance" is pure fiction.

sportswench said...

Good points? More like complete nonsense. That "inheritance" is pure fiction.

Ira Spurlock said...

I went to school with Joe, and I have a very hard time seeing him as a murderer. He was a very focused, serious-minded, and mild-mannered person. Is there no other possible explanation?

Anonymous said...

I worked with him in Rogers AR. in the late 80s. I was in COMPLETE shock when I saw the news cast. Joe was always quiet and even mannered.

grannytoo said...

JCisGOD1 - You are an idiot. Killing the victim in no way gets rid of forensic evidence. Uh, I'm just making an observation, too.

Anonymous said...

I am telling all of you that the Agofsky brothers did not kill Dan Short. I was the bondsman for the F.B.I.'s main witness. His drug charge was to be dropped once he testified, so why wasn't it? Why was he killed when Springfield Police surrounded him, acting on a warrant for his arrest for that charge. I can pass a lie detector test to prove he would not have ever had a gun around him, so he could not have picked it up to kill himself, even if he was scared to death. He told me he was being forced to lie by agent LaDell Farley. It was Farley who received evidence that shell casings and a hotel chair(the one Short was to have been tied to) ever appear on the evidence list? I believe Short, according to my own source was laundering money from drugs. A woman, a clerk in a near by town, pop. 7 was taking money and buying drugs and washing the money through Short.She was found dead after a surprise audit. Her brother was Russell Harper, the hwy patrolman who was killed after she gave him her evidence. I could go on and on about manufdt evidence and lies, but I prefer to tell it in a book called, Am I My Brother's Keeper, out before long.Did it ever come out in court that while on a secluded camping trip with his son and his best friend and his son, that both got shit faced and Short let his son get raped? Witness' overheard Joyce, Short's wife threaten him about it. So, if you want the truth, watch for it. Why did pros lie about me not test. for the boys. Kenny was petrified of Farley. The lies go on and on. Wait for the truth

Anonymous said...

Both agofsky had just gotten money from their father's estate. He worked at the same oil company as Bush. You remember them, Right? The coins were to amount to about 35,000 do any of you realize it would take a crain to get them in a van... As far as Plank, the guy who got killed in prison, eye witness' have finally given their side and said that Plank was let in the outside CAGE by a guard that was so afraid of Shannon that he had tried to get off his cell block. Has it ever come out that Shannon was sleeping with one of the F.B.I.' EX-girlfriend. I have investigated for over 20 years because I felt like I let my client get killed. Anything you see or hear, including me, be very careful in believing it. There is no such thing as an absolute. The man who found the body in the river was I believe the father of the man I think actually killed Short. How did Short's body float uphill. How do you grow new teeth. And lastly, how do grow back the foreskin around a penis/ Interesting huh???

Anonymous said...

Whoever the less than bright bulb was who posted (3 times in a row) back on April 28, 2015 the libel that the murdered victim Luther Plant was in prison for child molestation was, as seems fashionable these days, telling a HUGE lie.

An AP article dated July 8, 2004, entitled "Agofsky found guilty in prison death" states that Plant was imprisoned in Beaumont (Texas) federal penitentiary serving a 15 year sentence for arson and heroin possession, not child molestation. That makes a lot more sense too because arson and heroin possesion can be federal crimes; whereas, child molestation or child sexual assault by itself is not a federal crime; it is a state crime, so you won't find child molesters in federal prison solely for the crime of sexually assaulting a child/minor.

Clearly, whoever "Anonymous" was on April 28, 2015, didn't know what the hell he was talking about and apparently didn't care that he didn't know what he was talking about. If this is the character of someone who said he knew the Agofsky brothers and respects the younger for beating Mr. Plant to death, then it further raises all the confidence that the brothers were exactly what they were convicted of being — and completely undermines and stains the poster's character and credibility.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of twists to this case that have never been and doubt will ever be explained. Three months before Dan Short was killed, he had a health check for his life insurance policy. The beneficiary of that policy was his soon to be ex-wife. The body pulled from the lake (upstream and against the current from where he was dumped) did not match the statistics of the person who was listed in Short’s examination. The chair Short was bound to was very similar to and may have been identical to chairs found in the storage area of a business owned by Mrs. Short’s lover. The chairs that has been in the storage area for years were disposed of two days after photos of the chair Short was taped to were circulated. The tape and coins that were found in/near the lake were discovered after a search that had found nothing in the very same area just days before. A witness saw only three people leaving the bank – one driving the van, one driving a car followed by one driving Short’s truck. Dan Short had been very upset and nervous in the weeks prior to his death, he had begun to drink heavily. His request to the bank employees to not arm the alarms because he would be coming back to the bank that night were unusual. Witnesses said they saw Dan’s truck parked at the bank, no other cars around hours before the bank was robbed. Why did Short drive to the bank without his glasses? Rumors had been circulating that the bank was to be audited in the coming months. Why would someone cover the security camera lens with black paint and then fire two shots at it? Why would anyone leave behind bags of cash and steal the much heavier bags of coins? One of the FBI agents investigating the case was murdered outside his hotel, it was said to be a robbery but the agent still had his wallet, wedding ring and watch. The briefcase he carried had been opened but no one knew if anything had been taken from it. This agent and another agent had been interviewing many more people in the town than any of the other city, state and federal investigators. People are reluctant to discuss this case face to face with anyone, and people who have attempted to write about it have received threats. There is more to this than just Shannon and Joe.

Anonymous said...

I do not know who you are, but it would appear that you know a lot about this crime (Shorts). I believe that Short's murder was a way to get to the safety deposit boxes that contained proof of his involvement in money laundering, and pointed the finger at those in govtmnt positions who were also involved. Don't you find it STRANGE that Russell Harper, the highway patrolman who was killed was related to the clerk who was doing business with Short ? So many, if not all except LaDell Farley,(FBI) who set them up, have recanted their stories and also explained how they were intimidated with death if they did not lie under oath for Farley. Shorts brother was very good friends with Farley, and a man in Boliver Mo., who I will prove was behind not only Short's death, but also others. Just to givce credibility to myself, I have a letter on State letterhead from Senator Roy Blunt, where he and the RNC is conspiring to have a man sent to prison to keep him from talking about the CIA's involvement in bank crimes during the first housing crash. He says that once the asst prosecutor from Lawrence County, Missouri files the charges he will be made a judge. He did, and He was. As you can see this was REALLY not about bank robbery at all.
So before you all start spouting your mouth, learn the truth.

Marcus said...

If the death penalty is justified, I believe it is so in cases such as this, where Short was drowned while likely conscious: a particularly egregious, evil crime. There seems no doubt of the guilt of both: one having his fingerprints on tape attached to Short's body - weighed-down by an object know to be from their home; both having spent the proceeds of the crime; and two being needed to carry Short's 'death chair' from their mother's van - seen by a witness on the bridge - to toss over the bridge. There can be no reasonable doubt.

They are trash.

My condolences to the Short family for their terrible loss.

Anonymous said...

The object was a "come-along" winch that was commonly known to have been hanging on the fence surrounding the Agofsky property and as a consequence could have been removed and used in the hideous murder by anyone (including the Agofskys).

C Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TOBIAS said...

Does water wash off fingerprints ? Was the money that was stolen actually found ? Any witnesses ? Or is it just convenient to blame

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I agree. If the state has the death penalty law then it should be applied. The problem is when the murder is particularly despicable the death penalty is too good.

The case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Unanoumous said...

Reading some of these comments are very interesting. I watched the case on forensic files but I read one person's comment where it states things in dwellings of drug and money laundering. Ok yes there had to be a 3rd party or more in regards of the planning of robbering the bank. Because how in the world did those brothers know that man would have company that late at night. And who would have the balls to want to have that man to drive that late at night from his house to a bank. In which there is no telling who is watching. That's a lot of effort,timimg,planning,and looking out. However I do believe those brothers killed Short but I also believe that someone paid them to do it. And big time drug dealers and money launderers got the money to pay a killer. As well as those brothers were more than likely too scared to say who paid them to do it. Because they were in fear of their lives and their own families lives. And if that boys grave said, "Honor and Courage, love,loyalty family" In which means he had the "Courage" to die for his family without having them being killed so he kept his mouth shut. They "Honor" him for doing that. As well as "Love" him. Followed by he was "Loyal" to his word of what he said to them and meant about he'll always love them and will never let no one hurt them. And he and them are "family" for life. That says a lot. That's like a "soldier" in the military being laid to rest with that engraved on his tombstone. What do soldiers do for the military? And when they ride or die for America then they are laid to rest with the honor of the soldier died with Honor,courage, loyalty, and love for America. That says a lot. But Guilty is Guilty in which the finger prints showed proof of evidence. However "ALL" money "AIN'T" good money.