Skip to main content

Who Shot Haynie?

“W. Haynie Gourley of 508 Belle Meade Blvd, president of Capitol Chevrolet Co. was shot and killed today at point-blank range during a robbery attempt.” The lead story on May 24th, 1968 was the killing of popular, well-known Chevrolet dealership owner Haynie Gourley.  From researching the Record Group held by the Archives, facts and events around the murder began to emerge making Bill Powell Gourley’s partner at Capitol Chevrolet and riding companion that fateful morning the primary suspect. Not since the Cooper-Carmack case of 1908 had Nashville been so pre-occupied with a murder investigation.  The back and forth of the case would drag on through the summer and fall of 1968, culminating in the indictment of Powell for murder in 1969. Bill Powell’s initial story of a gunman’s attempted robbery turned murder evolved into one of the most spectacular of all Nashville murder trials. Bill Powell was acquitted of all charges. The murder is still unsolved.