Details of Disappearance Maxine was last seen in Pawhuska, Oklahoma on October 30, 1961. She has never been heard from again. Authorities dragged Bird Creek after her disappearance, but found nothing. She cashed a $60 welfare check prior to her disappearance, and at the time, most people in the area assumed she had left of her own accord.
Maxine and her husband, Hobart Jess Green, had been divorced since 1959, had six children, and Maxine disappeared only a week before Hobart was scheduled to appear in court for non-payment of child support. He didn't show up and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, but he was never picked up.
In 1986, Hobart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his baby son, James Allen Detjen. The child was last seen alive in the summer of 1984, and his grandparents reported him missing in December. In November 1985, his body was found buried on a Jasper County, Missouri farm owned by Hobart. He had been beaten to death.
Hobart and Maxine's daughter, Norma (later known by her married name of Norma Ballard), was twelve when her mother disappeared. After Hobart's murder conviction in Missouri, Norma said had witnessed her mother's murder in 1961. She said she suppressed the memory until she learned of her father's conviction.
Norma said Maxine was nervous about Hobart coming back to town for his upcoming court appearance, was unable to sleep, and locked all the doors and windows in the house. That night, Hobart came to the back door and asked Norma to open it. She did, and Hobart burst inside and forced Norma, her younger sister and Maxine into a car. Hobart's girlfriend was in the vehicle also.
They drove to the swinging bridge across Bird Creek south of Pawhuska, and then Hobart stopped and took Maxine out of the car. Norma heard her parents arguing and fighting, then got out of the car and saw her mother lying on the ground with blood coming from her mouth. Hobart was sexually assaulting her and beating her, and when Maxine screamed, he began choking her. He told Norma not to move.
After Maxine stopped moving, Hobart and his girlfriend carried her down to the creek bank and dumped her in a hole where an old bridge piling had been removed. They also dropped Maxine's purse in the hole. Then they took Norma and her sister to the creek, held them under the water briefly, and threatened to kill them if they told anyone what had happened.
Norma and her sister were crying and hysterical because of what they had seen. Hobart and his girlfriend loaded them back into the car, and the girlfriend gave the girls tranquilizers, then they were taken home. The next day, Hobart was gone. Norma and her siblings went to live with their grandmother after Maxine's disappearance.
Norma went to the police with her story in 1986, but they doubted her story. Because the alleged murder had happened so long ago and because Hobart was already serving a life sentence, they were not interested in pursuing the matter.
In 1991, Norma hired a private investigator, who dug at the reported burial site with a backhoe and found several bones and some dress buttons, but no purse. The bones were sent away for analysis, first by the county medical examiner and then by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, but turned out to be not human.
Maxine remains missing and the investigation into her disappearance has stalled since 1991. Her case remains unsolved.
- Pawhuska Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 1, 2018; casefile added.