“GOOD DAY TO DIE”

CRAWFORD GOLDSBY

— BLOOD-THIRSTY MAD DOG — The young prisoner emerged from the courthouse at Fort Smith, Arkansas, under heavy guard for his walk to the gallows. He stopped for a second, looked up at the sky, and squinted into the sunlight. “It is a good day to die…” he whispered.

Crawford Goldsby, born at Fort Concho, Texas, February 8, 1876, began his criminal career early in life—age 13. In addition to […]

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“THE OUTLAW WIFE”

Bandit Queen

— THE BANDIT QUEEN — The woman, dressed as a man, looped a rope over a tree limb and slipped a noose around the rancher’s neck. She warned him to reveal the whereabouts of a treasure he buried—or die.

After feeling the noose tighten around his neck and being yanked into the air a few times, Walt Grayson came clean and disclosed the location of $30,000 in gold. 

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“13 STEPS TO JUSTICE”

FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS

— FORT SMITH’S FIRST EXECUTION — The afternoon of August 15, 1873, turned gray and foreboding, but the crowd gathered around the new gallows at Fort Smith, Arkansas, ignored the threat of an approaching storm to watch a prisoner navigate the thirteen steps to the scaffold.

Prisoner John Childers, cigar clamped between his teeth, wore a look of indifference as he made his way through the crowd of […]

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HANG ‘EM HIGH, HANG ‘EM QUICK

PRINCE OF HANGMAN

The huge crowd appeared restless, focused on a small, thin man with dark eyes who stepped across the planks of the gallows, the wood creaking beneath his boots.

George Maledon, dressed in a black suit with a two-gun rig strapped around the outside of his coat, stood off to the side and listened while a lawman read death warrants to each of six felons standing side-by-side on the scaffold.

Maledon, […]

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