“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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“HE FEARED NO ONE”

U.S. DEPUTY MARSHAL

— FORMER SLAVE EXCELS AS LAWMAN — U. S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves closed his eyes and listened carefully. One of his men sat across from him reading an arrest warrant aloud so Reeves could commit it to memory.

 

Reeves had no formal education. According to various historical accounts, he could neither read nor write. But his memory proved near flawless.

Reeves recited from memory the contents of the […]

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“ROTTEN TO THE CORE”

OUTLAW BILL POSEY

— BOLD AND SHAMELESS — On a muggy moonlit night in June 1873, Bill Posey and his gang forced their way into the home of Matt and Sarah Wallace outside Waco, Texas, and dragged the husband outside. Sarah, holding their bewildered two-year-old daughter, screamed in protest, but her pleas went unheeded.

Wife and daughter, powerless to intervene, watched as someone tied her husband’s hands behind his back and lifted to the back 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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