“THE TAKING OF THE SUNSET EXPRESS”

Sunset Express

— TRAIN ROBBERS VANISH —  Engineer Colonel Bill Harper squinted into the darkness when the Southern Pacific westbound Sunset Express emerged from a long, narrow railroad cut. In the distance, he spotted what looked like a red lantern and applied the air brakes. 

Sparks exploded from the big iron wheels as the locomotive skidded along the rails and slowed to a stop about an engine-length from the wooden barricade […]

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THE BLANK CHECK CAPER

1ST NATIONAL BANK, DENVER

— GUNMAN STAGES DAYLIGHT BANK HEIST — In the early afternoon of March 30, 1889, a well-dressed man stepped into the First National Bank in Denver to keep an appointment with bank president D.H. Moffat to alert him about a conspiracy to rob the place.

When Moffat greeted the stranger, the man of medium height with a light-colored moustache, who asked him for a blank check so he […]

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SHOOTOUT AT THE OUTHOUSE

JACK BRIDGES, LAWMAN

— ONE DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL RODE INTO WICHITA TO SETTLE A SCORE — The streets were still dark when Deputy U.S. Marshal Jack Bridges rode into Wichita, Kansas, on the morning of February 28, 1871, accompanied by a detachment of soldiers from Fort Harker.

Bridges led the troopers to the Harris House Hotel, owned by John Ledford. Handsome Jack, as he was known, served as leader of the Arizona Start-Bar-Half-Moon Gang, which […]

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TIN STAR: The Men Behind the Badge

The Tin Star

The sheriff sat at his desk fiddling with a tin can, cutting, and bending the metal to create a temporary badge that would identify him as the law.

Since the county never needed a sheriff before, it had no badge to provide the man citizens just elected.

The new lawman began having second thoughts about the extent of his new duties and responsibilities. Enforcing the law was only part of the […]

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