Dodge City Tales – The Dead Lawyer

Dodge City has some fantastic stories, especially regarding pranks that some of the gamblers would play on unsuspecting citizens. The Dodge City Gang as they were referred to included well-known names such as Luke Short, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. One of my favorite stories is about a  prank that was played on a lawyer that had recently arrived in Dodge City. After getting drunk and passing out, he awoke to find himself laid out in a casket with a funeral service underway. I couldn’t resist this story and chose to include it as part of my Doc Holliday book, A Gentleman in Hell. Continue reading “Dodge City Tales – The Dead Lawyer”

Assassins in Tombstone

On the night of December 28, 1881 things in Tombstone were far from peaceful. It was only two months after the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral and despite a month long coroner’s hearing at the behest of Ike Clanton, the cowboy faction of Cochise, Co. were not granted the murder trial they’d hoped for. Judge Spicer suspended Virgil Earp of his duties as town Marshal, but had simultaneously cleared the Earps and Holliday of any murder charges. The cowboys sought revenge. Close to midnight, a barrage of gunfire echoed into the night. Virgil Earp almost died from the blast and the city police did nothing to chase down his assailants.  Continue reading “Assassins in Tombstone”

The Death of Doc Holliday

Dying in bed at the age of 36, Doc Holliday is said to have taken a final drink of whiskey and looked down at his feet and said “This is funny.” After fifteen years of moving from cow towns to mining towns gaining a mostly unfounded reputation as a gunfighter and desperado, Doc Holliday died. Perhaps he found it strange to meet a peaceful end rather than die in a gunfight. He certainly had seen a fair share of action over the years and had been shot and beaten on several occasions. One fight in Texas left Holliday in such a bad state that the local newspaper reported that he’d died afterwards – this of course was not true. Continue reading “The Death of Doc Holliday”

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

On Tuesday, October 26, 1881, one of the most famous gunfights in western history occurred, The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We’ve all seen the films. Some of the fight scenes are epicly long as in Gunfight at the OK Corral and others are short and more historically accurate, as in the 1994 film Wyatt Earp. But what actually happened? We won’t ever fully be able to understand but perhaps by breaking it down to the bare facts we can get an idea. Continue reading “The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”

On the Trail of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp

Back in 2003, I was lucky enough to take a trip out to Tombstone to visit some of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp’s old haunts. It was something that I’d dreamed of doing since I first watched Tombstone and Wyatt Earp back in 1994. I’ve loved watching Westerns since I was small and I’ve always wanted to ride a horse through the desert.
Continue reading “On the Trail of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp”

Who Was Wyatt Earp?

Everyone has heard about Wyatt Earp but do you really know who he was? Sometimes it’s hard to separate legend from fact. From the publication of the biography “Wyatt Earp – Frontier Marshal” by Stuart Lake in 1931 to the popularity of the 1993 film “Tombstone”, Earp has become impossibly tangled in his own myth. So let’s see what we can do to untangle him. Continue reading “Who Was Wyatt Earp?”