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Aug 29, 2022 | 08:15 am 79 0

Famous gunslingers of the US.


Famous gunslingers of the US.

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin is considered the bloodthirsty among the many famous gunslingers of America. He was born in 1853 in the family of a preacher. From an early age, he began to show his cruelty, and at 14, he committed the first murder. This John was not enough; he killed several more people in the next three years. He did this in cold blood with his pistols, which he constantly carried in holsters attached to his chest with straps. This feature of carrying weapons allowed him to draw guns and put them into action quickly.

John Hardin was a member of various gangs and was involved in numerous gunfights. One of them ended with the arrest and accusation of the murder of a local marshal. At that time, John was only 17 years old. In detention, he spent little time, as he was quickly able to find weapons and shoot down the correctional officers. After escaping, the most bloodthirsty gunslinger settled in a small town, where he killed people for minor offenses (for example, for snoring that prevented him from sleeping).

Eight years after the first arrest, Hardin receives his second prison term. This time, he failed to escape and served all the prescribed 16 years. After being released, John tried to start life from scratch. He went to school and was able to get an excellent legal education. Sometime later, Hardin engaged in advocacy, but his character did not allow him to succeed in this matter. In 1895, he got into a big fight with a local policeman. The father of the law enforcement officer found out about this incident the same day, found Hardin in the saloon, and shot him in the back of the head. After that, he drove three more bullets into his already dead body of John.

Nobody knows precisely how many people John Wesley Hardin killed in his long, as for a gunslinger, life. According to various sources, 42-44 people became victims of the bloodthirsty killer.

Jim Miller Killer

When studying the history of gunslingers, it is impossible to miss Jim Miller. This man was born in 1861 in the family of a simple worker who earned a minimum of money and could not give Jim what he wanted. This factor became the main factor in choosing a future “profession.” Miller became a hired killer and was ready to take the life of anyone for a good financial reward, regardless of age, gender, or social status. According to official figures, he sent 14 people to heaven his entire life. However, people who knew Jim argued that this figure should be increased at least four times.

A unique part of Miller's biography is his relationship with the local sheriff. The latter, in 1894, accused Jim of killing the rancher; involvement was never proven. The strained relationship between these two people led to a severe quarrel.

In its course, Miller pointed his gun at the sheriff, and he shot Jim 6 times in the chest. Other events developed, as in popular westerns. Miller had a substantial metal plate attached to his chest, which protected him from death. A few years later, Jim tracked down his primary opponent and shot him in cold blood.

At 48, gunslinger was arrested for one of the murders and was held with other suspects. Some of his cellmates had a chance to evade responsibility, as there was not enough evidence against them. To prevent this from happening, the locals broke through the guards and killed all the prisoners, including Jim Miller. They did this by hanging, after which the legendary killer's lifeless body remained hanging in front of people's eyes for a long time.

Billy Kid

William Henry McCarthy, nicknamed "Billy Kid," is a true legend. This American gunslinger was born in 1859 and became an orphan by 14. This and other circumstances led to the fact that McCarthy began to steal to get at least some money. This "hobby" dragged Billy Kid into one of the gangs, in which he committed his first murder. At that time, he was only 18 years old. A few years later, the band broke up. This was due to the arrest of several members with an excellent reputation among the gunslingers. After these events, McCarthy decided to act on his own. He united several like-minded people around him and formed his gang. She terrified the inhabitants of several states, which is why she received the status of a legendary group.

Billy Kid and his friends are killed without hesitation. However, this could not continue indefinitely. In the late 70s of the XIX century, he was arrested and sentenced to death. McCarthy did not expect the inevitable and was able to get out of prison. He killed several guards and then the sheriff who caught him. After several years of wandering, in December 1880, Billy Kid was arrested again.

However, this time the perpetrator managed to escape. McCarthy was put on the wanted list and was given a good reward. This is what led to the fact that in 1881 Billy Kid was caught by the sheriff, after which he was shot dead on the spot.

At the time of McCarthy's death, he was already known throughout America. After the incident, many even regretted his death. In 2010, the governor of New Mexico offered to pardon Billy Kid posthumously. However, the adverse reaction of society did not allow us to realize this idea. McCarthy's fame made him one of America's top gunslingers. His image was actively used in literature, cinema, and music. In the future, Billy Kid also became the main villain of some computer games.

Tom Horn

This gunslinger was born in 1860. He received a good education and was considered a law-abiding citizen for almost his entire life. Moreover, he worked as a detective for a long time, catching dangerous criminals. Tom Horn had a unique flair and could find evidence even in the most challenging cases. This circumstance led him to work for several years with the famous Pinkerton. The other side of Horn became known later. He suffered from various manias and was distinguished by a penchant for violent methods of working with criminals. All this became known only in 1894, after which Tom was forced to leave his post.

A few months after firing, Horn was accused of killing 17 people. He was on the wanted list, but all the actions taken did not result. At this time, the former detective became a hired killer. Over the next seven years, he took the lives of 20 people he considered criminals. In 1902, Horn was accused of killing a teenager, and many locals knew that Tom did not do it. Despite the fabricated accusations, the search for the former detective was taken seriously. This paid off, and Horn was behind bars by the end of the year. He was sentenced to death and hanged in 1903. How many people killed Tom Horn is unknown. However, many believe that he took the lives of more than 50 people.

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok, known by his nickname "Wild Bill," has become one of the most legendary gunslingers. He was born in 1837 in the family of a simple farmer. To protect his property, his father often used weapons. From an early age, he taught James how to use a revolver, which was the impetus for developing Hickok as a killer. Gradually, he became fluent in weapons and began using them in various conflicts among peers. One of the quarrels ended in a shooting, resulting in his opponent being badly injured. Bill thought that he did not survive and decided to run away to Kansas. There he continued his father's work and worked as a groom and a postman.

Wild Bill committed his first actual murder in 1861. A duel took place between him and D. McKnalles, resulting in him shooting not only his opponent but also two other people. Then the Civil War began, in which Hickok was a scout. After its completion, he became addicted to cards and started to earn his living in this occupation. Many games ended in major quarrels and mutual accusations. To decide the situation in his favor, Wild Bill did not hesitate to use his revolver.

In subsequent years, Wild Bill worked as a sheriff and, thanks to an article in one of the magazines, the whole country learned about him. The ability to legally kill people untied Hickok's hands. In a few months, he took the lives of many, ranging from criminals to innocent people. Wild Bill did not stop there and, hiding behind his status, continued to commit bloody crimes. At the same time, Hickok didn't fold. He played poker daily at the local saloon. One of these games ended with a bullet in the back of the head. He was killed by D. McCall, who, due to problems with alcohol, confused Hickok with his brother's killer. The image of Wild Bill has become legendary. It has been used in various cultural activities, from theatrical productions to films. There are several dozen of the latter, which once again proves the popularity of Wild Bill among compatriots.

Clay Allison

In early September 1840, a famous gunslinger named Clay Allison was born. He was an adequate person for a long time, participated in the Civil War, and had success in this matter. However, a blow to the head changed his life. He provoked various changes in his character and behavior of Clay. As a result, Allison became an unstable personality with a short temper. This explains his exceptional cruelty, shown during the murders.

Alison took the lives of dozens of people. Each new murder was not like the previous one. In one of the cases, he completely decapitated the victim's body and went with the obtained trophy to drink at a local bar. This is what led Clay to be considered one of the most bloodthirsty gunslingers in American history. After some time, he formed a gang and, together with his comrades, was engaged in criminal affairs. He participated in many shootouts and took pleasure in killing opponents. In one of the cases, Clay first fed his victim and then shot him in the back of the head. He motivated such an act because he did not want to let a person go to hell with an empty stomach.

The story of Allison's death deserves special attention. It is shrouded in secrets, and no one knows its actual cause. According to the official version, gunslingers fell off the wagon, hit his head, and broke his neck. However, not everyone believes in this version. Clay always had a vast number of enemies, so it was they who could break his neck and then adjust the whole situation to a random set of circumstances.

Wyatt Earp

This famous gunslinger was born in 1848 on the farm of Nicholas Earp. He became the fourth child in a family of 6 children, so he was forced to work and help his parents from an early age. During the Civil War, three of his older brothers became soldiers in the Union Army. Wyatt was still small, so he helped the remaining relatives grow corn and other crops.

When Earp reached 17, he began working as a cab driver. Further, the young man was engaged in the supply of building materials necessary for the construction of railways. In 1968, his father took a job as a constable in a small town, and Wyatt actively helped him. A few years later, Nicholas went on promotion (became a judge), and his son took the vacant seat. In this position, he took part in his first fatal shootout. He and his comrades killed several criminals who were considered elusive and invincible. Thanks to this, Wyatt became known far beyond the town's borders and became famous as one of the best shooters. He repeatedly participated in arrests and shootouts with law violators in subsequent years but remained unharmed. In total, he took the lives of up to 30 people, all of whom were criminals.

After completing Wyatt's service, Earp became involved in illegal business. He speculated in real estate and played cards. At a respectable age, the legendary gunslinger moved to Los Angeles, where he died of a chronic illness in 1929. Despite the death of Wyatt, he will forever remain in people's memory. Streets were named after him, films were made, and his name was often mentioned in literature. All this made Earp one of the main characters of the Wild West era.

Dallas Stoudenmire

This American gunslinger was born in 1845 to a large family. From childhood, he showed his leadership qualities, and at the age of 15, he enlisted in the Confederate army, which fought in the Civil War. Due to his age, Dallas was fired but did not give up trying to get to the front. As a result, he succeeded. He became an ordinary infantryman and received several serious wounds. After the war's end, Stoudenmire was often influenced by alcohol, which, combined with his short temper, made him dangerous to those around him.

After several years, Dallas moved to El Paso and took over as sheriff. This Texas town at that time was considered a haven for various bandits and people who were not friends with the law. This environment forced the Stoudenmire to engage in many gunfights. In one of them, he killed three people in a few seconds, thanks to which he became famous throughout the city. All the local gangsters feared him, and Dallas survived several assassination attempts. During one of them, he shot the killer, driving eight bullets into his body. It was this murder that marked the beginning of the end of Stoudenmire.

In the following years, he shot 6-8 more people and gained fame as El Paso's bloodthirsty lawman.

The famous gunslinger died in 1882 in a local saloon. This happened during a shootout that arose as a result of disagreements between D. Manning. Stoudenmire was shot in the left ear and died on the spot. Other sources state that Dallas only received injuries that resulted in his subsequent death.

Ben Thompson

Unlike most famous American gunslingers, Ben Thompson was not born in the US but the UK. This happened in 1843. At age 8, he and his family moved to Austin, where he lived for several years. The favorite hobby of the teenager was cards. He improved his skills and gradually became a professional player. After that, Ben began to travel and earn a living gambling.

Thompson committed his first murder at the age of 17. He accused his opponent of card fraud and stabbed him to death. Then the legendary gunslinger killed two more people. To clear his name, he took a job as hometown marshal of Austin. Ben was famous for his quick temper, so a few years later, he crossed the line and killed the theater's owner.

In 1884 Thompson went to San Antonio. It was a simple business trip that did not bode well. Despite this, she became fatal to Ben. He was shot in the head. It happened at the opera house, where Ben went with his friend D. K. Fisher. The image of Thompson has become truly popular.

His name is often mentioned in various literature. There are also several films, episodes of which are taken from the life of the famous shooter.

John King Fisher

This representative of the Wild West became known for his cruelty. He killed several dozen people during his life, many of whom were ordinary American citizens. The story of this man began in 1853 near Dallas. John's father was an excellent cattle breeder and knew how to drive freight cars. He raised three children alone, as his wife died when the future gunslinger was still a toddler. The lack of attention led to John growing up as a person who did not reckon with the law. He received his first prison term in 1869 when he stole two horses from a local stable. However, a few weeks later, he was released early.

Prison days were not in vain. Fisher decided to give up crime and started working as a cowboy on a ranch. The latter was often attacked by bandits, because of which John was forced to learn how to handle weapons. The experience gained made him an excellent shooter with good reaction and sufficient composure. These qualities appealed to the representatives of the local gang, which took Fisher into their ranks. During the division of the next booty, a quarrel broke out between him and three comrades

Its result was three corpses, among which there was no John. This fact made him the gang leader and completely untied his hands. The result was the murder of 7 more people.

King Fisher was friends with another famous shooter, Ben Thompson. In 1884 they met in San Antonio at the local opera house. Thompson was enraged with many bandits, so dozens of people wished him death. They teamed up, ambushed Ben in the theater, and shot him dead. Fisher became an unwitting witness to this action. 13 bullets were driven into his body, and he had no chance of salvation.

Jesse James

Jesse Woodson James is a famous gunslinger who was considered by many people of the time to be the modern-day Robin Hood. This controversial hero was born in 1847 in the family of a unique man who was simultaneously a preacher, farmer, and enslaver. Despite the efforts of his parents, James grew up far from perfect. From the age of 16, he became a member of a local gang that was engaged in robbing trains and banks.

Jesse committed his first crime in 1866. It was successful and ruined the local bank for a considerable amount. Starting in 1873, the gang began to stop and rob trains regularly. At the same time, James improved his weapons skills and gradually became more violent. Because of this character trait, he did not hesitate to take the pistol out of its holster and put it into action. Thousands of people became victims of such attacks. During train robberies, a gang led by Jesse forced all male passengers to show their palms. The criminals did not rob such people if labor corns were found on them. This circumstance led to the emergence of comparisons with Robin Hood.

In 1882, James was killed by R. Ford, a gang member. He fired a shot in the back to take the lead and get a good reward on James's head. However, this did not happen. On the contrary, everyone began to hate Ford, after which he was soon killed in a bar. The killer was sentenced to life imprisonment, but after a petition signed by the city's residents, he was released. This fact has become proof of the people's love for Jesse James, which has not faded to this day.

Butch Cassidy

Robert LeRoy Parker was born in 1868 in Utah. He was the firstborn in a family of 13 children, so from an early age, he learned to be a leader that others looked up to. In the early years of his adult life, Robert engaged in cattle breeding and was a law-abiding citizen. However, the farm was taken away from his parents sometime after the lawsuit. Left without a job, Robert began helping a local farmer with a controversial reputation, Mike Cassidy. The latter was engaged in stealing livestock and taught his new colleague about this business.

In 1884, Robert became Mike's full-fledged partner and took on the pseudonym Butch Cassidy. They only stole animals from wealthy farmers who prevented the development of smaller pastoralists. Many even respected Butch and considered him the heir to Robin Hood. Blinded by success and impunity, Cassidy began to steal big. In 1889, he and his gang robbed a bank. Robberies of dozens of trains followed this.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Butch became the main target of all sheriffs. To avoid punishment, he fled to Argentina, where he organized a new gang with his friend. They also engaged in robbery, which gradually brought them to the territory of Chile. Further, Cassidy moved to Bolivia, where he was overtaken by justice. The official date of Butch's death is November 7, 1908. However, none of the sources confirms the death of Robert LeRoy Parker. In this regard, no one will ever know where and how the story of the great gunslinger ended.

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh

Harry Longabaugh, or Sundance Kid, was born in 1867. He was brought up in a family of 5 children, among whom he was the youngest. Harry committed his first crime at the age of 19. He stole some horses from a local farmer, for which he was caught and spent 1.5 years in prison in a small town called Sundance. There, he got his nickname, by which he was known far beyond the borders of his native state.

The turning point in Longaugh's life came in 1896. He met with Butch Cassidy and became a full member of his gang. Together they successfully developed a strategy to rob financial institutions and trains, which always helped them achieve their goal. In addition to good mental abilities, Harry perfectly knew how to handle weapons. He shot well and repeatedly killed people. However, he did this only as a last resort when the victim did not agree to give money, gold, and other valuables voluntarily. For this character trait, many respected Longaugh, and a few decades later, they made a national hero.

Having inherited Harry's home country, Butch and other gang members moved to Argentina. There they continued their work, successfully robbing wagons with various valuables. The story of Longaugh's death is similar to that of Butch Cassidy. Both friends completed their journey in Bolivia, after which no one knew about them. America's most famous gunslinger duo has a cult following. He repeatedly became the basis of various films and television shows. Also, these "noble" criminals were mentioned in books.

Belle Starr

Perhaps the only genuinely famous female gunslinger is Myra Mabel Shirley Reed Starr. For most fans of the history of the Wild West, she is known as Belle Starr. The future criminal was born in 1848. Her parents were rich people, so they did not refuse anything from their daughter. She received an excellent education and also studied music and the study of foreign languages. The situation changed after the start of the Civil War. Myra's family was forced to move to Cayenne and build a farm there. This territory has become not only the primary source of income but also a hiding place for the Jesse James gang. One of its members was Jim Reed. This beautiful and noble gunslinger fell in love with a girl and married her in 1866.

A few years of a happy life on the farm turned out to be the best for Belle Starr in her life. After that, she went after her husband and became a real criminal. After Reed's death, the girl remarried Sam Starr. With him, she was engaged in theft and took part in deadly shootings. How many people she shot remains unknown to this day.

In 1886, Belle Starr was brought to justice. She was accused of several crimes at once but was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. Her new husband died in the same year in one of the shootings. Myra then married Billy Starr (Sam's brother). After three years of wandering and committing crimes, Belle Starr died. She was not killed by a gun but failed due to her wounds. The culprit in her murder was never found.

Bill Doolin

This gunslinger, famous throughout America, was born in Arkansas in 1858. He lived with his parents for a long time and did not think about criminal activity. The wrong path began with Bill's departure from home to learn the cowboy trade. To do this, he settled on a Texas ranch and began to do what he loved. After some time, he met many people who were supporters of a free lifestyle. They did not comply with the laws and attracted Doolin to their studies.

Bill had his first problems in 1891. He and his friends drank whiskey and fought with the police. The result was a shooting in which Doolin injured two people. For this, he was put on the wanted list and had only two options left. The first was a prison, and the second was wandering with criminals. Bill chose the latter option and became part of the Dalton gang. In 1892, he and his comrades tried to rob a local bank. This idea ultimately failed and ended in a bloody shootout. Many police officers were injured, and most gang members were killed on the spot. Bill Doolin was not among the dead. He managed to escape from justice and, at the end of the same year, justice and, at the end of the same year, he already gathered around him new like-minded people. They continued to engage in criminal activities, bringing much trouble to ordinary people.

In the following years, Doolin and his comrades successfully robbed several banks and dozens of trains. In 1893, he was severely wounded by the police, which forced him to move to a quieter town. There he did not manage to remain unnoticed for long. Bill and his gang were tracked down by the police, resulting in a shootout in which the gunslinger killed several law enforcement officers and two bystanders. In 1896, Doolin was arrested. He didn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison, so he successfully escaped after a few weeks. The search for the criminal gave its result, and after two months, Marshal H. Thomas shot Doolin with his shotgun.

Doc Holliday

This gunslinger, known all over America, was born in 1851. He grew up in an ordinary family and received a formal education. In 1870, John Henry Holliday entered the College of Dental Surgery and became a dentist two years later. A few years after completing his studies, he began treating patients and earning his living. A few months after this event, John was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which did not respond to treatment. To slow down the course of the disease, he moved to Texas, where he had the dry climate he needed.

In 1873 Holliday started drinking and playing cards. These two occupations finally ruined him, and in 1875, he became the initiator of a shootout in a local saloon. Luckily none of the visitors were hurt, and John was released. Also, problems with the law arose because of poker. For him, he was judged many times. After the expiration of the last term of the arrest, Holliday began his journey to the west. His wanderings ended with a meeting with Wyatt Earp, who became his best friend.

Once Wyatt saved John's life, feeling indebted, Holliday began to help prepare and commit crimes. Over the next few years, he was involved in many shootings and killed dozens of people.

Earp and Holliday separated in 1885. Last few years, he lived a peaceful life with his wife in Colorado. However, the disease continued progressing, and in 1887, the famous Wild West shooter died. At the same time, his image remained alive. It is still used in cinema, literature, and other areas of art.

John Billee

This American gunslinger was born in 1873. He lived only 19 years, but in such a short time, he managed to become part of the bloodthirsty history of the United States. From an early age, John learned to wield weapons skillfully, and already at 16, he felt what it was like to kill a person. He did it with his friend John Willis with a revolver.

Their hot temper of Billee did not allow him to get involved in crime, and he continued his work. He was arrested for another murder and robbery and sent to serve his sentence in Arkansas. On the way there, he broke free by killing several guards. However, he did not stay free for long. A few weeks later, Billee and John Willis were arrested. The court sentenced them to death by hanging, while the young criminal preferred execution. He made a corresponding request, which was never granted. In mid-January 1890, John Billee was suspended.

James Andrew Liddil

This criminal, nicknamed "Dick," was born in 1852. Almost nothing is known about his childhood, but subsequent "exploits" became part of history. Liddil survived his first arrest in 75. He was caught stealing animals and convicted. After the pardon, he did not stop his criminal activities and took up more profitable businesses, such as robbing trains. In 1879 Liddil married Mattie Collins. He met his future wife during a court hearing. She was accused of murder but acquitted due to mental problems.

In the 80s, Liddil became a well-known gang member in those days. Together with his comrades, he robbed the treasurer, stole money intended for the coal mine workers, and committed many similar crimes. In parallel with this, James worked on the railroad. He participated in various shootouts caused by the fight with law enforcement officers or the division of spheres of influence with other gangs. In 1891 gunslingers were caught by the police on suspicion of another murder. This time Wood Hite became his victim. After that, the gunslinger himself began to receive death threats. To save his life, he surrendered to the police and revealed all the details of his crime. Later, Liddil was released.

The love of horses forced James to participate in various races. Later, he also worked as an animal trainer and was considered a good rider. It was his favorite hobby that killed him. In 1901, Liddil died of heart problems while racing.

The history of the formation and development of America is inextricably linked with the Wild West. This place has a unique energy, thanks to which it attracts the attention of thousands of people worldwide. At all times, not only law-abiding farmers, blacksmiths, grooms, and hunters but also gunslingers lived there. The latter became famous for their particular cruelty thanks to the numerous victims. Despite all the negativity, they also left their mark on history. Some of these people became absolute legends, which are remembered today.

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