Tom Horn obješen je u Wyomingu zbog ubistva Willie Nickella

Tom Horn obješen je u Wyomingu zbog ubistva Willie Nickella


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20. novembra 1903. zloglasni unajmljeni ubica Tom Horn obješen je zbog navodnog ubistva Willie Nickella, 14-godišnjeg sina stočara iz južnog Wyominga.

Neki su povjesničari od tada doveli u pitanje je li Horn zaista ubio dječaka, ističući da ga je porota osudila isključivo na osnovu pijanog priznanja koje je Horn navodno dao jednom detektivu. Čini se da porota također nije dala odgovarajuću težinu iskazu brojnih vjerodostojnih svjedoka koji su tvrdili da Horn nije mogao počiniti zločin. Ipak, čak ni Hornovi branitelji u slučaju Nickell ne osporavaju da je on bio brutalni unajmljeni ubica koji je nesumnjivo odgovoran za mnoge druge smrti.

Rođen 1860. godine u Memphisu, Missouri, Horn je navodno u ranoj dobi pokazivao sposobnost za lov i gađanje. Nakon što se sredinom 1870-ih preselio na zapad, Horn je u različito vrijeme bio kauboj, rudar, vojni izviđač, zamjenik šerifa i paker za Grube jahače na Kubi, ali njegova najzloglasnija karijera bila je kao unajmljeni oružje. Horn je prvo radio za poznatu detektivsku agenciju Pinkerton koja ga je angažirala da pronađe i uhvati - nasilno ako je potrebno - zapadne odmetnike koji su lovili klijente Pinkertona, poput banaka i željeznica koje su mogle priuštiti plaćanje za privatne organe reda tamo gdje im javni sistem nije uspio . Ali nakon četiri godine kao Pinkerton, Hornu je postalo dosadno; a 1894. potpisao se kao unajmljeni ubica sa privatnim udruženjem stočara Wyoming. Nekoliko godina veliki stočari u Wyomingu vodili su budni rat u okrugu Johnson protiv raznolike grupe malih poljoprivrednika, uzgajivača ovaca i šuškara koji su se opirali njihovoj dominaciji. Do 1894. negativni publicitet učinio je javni rat previše skupim. Umjesto toga, rančeri su prešli na skrivenije načine, unajmivši Horna da upotrijebi svoje vještine rukovanja oružjem u smrtonosne učinke zasjedajući i ubijajući svakog čovjeka kojeg su rančevi označili kao uznemirivača. Budući da je često pucao sa čak 200 metara, većina Hornovih žrtava nikada nije ni znala šta ih je snašlo.

Neki povjesničari sugeriraju da je Horn možda slučajno ubio Willie Nickella, zamijenivši dječaka s ocem. Drugi, međutim, tvrde da je vjerojatnije da je Horn namjerno osuđen za zločin koji nije počinio od strane građana Wyominga videći priliku da se osveti.


Tom Horn obješen je u Wyomingu zbog ubistva Willie Nickella - POVIJEST

Trajna reputacija Toma Horna počiva na trenutku 1903. godine kada je obješen u Cheyenne, Wyoming, zbog ubistva četrnaestogodišnjeg Willie Nickella. To je na neki način bio ironičan kraj, jer Horn nije bio "odmetnik" poput Jesseja Jamesa ili Butcha Cassidyja ili bilo kojeg manje poznatog lopova. On nije ništa uzeo od svoje žrtve. On nije bio ubica sa nekim ličnim motivom. Imao je vrlo slabo poznanstvo sa Willie Nickell -om ili bilo kojom njegovom porodicom i nije se lično svađao sa bilo kim od njih. Tom Horn je obješen jer je njegova porota vjerovala da je ubojica, ubica koji je unajmljen.

Veći dio svog života Tom Horn je bio zakonodavac ili je barem radio u službi zakona. Bio je civilni izviđač američke vojske u Arizoni 1880 -ih. 1890. postao je agent detektivske agencije Pinkerton. Pinkerton’s, koji je 1850. osnovao Allan Pinkerton, a nastavili su ga njegovi sinovi William i Robert, bila je privatna detektivska agencija sa širokom reputacijom. Allan Pinkerton izvještavao je o zavjerama za atentat na predsjednika Abrahama Lincolna i organizirao špijune za generala Georgea McClellana tokom građanskog rata. William Pinkerton razvio je veliku klijentelu na zapadu SAD -a, prvenstveno među željeznicama i velikim poslovnim interesima. Operacija Pinkerton blisko je sarađivala sa državnim organima za sprovođenje zakona, ali je radije koristila prikrivene agente. "Ustrajale su glasine da su detektivi tajno radili na obje strane istog slučaja, kidnapovali svjedoke, podmićivali porote, [i] često koristili nasilje za razbijanje štrajkova i prisilno priznanje [.]" [1] Kao rezultat toga, ugled agencije Pinkerton bio je donekle mješovito.

Horn je ostao manje od pet godina s Pinkertonovom. Međutim, čini se da je otišao u dobre odnose sa svojim poslodavcem. 12. aprila 1895. William Pinkerton preporučio ga je Franku M. Cantonu, potpredsjedniku okruga Pawnee, Oklahoma:

"Dragi gospodine:

Primio sam vaše vrlo puno i potpuno pismo od 7. aprila i sadržaj beleške. Kako nemamo pravog čovjeka za ovaj grubi posao, uputio sam stvar Suptu. McParland u Denveru, šaljući mu kopiju vašeg pisma. Bilo mi je veliko zadovoljstvo čuti vas i nisam znao za vašu promjenu mjesta. Zamišljam da će svakome tko se bavi ovim poslom biti dosta teško to učiniti, a mi u ovoj kancelariji nemamo na raspolaganju takvog čovjeka za kojeg se osjećam zadovoljnim da će ispuniti račun u svakoj pojedinosti.

Tom Horn koji je nekad bio u našoj kancelariji u Denveru bio bi dobar čovjek za to mjesto, a ja ću zamoliti McParlanda da komunicira s njim i provjeri može li se dobiti za uslugu i koliko dugo ga želite. On sada nije u našoj službi. Vjerovatno znate za njega. On je dobro poznat širom zapadne zemlje među šuškalicama stoke i cijelom tom klasom ljudi, te je temeljit konjanik i ravničar u svakom smislu te riječi. Posebno napominjem da želite uhvatiti Jacka Treganinga [sic] koji je iskopao [sic] iz kaznionice u Laramieu u koju ste ga poslali doživotno i da je dolje u toj zemlji. Bilo bi mi zaista drago čuti za njegovo hvatanje.

Vjerujem da će vam gospodin McParland uspjeti opremiti odgovarajuću vrstu muškarca da ode dolje. ”

Frank Canton, koji je primio ovo pismo, bio je još jedan čovjek sa šarenom prošlošću. Kada je napustio Teksas 1877. godine, zvao se Josiah Horner, i smatrali su ga pljačkašem banaka, kradljivcem stoke i ubicom. Međutim, u Wyomingu je Canton postao detektiv Udruženja Wyoming Stock Gowers i zamjenik američkog maršala. Godine 1892. Kanton je bio zadužen za kontingent ljudi iz Teksasa koji su uvezeni u Wyoming kako bi ubili osumnjičene kradljivce u izvanzakonitom fijasku poznatom kao Rat okruga Johnson. [2] Kanton je prešao na položaje za provođenje zakona u Oklahomi i na kraju postao general -ađutant Nacionalne garde Oklahome.

Kanton je očigledno zadržao interes u Wyomingu. Bijeg Johna Tregoninga iz teritorijalne kaznene ustanove u Wyomingu 15. novembra 1894. nije, strogo govoreći, bio stvar potčinjenog u Oklahomi. Tregoning (koji se zove Smith) ubio je George Henderson (ranije poznat kao John Powers), koji je bio upravnik 71 stočne kompanije na rijeci Sweetwater u Wyomingu, 8. oktobra 1890. godine „u sporu oko zaposlenja. ” Vjerovalo se da se Tregoning vratio u područje Sweetwater gdje su mu pomogli prijatelji. Nikada nije ponovo uhvaćen. [3]

Nije jasno da li se Horn bavio potragom za Tregoningom, ali je zasigurno bio u području Horse Creeka u južnom Wyomingu u ljeto i jesen 1895. godine, gdje je, kasnije se hvalio, ubio dvojicu ljudi optuženih za krađu stoke. [ 4] Ova ubistva, jednako kao i ubistvo Nickella, utvrdila su njegovu reputaciju kao ubojicu.

Veze između ova tri dvosmislena čovjeka, Toma Horna, Williama Pinkertona i Franka Cantona, jasno su pokazane ovim pismom, koje je prije bilo dio važne zbirke zapadne historijske građe Roberta J. McCubbina. Pismo Williama A. Pinkertona Franku Cantonu o Tomu Hornu sada se nalazi u zbirkama Američkog centra za naslijeđe.

[1] Frank Richard Prassel, Zapadni oficir za mir: Nasleđe zakona i reda (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972.), 134.

[3] Elnora L. Frye, Atlas odmetnika Wyominga u Teritorijalnoj kaznionici (Laramie: Jelm Mountain Publications, 1990), 121 Alfred James Mokler, Povijest okruga Natrona, Wyoming, 1888-1922 (Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & amp Sons Company), 272-275.

[4] Larry D. Ball, Tom Horn u Life and Legend (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), 175-186.


Je li Tom Horn ubio Willie Nickella?

To je jedna od velikih misterija. Tom Horn priznao je ubistvo 14-godišnjeg dječaka iz zasjede 1901. godine, zbog čega je obješen 1903. godine.

Ali bio je pijan kada je priznao odvjetnika Joea LeForsa, koji je skrivao stenografe koji su snimali Hornove riječi - danas bi njegovo priznanje bilo izbačeno van suda. 1993. lažnim suđenjem oslobođen je Horna.

Horn je bio angažirani ubojica u ratu u okrugu Johnson, vjerojatno odgovoran za proždiranje najmanje tri čovjeka. Imao je sklonost ubiti Nickella - slučajno ili namjerno.

Neki od najuglednijih Hornovih biografa ne slažu se oko ubistva. Dean F. Krakel, autor knjige Saga o Tomu Hornu, vjerovao je da je Horn ubio Nickella u slučaju pogrešnog identiteta. In Tom Horn: Krv na Mjesecu, Chip Carlson tvrdi da je Horn bio pruga i najvjerojatnije nije ubio mlade. Ali Larry D. Ball, autor nedavnog Tom Horn u Life and Legend, vjeruje da je ubio Nickella.

Činjenica da nam nedostaju konačni odgovori na toliko tema čini istoriju Starog Zapada tako fascinantnom.

Marshall Trimble je službeni povjesničar Arizone i potpredsjednik Asocijacije za istoriju Divljeg zapada. Njegova posljednja knjiga je Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen The History Press, 2015. Ako imate pitanje, pošaljite mu e-poruku na [email protected]

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Bibliografija

Ball, Larry D. “THAT “MISERABLE BOOK ”: Život Toma Horna, vladinog izviđača i tumača. ” Journal of Arizona History, 2007: 323-348.

Cheyenne dnevni vođa. “Kako je rog zarobljen. ” 16. oktobra 1902: 3.

Rog, Tom. Život Toma Horna: vladin izviđač i tumač. Denver: The Louthan Book Company.

Krakel, Dean F. Saga o Tomu Hornu: Priča o ratu stočara i ratu#8217. University of Neberaska Press, 1988.

Monaghan, Jay. Tom Horn Posljednji od loših ljudi. Univerzitet Nebraska Press, 1997.


Nekad kriv, sada nevin, ali još uvijek mrtav

Tom Horn, zloglasan u Wyomingu kao stočar i izvršitelj koji je ubio 14-godišnjeg dječaka, možda je ipak bio nevin. No, zaključak da porotnici nisu krivi u lažnom ponovljenom suđenju u predmetu Horn prošle sedmice prekasno je da se Hornu učini bilo šta dobro. Obješen je zbog zločina prije 90 godina.

Godine 1902. Horn je proglašen krivim za ubistvo Willie Nickella, čija je porodica uzgajala ovce sjeverozapadno odavde. Horn, jedna od najpoznatijih ličnosti u državnoj istoriji, bio je detektiv iz daljine i vjerovatno ubica, za velike interese stoke.

Organizatori godišnje proslave njegovog života i vremena odlučili su ove godine pokrenuti lažni sudski proces, saslušavši izvorne dokaze, kao i činjenice koje su izašle na vidjelo nakon što je Horn obješen ovdje 20. novembra 1903. Priznanje i mito

Iako odluka žirija od 19 ljudi nema snagu zakona, organizatori događaja rekli su da će zatražiti od guvernera Mikea Sullivana da posthumno oprosti Horna.

Advokat koji je branio Horna u lažnom suđenju, Joseph Moch nemilosrdno je dovodio u pitanje svjedočenje Joea LeForsa, zamjenika maršala Sjedinjenih Država koji je rekao da je Horn priznao da je pucao u Nickell dječaka. No, gospodin Moch je svjedočenje LeForsa nazvao "sumnjivo sumnjivim", budući da je zamjenik uzeo mito od 500 dolara od rančera koji je bio periferno uključen u slučaj.

Tadašnji stočari su neprijateljski gledali na porodicu Nickell zbog velikog stada ovaca koje su vlasnici goveda vidjeli kao prijetnju pašnjacima u prerijama jer su ovce pojele travu gotovo do korijena. Willie Nickell ubijen je hicima iz puške 18. jula 1901. dok se vozio u blizini svog porodičnog imanja.

Ravna stijena stavljena je pod Williejevu glavu kada je tijelo pronađeno, a reputacija Horna smatrala je da je to njegov način identifikacije žrtava pa će mu poslodavci platiti za njihovo uklanjanje. Ispovijest se čula

Pristalice Horn -a tvrde da je Nickell -ovog dječaka zapravo ubio komšijski mladić u sklopu stare svađe. U to vrijeme, učiteljica je rekla da je čula da je mladić to rekao njegovom ocu, ali njenu priču je odbacio guverner Fenimore Chatterton, koji je naredio da se nastavi vješanje rogova.

Na lažnom suđenju, održanom u četvrtak i petak u prostoriji okružnog suda, svjedočenje nastavnice Glendolene Kimmel bilo je dozvoljeno.

Gospodin Moch, poznanik jednog od organizatora suđenja, rekao je da je vježba bila "zanimljiva, ali svakako nije zabavna", te dodao da je iscenirani događaj "realan kao i svako drugo suđenje koje sam ikada radio."

Robert Skar, koji je preuzeo ulogu tužioca, rekao je da bi slučaj 1902. godine bio jako težak. "Ne možete zamisliti politički pritisak na tužioca u to vrijeme da ne umiješa velike vlasnike zemljišta", rekao je. & quotNi jedan veliki rančer nikada nije pozvan kao svjedok. & quot


Joe Nickell

Za duhove se kaže da su "dovoljno brojni" na određenim lokacijama "da bi ih učinili opasnim za plovidbu" (Beck 1973, 395). Neki - viđeni u olujama ili magli - vjerovatno su fatamorgane. (Na primjer, vatrenu misteriju fantomskih brodova koju sam istraživao u Novoj Škotskoj riješili su svjedoci koji su naveli maglu ispred Mjeseca koji dolazi nad horizont, uzrokujući da izgleda kao brod u plamenu [Nickell 2012, 172–173] .) Fantomski brodovi su gotovo uvijek svrsishodni - „obično služe kao prethodnica da upozore ili pripreme one koji to vide za strašne događaje“ (Beck 1973, 395–396).

Takvo plovilo - poznato kao “Wyomingov brod smrti” (Riccio 1991) i “Brod smrti rijeke Platte” (Rizzo 2013) - opisano je u brojnim izvještajima, a najranije poznato u premijernom izdanju časopisa Sudbina magazin u članku Vincenta Gaddisa (1948). No, je li taj "fantomski brod s Platte" uistinu bio tri puta dokumentiran paranormalni fenomen ili je umjesto toga djelo fikcije? Evo činjenica.

Priča ispričana

Ukleta mjesta: Nacionalni imenik (Hauck 1996, 462) sažima tri navodna lična računa koja je Gaddis predstavio, ali čini neke greške i važne propuste, pa evo moje verzije kapsule.

U svakoj priči čovjek susreće spektakularni brod prekriven ledom na rijeci Platte. Na palubi je posada sablasnih mornara koji na zapovijed svog kapetana spuštaju list platna kako bi otkrili - prije nego što brod nestane - leš. U svakom slučaju radi se o nekome od voljenih svjedoka koji naknadno sazna da je umro tog popodneva. Prvo je 1862. indijski izviđač po imenu Leon Webber ugledao svoju mrtvu zaručnicu. Zatim, 1887. godine, stočaru Geneu Wilsonu pokazano je „užasno spaljeno“ lice žene koju je ipak prepoznao kao svoju ženu. Konačno, 20. novembra 1903., domaćin u kući Victor Heibe, koji je bio svjedok Tom Horna na suđenju za ubistvo u Cheyenneu, vidio je obješeno tijelo svog prijatelja kako visi s prečke vješala. Heibe je upravo na taj dan provjerio sat koji je glasio 3: 15 - vrijeme vješanja Horna, podrazumijeva Gaddisa (1948, 115, 128)!

Gaddis tvrdi da je ove izvještaje izvorno prikupilo nešto što se zove The Cheyenne Bureau of Psychological Research. Prva dva su citirana u cijelosti (oni su modeli jezgrovitosti i šarenih slika) i označeni su sa "(potpisano)" iza kojeg slijedi ime svjedoka. Posljednje je ispričano Gaddisovim riječima, osim kratkih citata navodnog svjedoka koji je, kako se navodi, također dao potpisanu izjavu. Gaddis (1948, 128) zaključuje:

Možda treba dodati da gospodin Heibe nije znao da se fantomski brod pojavio dva puta prije nego ga je biro zamolio da podnese vlastiti izvještaj o svom čudnom iskustvu.

Tri puta je fantomski brod Platte, pod jedrima i prekriven svjetlucavim ledom, izašao iz ogromne dubine. Kada će se ponovo pojaviti sa pričom o jezivoj tragediji?

Istraživanje u moje ime od strane direktora CFI biblioteka Tima Binge nije uspjelo pronaći ni prvog ni trećeg svjedoka, iako je Tom Horn zaista obješen zbog ubistva iz zasjede četrnaestogodišnjeg Willie Nickella (da, mog dalekog rođaka), očito je zamijenjen sa svojim ocem ovčarom. (To je bilo tokom "ratova dometa" u Wyomingu, kada je Horn bio unajmljen za "stočne barone" [Ball 2014].) Drugi svjedok se pojavio na popisu stanovništva Wyominga iz 1900. godine kao Eugene Wilson, imao je trideset pet godina "Udovac", što je u skladu sa činjenicom da je njegova žena poginula u "jesen 1887." Ali zašto Wilson nije kao bitnu činjenicu naveo ime svoje žene ili datum njene smrti?

Tekstualni dokazi

Svaka od tri priče koje Gaddis pruža ispričana je na način koji je napravljen u pričama sa očiglednom namjerom da bude zagonetna i tajanstvena, što pokazuje Webberova upotreba “ukazanja”, “zastrašujućeg”, “Spektralnog broda smrti” Wilsonova “nervozna mi je, ”“ Čudan brod ”,“ obuzet strahom ”i Heibein (u Gaddisovom prepričavanju)“ fantomski brod ”,“ opčinjen ”i“ prizor užasa ”. Svaka priča završava nestajanjem sablasnog broda, nakon čega slijedi dramatično otkriće da se jeziva vizija pokazala istinitom, koja se dogodila baš u to vrijeme. Međutim, računi prvog lica stvarnih ljudi ne završavaju uvijek tako. Neki završavaju s zagonetanjima o tome šta se zaista dogodilo ili daju neki filozofski ili drugi odgovor (vidi St. Aubyn sa Hanburyjem 1996, 24–25, 31). Ukratko, Gaddisova trilogija više čita kao jedan pokušaj prodaje natprirodnog nego tri odvojena prikaza stvarnih iskustava.

Različite riječi i izrazi u tri izvještaja djeluju neuvjerljivo kao jezik jednostavnih ljudi na otvorenom (iako ne za Gaddisa, čija upotreba izraza "ogromna dubina" pokazuje da je poznavao svog Shakespearea [vidi Henrik IV, I dio, čin 3, scena 1]). Uzmimo u obzir Webberova "davanje oduška", "poprimio oblik", "ukazanje", "stojeći u krugu bliske formacije", "prekriveno mrazom koji je svjetlucao u zrakama popodnevnog sunca" i " Spektralni brod smrti “Wilsona” dok gleda u brzo tekuću vodu, “čovjeka kojeg”, “bez ikakvih znakova animacije”, “jedrilicu optočenu mrazom”, “ono što sam pretpostavio”, “zastrašujuće lice , "" Moja pretpostavka je to "i Heibeino (kako ga Gaddis navodi)" isparljivi brod "," scena užasa na fantomskoj palubi "itd.

Štaviše, „trojica“ muškaraca ne samo da opisuju odgovarajuće scene na sličan način, već često koriste i slične formulacije. Na primjer, svi se odnose na "jedrilicu": "jedrilicu starog tipa" (Webber), "potpuno opremljenu jedrilicu" (Wilson) i "oblik drevnog jedrenjaka" (Gaddis parafrazirajući Heibe). Zatim je tu komad platna: „veliki kvadrat platna“ (Webber), „kvadrat platna“ (Wilson) i „veliki list platna“ (Gaddis govori za Heibe). Opet, Webber upućuje na "čudan prizor" i "čudan fenomen", a Wilson govori o "ovom čudnom plovilu", dok Gaddis govori o "čudnom iskustvu" Heibe.

Još jedna stilska sličnost nalazi se u upotrebi pasivnih glasovnih konstrukcija: na primjer, Webber kaže da mu je "rečeno" Wilson izjavljuje da su se "čuli zvukovi broda", a "platno je spušteno", a Gaddis (parafrazirajući Heibe) također kaže "Platno je spušteno."

Odlučio sam primijeniti na tri teksta standardnu ​​„formulu čitljivosti“, zasnovanu na dužini nezavisnih klauzula zajedno s brojem višesložnih riječi (Bovée i Thill 1989, 126). Nivoi za Webbera, Wilsona i Gaddisa/Heibea bili su, respektivno, 10, 10 i 12 - to jest, približni nivo obrazovanja, u godinama, na koji bi se stavio svaki tekst. Ove oznake obrazovanja izgledale bi donekle visoke za indijske izviđače, stočare i stočare, ali bi se moglo očekivati ​​da su sve napisali Gaddis.

Ostala otkrivenja

Gaddisova mala trilogija priča - o spektralnom brodu koji izlazi iz magle i predviđanju smrti koje će se dogoditi, udaljeno, baš u to vrijeme - nije potpuno jedinstvena. Očigledno evocira rijeku Styx iz grčke mitologije koja okružuje podzemni svijet. Preko nje je ostarjeli lađar Haron prenio duše mrtvih. (U Gaddisu [1948, 115] glas govori obješenom čovjeku, Horn, „naša je dužnost da trajekt ti poprijeko” - naglasak dodat.) Tri vizije su srodne“ vidovitosti iz snova ” - u kojoj se san ili vizija događaja navodno javljaju istovremeno sa događajem (Guiley 1991, 112). Na primjer, u priči o Edgaru Allanu Poeu mističar govori čovjeku-u vezi s vantelesnim iskustvom koje je ovaj imao-„da je upravo u periodu u kojem ste zamišljali ove stvari usred brda na kojima sam ih detaljno opisao papir ovdje kod kuće ”(Poe [Nd] 1975).

Vrlo često je anegdota o duhovima ove vrste. Poznati primjer, koji je ispričao sudac Hornby, dogodio se 1875. godine. Novinar se neočekivano pojavio jedne večeri i, izgledajući "smrtonosno blijed", insistirao je da unaprijed zabilježi Hornbyjeve nadolazeće sudske nalaze. Sljedećeg dana Hornby je saznao da je čovjek zaista umro u vrijeme posjete i da, iako nikada nije izašao iz kuće, s njegovim tijelom bila je bilježnica sa sudijinim sažetkom! U stvari, sudijina često ispričana, ali previše dobra priča da bi bila istinita podlegla je istrazi, a zbunjeni sudac Hornby kasnije je priznao: “Moja je vizija morala slijediti smrt (otprilike tri mjeseca) umjesto da se sinhronizira s njom ”(Citirano u Hansel 1966, 186–189, vidi i Nickell 2012, 197).

Ni Gaddisova trilogija se ne drži dobro. Na primjer, detalji, u navodnom izvještaju Victora Heibea, da se njegova vizija dogodila u 3:15 popodne 20. novembra 1903., imaju samo dan kada je pravi Tom Tom Horn obješen u 11:08 i formalno proglašen mrtvim šesnaest minuta kasnije (Ball 2014, 421). Trik da Heibe pogleda na sat - neobjašnjivo, neposredno prije nego što je brod smrti izašao iz magle - pruža ono što pisci fantastike nazivaju verodostojnost (privid istine). Još jedan dodir vjerodostojnosti je tvrdnja da su sva tri izvještaja sve potpisane izjave svjedoka koje je prikupio Cheyenne Biro za psihološka istraživanja.

Ono što je posebno problematično je to što Gaddis tvrdi da su sva tri izvještaja-prvi, drugi, treći i posljednji poznati-došli iz ovog jedinog izvora. Ali ako Cheyenneov biro za psihološka istraživanja nikada nije postojao, tada se Gaddis otkriva kao tvorac. Pretragom knjiga i internetskih izvora (potonju je vodio direktor Biblioteka CFI -a Tim Binga) nisu pronađeni nikakvi dokazi o postojanju takvog biroa, osim izvora koji (doduše ili na drugi način) potječu od Gaddisa.

Zaključci

Poznato je da je Vincent H. Gaddis (1913-1997) pisao izmišljene priče u svojim ranim godinama (Fiction Mags Index N.d.), a "Wyomingov brod smrti" zasigurno je jedan od njih. Njegovo objavljivanje u premijernom broju 1948. godine Sudbina je sam po sebi trag. Taj časopis „prave misterije“ nije, posebno u prvim godinama, tačnost činjenica učinio najvažnijom brigom. Ray Palmer, njegov izdavač (sa Curtisom Fullerom) ranije je uređivao najprodavanije časopise naučne fantastike Amazing Stories i Fantastične avanture i bio je uvelike uključen u rano previranje letećih tanjura, o čemu je jednom retorički upitao: "Što ako vam kažem da je sve to bila šala?" (Cohen 2001). Jerome Clark (1998, II: 404) bivši urednik Sudbina, priznaje da su se “u časopisu pojavile čisto izmišljene priče, neke koje je Palmer napisao pod različitim pseudonimima.” Gaddisovo natprirodno predivo sa broda smrti Palmer je vjerovatno kupio namignuvši i kimnuvši.

To što su mnogi uzeli Gaddisov "Brod smrti iz Wyominga" po nominalnoj vrijednosti pokazuje vjerodostojnost koja je pripisana paranormalnom, a baca daljnju sumnju i na Gaddisova "dokumentarna djela". On je postao slavan - ili zloglasan - kao onaj koji je, prema piscu Johnu Keelu (2001), "stvorio" misteriju Bermudskog trokuta (Gaddis 1964 Gaddis 1965) - uveliko izmišljenu, zasnovanu na neopreznim istraživanjima i ukrašavanjima (Kusche 1975). Također je pomogao u promicanju vjerovanja u leteće tanjure, spontano sagorijevanje ljudi, poltergeiste i slično (Gaddis 1967).

Lako je shvatiti zašto bi pisac poput Gaddisa napustio fikciju zbog žanra "neriješene misterije". Bio je pošteđen potrebe da stalno izmišlja nove priče kada su postojali duhovi, leteći tanjiri i druge takve priče koje su bile dostupne. Da su oni navodno istiniti, a ne izmišljeni, pobrinulo se za potrebnu vjerodostojnost, te je postojao spreman apetit javnosti i odgovarajuće tržište za takve priče koje su trnule u kičmi. Gaddis, Frank Edwards i njihovi kolege misteriozni posuđivači posuđivali su jedni od drugih, prepravljajući račune po potrebi bez gubljenja vremena istražujući njihovu istinu ili laž. Naravno, skeptici su često razotkrivali račune - u cijelosti ili djelomično - ali strastveni čitatelji su im se oglušili ili su jednostavno prešli na sljedeću seriju prediva. Zapravo, ovaj proces se i dalje nastavlja.

Reference

Ball, Larry D. 2014. Tom Horn u Life and Legend. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

Beck, Horace. 1973. Folklor i more. Edison, NJ: Castle Books.

Bingham, Joan i Dolores Riccio. 1991. Više ukletih kuća. New York: Pocket Books.

Bovée, Courtland L. i John V. Thill. 1989. Poslovna komunikacija danas, 2. izd. New York: Random House.

Clark, Jerome. 1998. Enciklopedija NLO -a, 2. izd. U dva toma. Detroit: Omnigrafija.

Cohen, Daniel. 2001. Raymond A. Palmer. U Priči 2001, 399–400.

Indeks fikcija Mags. N.d. Dostupno na mreži na http://www.philsp.com/homeville/fmi/s/s3235.htm#A73986 popis priča o Gaddisu, pristupljeno 20. februara.

Gaddis, Vincent. 1948. Wyomingov brod smrti. Sudbina, 1 (1) (proljeće): 112–115, 128.

———. 1964. Smrtonosni Bermudski trokut. Argosy, Februar.

———. 1965. Nevidljivi horizonti: Prave misterije mora. New York: Chilton Books.

———. 1967. Tajanstvene vatre i svjetla. New York: Dell Books.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. 1991. Enciklopedija čudnog, mističnog i nerazjašnjenog. New York: Gramercy Books.

Hansel, C.E.M. 1966. ESP: Naučna evaluacija. New York: Sinovi Charlesa Scribnera.

Hauck, Dennis. 1996. Ukleta mjesta: Nacionalni imenik. New York, NY: Penguin.

Keel, John. 2001. U Priči 2001, 536.

Kusche, Lawrence David. 1975. Misterija Bermudskog trokuta - riješena. New York: Harper & amp Row.

Nickell, Joe. 2012. Nauka o duhovima. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

Poe, Edgar Allan. (N.d.) 1975. Priča o razuđenim planinama. In Kompletne priče i pjesme Edgara Allana Poea, New York: Random House, 679–687.

Riccio, Dolores. 1991. Brod smrti Wyominga. U Bingham i Riccio 1991, 47–51.

Rizzo, Tom. 2013. Legenda o brodu smrti rijeke Platte. Dostupno na mreži na http://tomrizzo.com/Legend-of-the-platte-river-ship-of-death/ pristupljeno 12. februara 2015.

Aubyn, Astrid, sa Zahrom Hanbury, sastavljači. 1996. Sablasni susreti: Istinite priče o duhovima, sablasima i sablastima u životima slavnih. London: Robson Books.

Priča, Ronald D. 2001. Enciklopedija vanzemaljskih susreta. New York: Nova američka biblioteka.


Je li Tom Horn bio nevin? #ThisWeekInWYHistory

(Gillette, Wyo.) Rani dio dvadesetog stoljeća bio je nasilno doba u historiji Wyominga. Baroni stoke borili su se s pastirima. Imovinska prava slabo su se primjenjivala, a pašnjaci su se u velikoj mjeri distribuirali po principu prvi koji stigne.

Tada su se useljenici počeli useljavati i natjecati se s baronima stoke. Na tu teritoriju su se uselili i pastiri, a napetost je nastala između dvije grupe. Između 1870. i 1920. godine, bilo je preko 120 borbi u osam različitih država i teritorija, što je rezultiralo s najmanje 54 smrti i preko 50.000 zaklanih ovaca.

To je bila atmosfera u kojoj je 18. jula 1901. godine ubijen 14-godišnji Willie Nickell. Nickell je živio na imanju svojih roditelja u području jugoistočnog Wyominga poznatom kao Iron Iron. Za njegovog oca, Kels Nickell -a, govorilo se da je usijani čovjek poznat po tome što je ušao u "džengle" s brojnim ljudima.

Konkretno, Kels Nickell je bio u sporu sa svojim susjedom Jimom Millerom, koji je optužio Kelsa da je pustio svoje ovce na ispašu na Millerovoj zemlji.

Tog kobnog dana u julu 1901., stariji Nickell poslao je mladog Willieja u malo selo Iron Mountains 12 milja od njihove kuće. Tamo je Willie trebao razgovarati s čovjekom o tome da postane porodični pastir. Willie nikada nije stigao na odredište.

Prvi metak pogodio ga je tik ispod lijevog pazuha i izašao iz prsne kosti. Drugi je pogodio tik ispod prvog i izašao mu je iz crijeva. U ovom trenutku, uplašeni dječak pobjegao je za život. Srušio se dvadesetak metara dalje i pao na lice. Ubica ga je okrenuo na leđa i stavio mu kamen ispod glave.

Otprilike mjesec dana kasnije, Kels Nickell bi bio ustrijeljen i ranjen, a ubijeno je i 60 do 80 njegovih ovaca. Dvoje Nickellove djece vidjelo je dva čovjeka kako jašu na konjima za koje je identificirano da pripadaju Kelsovom susjedu Jimu Milleru. Miller je kasnije uhapšen zbog ubistva Kelsa i pušten pod garanciju.

U siječnju 1902. zamjenik Marshall Joe Lefors razgovarao je s čovjekom po imenu Tom Horn o mogućem zaposlenju. Horn je imao prilično iskustva, jer je radio za agenciju Pinkerton, koja je bila privatni detektiv aktivan na Zapadu. Posljednjih godinu dana Horn je radio za bogatog stočnog baruna Johna C. Coblea 1901.

Poznato je da je bio unajmljeni ubica stočnih barona, koji su se morali tiho riješiti nekih uznemirivača.

Čini se da je mogućnost zaposlenja bila izgovor, jer je počeo ispitivati ​​Horna o ubistvu Willie Nickella. Horn je još bio pijan prethodne noći i priznao je ubistvo.

Suđeno mu je i osuđen sljedećeg oktobra, uglavnom na osnovu njegovog priznanja. Obješen je novembra 1903. godine.

Da li je on zaista kriv ili nije, i dalje je sporno pitanje među istoričarima i ljudima koji su upoznati sa slučajem. Ne samo da je priznanje uzeto dok je Horn bio pijan, već su postojale i jake predrasude u javnosti prema njemu.

Neki su tvrdili da je zapravo mislio ubiti Kelsa Nickella, a ubistvo je bilo slučajno.

Cobal je platio veliki dio čovjekove odbrane, a jedna teorija drži da su baruni stoke trebali Horna da ode. Takvo nasilje nije prikupilo mnogo političkog utjecaja za interese barona. Međutim, nije izgledalo da bacaju Horna ispod autobusa.

Godine 2016. John Davis je autor Suđenja Tomu Hornu i zaključuje da je Horn kriv. Iako je mišljenje javnosti osudilo Horna prije porote, jedan od porotnika bio je Hornov dobar prijatelj.

Davis također ukazuje na brojne nedosljednosti u Hornovoj verziji događaja. To se vidi u njegovoj autobiografiji, koju je Cobal objavio misleći da bi to moglo pomoći u dokazivanju vješanja nepravde. Ali autobiografija je ispunjena činjenično netačnim podacima koji su lako osporljivi.

There is also the fact that Horn had a reputation as having a mean streak and had undoubtedly killed many people before he was charged with Nickell’s murder. So, even if he weren’t guilty of this specific murder, he’d been guilty of many before it.

Davis’ account also disputes the claim that Horn was covertly thrown under the bus. In fact, it’s well documented Cobal was very distraught over Horn’s execution, and he helped publish the man’s autobiography.

Davis also documents Horn had confessed to the murder not just to Lefors but to many others. One was a woman named Elizabeth Sims, who never testified at the trial because she had a “bad reputation.” In short, she was probably a prostitute.

If one assumes he was guilty, Horn went to his death never giving up the names of the people who hired him to do the deed. He was buried in Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado.


Tales from the Tread: Infamous hired killer: Tom Horn

Hear more about Tom Horn and his notorious career as the hired gun of the Old West at the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hour at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at Butcherknife Brewery. The featured speaker will be Dan Davidson, director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig and a revered expert on Tom Horn.

Ako odeš

What: Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hour

Kada 5:30 p.m. 7. marta

Where: Butcherknife Brewery

Horn was hired by the Pinkerton Detective Agency in the 1890s to track down and capture — violently if necessary — western outlaws who were interfering with Pinkerton clients, such as banks and railroads that could afford to pay for private law enforcement in the relatively ungoverned Old West.

He then became a hired killer with the Wyoming Cattlemen’s Association, which had been fighting in Johnson County against a diverse group of small farmers, sheep ranchers, and rustlers who resented their domination. The ranchers hired Horn to use his keen marksmanship to ambush and murder any man the ranchers marked as a troublemaker.

In 1900, at the age of 39, Horn visited Northwestern Colorado under the alias, “Tom Hicks.” Before the year was out, western Routt County, which later became Moffat County, had lived through a reign of terror. Two men were killed in cold blood, and several more left the area, never to return. Rugged, sheltered Brown’s Park and its families were forever changed.

On Oct. 22, 1903, Horn was hanged for the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell, son of a Wyoming ranchman. Though historians still debate whether Horn really killed the boy, none could dispute that he was a hired killer and responsible for many other deaths.

Horn was suspected of other murders, notably those of alleged cattle rustlers Fred Powell and William Lewis, in Iron Mountain country, and of cattlemen Matt Rash and Isom Dart, from the Brown’s Park area.

Horn typified the clash between the Old West, where might made right, and the emerging West, where the rule of law was beginning to change the landscape. Who was Tom Horn, and what forces turned him into a cold-blooded killer? This region left its own mark on Horn and started him on the path toward his execution by the new rule of law.

Hear more about Horn’s raucous and violent ways at the March 7 History Happy Hour at Butcherknife Brewery.

Izvori: Routt County Sentinel and Steamboat Pilot

Candice Bannister is executive director of Tread of Pioneers Museum. Dan Davidson is executive director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado.


Tom Horn is hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickell - HISTORY

Tom Horn - The Man Who Hanged Himself Early on the morning of July 18, 1901, two shots . then, a third, rang out across the Iron Mountain country of south-east Wyoming. A 14-year-old boy, Willie Nickell, lay dead at the gate that marked the entrance to his family's ranch. A little over two years later, on November 20, 1903, one day short of his forty-third birthday, Tom Horn, convicted of killing Willie Nickell, would die in a hangman's noose at the Laramie County jail. Not only did Tom talk himself into the noose, but he also sprang the trap door, himself. Thomas Horn was born near Memphis Missouri, November 21, 1860 to a large, farming, family. Farming doesn't seem to have appealed much to Tom, he was always sneaking off to hunt, rather than working or going to school. Tom left home at the age of 13, after losing a challenge to his abusive father. Tom worked a few odd jobs, railroad track-layer, livery stable partner, stage driver, mule drover - by mid-1876, the latter occupation had brought him to Beaver Head Station, near the Verde River, Arizona Territory. His interaction with Mexicans in the region allowed Tom to become quite fluent in Spanish. This language talent, combined with his drover expertise, brought him to the attention of Al Sieber, chief of the Fifth Cavalry army scouts. Al hired young Tom as an interpreter - and seems to have served as a father figure to Tom, as well. Tom worked for Al, and others, as interpreter and drover, over the next several years. In November, 1885, Tom Horn was chosen by Lieutenant Marion Maus, to be his chief of scouts - his fluency in Spanish figuring prominently in his appointment. Tom would serve as chief-of-scouts under several Army commanders, including Generals Crook and Miles. Tom saw action in several engagements with the Apaches, and was involved in the final capture of Geronimo in September, 1886. Tom wandered and dabbled in various occupations - prospector, ranch hand, rodeo contestant, deputy Sheriff. There is some evidence that Tom may have killed his first man in July 1887. In later years, during drunken spells, he would brag of a "coarse son of a bitch" that he had killed, possibly in a dispute about a prostitute. It was Tom's bragging that would eventually lead him to that Wyoming gallows. It was in his capacity as deputy that he was noticed by the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. Tom Horn worked for the Pinkerton's from late 1890 until sometime in 1892, being involved in bringing at least two gangs of train robbers to justice. Late in 1892, Tom's Pinkerton duties brought him to Wyoming - just in time to see the last of the Johnson County War. Even though the cattlemen 'lost' the Johnson County War, they didn't consider the matter closed. They were still determined to put an end to rustling of their herds - by whatever means necessary. As a 'deputy Sheriff', Pinkerton agent, cattle detective - Tom Horn was to work for Wyoming, and Colorado, cattle barons for most of the next ten years. It would become a common scenario - a cattle rancher would report rustlers in his area, Tom Horn would be dispatched to the scene, the rustling would stop. Whether it was Tom's rifle, or his reputation, that caused the rustlers to disappear will never be known for sure - but Tom bragged that killing men was his occupation and that he had a corner on the market. Again, that bragging, the behavior that would prove to be his downfall. In 1900, two small-time cattlemen, Matt Rash and Isam Dart, were killed in the Brown's Hole region of north-west Colorado. Rash and Dart were both strong suspects in several rustling episodes in the area. The killings were never solved, but it was well known that Tom Horn, using the alias 'Jim Hicks', was in the area at the time. Although never admitting to the two killings, Horn would brag that he had taken care of the rustling problem in the Brown's Park area. The Rash and Dart killings, along with other un-solved killings, were starting to become an embarrassment for the cattle ranchers. The rustling was becoming less of a problem than the publicity problems caused by Horn's bragging. Perhaps it was time that Tom had to go. Almost as big of a problem as rustling, to the cattle ranchers, was the 'sheep problem'. In the minds of many, cattle and sheep did not mix, and did not belong on the same range areas. It is likely that Tom Horn was told to see what could be done about some of the sheep ranchers in south-east Wyoming, one of those was Kels Nickell - Willie's father. To this day, historians disagree as to whether it was Kels, or Willie, who was the intended target on that summer morning. They also disagree as to whether it was Tom Horn who fired the shots, or whether it was just made to look as if Tom had been involved. Wyoming lawman, Joe LeFors, was able to wrangle a 'confession' from Tom Horn, although many say that Tom was drunk at the time - a state in which Tom was known to have become even more of a braggart than when sober. The 'confession' was recorded by a stenographer who hid in a back room of LeFors' office. One of Tom Horn's comments, during the 'confession', "It was the best shot that I ever made and the dirtiest trick that I ever done", would prove to be one of most damning pieces of evidence at his trial. The trial of Tom Horn was one of the biggest events in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1902 - taking a full two weeks in October. Even though the 'confession' would be thrown out, in a matter of seconds, in a modern court of law, it was one of the primary pieces of evidence against Tom. There were no eye-witnesses to the crime. Several people were called to testify, including Joe LeFors, who told of the evidence found at the scene and how he came to get the 'confession' from Horn. Then, the worst witness against Tom Horn testified - Tom Horn himself. Reading the trial transcripts, one has to wonder why his attorney allowed him to testify to begin with, let alone to allow his braggadocio to go on, un-checked. Again, perhaps it was time that Tom had to go, and certain people knew that Tom would 'hang' himself. The case was given to the jury on October 24th - after 5 hours deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty in the murder of Willie Nickell, the jury setting Tom's sentence as death by hanging. There was a general community feeling that even if Tom hadn't murdered Willie, still Horn "had it coming" (the hanging). While waiting execution, Tom did manage to escape from jail, but was almost immediately recaptured. The gallows fashioned for the Tom Horn hanging was quite an elaborate affair, consisting of a divided trap-door, water containers, counter-weights, ropes and pullies - almost a Rube Goldberg device. The weight of the condemned, after being placed on the trap-door, started the entire process - so that, in effect, the convicted man would spring the trap-door, himself. On the morning of November 20, 1903, after a large breakfast, Tom Horn was led to the gallows, where straps were buckled around his arms and legs. By all accounts, Tom was the least nervous of anyone at the event, even to the point of half-way joking with the sheriffs gathered to witness the hanging. A noose was fitted around his neck, and the bound Tom was lifted onto the trap-door, which started the 'machine'. Thirty-one seconds later, the trap-doors opened and the life of the range detective was over. His body was claimed by his brother, Charles, and transported to Boulder, Colorado. Tom Horn is buried on the southern edge of the old Columbia Cemetery, in Boulder. The grave marker shows Tom Horn's birth year, incorrectly, as being 1861.
Click image for larger view.
Suggested Reading: ♠Horn, Tom Life of Tom Horn - Government Scout and Interpreter Written by Himself: A Vindication An auto-biography of Horn, written while awaiting execution. This book covers Tom's life up until the time that he arrived in Wyoming. There is nothing in the book regarding his activities after 1894. ♠Krakel, Dean F. The Saga of Tom Horn: The Story of a Cattleman's War First published in 1954, this book immediately became the subject of several threatened law-suits. Krakel and the publisher were forced to replace several pages in the books - however, about 100 copies of the original were smuggled out of Wyoming, thus making the original un-expurgated copies available, but quite scarce. The University of Nebraska reprint contains all the original text. This book contains significant portions of the trial transcript. ♠Carlson, Chip Tom Horn: "Killing Men is my specialty. " Joe Lefors: "I slickered Tom Horn. " Tom Horn: Blood on the Moon In these three books, Carlson thoroughly investigates the history of Tom Horn. In the third book, 'Tom Horn: Blood on the Moon', Chip reveals who he believes killed Willie Nickell - and it's not Tom Horn.
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Tom Horn is hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickell - HISTORY

(note: links in the article lead to photos and other information)

Tom Horn, legendary Indian fighter, tracker, Pinkerton man, stock detective, and some say child-killer, is believed to have used in the last few years of his life, a 1894 Winchester rifle serial #82,667 (1897 receiver) with a half magazine (also known as a button magazine) and a standard round barrel in 30WCF. This was at the time he was working for the Swan Land and Cattle Company as a stock detective, owned by John C. Coble, Horn s close friend and employer.

The rifle was left to Tom s friends, the Irwin brothers, Frank and Charlie, who sang Keep Your Hand Upon the Throttle and Your Eye Upon the Rail at Horn s hanging. It was one day shy of his 43rd birthday, November 20, 1903. The Winchester is in very good condition with the exception of the bore, which is in a very poor state. Tom reportedly practiced constantly with this rifle, which I tend to believe, if you consider it being shipped on 6/19/1900, and Tom being arrested for the murder of Willie Nickell on January 13, 1902. That s not a great deal of time to shoot out a barrel, even with corrosive ammunition but, who can say how the rifle was treated after Horn s death.

Over the years Tom s Winchester has resided at the Old West Museum in Lions Park, Cheyenne Wyoming. The last I heard, the rifle was back in the possession of Frank and Charlie s heirs, whether this is in fact true, I cannot say for certain.

Lost in the mists of time, are the number of $600 man-killings this Winchester performed, if any.

Tom s Winchester was one of two rifles shipped in order number 61994, from the Winchester warehouse on June 19, 1900, to a distributor in Denver. The second Winchester, serial #84,540 (1897 receiver) 30WCF, special order octagon barrel and half-magazine, is believed by its current owner, to have been the property of Tom Horn also. He does have some very good circumstantial evidence, but he freely admits not having any irrefutable proof. Personally, I truly hope this gentleman finds that proof for a number of reasons.

1. It would give us Horn buffs something else to research, and
2. He spent a great deal of time and effort tracking down this second rifle. He finally located it in Fort Collins, CO. which is not too terribly far from Boulder, where Tom s brother Charles took his body for burial.
3. The owner was gracious enough to give me copies of both Cody-Winchester letters, just because I m a Tom Horn buff.

Fast Forward 90 Years (1903 to 1993)

1902, Cheyenne, Wyoming. A jury found him guilty of murdering a child, and he was hanged by the neck on the water gallows designed in 1892 by Cheyenne architect James P. Julian. A reprieve finally came to Tom Horn in 1993 when forensic crime scene investigators and Amnesty International staged a retrial in which real attorneys, jurors, and judge were used. Horn was found not guilty - just less than a century too late to actually do him any good.

Over the years that I ve been looking into the life of Mr. Horn, I have had the great fortune to correspond with a number of Horn experts. Two of which are, Mr. Chip Carlson, author of two books on Tom, and one on Joe LeFors, and the other is Mr. Don Patterson.

Don is a retired LEO, and owner of Chiefly Books in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was also one of the forensic crime scene investigators. For those of you with an interest in Tom Horn, you may find the following interesting, it s just a snippet of a telephone conversation that I had with Don a year or so ago

"Willie was probably shot at the gate, as he was dismounted and closing it, with his horse on the other side. This is indicated by the blood splatter right at the gatepost. He then ran about 70 ft. up the road and collapsed and died from massive torso wounds. His father (Kels Nickell) placed a circle of stones around the body and the stones are still in place today. Several years ago the University of Wyoming also placed a permanent concrete marker on the spot of the circle of stone." ( You might check with Chip on the measurements as I can t find my notes and don't recall the measurements of the shots exactly, but Chip might.)

"No slugs were in the body, and none were recovered at the scene. I led a group of people up to redo the crime scene under the sponsorship of Chip Carlson and the Kick and Growl. The group included Cheyenne Police officers, the Cheyenne City attorney, the Laramie County attorney, several federal lawmen (FBI and Postal Inspectors) and lawmen from Goshen County, and other places in Wyoming. I'm probably forgetting someone.

The papers at the time of the murder always felt the shots were fired from the small rock pile, which is about (50yds?) outside the gate. Boot prints, and the impressions of rifle butt(s) were located there in the original investigation. This site offers a great view of the gate but minimal concealment and no place to hide a horse. As I examined the scene I felt the large rock pile to the rear of the small one was far and away a better spot, It offered excellent concealment and a place for a horse, as well as a great place to shoot from.

Our team did a through search of the area for spent bullets and shell casings. We also conducted test firings from the large rock pile to a box placed where Willie was standing when he was shot. We used a 30WCF that is the same make and model as the one Horn owned, that is now in the old west museum here. (not the Buffalo Bill Museum) Several of us fired the weapon at the box and everyone hit it even though no practice was given and most had never fired that gun before. We found shell casings right in the rock pile where our ejected casings went at the test firing. These were the REM UMC casings that made us so happy, but ended up being at least 10 years too new.

The metal detectors turned up several slugs, and metal slug jackets. (The 30WCFs were always jacketed, it was one of the first rounds that were longer than it was round, and had to be jacketed to keep from disintegrating at firing). The slugs were examined by the Wyoming State Crime Lab and compared to the rifle in the Museum that belonged to Horn. All of the slugs were eliminated as having come from that gun but one. One slug was fired from the same make and model of rifle but could not be matched to the Horn rifle, but neither could it be eliminated. The wear to the barrel of the rifle in the years since the murder had caused too much wear to allow for positive matching."

The search for el hombre de sombra (the shadow man) continues.

I would like to extend my gratitude, and heartfelt thanks to author Chip Carlson, Investigator Don Patterson, and the Wyoming State Archives. Without their assistance, I couldn t have written this article.


The Ghost of Wild West Gunslinger Tom Horn Still Haunts Wyoming

As with so many colorful characters who lived during the heyday of the American Wild West, there are a lot of uncertainties about the life of Tom Horn. What no one disputes, however, is that Horn killed a lot of people. The notoriety he earned through bloodshed made him an icon of the frontier, so renowned (and feared) that some people believe that Horn's spirit lingers to this day, haunting the Rocky Mountains and desert plains where he once stalked his human prey.

Born in 1860 in Missouri, Horn was the fifth of 12 children and suffered an abusive upbringing that he fled when he was just 14. Two years later he became a scout for the Army out West, where he learned Spanish, and some Apache, and became useful as an interpreter during the Apache Wars. He played a small role in helping translate surrender terms between famed Apache leader Geronimo and U.S. forces.

After the war, Horn restlessly wandered the West, sometimes working as a ranch hand, prospector, deputy sheriff, U.S. Marshal and rodeo competitor.

After a few drinks, Horn had an eye-rolling propensity for bragging about his exploits, telling anyone within earshot about his adventures and his courage in the face of gunfire.

He wasn't all talk. His second-to-none tracking skills caught the attention of the famed Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which hired him to locate and apprehend wanted men throughout the West. But his propensity for extreme violence made him a suspect in the killings of several fugitives. Horn's behavior was a public relations risk for Pinkerton, so the company forced him to resign his position.

By then, Horn's skillset dovetailed neatly with a series of 1890s frontier conflicts. As more and more homesteaders established ranches, they clashed with cattle barons who'd previously had free run of the land. With more people competing for grazing land and water, the bigger, more established players took extreme measures to root out the little guys.

Some went so far as paying for hired guns, like Tom Horn, who intimidated and threatened homesteaders into abandoning their land.

One man, named Kels Nickell, was a Wyoming sheep herder who had a run-in with a baron named John C. Coble. "Kels Nickell had a lot of enemies. The irascible rascal had managed to offend most of his neighbors," says Marshall Trimble, an author and official state historian in Arizona in an email interview. "In a scuffle with John Coble, Nickell pulled a knife and inflicted a near fatal wound on him. Coble carried a grudge. A Cheyenne resident had this to say, 'Coble hates Nickell like the devil hates holy water.'"

"When the rich cattlemen wanted to bully [Kels], they were messing with the wrong guy," says Joe Nickell, an author and paranormal investigator with the Skeptical Inquirer. (He's also a very distant relation of Kels Nickell.) "He wasn't the guy you [could] run off his property, so they [the cattle barons] knew they had to kill him."

And that's where Tom Horn came in.

The Murder of Willie Nickell

In July 1901, Kels' 14-year-old son Willie was shot from ambush at long range. That morning Willie just happened to don his father's coat and was riding his father's horse, making his death one of mistaken identity.

The public, somewhat numb to the violence of the cattle wars, found fresh outrage in the killing of a child. Law enforcement that might've otherwise looked the other way was suddenly prodded into finding a culprit.

In early 1902, a lawman named Joe Lefors tracked down Horn and roped him into a drunken conversation at his office. True to form, Horn boasted about his past exploits and essentially bragged about being the triggerman in the Nickell killing, calling it one of the best shots he'd ever made. Unbeknownst to Horn, Lefors had a deputy sheriff and court stenographer listening to the conversation in an adjacent room.

"By today's standards that wouldn't be a fair [interrogation] technique because they'd been drinking," says Nickell. "But this is the Old West when we had shootouts, and the trials were as rough as the shootouts. Justice could be rough, too."

Because concepts like entrapment and leading questions weren't a thing in the early 20th century, a judge allowed the drunken confession as evidence of a crime. Horn was promptly convicted by a jury and sentenced to death, even though some witnesses presented stories that seemed to indicate that Horn was innocent.

The public largely saw Horn as a wrongly convicted man, figuring he was used by the cattle barons, who then allowed him to take the fall for their murderous methods.

But Joe Nickell is convinced that Horn was guilty. "Not everyone who had a few drinks would confess to murder, I know I wouldn't, would you? [In his confession], he made it pretty clear what he did," he says. "It's my opinion that if Tom Horn had shot and killed Kels first off, he probably would've gotten away with it."

"The debate regarding his guilt or innocence in the shooting of a young boy is still going on today," says Trimble. "The consensus seems to be that regardless of whether he killed young Nickell, he killed a lot of others. This is what makes Western history so fascinating and it wouldn't be nearly so if we had definitive answers to our questions."

If Horn was innocent in the Nickell killing, his life choices didn't help his cause. For starters, his reputation as a cold-hearted killer was a rather obvious stumbling block. Then, he took the stand during his trial and offering up incriminating statements to the prosecution. Finally, he escaped from jail but was quickly recaptured. It's no wonder that the governor refused to commute his death sentence.

According to a reporter who witnessed the hanging, Horn, who was just one day shy of his 43rd birthday, was the calmest man on the scene. He refused to offer a last confession – he even refused to rat out his wealthy employers – and reportedly had the presence of mind to kindly congratulate one witness on his recent marriage.

The Ghost Legend

The story of Tom Horn hardly ended with his execution. In some ways, it was just getting started.

The legendary killer's presence hangs over the American consciousness in the form of tall tales and claims that his ghost haunts the West even today. Joe Nickell has documented some of those stories.

After Horn's death, locals claimed that spirits were making eerie noises in the county jail. Inmates were frightened, sure that Horn's restless ghost was causing the ruckus.

Frustrated frontier mothers silenced their mischievous offspring using Horn's fearsome legend. Instead of threatening their children with, "I'll turn this car around," they'd claim that "Tom Horn will get you."

In Cheyenne, locals say that the Wrangler Building is haunted. Some suspect that Horn's ghost haunts the hallways, his apparition perhaps still awaiting a fair trial (though in reality he was jailed in another location).

And at Horn's gravesite in Colorado, grim visitors sometimes say they've seen a cowboy ghost swinging from a noose in the trees.

Yet it almost goes without saying that the legend of Tom Horn needs no supernatural embellishment.

"Horn was a mythological figure before he was hanged and would have been an even greater icon had he never gone to Wyoming," says Trimble.

But go to Wyoming he did, setting the stage for a tragedy that would come to define his legacy, one that casts a long and bloody shadow in the minds of frontier descendants to this day.

Horn was one of the few people in the West to be executed through the use of a so-called water gallows, which used trickling water and a counterbalance to trigger the trapdoor that dropped the victim to his or her death.


Pogledajte video: Steve McQueen - Opening Credits to TOM HORN with music from ROAD TO PERDITION