Monday, October 16, 2017

The Halderman Brothers -- Killers Or Not?

William Halderman was 21 years of age, and his brother Thomas was 18, when they were legally hanged on November 16th, 1900. Both brothers were working day wage cowboys just trying to get established on their own in Cochise County, Arizona. Yes, just two honest cowboys trying to start their own ranch by working for it.

Their parents were Jesse and Augusta Halderman. Their family, the Kokernot-Halderman family, were considered influential pioneers in Texas at the time. 

In 1898, the Halderman brothers began feuding with 18 year-old Teddy Moore over a pair of young women named Rena and Mary Wilson. According to later court findings, in November of 1898, Moore threatened to kill William. It was something he did a few times over a few month period.

On April 6th, 1899, Justice William Monmonier received a report from Buck Smith who was the owner of the Smith Ranch, accusing the Haldermans of rustling and killing his cattle. A warrant was issued and the job of arresting the Haldermans fell to Constable Chester Ainsworth who was the brother of Arizona Attorney General Charles F. Ainsworth.

Constable Ainsworth went from his office in Pearce to the Smith Ranch to ask the ranchers for assistance in apprehending the Haldermans. According to the later testimony of R. Michael Wilson, Buck Smith refused to help and told the constable to continue on to the Moore Ranch house less than a mile away to enlist the help of Teddy Moore. Constable Ainsworth did just that. Then after deputizing Moore, the two-men headed to the Halderman Ranch which was located a short distance away along Turkey Creek Canyon.

After finding the house empty, Ainsworth decided to check the Wilson Ranch, which was owned by John W. Wilson who lived there with his sons Johnny and Tol and his two daughters Rena and Mary.

So accused of shooting Buck Smith's cattle and selling the meat, Constable Chester Ainsworth and 18 year-old Teddy Moore tracked the Halderman brothers to the Southeast Arizona ranch of J. N. Wilson. The Constable and Moore arrived at the Wilson Ranch house on the morning of April 7th, 1899, sometime just after dawn.

The Halderman brothers were eating breakfast with J.W. Wilson their neighbor at his ranch when Ainsworth and Moore found them. The two "lawmen" were side-by-side and approximately forty feet from the front porch of the house when Ainsworth read the arrest warrant aloud. He demanded that the Halderman brothers come out peaceably.

When it seemed as though the two young men were going to surrender without resisting, Constable Ainsworth suggested that they finish eating breakfast before leaving, He advised them to pack some of their belongings for staying a few days in Pearce.

Some say that while inside the house, it became very evident to the Haldermans that Moore intended to do them harm instead of taking them to jail. So with that, the brothers armed themselves. And instead of going along peaceably, they reappeared at the two front doors of the house which were located at each end of the porch.

The Haldermans had only one rifle of their own and William armed himself with it. His brother Thomas took Mr. Wilson's rifle to use against the lawman and Moore. According to the Haldermans, as soon as they were seen with weapons in hand, both Ainsworth and Moore drew their side arms and began shooting into the house.

William responded by firing back. After emptying his weapon, he ran across the porch to his shocked brother to take up his rifle and continue shooting at Moore. Unfortunately, it was during this time that Ainsworth was shot off his horse and killed. Some say that he was struck in the heart and died almost instantly.

William later claimed that the death of Ainsworth was an accident and even said that he might have been killed by Moore. After Constable Chester Ainsworth fell dead off his horse, Teddy Moore turned his horse attempted to ride away as fast as he could. But it's said that he only went less than 100 yards when William Halderman fired again. That bullet struck young Moore in the bowels, but not off his horse.

Teddy Moore was mortally wounded when the Halderman brothers decided to flee to New Mexico. And believe it or not, though shot and dying, young 18 year old Teddy Moore was able to return home to the Moore Ranch. It's said that it was there where he actually bled to death in his mother's arms.

And even though that was the case, before he died, Teddy Moore was able to tell his family what had happened. Death-bed statements being what they are, and since he said that it was the Haldermans who fired on them first, everyone took his last words as truthful eyewitness testimony.

The following appeared in the newspaper the Pacific Reporter, Volume 60:

"It appears from the record that on April 6, 1899, a complaint was lodged before W. [William] M. Monmonier, a justice of the peace for the precinct of Pearce, Cochise county, charging the Haldermans with having unlawfully killed cattle. A warrant was issued by the justice upon this complaint, and placed in the hands of one C. [Chester] L. Ainsworth, constable of the precinct, and a deputy sheriff [Teddy Moore] of the county....

They then went to the house of a neighbor by the name of [John W.] Wilson, where they found the defendants. Ainsworth and Moore rode to the front of the Wilson house, dismounted from their horses, and called the Haldermans out, where upon Ainsworth read his warrant of arrest to them. Both Haldermans expressed a willingness to go with the officer, but before starting, upon suggestion of the latter [Ainsworth], went into the house to get their breakfast.

While they were inside, Ainsworth called to them, and told them, as they might be detained at Pierce [Pearce] for two or three days, to take with them such articles of wearing apparel [clothing] as they might need. Soon after, the Haldermans appeared, one at each of the two front doors of the house, armed with rifles, and at once opened fire, instantly killing Ainsworth, and mortally wounding Moore. As to the facts above stated, there is no substantial conflict in the evidence.

The testimony of the witness for the prosecution, supported by the dying declaration of Moore, as to the circumstances of the shooting, is to the effect that at the time the Haldermans appeared at the doors, Ainsworth and Moore were both mounted, and a short distance from the house; that the Haldermans, as soon as they appeared, called to Ainsworth and Moore to hold up their hands, but without waiting, at once fired; that Ainsworth immediately fell from his horse, shot through the heart; that Moore turned his horse, and started off, but was shot through the bowels as he rode away; that after the shooting the Haldermans immediately fled.

The story, as told by the defendants, was that between themselves and Moore had existed a deadly enmity; that, after the warrant had been read, they asked the constable how they were to be taken to Pierce; that they were then told that they would have to walk down to a neighboring ranch, where there was a conveyance of some sort; that; fearing that Moore might on some pretext seek occasion on the way down to the ranch to do them [the Halderman brothers] harm, they concluded while in the house to take their rifles with them; that, as soon as they appeared at the front of the house, Moore pulled his gun and fired; that William Halderman at once returned the fire, and continued shooting until he had emptied his gun, and, as Moore continued to shoot, he then ran to the other door, where his brother Thomas Halderman stood, and, seizing the latter's gun, fired again at Moore, but by accident killed Ainsworth; that, fearing [lynch] mob violence at the hands of the friends of Ainsworth, the two then left the country”.

-- end of article.

Cochise County Sheriff Scott White offered a $50 reward for the arrest and conviction of the Halderman brothers on the day after the shooting. Soon reward posters began circulating to lawmen throughout Arizona. Of course, in 1899, $50 was more than a cowboy made in a month. So no, it's not hard to understand how fast information started coming in.

The Haldermans were captured by Deputy Sid Mullen on April 12th while they were camped just across the border of New Mexico just East of the town of Duncan. They were first held in the jail at Pearce, and then were later transferred to Tombstone for their trial. 

All in all, it didn't take a jury long to decide on their fate. In fact a jury found the Haldermans guilty, and convicted them of first-degree murder on June 11th. They were sentenced to hang on August 10th, 1900.

Because Constable Chester Ainsworth was so liked by the folks there, there was a great deal of anger directed at the Halderman brothers even though a witness had testified that Teddy Moore had threatened both of the Haldermans before agreeing to help Constable Ainsworth.

The Halderman family was trying its best to influence the court's decision while awaiting the execution date. During that time, the Halderman family attempted to gather evidence to support their claim that the allegations of cattle rustling were fake and that the shootout was because of a feud between Teddy Moore. They asserted that it had nothing to do with cattle stealing since no stolen cattle were ever produced. And while all of their efforts were well intentioned, all in all, all they were able to achieve was a delay of the eventual execution.

The Haldermans claimed that Moore was responsible for the stealing and killing the cattle. They also claimed that Moore was trying to frame them so he could then be free to court Rena Wilson.

The Halderman family sent in an appeal in the Governor, but the application was sent directly to President McKinley because Governor Nathan O. Murphy was out of state at the time. President McKinley granted them a stay of execution until October 5th, 1900, so that they could gather more evidence for their defense.

When Governor Murphy returned from out of state, he extended their stay. But then when the Haldermans' could not produce any further evidence, the date of execution was set for November 16th, 1900.

It should be noted that initially, right after the shooting, the Wilson sisters substantiated Terry Moore deathbed claims. Supposedly they did so because their father, in fear of what his neighbors would do if the brothers were released, threatened to punish them if they did otherwise.

It's true, Wilson's daughters had sworn an affidavit that one of the arresting party had fired the first shot but their father had ordered the girls to testify to the contrary. Johnny Wilson, a son, witnessed the whole affair according to William but was not allowed to appear in court.

All in all, no evidence was introduced to convict Thomas Halderman. There was no testimony heard to convict Thomas. Fact is that the jury simply included him in the verdict, even though one juror admitted the jury did not fully understand the court's instructions.

Buck Smith later came into evidence that Teddy Moore was the one who had killed his cattle and that Moore wanted the brothers to take the blame. None of any of that mattered, There was simply no avoiding the hangman.

It was only after the Haldermans were sentenced to death that the Wilson sisters finally came forward and told the truth about what they had witnessed. It made no difference though. The Halderman family claimed that the trial was rigged and unfair. Especially since the prosecutor was none other than Arizona Attorney General Charles L. Ainsworth, who was Chester Ainsworth's brother. And also, the defense plea for a change of venue was denied. Some say that was because the jury wanted t hang the brothers before the trail started.

And yes, make no mistake about it, justice was swift. Back then there was none of the modern non-sense that takes place today where a convicted murderer can sit on Death Row until he dies of old age and natural causes. The shootout took place on April 7th, 1899, and they were captured shortly afterwards on April 12th. Within two months, by June 11th, they were convicted and ordered to hang on August 10th, 1899. Because of delays, the order to execute them was moved to November 16th, 1900, And yes, the execution was carried out on November 16th as ordered.

Although only 100 invitations were sent out, it's said that a large crowd gathered to witness the hanging. It's also said that those who couldn't be near the gallows actually watched from the windows of the Cochise County Courthouse.

Unlike many hangings where the person being hanged cries and squirms or faints, it's said that both of the brothers met their end as brave as could ever be expected. In fact, it's said that when the younger brother Thomas Halderman walked out of the jail, he said, "Hello Hombres! The sun's hot, ain't it?"

After climbing up the scaffold, older brother William is supposed to have said: "Nice looking crowd. Some of you fellers are shaking already." Then, as he turned to his brother, William was reported as to have said, "Those people look alright." And believe it or not, right after that Thomas actually placed his noose around his own neck. If you think that sounds strange, while Sheriff White read the execution order to the public in attendance, William Halderman talked with a deputy by the name of Bravin.

So imagine the scene, the Sheriff is reading the death warrant, William is chatting with a deputy while his younger brother Thomas puts his own hangman's noose around his own neck. Sounds almost insane!

When Sheriff White was finished, he finally got around to asking the Halderman brothers if they wanted to say any last words. With that William responded, "I have nothing to say and guess it would not do any good anyway. I forgive you all and hope you will forgive me."

Then after saying what he needed to say, William asked for a prayer to be read. With that Reverend Alexander Elliott stepped forward to help William with a prayer. After that black hoods were placed over their heads. And yes, it was reported that in unison the brother's called out, "Good-bye boys! Pray for us."

The trap door under their feet opened at 12:40 p.m.. It was reported that a full thirteen minutes passed when Thomas was pronounced dead. His older bother William died two minutes later. The doctor at the execution reported that Thomas had died of a broken neck. He reported that William's death was caused by "the violent shock, compression of a vital nerve, and by strangulation."

The Halderman brothers were buried together in Tombstone's Boothill Graveyard. And as for some of the witnesses, Rena Wilson later committed suicide because of her involvement in the case. Then in 1913, her sister Mary was placed in an insane asylum by her brother Tol.

As for Tol Wilson, he was killed shortly after that in what became known as the Cottonwood Canyon Murder. That was when on June 16th, 1913, Luther Price murdered his best friend Tol Wilson while they were camping in Cottonwood Canyon.

The story on that says that Price struck Wilson over the head with a pistol. After that Price threw Wilson down a 150 foot deep well. Price was arrested and sent to the state prison but he and two other prisoners escaped from a work-crew on May 23rd, 1917.

Price and the other two fled to Mexico, but Price contracted smallpox there. He then returned to his family's ranch in the Chiricahuas. Because he needed a doctor pretty badly, Luther Price turned himself in and was returned to prison where he died.

As for the gallows in Tombstone where the Halderman brothers were hanged? Well, on January 25th, 1912, The Tucson Citizen published the following article:

TOMBSTONE - The historic scaffold which has been stored in the county courtyard adjoining the courthouse is no more. The last of it was cut up to furnish kindling for the fire of the county jail. The scaffold was built in the early part of the year 1884 by C.J. Ulmer, who at present is a resident of Yuma. It was ordered built by the board of supervisors for the purpose of the hanging of the five Bisbee murderers and was built so as to accomodate them all at once.

It was used on the 27th of March, 1884, at which time Dan Dowd, James Delaney, Tex Howard, Red Sample and J. Kely were hung, the trap being sprung by Sheriff Ward.

It was then stored away and kept until Nov. 16, 1900, when it was erected under the direction of Sheriff Scott White and was used for the execution of William and Thomas Halderman, who were convicted of the murder of Constable Ainsworth in the Swisshelm mountains the month of June 1899.

The scaffold was erected twice for service since that time but was never used.

-- end article.

Today, a replica of the gallows that were used for the hanging of the Halderman brothers is on display at the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. The Old Cochise County Courthouse has also been restored so that it appears as it did in 1900 during the Haldermans' trial.

What became known as the "Shootout at Wilson Ranch" or "The Wilson Ranch Shootout", resulted in the final and most famous hanging in the history of Tombstone, Arizona.

Tom Correa

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Mountain Meadows Massacre 1857

For folks who like exploring America, the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre sits just off of Highway 18 about 32 miles North of St. George, Utah. It is about 150 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. To get there simply follow Interstate 15 North for about 120 miles to St. George. Exit at Bluff Street. Turn left to reach Highway 18 which parallels a part of the historic Old Spanish Trail. Head North through Veyo and go on past the Pine Valley turnoff. The turnoff to the massacre site is well-marked and sits on the left side of the highway. 

Since it's always great to know what took place in the areas we decide to explore, let's talk about what happened at Mountain Meadows.

From September 7th to the 11th of 1857, members of the Utah Territorial Militia from Iron County, along with a few Paiute Indians, attacked the Baker-Fancher wagon train at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah. Some refer to the group as the Fancher-Baker wagon train. It was a slaughter of what most agree was 140 emigrants from Arkansas who were on their way to California. That senseless slaughter of innocents became known as "The Mountain Meadows Massacre."

The Utah Territorial Militia, which was officially known as the "Nauvoo Legion," was made up of Southern Utah Mormon settlers. And since they knew perfectly well that their crime of mass murder was one so horrid in nature that they would certainly be hanged for their horrible deeds, they decided to leave no witnesses. So in an effort to prevent anyone from identifying those responsible and to stop the possibility of any sort of reprisals against them, they killed men, women, and children.

Yes, they killers mercilessly killed every adult man and woman, as well as the older children. Out of those attacked, only 17 very young children, all said to be under the age of 6 were spared. And to confuse and deceive their victims, the Utah Militia dressed as Indians and used some Native American weapons to give the impression that the massacre was done by Indians. The militia's plan also included arming a few Paiute, then get them join the militiamen who were dressed as Indians. 

The Baker-Fancher wagon train was no different than other wagon trains heading West. Their wagon train was primarily made up of families from Arkansas, all bound for California. The pioneers were folks from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties in Arkansas. They were headed to Southern California. Aboard the wagons was their lives, family treasures, memories of where they came from, and of course whatever money they had.

The party was made up of a dozen large and prosperous families and their hired hands. No slaves were in the party to anyone's knowledge. The wagon train is believed to have had up to 30 wagons all pulled by ox and mule teams. They also brought several hundred head of cattle and a number of blooded horses with them. Some reports say they were headed to California’s Central Valley while others say they were headed to Southern California. Either way, the group consisted of about 140 men, women and children. The women and children are said to have outnumbered the adult men by 3 to 1.

The wagons made their way through a route that crossed the Utah Territory. And soon, the Baker-Fancher group made their way to Salt Lake City. There they were confronted with Mormons who were not very happy to see them. Basically because of their hostility and distrust for anyone from the outside, Mormons refused to sell the Baker-Fancher group stock when they tried to buy fresh oxen and mules. Because of that taking place, the folks in that wagon train knew full well that their journey was made harder. So they left Salt Lake City as soon as they could and made their way South through the Old Spanish Trail.

While they traveled slower than they normally would have with fresh oxen and mules, they decided to rest and allow their cattle to graze at Mountain Meadows. It was an area that had good pasture and water. Mountain Meadows is considered an alpine oasis on the Old Spanish Trail between Salt Lake City and Southern California. It was there that the Mormon Militia attacked them for no apparent reason. 

On Monday, September 7th, at dawn, the Utah Territorial Militia, also known as the "Nauvoo Legion," with it's 70 Mormons and handful of Paiute Indians, attacked the wagon train with a barrage of gunfire and arrows. The Utah militiamen were firing their arrows from a nearby ravine. They used gunfire to rain down on the wagons from hilltops overlooking the 30 wagons. The first volley alone is said to have killed or wounded a quarter of the men.

And though that was the case, the men in the wagon train are said to have leveled their long rifles and fired at the smoke of their attackers. This stopped the Utah Militia from making a full on frontal assault.

With the first attack, the Arkansans pulled their wagons into a circle and quickly built an improvised wagon fort including digging a pit to get their women and children out of the line of fire. Of course besides being under assault from what they assumed were hostile Indians, they were cut off from water.

Rationing water and saving as much ammunition as possible while under continuous gunfire and an assault from arrows, the Arkansas emigrants did in fact stave off their attackers for five days. And yes, it's said that they the Utah Militia attacked the wagon train time and time again but were repealed by the emigrants after each assault.

While a desire to live and persevere motivated those in the wagon train, frustration was being felt by the Utah Militia who soon realized that they were simply not able to wipe out the wagon train as they planned. For the Mormon Militia, their five-day siege of the pioneers from Arkansas was seen as fruitless since those in the wagon train fought back so valiantly. 

It is said that it was on the second day of their siege that Mormon Militia's leadership realized that some of the Arkansas emigrants saw that they were Whites and not Indians. Some speculate that it was their knowledge of being discovered for who they really were, and the possibility that some of their militia may be identified at a later date, that made the militia's commander to order the killing of every emigrant in that wagon train. Yes, every men, women, and child.

Because the wagon train was running low on food and water, and since no one thought they would need enough provisions to last out a siege, the folks in the wagon train met with the Utah Militia under a white flag of truce. The Utah Militia gave assurance to the travelers that were there to protect them. That they were there to escort them to safety. But, there was one stipulation. The folks from Arkansas had to lay down their arms.

As crazy as it sounds, knowing that they would be unarmed against hostiles, those in the wagon train accepted the help. They were split into groups and walked a distance from the camp before they were all summarily slaughtered. All who were thought old enough to be potential witnesses to what really took place were killed.

It's true, on Friday, September 11th, 1857, two Mormon militiamen walked up to the wagon train holding a white flag of truce. They assured the folks from Arkansas that they were there to help. The two were soon accompanied by a local Indian Agent and militia officer who told the Arkansas travelers that he had personally negotiated some sort of truce with the Paiutes. He told the Arkansans that he and his men had come to rescue them from the Indians. If the emigrants would lay down their arms, then he assured them that they would be escorted to safety under Mormon protection. But only if they laid down their arms and turned over all of their livestock and supplies to the Indians.

Because the folks from Arkansas were out of options, they did as instructed. Right after that the Mormons separated the survivors into three groups. The wounded and youngest children were the first to be loaded onto two wagons to lead the way to safety. The second were the women and older children who walked behind the wagons. The third group were the men. Each of them were escorted by an armed guard from the militia. They brought up the rear.

The Indian Agent led the groups away from their wagons for what some say was more than a mile to the California Trail and right there at the rim of the Great Basin. It was there that a senior Mormon militia officer escorting the men gave the order to halt.

With that, a single shot rang out. Then each escort turned and shot the man he was escorting. Other militia members are said to have jumped out of the brush lining the trail and cut down the women and children. The Indian Agent himself is said to have personally directed the murder of the wounded.

Within a mere five minutes, the horrible atrocity was over. Everyone from the wagon train lay dead. That is except for what some believe were 17 children all under the age of 7.

Surprisingly, killers saw those children as being too young to be credible witnesses. They were also said to have "qualified" as "innocent blood" under Mormon doctrine. Those children were actually taken in by local Mormon families. Reports say that in an effort to conceal the massacre, the Utah Militia ordered local families to take in one or more of the 17 children that were spared.

After the massacre, believe it or not, the Utah Militia actually buried the victims in shallow graves. If you're thinking that this would not look like an Indian massacre, you're right. And since they did bury them in a hurry, the bodies of their victims were left vulnerable to critters searching for food. That means that they were probably unearthed enough for investigators to examine. The bodies were found and the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to murder. And since Indians did not bury their victims, people there knew it was not them.

The goods and family treasures that survived the trip from Arkansas to that deadly spot in Utah was said to have been auctioned off by the militia itself. In reality, after the massacre, some of the property was said to have been taken by the Paiute. But since the wagon train carried all of the worldly goods of those murdered, and was considered the wealthiest wagon train to make that trek, their valuables and of course their cattle were taken by the Mormon Militia and split up among them. Some of the cash and property is said to have ended up in the pockets of Mormon leader Brigham Young. To me, that sounds a lot like a murder robbery than simple vengeance for some reason.

As for the cattle, it's believed that some of the cattle were driven to Salt Lake City and sold there. Much of what was left was personal property, those things are believed to have ended up in the "tithing house" in Cedar City. It is believed that those things were also auctioned off to Mormons there. Imagine that.

The officers in charge made the Utah Militia swear an oath of secrecy. Then a plan was put into play that would blame the entire massacre on the Paiute Indians. And though that was the official line about what took place there, as the evidence inevitably came out, those guilty tried to explain it away with lies and even denying that it ever took place. And yes, it's also said that some of the killers actually went insane and tried killing themselves. Other Utah Militia members are said to have fled to Mexico one step ahead of the hangman. Or more aptly for Utah, one step ahead of a firing squad.

In 1874, investigations led to nine Utah Militia officers and the Indian Agent John D. Lee being indicted. Of the men indicted, only Lee was tried in court. After two trials in the Utah Territory, Lee was finally convicted by a jury and sentenced to death by firing squad. It should be noted that he made a full confession without implicating others before being executed.

On March 23rd, 1877, Indian Agent John D. Lee was executed by firing squad for what took place at Mountain Meadows. He is regarded today as a scapegoat.

Later the U.S. Army reclaimed 17 of the children and returned to relatives in Arkansas. Those children never received a penny in compensation. was ever offered to the survivors. For many living descendants and relatives of the victims, it's said that the massacre remains a bitter reminder of the injustice that was experienced by some in the Old West.

And there is something else, sadly those who were killed have been slandered over the years in one way or another. Some have actually said that the Mountain Meadows Massacre was a reprisal for the killing of some Mormon in Arkansas about the same time. Others say those folks in the wagon train were criminal types who left Arkansas on the run. Many fabricate such stories in an effort to make excuses for such a crime against humanity. We should be aware of that when researching history.

As for the motive? Some say it was because of the Utah War against Federal troops entering Utah from 1857 to 1858. The Utah Militia reportedly used tactics such as destroying supplies while avoided direct fighting. It's also reported that commanders and members of the Iron County Utah Territorial Militia, were overcome with suspicion and war hysteria when they massacred the Baker-Fancher wagon train.

While Mormons were the majority in the Great Salt Lake basin, the Western part of the Utah Territory was populated by non-Mormon settlers. This led to a great deal of hate and discontent for those not of their faith because the Mormons saw their arrival as an encroachment on Mormon territory. And while that may have been the motive for the massacre, it's also possible that the Utah Militia used their sanctioned authority to simply murder and rob those traveling through their territory.

This tragedy is a great example of the plight of pioneers headed West. It points to the challenges and dangers that they had to endure at the time.

Best Regards,
Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mass Shootings Have Long History

As we all know, on Sunday, October 1st, concert-goers in Las Vegas, Nevada, came under attack by a ruthless killer intent on slaughtering as many innocent people as possible.  The killer opened fire from a 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Casino. His target was a crowd of 22,000 concert-goers 400 yards below attending the Route 91 Harvest festival, a country music festival. 

His rampage lasted a little over 15 minutes. Sunday's mass shooting left 59 people dead and 527 injured or wounded. It panicked concert-goers who tried to take cover while being completely unaware at first of where the gunfire was coming from. No one suspected a room on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel where the killer could just rain down fire.

The Las Vegas Police SWAT broke into the killer's room and found Stephen Paddock dead by suicide. This horrific tragedy is now considered the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history. 

As for motive, the big question as to why Paddock did it? No one knows. And frankly, I don't think anyone ever will. No, it's not like the Orlando, Florida, mass shooting where we know that it was a Muslim terrorist attack targeting gays. 

In Orlando, Florida, on June 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 were wounded. Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse nightclub as the club was hosting a "Latin Night." before he was killed by Orlando police.  The Pulse is a gay nightclub in Orlando, and many of the victims were Latino.

During the shooting, Omar Mateen called the Orlando Police to swear allegiance to the ISIS. It is the  deadliest act of Muslim terror in the United States since September 11th, 2001.

On April 16th, 2007, Virginia Tech University, South Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the school, killed more than 30 students and 2 instructors. In two separate attacks about two hours apart, he killed 32 people, and wounded 17 more before committing suicide.

The 2007 mass shooting on Virginia Tech University's campus remains the deadliest school shooting in United States history. Yes, considered worse because of the numbers of innocent people killed than what took on December 14th, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 people were killed and 2 were wounded.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, saw killer Adam Lanza enter the secured school and killed 26 people inside the school. Twenty students between the ages of 6 and 7, and six teachers were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Minutes before he went to the school, the 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered his mother at their home using her rifle. Adam Lanza committed suicide when the police arrived at the school.

In Killeen, Texas, on October 16th, 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup truck through the glass front window of a Luby's restaurant. He then began shooting patrons and staff inside.  All toll, 23 people were killed and 27 people were wounded before he finally shot himself dead. 

On July 18th, 1984, James Huberty shot 40 people at a McDonald's restaurant in the San Ysidro district of San Diego, California. Among those that the 41 year old Huberty murdered was an 8 month old little boy and a 9 year old girl. Among those he wounded was a 4 month old baby girl.

Before he went out to commit mass murder, according to the New York Daily News, he told his wife, "I'm going hunting. Hunting for humans." His shooting spree was ended when Huberty was shot and killed by a San Diego SWAT Team sniper positioned on a nearby roof. He killed 21 adults and children while wounding 19 others. 

Back on August 1st, 1966, the University of Texas-Austin, saw a sniper on the observation deck of the University of Texas's main building, known as the Tower, shot dozens of people. 

In that mass shooting, local police actually got assistance from Texas students who used their own hunting rifles to try to pick off the shooter. All toll 15 died and 31 others were wounded. But what many do not realize is this, those students who used their rifles to put pressure on that sniper in the Tower actually minimized the number of people killed that day. 

The shooting lasted a little more than 90 minutes. It ended when police officers were finally able to storm the Tower and shoot the killer dead.

On December 2nd, 2015, another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire on unsuspecting folks inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. 

Besides shooting everyone they could inside the building, the couple also planted three homemade pipe bombs in the building. Happily, they failed to detonate. All toll, they killed 14 innocent people while wounding another 22 wounded before the couple fled the scene and were killed by police. 

On August 20th, 1986, a part-time mail carrier by the name of Patrick Sherrill shot 20 fellow postal workers at the US Post Office in Edmond, Oklahoma. The attack ended when Sherrill fatally shot himself in the head. This was the first of a number of shooting involving postal workers between 1986 and 1999. This killing of 14 people and wounding 6 others, inspired the expression "going postal."

Another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place at Ford Hood, an U.S. Army base near Killeen, Texas. That Muslim terrorist attack on November 5th, 2009, left 13 people dead and 30 wounded.

It all took place with Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist became a Muslim terrorist, and decided to wage "jihad" on his fellow American soldiers. It is the deadliest mass shooting to take place on a U.S. military base. As for Nidal Hasan, he was sentenced to death in 2013 and remains in prison to this day.

Five years later, in 2014, Fort Hood was the site of another shooting spree which left three people dead and 14 wounded.

Below is an article that you may find interesting. I did. 

Mass Shootings Have Long History

By Rossella Lorenzi 

Senior Correspondent — Discovery News
December 20th, 2012

He came along with a shotgun on his shoulder while a group of children were playing in front of the school. Without warning or provocation, he raised the gun to his shoulder, took deliberate aim, and fired into the crowd of boys.

Although it sounds sadly modern, the account was published in the New York Times more than a century ago.

Dated April 10, 1891, the article described an elderly man firing a shotgun at children playing in front of St. Mary's Parochial School in Newburgh, NY.

"None of the children were killed, but several were well filled with lead," the report said.

More than a century earlier, on July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in what is considered the earliest known U.S. mass school shooting.

Indeed, killing or trying to kill a mass of people is not a modern phenomenon. For as long as there has been history, there have been gruesome mass murders.

"The terms amok, a Malayan word, and berserk, a Norse word, have been used to describe individuals going on killing sprees. Both terms have been around for centuries, which reflects the fact that mass murder is neither a modern nor a uniquely American phenomenon," Grant Duwe, director of research at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told Discovery News.

Defined as bloody events that occur within a 24-hour period and that involve a minimum of four victims, mass murders have occurred all over the world, in different times, societies and cultures.

Some of the earliest recorded cases include the 1893 killing with guns and swords of 11 people (including an infant) in Osaka, Japan, the 1914 shooting of 7 people in the Italian village of Camerata Cornello, not to mention the case of German spree killer Ernst August Wagner.

In 1913, he stabbed to death his wife and four children in Degerloch, near Stuttgart, then drove to Mühlhausen an der Enz where he opened fire on 20 people, killing at least nine, leaving two animals dead and several buildings burned to the ground.

In 1927, South African farmer Stephanus Swart shot dead at least 8 people and injured 3 others in Charlestown, South Africa, before committing suicide.

In 1938 almost half of the population of the rural village of Kaio, near Tsuyama city in Japan, was murdered as 21-year-old Mutsuo Toi killed 30 people with a shotgun, sword and axe, injured three others and then shot himself to death.

Between 1954 and 1957, William Unek murdered a total of 57 people in two separate spree killings in the Belgian Congo.

He first killed 21 people with an axe, then shot dead ten men, eight women and eight children, slaughtered six more men with the axe, burned two women and a child, and strangled a 15-year-old girl.

More recently in the bloody timeline of shooting sprees, some of the most dramatic incidents include the 1987 Hungerford massacre in England, where gun enthusiast Michael Ryan shot 16 people dead and wounded another 15 before committing suicide, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, where 28 year old Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 21 before being caught by police, and the 1996 school shooting in the Scottish town of Dunblane.

There, failed shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school, killing 16 children and a teacher before turning his gun on his mouth.

"I could have been one of those children," tennis player Andy Murray wrote in his autobiography, "Hitting Back."

Britain's highest ranked player, Murray was eight when Hamilton burst into the school and began shooting. He and his 10-year-old brother Jamie escaped the fire by hiding under a desk.

In the United States, two mass murder waves characterized the 20th century. One appeared in the 1920s and 30s and another in the mid-1960s, following a tranquil period in the 1940s and 50s.

The two waves, however, were qualitatively different, according to Duwe.

The author of "Mass Murder in the United States: A History," Duwe researched 909 cases of mass killing that occurred in the United States between 1900 and 1999.

"The first mass murder wave in the 1920s and 30s was comprised mainly of familicides and felony-related massacres, which, then as now, are less likely to garner extensive media coverage," Duwe said.

On the contrary, the second mass murder wave from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s consisted of a greater number of mass public shootings, similar to the recent Aurora movie theater shooting and Newtown school shooting.

These incidents "have always captured a great deal of interest and concern," Duwe said.

Marked by the 1966 Texas Tower shootings where student Charles Whitman climbed a 27-story tower on the University of Texas campus shooting dead 14 people and wounding 31 others, the mid-1960s do not actually represent the beginning of an unprecedented mass murder wave in the United States.

"Since 1900, the highest mass murder rate was in 1929. Mass public shootings are one of several types of mass murder and generally account for roughly 10-15 percent of all mass killings in the U.S.," Duwe said.

According to the criminologists, the 1990s had the highest number of mass public shootings with a little more than 40 -- an average of a little more than 4 each year. The number of mass public shootings dropped below 30 in the years between 2000 and 2009.

"This year, however, the U.S. has had at least seven mass public shootings, which is the highest number since 1999," Duwe said.

-- end of article.

Rossella Lorenzi is the archaeology correspondent for Discovery News. She lives in Florence, Italy, and she says she divides her time among an 18th-century Florentine house, virtual archaeological digs, and travels to report on new historical discoveries. She writes for Discovery News, Fox News, CBS News, Yahoo, Scientific American, HuffPost, Mashable, LiveScience, and Archaeology Magazine.

Her article points to the fact that mass shootings happen all over the world. The perpetrators are of every race and color. Contrary to what some on the Left are now saying after the Las Vegas Massacre, these acts are not committed only by White men. Mass shootings are not just an American problem, contrary to what some in the Media are now saying.

As for what made Paddock do it? This tragedy has no rhyme or reason to it. And frankly, people can guess and wonder and speculate until the cows come home, but I don't think we'll ever really understand what drove him to do it. We will never really understand the premeditation, the deliberate act of planning such an attack, and the big question as to why people like Paddock do what they do when it's pure evil. 

Just as no one knows why some folks are so consumed with hate for President Trump, Republicans, and Conservatives, that such a person will shoot up a baseball game between Congressmen, I believe that no one will ever truly understand how someone is so consumed with evil that they would want to rain gunfire on innocent country music concert-goers. And while some in the mainstream media are trying to say that mass shootings only take place in the United States, please don't believe that. That's just a lie.

Tom Correa

Monday, October 2, 2017

The NFL Is A Disgrace

As we all have found out last year, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hates America. He proved that to everyone when he refused to stand and give proper respect to our flag and our nation during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner"when he was being paid millions of dollars to play football. 

He said his kneeling during our National Anthem was his way bringing attention to what he called social injustice toward Black Americans. Specifically, his protest was in line with the Black Lives Matter propaganda that says America's law enforcement purposely mistreats Blacks because of their race. 

Of course he never mentioned weather those trying to kill a police officer were shot and killed BECAUSE they were trying to kill a police officer. Then again maybe he was too stupid or simply too ignorant to understand the reality of the world we live in. Maybe he is either too dumb or too naive to understand the basics of our civilization. Maybe he it to out of touch with reality because of his being pampered in life. Maybe he is to out of touch because he made millions of dollars while playing a game. Maybe he is incapable of understanding that when one breaks the law, there are consequences no matter what height, weight, sex, color, or race you are. 

This year, a great number of NFL players have picked up where Kaepernick left off. This year, it is believed that 1 in 8 NFL players disrespectfully kneels instead of stands respectfully when America's National Anthem has been played in stadiums across our country.

And yes, as I see it, those who are kneeling are proving to the world that they are truly classless ingrates, nothing but a bunch of spoiled millionaires who would probably have nothing if it weren't for the opportunities that our great nation as afforded them.

They are probably too dumb to understand that they have reached the pinnacle of their sport here in America and would never been able to do such a thing in any other nation but America. Yes, if for any other reason the simple fact that we are the only nation that plays football. They were given the opportunity to strive to be the best and become professionals at what they do. They were given that chance here, yet they don't have the smallest bit of class to stand during our National Anthem as say "Thanks." Yes, ingrates. Nothing but ingrates.

During a speech at a rally in Alabama on September 22nd, President Trump called for NFL owners to fire their players if they engaged in such disrespectful conduct. Challenging the NFL owners, he told the crowd at the rally, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!'"

Frankly, when I heard President Trump say that, I felt he was talking to me. I would love to see one of the NFL owners say, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He's fired" when they see a player disrespecting our flag,

Yes, a large number of polls show that the vast majority of Americans believe the NFL player protest as being done by a bunch of ingrates, believe that the players as nothing but a bunch of pampered millionaires, beleive that they are only doing this because they are a bunch of no class wealthy ungrateful jocks who are catered to by the NFL. And yes, a vast majority of Americans believe like I do in that President Trump was speaking for all of us when he said "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now" if an owner sees one of his players disrespecting our flag. 

Predictably, in the days that followed that rally, President Trump was hammered by the Liberal Media for using such language even thought they themselves have used worse language to describe how they view President Trump on any given day. And yes, this is the same Liberal Media who raved about how wonderful it was when Barack Obama invited the hate group Black Lives Matter to the White House even after knowing that they had committed racist hate crimes by beating and killing White and Hispanic Americans.

There is no difference between the NFL and ANTIFA because they both HATE America.  

I believe that those NFL players who are kneeling are no different than ANTIFA, and other hate groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter which are sponsored by the Democrat Party. And yes, the Liberal Media is really no different than those ingrates that are kneeling during our National Anthem. Their common denominator is their hate for America. 

What amazes me is how the NFL thinks that they are representing America and that OK with Americans? They don't represent America in the exact same way that ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and the Democrat Party doesn't represent America today. And no, it's not OK with Americans. Liberals sure, but not real Americans.

If the NFL players want to do something constructive, then maybe, just maybe, they'd have the cojones to take on the real issues plaguing Black Americans? Yes, not take a knee during our National Anthem to protest cops, but show that they have what it takes to speak to the real issues such as Black on Black crime which is an epidemic today. 

Talk about how more Black Americans are slaughtered by other Blacks than the cops, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, anyone else that one can name. Talk about how 16% of the American population which is made of Blacks is responsible for 54% of all homicides in America. Talk about how Blacks murder Blacks to such an extent that Blacks are responsible for 97% of all Black homicides. 

If anything, why don't these self-righteous NFL players use their wealth to speak to the Black Community as a whole about the problems that plague them?

Why no talk to their fellow Blacks about the soaring abortion rate of Black Americans, the out of this world incarceration rate of Blacks, the out of sight crime rate among Black teens, the increasing number of Black dead-beat dads? Why not talk about Blacks who use race as a way to benefit their bank accounts while stirring divisiveness and contempt? 

Why aren't these disgraceful NFL players addressing the need for the police, or how to better cooperate with the police? Why not figure out ways of working with the police instead of protesting the police? Why not take a hard look at what fighting the police has gotten them?

As a result of 8 years of Barack Obama trying to divide America by race, Americans are more divided by race than we have been in the last 40 years. As for what effect the Black Community's open hatred of the police has had on their lives, the police are patrolling Black neighborhoods less than ever. Subsequently, crime in the Black Community is higher today than it's been in 10 years.

Why are the police patrolling Black neighborhoods less? For one thing, police have very little support in the Black Community. The Black Community has demonized the police to such an extent that the police rightfully fear lawsuits, ruined careers, terminations, being placed in no win situations, and even facing the possibility of being arrested for not conforming to political correctness which rules most big American cities because of Democrat mayors. 

Of course many departments face the problem of having their enforcement methods questioned by Liberal city administrators and the Black Community in general. And the irony of all of this is that the police are in a no win situation as never before. City administrations and the Black Community screams when the police are doing their jobs and when the police withdraw and play it safe. 

Yes, I know a few police officers who have written saying that using deadly force to safe their own lives can be the end of their career and their families financial security. One officer wrote to say, he now carries insurances to protect himself from his own department, his city administrators, the Black Community's legion of lawyers, the Federal and State governments. He said that most officers are feeling hampered and can't do their job to such an extent that they have decided patrol other sections of their cities and let the Black Community police themselves. Yes, that sounds like a no win situation. 

So are ingrate NFL players trying to help out and maybe make a bad situation better? No. Instead the NFL is now inspiring Black teens and small children to do the same as they do. Around the country there are a number of school football programs that have been cancelled simply because there are coaches who approve of children want to emulate the disgraceful actions of their NFL heroes. 

While the NFL is teaching a whole new generation to disrespect American traditions, our National Anthem, and our flag, the NFL and its disrespectful players are not completely getting away with this scott free. They are now realizing that actions have consequences. 

For example, DirectTV announced that it would break its own rules and allow outraged fans to cancel their sports package, and get a full refund. Along with this, sponsors are withdrawing their ads, viewer ship is down, and ticket sales are down drastically. Because fans see the NFL as condoning disrespect for our flag, fans are declaring war on the NFL by hitting them right in the wallet.

The Washington Examiner has just reported that NFL ticket sales have plummeted nearly 20 percent since the start of this season. And it's not only game day ticket sales that are down as some teams are reporting that season ticket holders are not renewing. The low ticket sales combined with the fact that NFL merchandise sales are at an all time low, this proves that the American people are angry that multimillionaires are nothing but spoiled classless ingrates.

Yes, most Americans agree with President Trump that their actions should not be tolerated and they should be fired. But since it appears NFL owners support what their players are doing, fans realize that their only action is to boycott the NFL.

If the NFL thinks that we the American people will just sit by and do nothing while a bunch of spoiled rotten millionaire players through a tantrum and spit on our flag, they have another thing coming. While they think we need them, and that we everyday Americans are the all racist because we refuse to support their disrespectful conduct, they and the Left-leaning groups who are supporting them are drastically under-estimating the effect that a boycott will have.

Somehow or another, maybe it's simply because of their huge egos, the NFL believed that they can insult America, our flag, our Anthem, our Troops who are fighting right now overseas, our Veterans, our citizens as a whole. Well, we're now proving them wrong.

Tom Correa