Monday, July 30, 2018

Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter -- New Mexico Killer


Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter was born sometime in 1878. Some say he died in the 1920s, but really it's not known when he died or how. Though that's the case, we do know prison records show he's buried in the New Mexico State Prison Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As for who was he? Well, he started out a petty thieve, moved on to join a small gang of train robbers, and then graduated from thieve and full fledged murderer.

It's said he picked up the handle "Pack Saddle Jack" because that was the type of saddle that he used when riding his horse. Yes, some say he actually used a pack saddle instead of a regular riding saddle to ride a horse. Of course, another story goes that he was a petty criminal who supposedly hid the things he stole in his pack saddle and covered it with a blanket. As strange as it sounds, it's said he'd actually sit on top of the blanketed pack saddle in an effort to get people to stop thinking that he was hiding something. If that sounds pretty dumb to you, please don't feel alone on that. I thought so as well when I researched this outlaw.

If you've ever packed a pack saddle, then you know how it sounds pretty silly for someone to try to hide stolen goods on a pack saddle even by covering it with a blanket -- all with the hopes that no one notices you're riding on something. It's one thing to use panniers, but just a pack saddle would be pretty obvious. 

From what I could find out about "Pack Saddle Jack," since around 1897, he and his family lived in Cedaredge, Colorado. By 1907, he was in jail in Delta, Colorado, for beating up his wife. He was one of the three outlaws in a gang which also included Harvey Logan, aka Kid Curry. He and Curry and another robbed a Denver & Rio Grande train near Parachute, Colorado, on July 7th, 1904. 

The story goes that when the westbound Denver & Rio Grande train made its 1:15 a.m. stop in Parachute, that a man jumped aboard the engine. At gun point, he ordered the train engineer to proceed to Streit Flats just three miles west of Parachute. That man is believed to have been Kid Curry. Three miles west of Parachute is where Pack Saddle Jack and another joined Curry.

The three train robbers had the Baggage Master open the doors of the baggage car and then they used dynamite to blow open the safe. While they were expecting to find a shipment of gold, the safe was empty. It's said the gold shipment was actually shipped out earlier than scheduled. From there, the badmen headed out and ended up in Battlement Mesa where they stole fresh horses. 

While this was going on, lawmen gathered a posse of town's folk, local ranchers, and cowboys from around the Grand Junction and Parachute area. As soon as they were ready, they took off after the train robbers. The posse caught up with the outlaws and immediately a running gun battle started. 

Somehow the badmen escaped that fight, but the posse again caught up with them on East Divide Creek. Legend says the outlaws hid behind rocks and yelled at the posse to "go back or get hurt!" 

The posse didn't take kindly to being threatened by a few lowlife outlaws and the battle was on. Soon, one outlaw was heard screaming that he'd been hit. Many in the posse said later they heard him say he was going to "finish the job" before hearing a shot fired. When the posse overtook their position in the rocks, they found an outlaw with a bullet hole in his chest and a bullet hole in his head. 

The coward who took his own life was later identified by Pinkerton Detectives as Kid Curry. Since this was pretty close to Glenwood Springs, he was taken to that graveyard where he was buried. His grave is supposedly near Doc Holliday's grave there.  

In March of 1907, famed Colorado lawman, former Gunnison County Sheriff and Deputy U.S. Marshal Cyrus Wells "Doc" Shores, was working as a railroad detective. He arrived in Cedaredge looking for information on Pack Saddle Jack and his cohort. He knew they were involved in the Denver & Rio Grande robbery, and he needed to find them.

Cyrus Wells “Doc” Shores was a legend in that part of the country. He was considered a lawman's lawman. He was born on November 11th, 1844, so he was a 62 year old man when he arrived in Cedaredge. Just as point of interest, he died on October 12th, 1934. Yes, just one month shy of 90 years old. He's buried in the Gunnison Cemetery.

He was considered tough as they came, a lawman with common sense and a great deal of smarts who was known for sniffing out badmen. He started out as a  lawman on Colorado's Western Slope in the early days when lawmen had to make the law as they went along. As the Gunnison County Sheriff, he was known for the captured of Alferd Packer who was known as the "Colorado Cannibal." After serving as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, he took the job of railroad detective. The inscription on his headstone reads, "Western Colorado's most noted frontiersman, pioneer and lawman."

Shores' investigation of the the Denver & Rio Grande robbery led to the arrest of Pack Saddle Jack in Glenwood Springs. Because of Shores' reputation, it's said Pack Saddle Jack didn't put up a fight. But because of alibis, a jury couldn't convict him and he was acquitted in June of 1907.

After the trial, Pack Saddle Jack moved his wife and four children to Taos, New Mexico. It was there on March 26th, 1909, that after being involved in a bar-fight in Robert Pooler's Saloon in Taos, Pack Saddle Jack left to find a gun.

When he returned, he had a rifle and wanted to kill saloon owner Robert Pooler. Some say he wanted to kill him for taking the side of the others who he was in a fight with. Some say he wanted to kill Pooler simply because Pooler threw him out of his saloon. For whatever no good reason, Pack Saddle Jack used his rifle to ambush Robert Pooler. He dry gulched Pooler by firing a single shot through a saloon window. It's said Pooler was dead before he hit the floor.

Robert C. Pooler was born on May 9th, 1872. He was only 36 on the night that he had to deal with Pack Saddle Jack. Fact is, Jack was only 4 years younger than Pooler.

Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter was seen committing the murder and was immediately arrested. This time, a fake alibi wouldn't be able to get him off. He was tried and convicted in a New Mexico court of 2nd degree murder. For his killing of Taos saloon owner Robert Pooler, Pack Saddle Jack was sentenced to 99 years in the New Mexico State Penitentiary.

While I couldn't find when this killer died, there are those who say that former Deputy U.S. Marshal Doc Shores visited Pack Saddle Jack in prison when Shores was working on a book. Shores had reported that Pack Saddle Jack had gone insane in prison and died sometime there in the 1920s.

But frankly, who knows? Besides, when he died doesn't really matter. What matters is, insane or not, he spends eternity frying in Hell for ambushing and killing an innocent man who is said to have left behind a wife and children.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa




Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why It’s Not Racist Or Sexist For The University Of Wyoming To Champion Cowboys

Dear Friends, 

While I don't post the articles of other writers very often, this is a very good article that I would like to share with all. Also I would like to thank Floyd Campbell for sending it to me. Thanks Floyd! 

Why It’s Not Racist Or Sexist For The University Of Wyoming To Champion Cowboys

By Helen Raleigh
JULY 17, 2018

Activists are attacking the University of Wyoming's use of 'cowboy' in its slogan, on the grounds it's sexist and racist. They could not be more wrong.

The University of Wyoming finds itself in a rare national controversy because of its new marketing slogan: “The world needs more cowboys.” Even though the recruiting video features a diverse student body on and off campus, some faculty members and activists complained the word “cowboy” is sexist and racist, because it implies only white men with guns are welcomed.

“If you’re not a white person and especially if you’re an Indian, it would make you feel out of place,” Darrell Hutchinson, cultural specialist with the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming, told Reuters. “It wouldn’t make you feel too good about yourself.” These critics of the slogan couldn’t be more wrong.


UW is my alma mater. Years ago, when I was still a new immigrant to this country, I rode the Greyhound bus for three days and three nights from upstate New York, to Laramie, Wyoming, to begin my pursuit of an MBA degree at the UW business school. It was my first cross-country trip in the U.S. and my first time in America’s west. When the bus dropped me off at the Laramie Greyhoundbus station, I thought I had walked into a John Wayne western movie set: crystal clear blue sky, rugged mountains with snow caps, and miles and miles of openness.

As a female minority immigrant, my life in Laramie was a blessed one. UW has a beautiful campus and an amazingly diverse student body. In my MBA class, there were two Chinese students, three from Norway, two from Finland and four from the U.S. Two thirds of my class was made up of women. Some of us are more liberal than others. Next to the tall pine trees and inside the unique sand stone buildings, I often saw different skin colors and heard many different languages spoken.

UW is not only the place where I acquired an excellent education from many distinguished professors, it’s also the place I experienced many first time life experiences. This was where I bought my first car, a stick shift 1984 Ford Escort Pony. My roommate had to drive the car back to our apartment since I only knew how to drive an automatic. She gave me one lesson around the block and I was off on my own. I have to admit that the first couple of trips were rough, but I eventually got a hang of it. That is the cowboy way: someone is always there to help, but mostly you will learn to figure it out on your own.

At UW, I went to my first BBQ and learned how to grill hotdogs. I attended my first Cowboys’ football game and high fived with mascot Pistol Pete. The gold and brown hoodie with an emblem depicting a cowboy riding a bucking horse with hat in hand kept me warm through the harsh winter.


When it was near Christmas, two professors took several of us to the mountains. We got to pick out our own Christmas tree in the woods, cut it and drag it back to their pickup truck. I also learned how to snowshoe during this trip, and that has become one of my favorite winter sports. By the time I completed the MBA program, UW had transformed me from a soft spoken and somewhat timid young woman into a confident cowboy who was ready to take on any challenge.

Yes, I am proud to call myself, an immigrant from Communist China, a cowboy. Like UW’s new recruiting video says, “it’s not what you are that makes you a cowboy or cowgirl, but who you are. It’s a shared spirit. It’s the spirit of the underdog. The kind of spirit that longs for something to prove. The kind that emboldens those who possess it to stand on the perimeter and howl into the unknown with unbendable optimism.” After two years at UW, that cowboy spirit was ingrained in me.

Our higher education is in a deep crisis. University campuses used to be the first places for free inquiry, ideas and reason. Now they have become the first place where the freedom of expression is often pushed aside to make room for ideological purity. Non-progressive ideas often are not tolerated, sometimes rejected violently, for no reason except the political correctness bench marks set by a few.

So many elite universities, such as Yale, have bowed down to PC mobs and forgone their roles of teaching our young people critical thinking, curiosity, truth, reason and beauty. But, UW stands out and stands firm. The board of trustees voted “unanimously” to proceed with “the world needs more cowboys” campaign, because “the world needs more wonder. More outside thinkers hungry for a challenge.”

The annual cost for attending UW as an out of state undergraduate student is about $14,000, compared to almost $70,000 that elite schools such as Yale charge. If you are a high school senior, I’d strongly encourage you to apply for UW. At UW, it does not matter what your gender is, what skin color you have or what language you speak. This is the place where not only you will receive a quality education with little or no student loan debt, but also where you will join many fellow cowboys to “pick up the torch of progress and fearlessly venture onwards” to create wonders in this world.

About the author: 

Helen Raleigh is a senior contributor to The Federalist. An immigrant from China, she is the owner of Red Meadow Advisors, LLC, and an immigration policy fellow at the Centennial Institute in Colorado.

She is the author of several books, including "Confucius Never Said" and "The Broken Welcome Mat." 




Monday, July 23, 2018

So Long Hopalong Cassidy -- A Poem By Don McLean

Dear Friends,

As can be expected of a child of the 1950s and '60s, I grew up on Westerns. 

Like many many others, I marveled at the lighting speed of The Rifleman, I admired the go it alone knight for hire Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel, I laughed at the cowardly antics of Brett and Bart Maverick, and I loved Zorro's skill with a sword and his black horse Tornado. 

But as most of you know, I'm a fan of William Boyd who played Hopalong Cassidy. Yes, my favorite was Hopalong Cassidy. And because William Boyd made over 66 Hopalong Cassidy films between 1938 and 1945, I grew up on re-runs. And frankly, I'm actually very thankful for that.

While I will do a more extensive post on William Boyd, I wanted to share this with you. It's a poem. In 1971, poet song writer Don McLean came out with a song titled American Pie. What people may not know is that McLean was a fan of Hopalong Cassidy. He wrote the poem below to William Boyd's famous Hopalong Cassidy. The poem first appeared on the inside record sleeve of the American Pie album.

Here's Don McLean’s poem to Hopalong Cassidy which was included on the inside cover of the American Pie album in 1971.

So Long Hopalong Cassidy

No matter how scary life got I could depend on you
You had that easy smile and white, wavy hair
You were my favorite father figure with two guns blazing
Not even Victor Jory could stand up to those 44-40s you packed
And that stallion you rode, I think his name was Topper
He was so beautiful and white he even came when you whistled
I’ve always liked black and I loved your clothes
Black hat, black pants, and shirt
Silver spurs and two guns in black holsters with pearly-white handles
Black and white, that was you Hoppy
The bad men fell the good guys lived on
The ladies touched your hand but never kissed
Whenever John Carradine asked a question you’d say
“That comes under the heading of my business”
Then you’d call for another sarsparilla
I believed in you so much that I’d take my Stetson
off and put it over my heart whenever anybody died
My hat’s off to you, Hoppy
Say good-bye to all the boys at the Bar-20
The black and white days are over
So long Hopalong Cassidy

Poem: Copyright Don McLean 1971

Why write it?

Hopalong is a symbol of a simpler time, a time less complicated, a time of clear black and white values. Hoppy was a defender of the weak, and didn't put up with outlaws. He was honest, tough, virtuous, smart, and resourceful. He was the sort of person that Americans strive to be in that he knew himself and wasn't about to sacrifice who he was for love or money. I believe most Americans are like that, or want to be like that. 

William Boyd is said to have seen the poem, and is said to have been flattered by it. Today, the words to the poem are on a plaque at the hospital where Mr. Boyd passed away. 

I thought you might find that interesting.

Tom Correa


Friday, July 13, 2018

The Murder Indictment of Wyatt Earp & His Vendetta Posse


I've heard from a number of readers telling me that Wyatt Earp and his posse, to include his brother Warren Earp, John "Doc" Holliday, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson, were never charged for the wanton murder of Frank Stillwell at the train station in Tucson. No matter if they were all wearing badges or not, the homicide they committed was unlawful and they did in fact evade justice.

As I have stated in another article on this, on the morning of March 21th, 1882, Frank Stilwell's body was found about 100 yards from the Porter Hotel alongside the tracks riddled with two buckshot and three bullet wounds.

The coroner, Dr. Dexter Lyford, reported that he found a single bullet wound that passed through his body under the his armpits, a wound from a rifle through the upper left arm, a buckshot wound that passed through the liver, abdomen, and stomach, and another buckshot wound that fractured his left leg. There was also a rifle wound through the right leg.

The Tombstone Epitaph reported the next day that Stilwell had been shot six times which included a round of buckshot in his chest that struck him at such close range that six buckshot left powder burns on his coat and holes were measured to be within a 3 inch radius of each other. 

While the Tombstone Epitaph reported that Stilwell had been shot six times, the official Coroner report stated Wyatt Earp and his men killed Stilwell with five different caliber weapons. Sounds like more than each bad actor decided to take their turn killing someone already dead.

Frank Stilwell was already dead but Earp and his men, all supposed lawmen, kept shooting him even after he was dead? They sound more like executioners than lawmen, doesn't it?

Later, Ike Clanton correctly stated in a newspaper interview that he and Stilwell had been in Tucson to respond to a federal subpoena from the Grand Jury. It was over interfering with a U.S. mail carrier when they "allegedly" robbed the Sandy Bob line of the Bisbee stage on September 8th, 1881.

In fact, the federal charges that took them in front of the Grand Jury had been filed by then Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp after Frank Stilwell was acquitted for lack of evidence on the state charges of robbery.  

Clanton said he had heard that the Earps were coming in on a train to kill Stilwell after hearing the testimony from Pete Spence wife. According to Clanton, Stilwell left the hotel and was last seen walking down the railroad tracks away from the Porter Hotel. It is believed that Stilwell was on his way to meet another "cow boy" who was also subpoenaed to testify but was possibly coming in on a later train since he hadn't arrived earlier when they checked the station. 

The following is a transcript of the Murder Indictment for the arrest of Wyatt Earp and those who were in on the murder of Frank Stillwell. It was issued on March 25th, 1882.
Territory of Arizona
vs

Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson

Grand Jury Indictment for the Killing of Frank Stilwell

In the District Court of the First Judicial District of the Territory of Arizona in and for the County of Pima

Territory of Arizona
against

Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson.


Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson are accused by the Grand Jury of the County of Pima and Territory of Arizona on their oath by this indictment of the crime of murder committed as follows: 

That the said Doc Holliday at the City of Tucson in the said County of Pima on or about the 20th day of March, A.D. 1882 with force and arms in and upon the body of one Frank Stillwell then and there being, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Doc Holliday a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Doc Holliday in his hands then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting assisting and maintaining the said Doc Holliday the felony and murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ, and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do say that the said Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warrren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson, the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid felonously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought did Kill and Murder: 

Contrary to the form of Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona

Second Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Wyatt Earp on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Wyatt Earp a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Wyatt Earp in his hands then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and said Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding abetting assisting and maintaining the said Wyatt Earp the felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ. and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought did Kill and Murder:

Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona

Third Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Warren Earp on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Warren Earp a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Warren Earp in his hands, then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present, standing by, aiding, abetting assiting and maintaining the said Warren Earp the felony and murder as aforesaid set forth in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ. and so the Jurors aforesaid upon the oaths aforesaid do say that the said Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder:

Contrary to the form of Statute in such case made as provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona.

Fourth Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Sherman McMasters on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882, at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Sherman McMasters a certain gun charges with gun powder and leaden bullets which he the said Sherman McMasters in his hands then and there had held, then and there feloneously wilfully and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of there the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, Wyatt Earp and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting, assisting and maintaining the said Sherman McMasters the Felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid, to do and committ. And so the Jurors aforesaid do say that the said Sherman McMasters, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder: Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona.

Fifth Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said John Johnson on or about the said 20th day of march A. D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said county of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault, and the said John Johnson a certain gun charged with gun powder and leaden bullets which he the said John Johnson in his hands then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Warran Earp, Wyatt Earp and Sherman McMasters then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting, assisting, and maintaining the said John Johnson the Felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that said John Johnson Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp and Sherman McMasters the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforsaid feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder: Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the dignity and peace of the Territory of Arizona

Hugh Farley District Attorney
of Pima County Arizona Territory
-- end of murder indictment of Wyatt Earp and his "vendetta" posse.

I did not correct the spelling and/or any other errors in the indictment papers. It is presented here as it was written and produced in 1882.

Please keep in mind, Stilwell's body was found on the tracks the following morning after he had been killed and shot by each member of Earp's deputized federal posse. But by that time, Wyatt Earp and his "posse" had fled the scene.

Earp and the others did not report what took place to the local law in that jurisdiction or make any sort of report of what took place as would normally be done by a Deputy U.S. Marshal and his posse. Instead, no differently than the killers that they were supposedly hunting down with warrants in their hands to bring to justice, Earp and the others acted like a gang of killers and murdered Stillwell then fled the scene.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa





Monday, July 9, 2018

Let's Not Forget O.M. Aldrich


Beware of the Merry-Go-Round Operator

In my article The Hanging of Tom Horn, 1903, part of the story is about the quick action of O.M. Aldrich who recaptured Horn on the day that the killer escaped from jail. A few of you have written to ask if I could put it in a stand alone post. Well, here it is. I hope you enjoy the irony as much as I do.

On Sunday, August 9th, 1903, at 8:00 am, Tom Horn and the prisoner in the next cell, a man by the name of McCloud, decided to make their break. During their escape Deputy Sheriff/Jailer R.A. Proctor was beaten and tied up with a window cord. The escapees then went into the Sheriff’s office in search of weapons. As fate would have it, it's said they overlooked a cabinet containing five lever action .30-30 Winchesters rifles.

McCloud ran out a side door leaving Horn to go back to Proctor. Horn snatched a pistol from Proctor, then beat the Deputy in the head and face before running out the side door as well.

According to historian Lee A. Silva, the handgun Tom Horn tried to use during his escape attempt was a John Browning designed, Fabrique Nationale (FN) manufactured, semi-automatic pistol. Tom had never used a semi-auto pistol before and luckily for Deputy Proctor that Horn didn't know how to use it since he would have most likely killed Proctor during his escape.

Horn ran out the same door used by McCloud, but when hearing the Cheyenne Police shoot at McCloud and him surrender, Horn decided to run South and then East toward Capitol Avenue. That's where he ran into big problems with the Merry-Go-Round operator.


Believe it or not, a Merry-Go-Round Operator, actually a Mechanical Engineer,  by the name of O.M. Aldrich spotted Tom Horn running from the jail. Aldrich quickly responded by grabbing his .38 caliber Iver Johnson pocket pistol and lighting out after Horn.

While chasing Horn, Aldrich took a shot at him but sadly missed its mark. The shot is said to have made Horn turn and attempt to return fire. But since Horn didn't know how to operate the semi-automatic pistol, he wasn't able to shoot and kill Aldrich. It's believed it he had known how to operate that semi-auto pistol that Aldrich would have been dead.

Merry-Go-Round Operator Aldrich caught up with Horn and pulled off a round  again. This time his shot is said to have actually creased the top of Horn's head. And as strange as it sounds, this stunned the killer. Believe it or not, it's said that Horn actually became wobbly when shot at. He is said to have actually fainted face first down into the ground.

It's said that Horn tried to regain his feet and get back up. When he did, he again tried to shoot Aldrich who was now almost on him. Again, Horn didn't know how to fire the FN semi-automatic pistol. So no, Tom Horn was not a "weapons expert" by any stretch of the imagination. 

When O.M Aldrich caught up with Tom Horn, he commenced to beat the tar out of the child-killer. In fact, when a mail clerk by the name of Robert LaFontaine showed up to help Aldrich who had tackled Horn, LaFontaine said Aldrich was beating the crap out of the famous killer -- actually clubbing Horn in the back of the head with his little Iver Johnson .38 caliber pocket pistol.

Worn out and beaten, the famous assassin Tom Horn stopped resisting and surrendered to Aldrich and LaFontaine. Horn was lead back to jail by a very large, and very angry, group of townsfolk. The group was soon joined by Cheyenne City Police Officer Otto Aherns, a second officer named Stone and Deputy Leslie Snow.

Many in the group started taunting Horn to make another run for it. Some in the group spit at Horn. A few threw rocks. It's said when Deputy Snow showed up to help escort Horn, he actually tried to bash Horn with his rifle but was stopped by Deputy Proctor.

Some called for a rope. Some were calling for the child-killer to be taken to a nearby tree and lynched. I find it interesting that Deputy Proctor put down any talk of lynching Horn when the crowd outside the jail didn't want to disperse. I also find it interesting that Kels Nickell, the father of the 14-year-old boy who Horn shot twice and killed, was there that day. He's said to have actually tried to  agitate the crowd into lynching Horn. Deputy Proctor is said to have quieted him down as well.

Robert LaFontaine said later that he spent most of his time pulling Aldrich off of Horn for fear the Merry-Go-Round operator was going to kill the assassin. Yes, the Merry-Go-Round Operator whopped the Hell out of the famous bushwhacker Tom Horn!

And as for the man who chased down Tom Horn and beat the tar out of him, Mr. Aldrich was treated as a hero by the folks in that city for many years after that.

As for Horn, for the last few days before his execution armed troops surrounded the block where the jail and courthouse were located and supposedly a Gatling gun was placed on the roof.

Tom Correa