A Noisy Jailbreak

Augustine Chacon

David Grasse’s new biography, The True Story of Notorious Arizona Outlaw Augustine Chacon dispels the oft-told story of a man said to be the most dangerous killer along the border country. Early western writers loved to sensationalize the deeds of badmen, exaggerating their number of kills. Johnny Ringo is one and Chacon is another. This story of the Don Juan, Augustine Chacon is too good not to share.

He was quite the lady’s man and boasted of having a pretty senorita in every town. He’d been accused, tried, convicted and was sitting in the Solomanville, Arizona jail waiting to be hanged for murder. One day about a month before his hanging one of his amoritas brought him a Bible with a hacksaw blade cleverly hidden in the spine. Each visit the pretty lady made a point of smiling at the jailer in a flirtatious way.

Among his fellow prisoners were three members of a mariachi band armed with a guitar, concertina and a squeaky violin. Each night while Chacon sawed away at the bars the other prisoners sang loud, lusty corridos to cover the noise.

On the night of his escape the dark-eyed beauty returned and using her feminine charm lured the night guard out for a stroll in the moonlight. While the band played, the fiddle screeched and the singers sang, Chacon sawed through the last bar and escaped into the night.

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