Fleming “James” Parker was a career criminal, primarily a rustler, but in 1897, he took a step up to train robbery near Peach Springs, Arizona. It was a disaster; his partner died and Parker vamoosed without the loot, setting the stage for the final tragic acts.
Arizona writer Parker Anderson chronicles Parker’s tale in Story of a Hanged Man (Parker Anderson, $25). Anderson put 16 years into the research—and it shows—but is it worth 500 pages? And fully quoting documents and newspapers offers a scholarly feel, but it hurts the flow of the story. A better reference book than a good read.
—Mark Boardman is Features Editor of True West magazine