A Very Dangerous Man

commodore perry owens true west magazine
Commodore Perry Owens.

Commodore Perry Owens already had a reputation as a dangerous man by the time he put on a badge in 1887. He claimed he killed 14 rustlers as a stock detective prior to that.
There’s no proof, except in one case. In 1883, he shot and killed a Navajo youngster
in Arizona Territory; he said the Indian and two friends were rustling cows. The two pals
denied it, saying Owens opened up on them without warning or cause. The Commodore was arrested in the incident but never tried. Killing an Indian was not considered much of a crime.

Mark Boardman is the features editor at True West and editor of The Tombstone Epitaph.