Do you agree with Maurice Kildare, who claimed the men hanged for the Bisbee Massacre were not the culprits?


Margaret-Ann Moore

Long Beach, California

Maurice Kildare’s real name was Gladwell Richardson. He mainly wrote novels, under pen names, and he never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

All the serious historians I know
are in agreement on this. Red Sample,
Bill Delaney, Tex Howard, Dan Dowd and Dan Kelly, along with their leader John Heath, participated in the botched holdup of the Goldwater-Castaneda store in Bisbee, Arizona, on December 8, 1883.

Physical evidence linked the men to the crime. Howard had taken an expensive watch and chain during the robbery. Hoping to gain the favors of a soiled dove in Clifton, he gave it to her and told her of the incident. The lady shared the information with her boyfriend, who in turn shared it with a lawman.

Since he was not present at the robbery, Heath got a separate trial and ended up with a life sentence. On February 22, 1884, a mob of angry citizens stormed the Tombstone jail, ignored the five condemned men, took Heath and lynched him from a telegraph pole.

Two weeks later, on March 8, the rest were legally executed in the largest mass hanging in Arizona’s history.

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