atm-logoWhat happened to Tombstone Judge Wells Spicer?

Nick R. Chilton
Marion, Ohio

Judge Wells Spicer—who presided at the inquest into the O.K. Corral shoot-out—was yet another victim of the 1881 gunfight. He was plagued by bad luck and lost his money in a mining venture. He threatened to commit suicide in 1887, then he wandered off into the desert and disappeared. Author Lynn Bailey speculates the judge didn’t die in the desert and went to Mexico, where he died.

Since his body was never found, we will never know for certain.


Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write:
Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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