“Wyatt Earp Ruined My Life”

Illustration by Bob Boze Bell
Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

If you grew up in the 1950s, you probably thought Wyatt Earp was a bachelor during his violent stay in Tombstone. But, in the early sixties, two researchers uncovered an ugly truth: not only was Wyatt married in Tombstone, while there, he left his second wife for his third and his second wife committed suicide, claiming that Wyatt had ruined her life. After returning to “the line” (Western slang for prostitution) in Pinal, Mattie took an overdose of laudanum on July 4, 1888. To the modern ear, this sordid tale sounds more like Sun City West than Tombstone.

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