Lawman Bill Cruger

Fort Griffin True West
Fort Griffin, Texas

Bill Cruger was a tough lawman in Shackleford County, Texas (which included Fort Griffin) in the 1870s. He was originally hired as a deputy by Sheriff John Larn—and moved up to the top job when Larn resigned and turned outlaw. Cruger eventually arrested Larn, who was murdered in his cell by vigilantes in June of 1877. Cruger’s work led to the break-up of Larn’s gang of rustlers and killers.

In 1880, Cruger left and moved to Princeton, Tennessee where he became city marshal. Just weeks later, a drunken prisoner gunned down Cruger using a hidden gun.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine, a former managing editor for Western Shooting Horse Magazine and the chief purveyor of ScarletMask Enterprises.