Bud Ballew: Lawman Gone Bad

bud ballew true west

Bud Ballew was a lawman around Ardmore, Oklahoma after the turn of the century.  He had a string of killings to his credit and the reputation of a man not to be trifled with.

He also had a drinking problem.  After losing his job, in May 1922, he was in Wichita Falls, Texas, drinking and hurrahing the town.  Two police officers tracked him down in a domino parlor and ordered Ballew to surrender.  He reached for his gun when Police Chief J.W. McCormick put five bullets into his back; Ballew died on the floor.

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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.