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 as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.