Curly Bill Laughs at His Fate The mystery of what happened to the laughing outlaw remains to this day.

Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

Curly Bill Brocius, the leader of the cow-boys in southeastern Arizona, was reportedly always laughing. In the early 1880s, the outlaw was suspected in several holdups and a massacre in Skeleton Canyon, but his participation was never proven. Wyatt Earp claimed he killed the cow-boy leader in a shoot-out at a spring in the Whetstone Mountains in March of 1882. The Tombstone Nugget newspaper offered a $1,000 reward for anyone who could prove he was dead, and the rival paper, the Epitaph, countered with a $1,000 reward to anyone who could prove he was alive. Neither was claimed, and so the mystery of what happened to the laughing outlaw remains to this day.

“Curly Bill” (Extended Review)

 

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