Dead On Arrival

once upon a time in the west illustration by bob boze bell
Illustration by Bob Boze Bell.

In the opening sequence of the classic Western One Upon A Time In The West there are three gunmen who show up at the train station. “Stony” (Woody Strode), “Snaky” (Jack Elam) and “Knuckles” (Al Mulock). Towards the end of the four day shoot Mulock jumped from the balcony of his room on the second floor of his hotel room in Gaudix, Spain wearing his costume. Mulock survived the fall, and before being taken away by an ambulance, Sergio Leone shouted, “Get the costume, we need the costume!” Mulock suffered a pierced lung from a broken rib and during the bumpy ride to the hospital he died. Sergio outfitted a crew member to finish the shoot and in several of the iconic shots of the trio standing on the platform you can see “Knuckles” looks a little off.

No one knows the reason for his suicide, but one of the crew members later claimed Mulock was a drug addict and committed suicide out of desperation, because he couldn’t acquire drugs in the isolated location where they were filming.

 

Al Jennings, Oklahoma Bad Boy

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Bob Boze Bell

In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.