Ferd Patterson was a sporting man who plied his trade primarily in the Pacific Northwest
in the years around the Civil War. He also cultivated a reputation as a dangerous man,
with a couple of killings to his name. Juries found him innocent; lawmen were frustrated.
One of those officers was Hugh Donahue, who got into an argument with Patterson in
Walla Walla, WA on April 14, 1866. Donahue then tracked Patterson to a barber shop
where he shot and killed him. Before Donahue could be tried, someone left his cell door
unlocked and he escaped.
Mark Boardman is the features editor at True West and editor of The Tombstone Epitaph.