Getting Away With Murder on the Texas Frontier Bill Neal, Texas Tech University Press, $27.95, Hardcover; 800-832-4042.

gettingawayJustice as meted out on the frontier still has a strange appeal at times, and Bill Neal has given us a big dose of it. A litany of old Texas murder trials are presented here with some rather bizarre conclusions, and Neal explains in fascinating detail the twisted and folksy logic of jury findings.

Outlaw Bill Doolin and the respected barrister Temple Houston are the only notable names in these cases, but the others are presented with the same enthusiasm as the notorious cases. This book can be a challenge, however; at times I felt bogged down in legal jargon as most of the descriptions of the cases are over-long and uninteresting. I did eventually come to appreciate the basic theme of the book; it’s a good one for fans of Western jurisprudence, but be prepared for a long sit-down.  —Chuck Lewis

Related Posts

  • frontier battalion

    In Nathan Jennings’ Riding for the Lone Star: Frontier Cavalry and the Texas Way of…

  • fortconcho

    In 1952, Haley’s excellent Fort Concho was published in a short press run that guaranteed…

  • texas-dames_carmen-goldwaite

    In Texas, everything is bigger—even the accomplishments of the Lone Star State’s women. The collection…