Hardin’s Disputed Death

john-hardinThis we know: John Selman killed John Wesley Hardin at El Paso’s Acme Saloon on August 19, 1895. Tradition says Selman shot him in the back of the head.

But Hardin biographers Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown disagree, pointing to some eyewitness accounts saying Hardin spun and went for his gun when he noticed Selman.  They also argue that the small wound near Hardin’s left eye matches an entrance hole—the larger wound in the back of the head is more likely the exit wound. A hung jury couldn’t decide whether it was murder or self-defense.

What do you think?

Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine, a former managing editor for Western Shooting Horse Magazine and the chief purveyor of ScarletMask Enterprises.