Billy Bailey had the reputation as a dangerous man. Reportedly, he killed two men in Texas gunfights before moving to Kansas in the early 1870s. Authorities in Newton—knowing his reputation—hired Bailey as a special policeman in August 1871. His job: keep a lid on any violence connected to local elections. But on August 11, he helped create the violence. Bailey got into an argument with fellow Special Policeman Mike McCluskie. McCluskie pulled his gun and shot Bailey twice in the chest. The wounded man died the next day.