Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Johnny Ringo R.I.P.


On this day in 1882, Johnny Ringo — the "King" of the outlaw band called the Cowboys — was found dead outside of Tombstone, AZ.
"There was found by the undersigned John Yoast the body of a man in a clump of Oak trees 20 yards north from the road leading to Morse's mill and about a quarter of a mile west of the house of B. F. Smith. The undersigned viewed the body and found it in a sitting posture, facing west, the head inclined to the right. There was a bullet hole in the right temple, the bullet coming out the top of the left side. There is apparently a part of the scalp gone including a small portion of the forehead and part of the hair, this looks as if cut by a knife. These are the only marks of violence visible to the body. Several of the undersigned identify the body as that of John Ringo, well known in Tombstone. He was dressed in light hat, blue shirt, vest, pants and drawers, on his feet were a pair of hose and undershirt torn up so as to protect his feet. He had evidentially traveled but a short distance in this footgear. His revolver he grasps in his right hand, his rifle rested against the tree close to him. He had on two cartridge belts. The belt for the revolver cartridges being buckled upside on down."
There is still some controversy over whether the famous outlaw killed himself or was murdered. Sadly, there is no evidence that he was killed in a gunfight with Doc Holliday, who was in court in Colorado on July 11. There is some question over how many men Ringo killed in his time as a badman. This from Wikipedia:
"According to L'Amour [western novelist Louis L'Amour, who researched the life of western outlaws], Ringo was merely a common, surly, bad-tempered man who was worse when he was drinking, and that his main claim to fame was shooting an unarmed man named Louis Hancock in an Arizona territory saloon in 1879 for ordering beer after Ringo told him to order whiskey."

9 comments:

Diogenes said...

Sadly, there is no evidence that he was killed in a gunfight with Doc Holliday, who was in court in Colorado on July 11.

Too bad - that's my favorite scene from the movie Tombstone. Another legend bites the dust...

KK said...

but he had a bitchin' mustache!

Anonymous said...

Why Johnnie Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.(Said in the southern accent by Val Kilmer, the best Doc Holliday in movies)

Anonymous said...

Billy the Kid July 14, 1881

Haji said...

It'll make a warm spot in my heart to believe that Wyatt Earp ghosted him.

Dave S. said...

"his main claim to fame was shooting an unarmed man named Louis Hancock in an Arizona territory saloon in 1879 for ordering beer after Ringo told him to order whiskey."

Could have been worse. He could have shot a man just for snoring.

It's funny, we complain that the justice system is too lenient, but the Old West was full of multiple-murderers who got off scot free or served relatively short sentences. The psychopath John Wesley Hardin being the most egregious example.

Dave S. said...

Evidently Mr. Ringo's an educated man. Now I really hate him.

Matthew said...

R.I.P. hopefully means Rot in Purgatory. The "real" Ringo, not Michael Biehn's fictional version, was at best an S.O.B. who shot an unarmed man. Who we all would condemn as a piece of gutter trash if it was on the local Fox channel. The "real" Ringo was no celebrated gunny or "hero", he was outlaw and felt he could do as he pleased. He deserves no honorable recognition. And more than likely deserved the bad end to which he came to.

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