It’s easy to romanticize the West, but many people forget that the same lack of government oversight that birthed the old pioneer sense of freedom also created an ugly lawlessness in the region. The judicial and prison systems were weak and vastly scattered, so outlaws of the Old West lived with about the same stakes as boys playing cowboys and Indians in their parents’ backyard.
Here are some outlaws who definitely would not have survived as long as they did with modern law enforcement after them.
1.) John Wesley Hardin is credited with at least 42 murders during his short life in the Old West. At 15 he ran away from home after killing three Union soldiers and basically went on a decade long killing spree until he was finally captured at 25.
2.) Jim “Killer” Miller was infamous for being the assassin with the most conspicuous code-name in the history of the trade. He is also credited for 14 deaths, but it’s rumored he may be responsible for over 50. Some of the ones actually attributed to “Killer” include a U.S Marshall and several Sheriffs.
3.) Jesse James is probably the most famous member of the James-Younger gang. He led the gang in about 25 robberies all over the West and killed numerous people despite being lauded as a Robin Hood-type figure in popular books of the times.
4.) Clay Allison fought for the Confederacy but was discharged after a blow to his head, which some say is what caused him to become a homicidal maniac, but who can be sure. He once beheaded a man and then casually walked to his favorite bar like he just got off of work.
5.) Butch Cassidy was the leader of the Wild Bunch, the most successful train-robbing gang in history. With his booty he bought the Hole-in-the-wall ranch where he and his conspirators would meet up. Kinda like the League of Evil of the West.
6.) It is said that Billy The Kid killed 21 people in the 21 years of his life. William and his group “The Regulators” were originally deputized, but their violent tactics got them labeled as outlaws themselves, so they were all like, “Oh cool, let’s do that then!” and then went around killing a whole bunch of people.
7.) His name was Haskay-bay-nay-ntayl but that’s really silly sounding so everyone just called him ‘Apache Kid’. He was originally adopted by the Chief of the Army Scouts, but a drunken night turned the Apache Kid on a killing spree. He was eventually caught and served time in Alcatraz.
8.) Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, also known as The Sundance Kid (lotta’ ‘kids’!), was a member of the Wild Bunch who got his name from a horse thieving job in Sundance Wyoming. He also started his own indie movie festival which still goes on to this day (not true at all).
Check out the movie, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford if you ever want to drink whiskey and mourn the corruption of innocence, but otherwise just give this a share on Facebook.
Read more: http://viralnova.com/outlaws-history/