Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bad "Buckskin" Leslie...!

I know that we've talked before about how many of the folks in the early Old West days were just plain mean, and this is a case in point!

Thanks to the fine folks at for the info!

Jul 10, 1889:
"Buckskin" Frank Leslie murders a prostitute

In a drunken rage, "Buckskin" Frank Leslie murders his lover, the Tombstone prostitute Blonde Mollie Williams.

Leslie was an ill-tempered and violent man, especially when he drank. He told conflicting stories about his early life. At times, he said he was from Texas, at other times from Kentucky. He sometimes claimed he had been trained in medicine and pharmacy, and he even boasted that he had studied in Europe. Supposedly, he earned the nickname "Buckskin" while working as an Army Scout in the Plains Indian Wars. None of his assertions can be confirmed in the historical record.

The record does tell us that in 1880, Leslie opened the Cosmopolitan Hotel in the mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. Shortly thereafter, he committed his first known murder, shooting Mike Killeen in a dispute over the man's wife. The killing was officially ruled to have been in self-defense, but suspicion of foul play arose when Leslie married Killeen's widow two months later.

Two years later, after Leslie badly pistol-whipped a man outside the Oriental Saloon, many Tombstone citizens began to suspect Leslie was a dangerous man. When the famous Tombstone gunslinger John Ringo was found murdered, suspicions again focused on Leslie, though law officers were unable to prove his guilt. Billy Claiborne, a friend of Ringo's, was so certain Leslie was the murderer that he called him out. Leslie shot the inexperienced young man dead.

Even among the notorious rabble of gunslingers and killers in Tombstone, Leslie was unusually violent. The people of Tombstone finally had their chance to get rid of him in 1889. Two years earlier, Leslie had divorced his wife and taken up with a Tombstone prostitute named Blonde Mollie Williams. The relationship eventually soured, and in a drunken fit of rage, Leslie shot the defenseless woman dead. With testimony from a ranch hand that had witnessed the killing, a Tombstone jury convicted Leslie of murder and sentenced him to 25 years.

Seven years later, Leslie won parole with the aid of a young divorcee named Belle Stowell. He soon married Stowell and seems to have made an effort to live a more peaceful life. He even reportedly made a small fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush. He moved to San Francisco in 1904. His fortunes thereafter quickly declined, and he disappeared from the historical record. He may have eventually committed suicide, but the true manner and date of his death remain unconfirmed.

In my mind, there is a big difference in being tough and being downright mean-spirited! No question to me that the latter describes Leslie to a tee! The west was better of without him and his kind, in my opinion!

Coffee outside on the patio this morning. It's supposed to rain and that will cool things off a tad!


Chickenmom said...

Such colorful names back then! Maybe this mean and foul man died in the big SF earthquake. Since it is cooler on the patio today, I'll bring a BIG box of Dunkin Donuts for all!

Gorges Smythe said...

Maybe some old "friend" caught up with him.

linda m said...

I think he was just plain old mean. Whatever happened to him _ I say "good riddance to bad rubbish". Nice and cool here this morning. Coffee outside sounds good to me.

Rob said...

So many untold stories in this one tale!
He murdered his wife, got 25 years and with the aid of a "divorcee" was paroled after 7.

Neat story!

Sixbears said...

Yep, just plain mean.

JO said...

Nasty Dude he was. I guess he just decided to keep a very low profile in his old age. Can't let old enemy's find you or more likely there younger kin.

It's quite chilly here this morning so coffee out on the patio is a nice place to warm up a bit.

Rae said...

Oh my goodness - I've missed these posts of yours. Always a good read. I've been on a long hiatus from blogging and just came back with a new blog. I'll be back again to catch up with you.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I'll bet that someone ended up putting a bullet in him.

Bring on the donuts! Thanks for coming over!

Hey Gorges...
I'm thinking you are right about that one!

I appreciate the visit!

Hey Linda...
That about says it all for this guy!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Rob...
Seems pretty short for murder, doesn't it?

Glad you liked it, and that you could come over today!

Hey Sixbears...
Yep, he was that!

I appreciate the visit today!

Hey Jo...
For whatever reason, at least he was gone. Good thing, probably.

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over this morning!

Hey Rae...
It's been way too long, my friend! Sure is good to see you again!

Looking forward to your visits!

Thanks for coming by today!

BBC said...

Never trust anyone named Leslie..