Many of these guys were mean spirited, many were cruel, and then there were some that were just hard to classify! Bill Doolin would fall in the last of these categories, in my opinion!
Jul 5, 1896:
Bill Doolin escapes from jail
The famous outlaw Bill Doolin escapes from an Oklahoma jail after only a few months of captivity.
Like many outlaws, William Doolin only gradually fell into a life of crime. Born in Arkansas in 1858, the tall and slim Doolin went west at the age of 23. He found work as a cowboy on several Oklahoma ranches and was widely regarded as a trustworthy and capable employee.
Doolin's life course changed forever when a beer party in southern Kansas turned violent and two deputy sheriffs ended up dead. Doolin's exact role in the murders was unclear, but evidence of his guilt was substantial enough to raise the chance of prison. Unwilling to risk a trial, Doolin became a fugitive.
Cool, intelligent, and a skilled shot, Doolin was suited to the outlaw life. Traveling throughout the West, he robbed banks and trains, sold illegal whiskey to Indians, rustled cattle and horses, and killed several men. He formed a criminal gang that occasionally joined forces with the Dalton brothers to rob banks in Oklahoma and Missouri.
As a robber, Doolin was more successful than most because of his careful planning, but success inevitably attracted the unwanted attention of the law. In January 1896, Doolin returned to Arkansas. While Doolin was taking the medicinal waters at a resort called Eureka Springs, the famous Oklahoma lawman William Tilghman arrested him without a struggle.
Tilghman transferred Doolin to a jail at Guthrie, Oklahoma, to await trial. On this day in 1896, Doolin managed to escape, but was free only for a short time. A few weeks later, on August 25, a posse caught up with Doolin at Lawson, Oklahoma. Doolin resisted arrest, and in the ensuing gun battle, lawmen shot him to death.
No one knows for sure why these guys turn to crime, but not many are as successful as Bill Doolin. Successful or not, he still ended up dead. Being shot dead by the Law isn't a true sign of success, is it?
It's pretty hot outside, but we can hav3e our coffee on the patio. If we stay in the shade, it is cool enough!