Now don't get me wrong. This man was still one bad dude, without a doubt! We probably should have saved him for our Western Wednesday, but he was just too interesting not to share!
James B. “Killer” Miller
October 25, 1861 – April 19, 1909
James Miller was also known as “Deacon Jim” because he went to church and did not smoke or drink. Despite his piousness, he was actually one of the deadliest guns in the Wild West. He openly stated that he would kill anyone for money, and his rate was reported at anywhere from $150 to $2,000. Miller’s usual method was to ambush his victims at night using a shotgun and wearing a black frock coat, making him hard to see in the darkness. His coat also concealed a steel plate he wore on his chest to protect him from opposing gunfire, an early version of a bullet-proof vest. He is known to have committed 14 murders, but rumors swelled that number to 50. He was arrested in Oklahoma, for the murder of A.A. “Gus” Bobbitt. Not wanting to leave it up to a jury, a lynch mob dragged Miller and three others out to an abandoned stable to be hanged. Before he died, he made two requests. He wanted his ring to be given to his wife (who was a cousin of John Wesley Hardin) and to be allowed to wear his hat while being hanged. He went out on his own terms, shouting “Let ‘er rip!” before he jumped off his box to his death. His body and the bodies of the other three men lynched that night were left hanging for hours until a photographer could be found to immortalize the event.
This makes me wonder why a man that appeared to be a solid church-goer would decide to become a killer of men. Never know the true heart of a man, I reckon!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some chocolate fudge pie I'll share.