Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Western Wednesday With "Wild Bill" Longley...!

We've looked at a lot of bad guys from the Old West, but this man was borderline crazy!

At least in those days the punishment was often more than a slap on the wrist. In fact, most of the punishment was harsh, but then, so were the crimes! A little hard justice could be a good thing these days! Just my opinion!

Oct 16, 1851:
Psychopathic gunfighter "Wild Bill" Longley is born in Texas

The sadistic and murderous western gunman William Preston Longley is born on this day in 1815 in Austin County, Texas.

Little is reliably known of the youth of William Longley, or "Wild Bill" as he was later aptly called. But it is certain that before he was even 20 years old, Longley had already killed several men, and the evidence suggests he was probably what modern-day psychologists would term a psychopath. Notoriously short-tempered, Longley frequently killed for the most trivial of reasons. More than a few men died simply because he believed they had somehow slighted or insulted him, like an unarmed man named Thomas, who Longley murdered in cold blood for daring to argue with him over a card game. He had a particularly strong dislike of blacks, and African-Americans in Texas avoided him whenever possible.

Wherever Longley traveled he left behind a trail of pointless murders, but most of the details of his life are shrouded in myth and supposition. Legend has it that Longley was once hanged along with a horse thief; but shots fired back by the departing posse cut his rope, and he was saved. Reports that he was imprisoned for at least a time and once lived with the Ute Indians are more believable, though not confirmed.

After fleeing to Louisiana to escape punishment for killing a minister named Roland Lay, Longley was captured and returned to Lee County, Texas, where he was tried and found guilty of murder. Sentenced to hang, during his final days Longley became a Catholic, wrote long letters about his life, and claimed that he had actually only killed eight men. On the day of his execution, October 28, 1878, he climbed the steps to the gallows with a cigar in his mouth and told the gathered crowd that his punishment was just and God had forgiven him. After kissing the sheriff and priest and bidding farewell to the crowd, the noose was fitted around his neck, and he was hanged. Unfortunately, the rope slipped so that Longley's knees hit the ground, denying him a quick and painless death. After the hangman pulled the rope taut once more, the famous killer slowly choked to death. It took 11 minutes before he was finally pronounced dead.

You have to wonder just what it was that made these guys so evil. I'm thinking that being crazy had a lot to do with it, but I could be wrong.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. A bit chilly and damp today!


Chickenmom said...

Took a long time for justice to prevail!
Chilly here, we have the fireplace going. Better make an extra pot of your famous coffee!

butterbean said...

Howdy HJ,

According to his kinfolks, it wasn't him that was hung, he got away and lived a long life; there's all kinds of stories about him... I hadn't heard the one about having to choke him to death... Maybe that was the death he deserved... Better than Black Jack Kellum, who lost his head
when he got hung !!!!
Hope everybody who makes it over this morning has a HAPPY DAY !!!!!

Mamahen said...

I think you may be right on the crazy, that and pure evil! Cooler and wet here this morning also...A cozy kitchen andgood company sounds nice! I don't know why but rice pudding sounds good this morning. Anyone else want some..I made extra :))

linda m said...

Justice was served! Very chilly and wet here today. Mamahen, rice pudding sure sounds good this morning. I'll bring some fresh sourdough bread and lots of butter.

JO said...

I have never heard of him, guess I will have to look him up. Of course according to the story not much to tell about him anyway. Crazy sounds like a good reason to be so crazy.

46 here this morning. Guess I better get someone here to check over the heater and get it going. But after coffee with everyone.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Maybe his extra painful death was what he deserved from all the death and pain he caused in his life.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Guess that sooner or later, it does!

I hope it gets a little cooler here soon!

Thanks for coming by!

Hey Butterbean...
Some of these guys had more legends around them than the truth. Pretty entertaining really!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Mamahen...
Guess more than just a few of them were crazy, but you could probably say the same thing today!

Rice pudding sounds good!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Linda...
I'm liking the sourdough idea! I'm a bread person, for sure!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Jo...
I figured you might have heard about him! Oh well, this will give ya someone to look up!

Thanks, sweetie, for the visit today!

Hey Dizzy...
Guess that Karma can be the dickens, huh?

Thanks for coming over today!