Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wild Bill Longley On Western Wednesday...!

Few men have ever deserved a nickname like "wild Bill" more than Longley. More than a little crazy, I think.

Many gunfighters in the old west were killers, but none seemed to enjoy it more than Wild Bill. He seemed to kill at the smallest slight, even those imagined in his own twisted mind. Here is part of his story.

1851 Psychopathic gunfighter “Wild Bill” Longley is born in Texas

The sadistic and murderous western gunman William Preston Longley is born on October 16 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.

Not a pleasant way to go out, I reckon. Still, when you want to dance, you have to pay the piper. At least, that's always what I've heard.

Coffee inside again this morning. Cold and rainy out on the patio again.

7 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

An unplanned but fitting end, perhaps.

linda m said...

If you live by the sword, so shall you die by the sword. Take a life, yours shall be taken.
Hope the part that he asked God (at the end) to forgive him is true. Still cold here and we are still shoveling snow every day.

JO said...

Sounds like a pretty crazy guy. He paid in the end for his nasty deeds.

We sure could use some rain, we never had the winter monsoons here and it is very dry. Our day temps are above average but oh so enjoyable. I'm ready for coffee with so Kitchen it is

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
I have to agree with ya on that.
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Linda...
One can only hope.
Thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Jo...
I have no doubt that he was crazy as a bedbug. Hope you get some rain soon. We are having plenty here.
Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I guess that hangman just wanted to be sure he finished his job.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Could be that almost dead meant no paycheck, so he had to finish the job.
Thanks for the visit today!

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