The Day Edward O’Kelly Picked a Fight with the Wrong Police Officer

Or . . . The Day the Man, Who Killed the Man Who Killed Jesse James, Picked a Fight with the Wrong Oklahoma Police Officer

Jesse Woodson James was born on the 5th of September, 1847 and was a happy arrival for his parents and older brother, Alexander Franklin (“Frank”) James.  None of the family ever dreamed that Jesse would become one of the most notorious American outlaws ever. Continue reading “The Day Edward O’Kelly Picked a Fight with the Wrong Police Officer”

The Day the Barkers Brought Death to the Ozarks

Mike recently asked me about the volume of notorious crimes in Arkansas. Our state’s history is rich with stories about politicians, desperados, gunslingers of all sorts, feuds, mass murders, war reconstruction, Wild West and Depression Era outlaws, and modern monsters. Continue reading “The Day the Barkers Brought Death to the Ozarks”

Lessons From The Murder of Officer Scott Gadell

Having previously discussed the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Philip Lamonaco, and its influence on that agency’s decision to make the switch from revolvers to autopistols, we now turn our attention to the similar murder of New York City Police Department Officer Scott Gadell. Continue reading “Lessons From The Murder of Officer Scott Gadell”

Lessons From the Murder of Trooper Philip Lamonaco

There was a revolution in police handguns happening in the 1980s, as American police officers increasingly said goodbye to their double action revolvers and replaced them with semiautomatic pistols. Continue reading “Lessons From the Murder of Trooper Philip Lamonaco”

Book Review: AWOL at Crook’s Cabin

All of us receive gifts, traits, habits and instructions from our parents. The best gift my mother gave me long ago centers around books. She introduced me to the Bible. She used a large, bible with many colorful illustrations and beyond that she also gave me the gifts of reading and a love of history. Continue reading “Book Review: AWOL at Crook’s Cabin”

The Day the Arkansas State Police Fought a Gun Battle with a Remnant of the Barrow Gang

Renowned Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer, and five other officers stopped the Barrows—permanently–on a country road outside Gibsland, Louisiana on May 23, 1934.  Three years later, in 1937, one of the country’s great state police organizations was reorganized as the Arkansas State Police (ASP).

So, if the Barrows were killed in a shooting by Hamer and his fellow officers in 1934, how did the newborn ASP get into a gunfight with a remnant of the Barrow Gang, many years later? Continue reading “The Day the Arkansas State Police Fought a Gun Battle with a Remnant of the Barrow Gang”

The Day America’s Love Affair with Criminals Ended . . .

. . . (at least in that era), Thanks to a Horrific Assault on Law and Order.

If you have studied the history of criminal justice in America, you may have noticed a pendulum effect where public approval of criminals and criminality appears to move from one extreme to the other.

Continue reading “The Day America’s Love Affair with Criminals Ended . . .”

The Day a Crime Spree Ended in Hardy, Arkansas . . .

. . . Thanks To Two Brave Men, With a Rock and a .44 Special

The Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce (DJCC) is an organization of young professionals who are engaged in networking and community involvement. They have supported the city through numerous events and activities, since 1918.

One of the Chamber’s activities is especially dear to law enforcement and the law-abiding citizens they serve, because it memorializes the February 7, 1951 line-of-duty death of Dallas Police Department Officer Willis Wood “Johnny” Sides, who was slain just 21 days after graduating from the police academy, as fifth in his class. Continue reading “The Day a Crime Spree Ended in Hardy, Arkansas . . .”