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Battling with author Cathy Spude...
Mon Aug 3, 2009 6:20pm

I have been going back and forth on the Tombstone History Discussion Forum with author Cathy Spude who is making claims to have found the infamous Commander Steel letters that reveal the truth about Soapy Smith's true killer, coming from J. M. Tanner who was with Murphy and Frank Reid during the shoot-out. The letters Steel wrote from Tanners note clearly state that Jesse Murphy was the killer of Soapy Smith, not Frank Reid as reported in the newspapers. I gave Cathy this information in 2006 and she is now claiming she knew all about this information before I gave it to her, making claims that she found it. I know what she wrote and told me on the phone in 2006 but the current argument is nothing but a "he said/she said" and I'm not making much headway, at least on that board.

I was just now going over her J. M. Tanner glorifying article in True West magazine entitled, Con Man's Curse (June 2007). I had met her six months prior to the publication of the article. Golly gee, she mentions nothing of Jesse Murphy or the Steel letters. Rather, she states the other man who shot Soapy is unknown and plainly hints that Tanner may have been that man.

My point to make here is that IF Cathy Spude had actually had possession and known all the Steel/Murphy information as she now claims, then why did she spend so much wasted time and words on incorrect theories and not a single reference about the one she gloats having found well before she wrote the article? Why hint that Tanner was Soapy's killer if she already knew it was Murphy?

Answer: Because she did not know about it until I told her.

Jeff Smith

    • BattlingCathy Spude, Tue Oct 13 8:21am
      Jeff: Please see my post entitled "Apologies" dated October 11 below. I inadvertantly posted it as a reply to one of my postings instead of one of yours, and so you may not have seen it. Cathy
    • TanneritesCathy Spude, Sat Oct 10 9:54am
      Tannerites... hmmmm. Hadn't heard that one before. There's probably two of us out here, me and Susan Tanner Schimling. Might be a few more after I publish Tanner's biography, but I have a way to go... more
      • Re: TanneritesJeff Smith, Sat Oct 10 1:04pm
        Cathy, I made up the term “Tannerites” from the Tombstone forums usage of “Earpites” and “Cow-boy apologists.” I guess I’d be a “Soapyite?” In my book, I too have an explanation of why the facts... more
        • Re: TanneritesCathy Spude, Sat Oct 10 3:52pm
          So that's you in the drawing! ROTFL! I do hope you will like some of the drawings I've done of Soapy in my book, from the cartoons in the newspapers. I'll even send you an autographed original, if... more
          • Re:Re: TanneritesJeff Smith, Sat Oct 10 8:22pm
            Thank you very much for the offer but I have to decline. Jeff Smith
    • Battling...Cathy Spude, Thu Oct 8 12:55pm
      Haven't had much time in the last couple of months to take a look at your websites, Jeff ... I've been missing some hilarious stuff, I see. Jeez, Si Tanner as Paul Bunyon... That's good. You throw it ... more
      • A battling we will go...Jeff Smith, Thu Oct 8 9:12pm
        Cathy, I did not pick apart your “new revised Preface and Introduction” not because I think you are correct but rather because it was just too much work to go over everything you wrote that I... more
        • SparringCathy Spude, Fri Oct 9 1:14pm
          I'm sorry you see this as a battle, Jeff, and that you feel like it has to be so combative. When I wrote to you about the Colt, I told you what the gun's owner told me at the time, over the... more
          • Re: SparringJeff Smith, Fri Oct 9 3:49pm
            Cathy, Why would the owner of the gun tell you that? The original paperwork is on display with the gun, and has been since day one. Yes, what I posted on my website is my fault,…my fault that I... more
            • Re: SparringCathy Spude, Sat Oct 10 5:22pm
              As I have said elsewhere, I was going to pay for the original documentation with Colt Arms Mnfg., and send you a photocopy of whatever I got...if you were interested. Seeing how little interested you ... more
              • Re:Re: SparringJeff Smith, Sat Oct 10 8:33pm
                Cathy, Times have changed but I still do not wish to converse with you anywhere but on the forums. For me it's better this way. My book is footnoted to death. You will be comfortable that Soapy was... more
    • Crediting JeffCathy Spude, Thu Oct 8 12:30pm
      Okay Jeff: You once asked me never to contact you, so it's hard to know where you stand on these blogs. Here's what I am currently going to say in the acknowledgements of my Soapy Smith book on the... more
      • ApologiesCathy Spude, Sun Oct 11 10:05am
        Jeff and Jeff's Fans: Please let me apologise for losing my temper in 2006 when engaging in an email correspondance with Jeff Smith. It was unwarranted and unprofessional. I am indeed sorry for... more
      • Re: Crediting JeffJeff Smith, Fri Oct 9 1:57pm
        Cathy, I asked you to stop contacting me privately because you were sending me nasty emails and because your faulty information regarding the supposed Soapy Smith revolver in Skagway caused me to... more
        • Trading informationCathy Spude, Sat Oct 10 9:42am
          Jeff: Of course, I did not expect you to "hand over" hard-earned information. What I was trying to do was figure out what "hard-earned" information I had that would be of equal value to you, so that... more
          • Re: Trading informationJeff Smith, Sat Oct 10 12:28pm
            Cathy, Like I said before, the two things that angered me during our communications in 2006 were the faulty information on the revolver said to have belonged to Soapy, and the abusive emails. They... more
            • Re: trading informationCathy Spude, Sat Oct 10 3:46pm
              If I remember right (which I may not...three years is a long time for an old brain like keeps losing cells), we were firing shots at each other so fast in that memorable exchange, that I... more
              • Re:Re: trading informationJeff Smith, Sat Oct 10 8:17pm
                Cathy, “Hind-sight is 20/20,” so the saying goes. Yes, you sent photos of the pistol in Skagway. Do recall that I sent you that beautiful photo of Tanner. You write, “I did indeed refrain from... more
                • Re: Trading informationCathy Spude, Sun Oct 11 9:56am
                  Yes, I recall you send a copy of Tanner's 1913 senate photograph. I already had a copy from the Alaska State Historical Collection. You later sold your original to Mark Boardman. He became interested ... more
                  • Re: Trading informationJeff Smith, Sun Oct 11 11:27am
                    Cathy, You wrote me that the Tanner photograph I sent you was much better than the one you obtained from the Alaska State Historical Collection. Your welcome. You told me you could not make changes... more
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