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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
If I remember right (which I may not...three years is a long time for an old brain like mine...it keeps losing cells), we were firing shots at each other so fast in that memorable exchange, that I... more
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
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
You will indeed have to see how I treat the Murphy evidence in my book. It is deeply connected to the Legend. While Murphy MAY have killed Smith IN FACT, only Reid killed him in point of law, as was... more