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bfrey/Frank's actions...
Mon Mar 12, 2018 15:18

Hello Bruce,

I know a lot of shoot-out fans trust the claim by Wyatt that Frank, after Virgil ordered the ranchers to put up their hands, appeared to reach for his gun and said, "we will." Not one witness described Frank as anything but standing still with his horse and even Wyatt contradicted himself by also saying when he and his bunch came up to the cowboys, they were standing with their hands down by their sides.

I have never believed Wyatt's claim. It was just too convenient. Because Frank was the first one shot, it was desirable to make it appear he brought it on himself whether deliberately or by accident. Wyatt's testimony contains a lot of thoughts along this line.

You brought up Frank's refusal to give up his gun until the Earps gave up theirs. Consider that Frank had no reason at this point to know that a posse representing the law was what he was dealing with. When his brother was attacked for no known reason, Frank's reaction was not hot-headed as many think. He was concerned but calm and went looking to get his brother out of harm's way.

When he was at the gun shop collecting Ike and reloading fuel, not for a gunfight but for the return home through Apache territory, Wyatt approached and took the horse off the doorway and Frank came out and secured the animal. Note by Wyatt's own testimony there was no angry exchange at all. Wyatt claims he was deputized at that time but I don't believe it. When he beat Tom he was not deputized and should have been arrested. When at the gun shop he said nothing to the men about their plans in town, their guns, or anything else. He claimed Billy Clanton put his hand on his gun, which would be threatening an officer. No response from the big boy! Why didn't he arrest Billy?

My point is that Frank was not seeing official police duty out of Wyatt and when Frank said he wanted the police disarmed, so to speak, he used the singular expression, referring to Wyatt. He did not realize at that time that Virgil was down on Fourth and Allen getting his "posse" together. He would not have known until they actually came up to the lot with guns in hand. Remember that even Behan said he did not consider the Earp group official at that time. So Frank was not putting himself on equal footing. All but Morgan were instantly recruited so would not have been wearing badges.

You mention Addie Bourland not seeing hands go up. Consider what she did see. She did not see Tom put his hands up because he was holding his vest open with both hands, likely about the height of his waist. She did not see Billy's hands up because they were out in front of him, likely between his chest and waist. She did not see Frank's hands up because one was on the bridle of his horse; the other I believe was up but you could argue on that one. Ike may have been out of her view as he was near the front of Fly's and the Earps might have blocked her view.

However, Addie Bourland also DID NOT see Virgil's hands, both of them, in the air either. If no other hands appeared to be up then Virgil's should have stood out pretty noticeable with his dark sleeves.

Just some thoughts.


    • There's a problem.Jerry Prather, Mon Mar 12 16:39
      In his statement, Wyatt never mentioned Frank saying "we will" and then reaching for his gun! In the Epitaph article, R. F. Coleman said the following: I heard Virgil Earp say, "Give up your arms or... more
      • W.S. Williams was a witness for the Defense. (nm)Jeff Morey, Tue Mar 13 05:22
        • OopsJerry, Tue Mar 13 07:22
          Yes, I see that now. I was led astray by Turner, who has him testifying on Nov 2 between Hafford and Mrs King for the prosecution. I will reread the testimony now realizing that the direct testimony... more
      • Jerry/hold on; back up a minute...Joyce..., Mon Mar 12 19:26
        I guess I was tired because at first I thought I had really slipped up, but there are some real considerations. W.S. Williams deserves some real scrutiny. When Williams quote was related to Behan in... more
      • Jerry/really a problem...Joyce..., Mon Mar 12 17:44
        Clearly I need to go back in and check out my homework. Thank you for catching that. I was trusting my memory and not the printed page. I am grateful you are paying close attention. Thanks again. Bob ... more
        • Re: Jerry/really a problem...Bob Cash, Tue Mar 13 09:28
          Come on, Joyce, I don't get any joy out of you forgetting who exactly said what if you don't have a book in front of you. Who can remember all this stuff? At least you got the quote right, just not... more
          • Bob/forgetting...Joyce..., Tue Mar 13 15:16
            Hi Bob. Thank you for reminding me we all do it from time to time. And you are reminding all of us to be understanding and not judgmental when we do slip up on occasion. That way we can continue... more
          • respecting law and city ordinance.K.t.K., Tue Mar 13 13:00
            Religious people understand and respect. I like how Rev. E. Peabody said it: "Shortly before my arrival, there had been a fierce battle between the Earps, guardians of the town, and I may say, in my... more
            • What Peabody said - set to musicJerry, Tue Mar 13 15:18
              I don't know what the Reverend Peabody would have thought about this video, but it seems to expresses a similar opinion. Anyway, this has become my favorite re-enactment of the events near the O.K.... more
              • Oh, my goodness, Jerry!K.t.K., Tue Mar 13 16:19
                1966. This takes me back to when the supreme law in my life was administered by the Drill Instructors in boot camp at Fort Bliss, Texas. No doubt about it. If any sucker thought he could get around... more
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