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Pat/Behan's testimony...
Sat Aug 25, 2018 07:31


Behan was pretty clear, I think, though a lot tend to ignore him because he is Behan. That is unfortunate.

Johnny said that when he approached the posse, they ignored him and brushed past him. Apparently he kept appealing to them a short distance and then they turned to the right, stepping off the boardwalk and into Fremont where they kind of lined up across the opening of the vacant lot. When they veered off, Behan kept on the walkway and under the overhang of the boarding house and then at the corner stepped off to the left into the lot. I assume he saw Billy Claibourne and moved across over to him. Claibourne was about in the middle of the little building on the opposite side of the lot, as he had been standing there talking with Billy Clanton. When Behan first approached the ranchers and was talking with Ike, Tom, and Frank, Billy Clanton moved over to join them to hear what was going on. It appears that Claibourne remained where he was, likely next to Clanton's horse which was ground-tied.

Interestingly, the Earp party is now in the street facing into the lot, which means the ranchers have turned to face them. This is where, I think, Turner's illustration is in error.

If I follow the many descriptions of where everywhere the guys are all standing, see if you think it makes any sense.

The key to remember is the ranchers are not back in the lot as the movies always suggest. The lot is small, maybe just fifteen or eighteen feet wide. Frank is described as standing on the walkway, his horse on the dirt of Fremont street. He has to now be facing the posse. I think Tom is to his left but not sure without the pain of looking it up. (Will do if it is an issue.) Billy Clanton is near Tom and just a foot or two inside the lot by the corner of the little building. Billy never leaves that spot.

I understand, and could be mistaken, that doc and Virgil are closer to Frank and Tom, as they were the ones in the lead coming down the walkway. Morgan would be to Virgil's left and then Wyatt to Morgan's left. None of the posse are actually in the lot at this point.

As I see it from the various testimonies, they are all standing not more than six feet apart. That is close. When you raise your pistol and extend your arm, you are a couple feet closer; difficult to miss at that distance.

There is a lot of controversy about what happened next but I will give you my version and then you can delete it if you want. When the Earps said 'put up your hands!' and the men did not respond, the problem became clear; there was not an initial shooter from the ranchers' side. Holliday went up to Frank, jabbed him in the belly, stepped back, expecting Frank to retaliate. Frank was too smart to draw against a drawn gun. So Doc had almost no shoice but to shoot him then. Frank staggered back in shock, turned to get away into the street. Tom, right next to him, then saw the shotgun coming up and turned to his left, raising his right arm to protect himself, and was peppered with pellets in the right side. He was able to stagger off. Holliday turned his attention back to Frank.

At the exact same time Doc shot Frank, Morgan shot Bill Clanton, even though the boy had both hands out in front and said, 'don't shoot; I don't want to fight!' Morgan's first shot hit Billy's right hand and rendered in incapacitated. Billy fell back against the little house in shock and Morgan stepped to the front corner and reached around, shooting Bill in the chest. Billy started to fall slowly, struggling to get his gun out of its holster with his left hand.

Virgil claimed he shot Billy three times, Wyatt said he shot at Billy, which I don't believe, and Morgan might have shot the kid again but can't know for sure.

In the meantime, when the posse first spread out in the entrance to the lot, Ike Clanton moved toward Wyatt as though to ask 'what's the problem?' As the shooting began Wyatt and ike were closest to the ffront entrance to the boarding house. Wyatt said he told Ike to get shooting or get away, at the same time, jabbing his pistol into Ike's belly. Ike wrestled Wyatt, caused Wyatt's gun to go off in the dirt, and then escaped through the front door of the boarding house, and continued out the back door and into Allen street.

Shots were fired after him but we don't know from whom. Frank and Doc were busy, Morgan was after Billy, so it seems likely that Wyatt went after Ike and shot after him down the hallway. However, that's guesswork.

So there you have it; the way I see it. You can have fun picking it apart.

Best regards,

  • Joyce Behan Testimony Pat Mulligan, Sat Aug 25 03:30
    split coffee. My last habit came back to bite me. @ questions on Behans testimony. I am trying to reconcile where he was at the start of the gunfight. I still wonder whether he was behind the Earps... more
    • Pat/Behan's testimony... — Joyce..., Sat Aug 25 07:31
      • Behan testimony / JoycePat Mulligan, Sun Aug 26 04:43
        Since Behan,the Prosecutors nor Defense raised any objections to the diagram they must have believed it was accurate. So I will stay with what was presented, with one exception. I think Virgil... more
        • Pat/further examination...Joyce..., Sun Aug 26 17:40
          Pat, Disagreement is what keeps this board going. If we all agreed, what would be left to examine? However, opposing viewpoints should never bring about animosity, I am sure you agree, and sometimes... more
          • Behan testimony / JoycePat Mulligan, Mon Aug 27 05:01
            Joyce The right would have to reference from Behan's point of view.So since we both agree that it was the second from right, that would would eliminate Holliday as firing the first shot, since he was ... more
            • Way out observation.Bob Paul, Mon Aug 27 09:41
              Nice exchange, folks. Just a waaaay out observation/perspective on "diagrams" and "weaponry". How does all this fit with the diagram by Wyatt/Flood exposed at the 2004 Gilchriese collection auction... more
              • Bob/good point...Jouce..., Mon Aug 27 10:11
                That is why I pay little attention to the diagrams. They all seem to be flawed to some degree. I would rather go inch by inch over the testimony of people who were there at the time. Sometime a... more
            • Behan TestimonySteve Gatto, Mon Aug 27 09:41
              Pat, There are at least two reasons why John Behan’s testimony does not support Wyatt’s statement of how the gunfight started. First, Behan testified that the Earp party fired the first two shots of... more
              • Re Steve Gatto Pat Mulligan, Wed Aug 29 05:27
                t being said Behan point of view would have been from his right. Since he was fixed on the NP pistol, if the second shot was fired from Billy C. he may have missed only seeing the second shot from... more
                • Pat/Holliday's position?...Joyce..., Wed Aug 29 06:49
                  Why would you think Doc Holliday was always on the end? He never stopped moving. His first move,described by witnesses, was to approach Frank, right away. He jabbed Frank in the belly with his pistol ... more
                  • Joyce/Steve Pat Mulligan, Thu Aug 30 05:59
                    My copy of the turner Inquest does not have numbers assigned only initials. Since neither side objected to the diagram I would believe they both accepted it as correct.So did Behan as he did not... more
                    • Re: Joyce/Steve Steve Gatto, Fri Aug 31 07:03
                      Pat, You must be looking at the 1992 edition of Turner's book rather that the 1981 first edition. The diagrams on pages 100 and 101 of the book you are looking at are inaccurate and reflect Turner's... more
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