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Casey Tefertiller
The many Walter Scotts
Fri Aug 31, 2018 16:25


When I tried to research this years ago — long before the on-line newspapers services — I checked the Los Angeles City directory for 1911 to see if I could run down Walter Scott. If I recall correctly, there were 17 Walter Scotts residing in L.A. and environs at the time. Because Walter Scott had been a famous writer, many folks named Scott would name their sons after him. It was like searching for someone named Joe Smith.

That made it pretty much impossible to figure out which Walter Scott accompanied Earp, and I hoped somebody would come up with something. During that time, other writers kept repeating the Boyer claim that Earp’s cohort was Death Valley Scotty, within even suspecting it might not be accurate.

What Ken showed is the fame that Death Valley Scotty had accrued by the time of the faro bunco. This prompted me to place “Death Valley Scott” in the search engine for newspapers dot com, and I learned a lot. Scotty had become quite famous by 1911, particularly in Los Angeles.

If it had been either the real Death Valley Scotty, or the Montana claimant, then that certainly would have been reported by the Los Angeles newspapers. It would have then been brought up in various articles for years after the arrest, since Scotty remained a person of interest to the press.

I am satisfied this solves the mystery.

  • The other “Death Valley Scotty”Robert Buckley, Fri Aug 31 09:46
    Robert Pitts a.k.a “ The original Death Valley Scotty” said when he gets out of jail in Montana (for writing bad checks) , he’s heading back to California. Pitts was serving 25 days for the offense.... more
    • The many Walter Scotts — Casey Tefertiller, Fri Aug 31 16:25
      • Thanks Ken & CaseyRobert Buckley, Fri Aug 31 18:06
        I ran across that article on Robert Pitts ( the Copycat Scotty) yesterday . I’ve read several articles on Death Valley Scotty before , but have never seen anything on Pitts before . I didn’t know if... more
        • The other ScottyCasey Tefertiller, Sat Sep 1 08:43
          Robert, I had never heard of him until I ran across several articles about him when I was searching for Death Valley Scotty. The story seemed odd, since his name was Robert Pitts and not Walter... more
      • Walter Scott . . .Lynn R. Bailey, Fri Aug 31 17:56
        Casey: Back in the early 1970s Anne and I set the type for a book by Hank Johnston entitled “Death Valley Scotty, The Fastest Con in the West.” Since it has gone through numerous printings it must be ... more
        • Re: Walter Scott . . .Casey Tefertiller, Sat Sep 1 08:44
          Hi Lynn, Hope you are doing well. No, I do not know of anything recent on Death Valley Scotty. He seems like one of those figures who has not retained his fame as the years passed. When I was a kid,... more
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