Jeff Morey
What you are saying is....
Tue Aug 27, 2019 13:55


What you are saying is poorly thought out. Behan wasn’t merely engaging a group of his buddies. You write: “He could try talking them out of the situation without needing a fight or a tool to fight with.” That’s not how “law enforcement” works. Such complacency can all too easily get a law officer killed. Many are killed each year by people they know, people who aren’t strangers. It is when a lawman’s guard is down that he is at greatest risk. Johnny Behan’s stated goal, as expressed to his barber, was “to disarm and arrest the parties.” Given this, confronting the armed Cowboys, without arming himself beforehand, would display stunningly poor judgment. Without a weapon, he had no way to enforce his demands. It’s no wonder that his efforts weren’t taken seriously by Frank McLaury. Your scenario that Sheriff Behan was unarmed when he confronted the Cowboys could serve as a vivid example of why Walter Noble Burns concluded that Johnny Behan was a “twenty-two caliber man in a forty-five caliber town.”

My Best,

Jeff Morey

  • Jeff-try the smile before the gun!!Tom Gaumer, Tue Aug 27 12:19
    Jeff Wyatt Earp was unarmed when he was on his way to look into some shooting and maybe support Sheriff White. The fact he needed to borrow a tool of his job and was initially unarmed was my point... more
    • Wyatt ?Fred white shooting Pat Mulligan, Tue Sep 3 13:14
      Tom to the best of my knowledge Wyatt was acting as a citizen when her arrested Curly Bill for shooting Marshall Fred White. So wyatt should not have been armed prior to the shooting. Behan was a... more
      • Howdy Pat the White Incident was in October of 1880. If that is true Wyatt was on duty at night when many of the miners were in town and drinking and Wyatt was on duty and unarmed. Keep Laughing Tom
        • White was shot after midnight Oct. 28K.t.K., Thu Sep 5 16:15
          Died October 30. Ten days later Earp resigned from deputy sheriff by letter to Sheriff Shibell dated November 9, 1880. [Gatto]
      • Actually PatK.t.K., Tue Sep 3 17:31
        Wyatt's appointment as Deputy Sheriff was announced July 29, 1880 - or about three months prior to the White killing. He came off the box as shotgun messenger and Morgan was announced his... more
        • KtKPat Mulligan, Wed Sep 4 04:14
          I apologize for the miscue. Forgot and did not check first. Thanks for the correction
    • What you are saying is.... — Jeff Morey, Tue Aug 27 13:55
      • I think beleving Behan unarmed is easy.Tom Gaumer, Tue Aug 27 15:18
        Law enforcement does not seek a confrontation every time as Virgil sought that day. They many times try to negotiate with the kidnapper or hostage holder or the criminal caught at the scene who has a ... more
        • Deputy Beakenridge disagreesK.t.K., Thu Aug 29 05:19
          Behan was armed even while sitting at his desk in the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. Breck recalled the time Behan's revolver fell out of the scabbard while leaning back in his chair, the gun hit... more
          • I don't think so. Tom Gaumer, Thu Aug 29 18:50
            KtK You gave no checkable source except Breakenridge, where I might check the details, so I won't. I remember the incident but would guess the lack of a solid clear source might mean the details... more
          • Furthermore, Behan had to shoot a man....K.t.K., Thu Aug 29 06:02
            ...just three years before (1878) while on official business in Yavapai County. He was collecting for a bill from a carpenter named Mann, when the latter showed fight with a pistol.
            • I believe most people/lawman would understandTom Gaumer, Thu Aug 29 19:03
              KtK the dangers of collecting a bill might require a gun as resistance might take place. Behan was a good shot and would have had and used a gun if necessary. I believe Behan, like most, would assess ... more
        • Forgive me...Jeff Morey, Tue Aug 27 17:03
          Tom, I’m in Michigan and all of my books and papers are down in Tennessee. Where exactly does Behan say Frank McLaury “had agreed to go to his (the Sheriff’s) office”? My Best, Jeff Morey
          • I left this out by accident Tom Gaumer, Wed Aug 28 08:06
            Jeff and I know you would miss it! LOL James Kehoe testimony: The Sheriff told him (Frank) he would take him to the Sheriff's office to lay off his arms. Frank McLaury said, "You need not take me. I... more
          • Jeff So it can be interpreted to suit each observer of the text. Behan on page 137 and 138 of Turner: Behan leaves leaves Fourth and Fremont with Frank Testifying this way: "I met Frank McLaury... more
            • In other words...Jeff Morey, Wed Aug 28 06:51
              Tom, In other words, Sheriff Behan never says that Frank McLaury verbally, overtly and unequivocally agreed to go to the Sheriff’s Office. That doesn’t make for a very compelling argument that Behan... more
              • Jeff/a compelling argument?....Joyce..., Wed Aug 28 16:08
                We are talking about the frontier. None of the marshals, sheriffs, rangers, ect. attended a police academy at any time. They are working on the street with their nerves and common sense, hopefully,... more
                • Behan did not outrank Virgil EarpWayne Sanderson, Mon Sep 16 20:22
                  As has been pointed out before, the legal pecking order of the authority of town law enforcement being superseded by county, which is superseded by Territory/State applies only to those laws and... more
              • Kehoe says it directly. See above.Tom Gaumer, Wed Aug 28 08:41
                Jeff Implicit by it's nature does not allow for things like "overtly" "unequivocal" or "compelling" or "significant progress." Implicit can also be accepted as a possibility or rejected as a... more
                • But...Jeff Morey, Wed Aug 28 13:19
                  Tom, Kehoe’s testimony is seriously undermined by Behan’s own testimony. Kehoe claims Behan first confronted both McLaury brothers in front of the Union Market. Behan claimed he first confronted... more
                  • I'm aware of the problem but am not awareTom Gaumer, Wed Aug 28 17:58
                    Jeff of all the details of the issue and have not studied it as you have. I have several times referred to the opinion that Kehoe's testimony is viewed as completely false by some, especially you. I... more
                    • Tom,Jeff Morey, Thu Aug 29 09:01
                      Tom, I choose my words carefully. I have never said Kehoe’s testimony was “fake”. I have merely pointed out that Sheriff Behan’s testimony is incompatible with Kehoe’s. I have also pointed out that... more
                  • Jeff/are we to be following.....Joyce..., Wed Aug 28 16:47
                    …..this whole scene with measuring tapes or can we accept the casual terminology in conversation? From what I glean from the testimonies of Behan and Kehoe is that Tom was at Bauer's a little ahead... more
                    • So...Jeff Morey, Thu Aug 29 08:28
                      Joyce, Your way of solving the problem of incompatibility between Behan’s account and Kehoe’s account is to imagine a scenario which no witness testified to. Imagining away problems doesn’t magically ... more
            • Computer problems kept me from finishingAnonymous is Tom Gaumer-me, Wed Aug 28 00:10
              Jeff but I have been beaten up enough by the computer for tonight. Keep Laughing Tom
        • Refresh my memory....Jeff Morey, Tue Aug 27 16:21
          Tom, Was the unarmed wonder Sheriff Johnny Behan re-elected by a stunning landslide? My Best, Jeff Morey
          • Behan fell a little short of thatTom Gaumer, Wed Aug 28 00:21
            Jeff I know this will be new to you but believe it or not Behan came up a little short at the Dem Party convention in late 1882. There were five candidates for the sheriff nomination. Behan was fifth ... more
            • You write:Jeff Morey, Wed Aug 28 07:11
              Tom, You write: “Maybe Buckskin Frank Leslie would have been enough to handle the Earps but no one was there to help Behan.” Comment: If the hapless Sheriff had armed himself, he may not have failed... more
              • Jeff that Behan was seeking a confrontation. He was, in his approach and maybe, making progress on a peaceful solution. Being armed would still leave him 1 against 4 in trying to stop Virgil. Since,... more
                • Leslie, had he been called upon to assist behan would in all liklihood have made all the moves from the alpha position while behan hung back. IMHO Behan was a gutless politician who took the job to... more
                • Tom ,Just Curious ? Pat Mulligan, Tue Sep 3 13:26
                  What progress ahd behan made? He had not disarmed Frank. Upon arriving at the lot he did not disarm Billy Clanton. They were not headed for the Jail. the easy approach was to disarm Frank, then... more
                  • Pat in my opinion. I believe Behan said he had cleared Billy to keep his revolver as he was headed out of town. Would Billy have left town if Virgil had stayed out of it? Hard to say. Seems likely.... more
                    • TOM ? Pat Mulligan, Thu Sep 5 04:57
                      Tom You keep insisting that VE interfered with Behan.. You cannot interfere if you are doing what you are sworn to do,especially at the request of the citizens who elected you. Also what reason has... more
          • "Re-elected"Bob Paul, Tue Aug 27 18:34
            Sheriff Behan "re-elected". Good one. The first elected County Sheriff by the good folks of Tombstone has his image on the wall in the Courthouse (hint it ain't Behan) and was re-elected.
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