Behan no gun in a barber shop??
Thu Aug 29, 2019 07:21

Primary sources tell us that guns in a barber shop was a routine matter on the frontier. As a matter of fact, the barber shop was a good place to pull off an assassination by gunfire. Case in point was noted shootist of the Northwest - Ferd. Patterson - who was assassinated at Walla Walla while reclined back in the barber's chair getting his shave. Jimmy Earp was on the scene not long afterwards.

In terms of Tombstone we have a fine example on December 18, 1881, when Billy Crayton (gambler in the Earp clique with Marshall Williams) was verbally accosted by a drunk named Benson inside Barron's barber shop. Crayton gave him a push which sent Benson to the floor, momentarily:

"...He gathered himself up and drew and cocked his pistol, seeing which Crayton stepped behind a chair, when the pistol was fired, doing no damage to anyone. As he was trying to cock the pistol again, Crayton grasped it [and] took it from him, at the same time knocking him down. The officers came in and marched Benson off to the lock-up...."

Why would Behan not understand the basic principle laid down here, long before coming to Tombstone?
BTW, this was the same William Crayton who was arrested with Wyatt in 1910 at Searles Lake (near Trona, Cal.) in regards the lot jumping scandal.

  • Here is a post from Steve Gatto down below. Steve Gatto Re: Success and failure Tue Aug 20, 2019 07:21 Virgil himself set the condition for which he would act when John L. Fonck, a... more
    • Behan no gun in a barber shop?? — K.t.K., Thu Aug 29 07:21
    • Po tae to, Po tah toBob Cash, Mon Aug 26 12:17
      Interesting that as soon as I read Steve's explanation, I immediately thought it justified Virgil's decision to take action as soon as possible. Even if he had given Behan some time to disarm the... more
      • Seer of Austin What was Virgil supposed to do after he knew they were still armed after having been in two corrals? Think about several things like is the gunfight Behan had alerted him to should... more
      • Excellent Post!Jeff Morey, Mon Aug 26 14:22
        Bob, 1.). If Virgil had accepted help from the Vigilantes, he would have been admitting he wasn’t capable of dealing with the situation. 2.). The offers of help from the Vigilantes were more than... more
    • Question...?Jeff Morey, Mon Aug 26 06:59
      Tom, How did you determine that Sheriff Behan was “unarmed”? My Best, Jeff Morey
      • I pretendeed I was Jeff Morey and Anonymous, Mon Aug 26 18:35
        Jeff considered the following: First Behan testified he had gotten up late and was at the barbershop when he first became aware there might be a problem. He went from the barbershop to the situation. ... more
        • If...Jeff Morey, Tue Aug 27 08:14
          Tom, If Sheriff Behan was indeed unarmed when he went to disarm the Cowboys, he was clearly showing those Cowboys that he was ill prepared to enforce his demands. To cite Wyatt Earp needing to borrow ... more
          • 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
              Tom, 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... more
              • 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
                    • 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
                  • "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.
      • Re: Question...?Bob Cash, Mon Aug 26 08:48
        Tom, exactly what did Behan testify to in the Spicer hearing about telling Virgil he would attempt to disarm or arrest the cowboys?
        • Re: Question...?Bob Cash, Wed Aug 28 06:54
          Tom, the reason I asked this question was because when I went back to review Behan's Spicer testimony I was surprised (actually kind of stunned) that nowhere does he mention that he had told Virgil... more
        • Seer of Austin Turner book page 24 Behan at the Coroner's Hearing with a little of what he said about Virgil: "He said there was a lot of (I think sons of bitches) who wanted to make a fight. I said... more
          • P. S. Behan to Virgil in Spicer HearingTom Gaumer, Tue Aug 27 07:49
            Turenr page 137 Behan testifying. "I said to him (Virgil), "You had best disarm the crowd." He said he would not, that he would give them a chance to make a fight. " It is your (Virgil's) duty as a... more
            • TOM ? Pat Mulligan, Thu Sep 5 04:59
              Tom Why did Behan believe they would not hurt him? The statement makes me think he had prior knowledge of the Cowboy's intent to attack the Earp's and Holliday .
              • I don't think we can lnow that answer for sureTom Gaumer, Tue Sep 10 01:25
                Pat but we can speculate. LOL I would speculate there was a more hostile relationship between the Earp's and the cowboys than between Behan and the cowboys. This would allow Behan to approach them... more
                • TomPat Mulligan, Tue Sep 10 04:48
                  All we have ever is a speculation. The collection of evidence and the attention to the crime scene was ignored. That being said what we do know is that Behan could/should have disarmed Frank at first ... more
                  • Pat Maybe he would have had he known Virgil was in such a hurry. Virgil's excuse to go over to Fly's for a confrontation was that Fonck had told Virgil the armed cowboys were on the street a second... more
                    • Tom REPat Mulligan, Sat Sep 14 04:58
                      tom If your pretext that Virgil had already had made up his mind for a confrontation why did he let Behan go in the first place? The Marshall and posse would have gone down to Fremont and back Lot... more
                    • Tom RE Pat Mulligan, Tue Sep 10 14:34
                      Tom Their were more people than just Fonck. If word was passed to Virgil that Behan had taken an armed Frank back to the Street in front of the lot it would justify Virgil 's actions. Since all... more
Click here to receive daily updates