Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier

Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier
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Laws passed by politicians in far-off Austin meant little to Westerners living on the Texas frontier. Sagebrush justice relied less on written statutes than on common sense, grass-roots fairness, and vague notions of folk law drawn from the Old South’s Victorian code of chivalry and honor. In this very different time and place, a murderer might go free based on the following reasoning: “The son-of-a-gun is guilty all right, but we must turn him loose. He owes me for a pair of boots, and if we convict him I’ll never get my money.� Inexperienced prosecutors, a lack of modern crime-detection methods, unavailability of witnesses, an acceptance of violence in society, and a laissez-faire attitude toward trial tactics all conspired to make guilty verdicts a rarity. Bill Neal spent over four decades frequenting county courthouses in West Texas and hearing tales of sensational crimes and celebrated trials of bygone years. Most of the stories gathered here have never before been published, and each is supported by a wealth of primary research. Written By Bill Neal - Hardback w/dustjacket - 308 pages
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