4 Infamous Texas Outlaws
Here lately I’ve been on a “Wild West” true crime kick, so here’s a list of some of the most infamous outlaws in Texas history.
- Jim Miller 1866-1909 – This guy had two very different nicknames, “Killer Miller” and “Deacon Jim”. Apparently he was a devout Methodist, or he at least was in attendance fairly often, and he didn’t drink or smoke like most of the outlaws on the list. Despite his love for the “Word” he was arrested for murder more than once and was known as an assassin. He was actually arrested for the murder of his own grandparents and brother-in-law. Not only was he a real mystery when it came to the whole outlaw, assassin, avid church goer thing but he also served as the Marshall to Pecos, and was once a Texas Ranger. In the end he was lynched by an angry (is there any other kind of mob really?) mob for killing a man named Gus Bobbitt, who was an Oklahoma rancher and a former Deputy U.S. Marshall. He wasn’t no b*tch though, when it was time for the hanging, according to witnesses, Miller said “Let ‘er rip!” and jumped off the hanging platform all on his own.
2. John Selman 1839-1896 – During his life he was tried for murder, theft and desertion of the Confederate army but somehow he became the Constable of El Paso. He headed a group of vigilantes called “Selman’s Scouts”, who were said to have been guilty of numerous rapes and looting. He was shot in a gunfight with U.S. Marshal George Scarborough over a card game.
3. John Wesley Hardin 1853-1895 – Hardin was only 15 when he first became a fugitive after he killed a man he had previously bested (I assume that means won) in a wrestling match. He would be captured by the Texas state police and escape, then go on to make besties with Wild Bill Hickok, and of course as outlaws do, killed more dudes. He got involved in the Sutton-Taylor Feud and killed two Texas lawmen that put him in the line of sight for a lynch mob that he happen to escape. He did not however, escape the Texas state police a second time and was convicted of murder and imprisoned for 17 years. When he had served his time and got out of prison he took his state bar exam and became a lawyer. He moved to El Paso and that was where he met someone we already know, John Selman. Selman shot Hardin in the back after an argument over the arrest of one of Hardin’s friends.
4. Sam Bass 1851-1878 – I read some stuff that put this guy as one of Texas’s most famous outlaws but I’ve never heard of him. He was also apparently not very good at being a criminal. In September of 1877 however, he did score big time with his gang when they robbed the Union Pacific railroad gold train out of San Francisco and got away with $60,000. He died in a shootout in Round Rock with Texas Rangers and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.