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Thursday’s Second Thought…

“For anyone living west of the Mississippi in 1912, the biggest news that fateful year was not the sinking of the Titanic. Nor was it Pancho Villa’s brazen raid into New Mexico and the killing of several U.S. citizens. Instead, it was a violent escape from the Nebraska state penitentiary planned and carried out by a trio of notorious robbers and safe-blowers. In the early spring of 1912, two black prisoners undertake an escape from the Nebraska state penitentiary but fail after an informant betrays them. When the deputy warden is stabbed and killed, throwing the prison into chaos, three white convicts carry out their own prison break. With guns of unknown provenance, Charles Morley, John Dowd, and Charles Taylor shoot their way out of Lancaster Prison, killing the warden and wounding his brother in the process. Hunted by three hundred lawmen across the Nebraska plains through a blinding snowstorm, the outlaws invade homes (demanding food, horses, and silk handkerchiefs) and kidnap a young farmer, to the horror of his pregnant teenage bride. What happens next, who gets shot, and who gets hanged are both tragic and thrilling–and set the stage for a modern American jurisprudence and prison reform, ending forever the era of hang-’em-high justice.”  -from  Non-fiction.  “The Last Posse” by Gale E Christianson.  Checks out for 2 weeks.

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