The Daily Show Meets the Old West
After I put up that post the other day about Newman Haynes “Old Man” Clanton, I pulled out Casey Tefertiller’s biography of Wyatt Earp, and skimmed the section that deals with the famous gunfight at the OK Corral. It seems the local coroner, one Henry M. Matthews, studiously avoided saying anything of substance about the incident, including (most importantly) whether a crime had been committed:
William Clanton, Frank and Thomas McLaury, came to their deaths in the town of Tombstone on October 26, 1881, from the effects of pistol and gunshot wounds inflicted by Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp and one — Holliday, commonly called ‘Doc’ Holliday.”
The Tombstone Nugget pounced:
Glad to Know The people of this community are deeply indebted to the twelve [actually eight] intelligent men who composed the coroners jury for the valuable information that the three persons who were killed last Wednesday were shot. Some thirty or forty shots were fired, and the whole affair was witnessed by probably a dozen people, and we have a faint recollection of hearing someone say the dead men were shot, but people are liable to be mistaken and the verdict reassures us. We might have thought they had been struck by lightning or stung to death by hornets.