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Jack McCall
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Assassin
    (circa 1851-March 1, 1877)
    Shot Wild Bill Hickok (August 2, 1876)
    His nickname was Crooked Nose Jack.
    He verbally debased Wild Bill Hickok for loosing at poker.
    His luck ran out and embarrassingly lost every penny to Hickok.
    While drunk, he challenged Bill to a fight.
    Having nothing to prove and feeling sorry for him, Bill offered to give him enough money to buy breakfast.
    McCall took this as an insult and responded by shooting Bill in the back of the head while he played cards.
    During his first trial in Deadwood, he said that Bill had murdered his brother in Kansas.
    In that time period, vengeance for murder was a proper defense, and he was found not guilty.
    He fled an angry mob to Wyoming.
    There he would constantly brag that he had killed Hickok in a fair and square gunfight (Hickok was regarded as the world's greatest gunfighter).
    When South Dakota became part of the United States, he was arrested in Wyoming and brought back for another trial.
    He was found guilty and hanged.
    He was buried with the noose still around his neck which was considered an insult.
    It was determined that he in fact never even had a brother.
    Although he was given a trial in Deadwood and found not guilty, he was tried again in what amounted to double jeopardy.
    He made the 'dead man's hand' famous.
    He was buried in an unmarked grave.
    'The Trial of Jack McCall' is reenacted almost nightly in Deadwood.
    Some historians believe that killing Hickok actually helped to boaster Bill's legend.

Credit: Bart McQueary


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