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This is the one and only original Johnny Ringo. I'm back!
In the Tombstone Novel:
John Peters Ringo was born May 3, 1850. Mary Peters Ringo gives birth to him in Greenfork, Wayne county, Indiana.
This is the only known description of Ringo's shooting ability. It was provided by A.M. Franklin who owned a store in Stafford:
"I knew Ringo well. He was about 6ft. 2in., light but not a blond with the most pathetic blue eyes I ever saw. A cheerful good looking fellow with a half eyes cynical smile, and a powerful mind. When he said a thing, he meant it and every one knew it. That was his strength. Of course, he had his pistols too. He could put two beer bottles, mouth towards him, let his pistols hang from his fingers, then with a dexterous jerk, I don't know just how, he would have them in position and break both bottles at once. His main stunt however, was shooting from his hip."
December 1879 he was in Arizona, where he shot and wounded Louis Hancock at Safford during a saloon quarrel on December 14. Except for a visit to his family in California, Ringo appears to have remained in Arizona during most of 1880.
On March 8, 1881, he was present at Camp Thomas, Arizona, when cattle rustler Dick Lloyd was killed. Contrary to folklore, he took no part in the shooting.
Ringo was arrested in Galeyville on August 18, 1881 for robbing a poker game that he was involved in, the charges were later dropped no one showed up in court to testify against him.
After the so-called OK Corral gunfight in Tombstone, in which William Clanton and the McLaury brothers were killed on October 26, 1881, Ringo was a leader of the anti-Earp forces.
On January 17, 1882, he challenged Wyatt Earp, gunman John H. (Doc) Holliday, and some of the Earps to a street fight. Johnny, Doc and Wyatt were arrested for concealing weapons. Charges were dropped against Wyatt. Johnny and Doc were both fined $25.00. He was also a member of the posse that pursued the Earps during its flight from Arizona. Rumor had it that he did kill Morgan Earp after the OK Coral but it was just speculation and nothing more.
May 6, 1882 Ringo came back to Tombstone where charges are once again brought up on the shooting of Louis Hancock and once again on one showed up to testify against him, and the charges are dropped.
John Ringo was in Tombstone on July 2, 1882. He appeared depressed and was drinking heavily. On July 8, he left Tombstone for the last time. Ringo, along with Frank Leslie and Billy Claiborn made their way east. They continued to drink heavily and eventually ended up at the Patterson Ranch. On the morning of July 13 Ringo headed out alone asking Mrs. Patterson not to tell anyone where he'd gone. Waking a short time later, Frank Leslie found out which direction Ringo had gone and rode after him. Later that morning Billy Claiborne awoke. Unable to find out where Ringo and Claiborne had gone he set out himself direction unknown.
On July 14, 1882, Ringo was found dead at a tree by teamster John Yoast. Yoast, who had known Ringo from Texas, immediately called for help. Soon several men arrived at the location. Ringo was found with his back leaning against a tree. In his right hand was clenched a .45 caliber Colt was clenched and he had a gunshot wound in his right temple. The bullet had exited out of the top of his head. He was buried at the spot where he was found dead.
The coroner's report commented that his death was "supposed" to have been by suicide. Others that had not seen the body thought he must have been murdered. There were some strange details concerning his death. He was found with his boots off, and strips of an undershirt were wrapped around his feet. The men that viewed the body concluded that he must have traveled a short distance in this footwear. They also noted that one of his cartridge belts was on upside down. There appeared to be a cut on his scalp with a small part of his hair gone. His horse was not at the scene, but it was found a couple weeks later, still saddled.
Avatar and home image are from Michael Biehn's portral of Johnny Ringo in the movie "Tombstone".
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Zone : Westerns
My Reference Books:
Black and Blue
Curly Bill Brocious
My Favorite Reads: