Joyce A. Aros
bfrey/ attention please....
Sat Feb 11, 10:29


... Hi Bruce, back in December you had posted a question regarding the witnesses that were to have been presented in a Hearing against Holliday regarding the Benson stage debacle.

Bartholomew's info indicated the witnesses were William Porterfield (a miner), Frank Mitchel and J.S. Robinson. You were asking if anyone knew anything about them and you may already have found your answer.

There seems to be two accounts; the one you referred to which was a Hearing and was projected by John Behan and these were his witnesses. The other account was the one stated by Frank Vaughn, who claimed there was a subpoena and the witnesses were the McLaury brothers, John Slaughter, possibly Billy Clanton and one or two others.

Vaughn's account seems more accurate as he describes witnesses that were at Drew's that evening and so they claimed to hear the rifle shot and see Holliday ride away quickly though they did not claim to see him actually do the shooting.

The subpoena that Vaughn refers to does exist BUT does not have his three witness names on it though Behan's name is there. I have a copy buried somewhere and can't promise to find it as I have given up writing my unpopular books and packed everything away.

The miner, Porterfield, I could not find anywhere. Mitchel was a lawyer involved in the Defense in the Earp Hearing though we never know if he had any input in the thing. J.S. Robinson becomes more interesting. He was a very prominent corporate lawyer working for the Southern Pacific railroad.

The thing that raises my suspicious nature is that in both cases there was claimed testimony of prominent people of strong reputations. Why was the case never developed? Smells of political intrigue to me. Could the Earp group really have that much influence against the words of men like Slaughter, Vaughn, Robinson, and so on? Especially against such an unlikable and unpopular character like Holliday?

But there is some support for my idea that these lawyers, including Goodrich & Co., were all corporate lawyers and had little experience regarding criminal law cases, whereas Fitch came from back east and had some experience along changing law practice. He was rather a performer to me, but he might have out-danced the Prosecution because that should have been a slam-dunk case...in MY opinion!

    • THANKSbfrey, Thu Apr 06 12:48
      Joyce, Been gone for awhile, but thanks for getting back to me. I really think there is a ultimate link to all this. Slaughter who is very reputable saw Holliday riding hard that night. The curious... more
    • Popularity isn't necessarilyDan Brown, Sun Feb 12 23:16
      the defining quality of one's work. The spirit of the piece might be a more accurate judge of value. Anyway you read the book, it can be honestly stated that you've done more for the Cowboys than anyo... more
    • Bartholomew is the .....Joyce A. Aros, Sun Feb 12 18:10
      ...only source of that particular information that I know of and it is almost impossible to check his many references. His listing is unreal. I thought I saw that name among the Prosecution lawyers' names... more
      • SourcePeter, Mon Feb 13 14:39
        That's not a primary source. That's a secondary source.
      • correction...Joyce A. Aros, Sun Feb 12 18:12
        ...Mitchel should be listed as a Defense lawyer, not Prosecution.
    • Frank MitchellPeter, Sun Feb 12 17:18
      What is your primary source in regards to claiming that Frank Mitchel (sic) was a lawyer working for the Earps and Holliday? Thanks Peter
    • Re: bfrey/ attention please....Peter Love, Sat Feb 11 19:03
      You shouldn’t stop writing if you have more to say Joyce. I haven’t got around to buying your last book but I will. I enjoyed your first two, which were thought-provoking.