Thanks for that, Bob.
Thu May 25, 10:14

Actually was able to read that one, if only with the help of my reading specs.

So, it appears that the young Claiborne, for whatever reason, admired (idolized?) the older Ringo and considered him a friend, perhaps even some sort of mentor. How Ringo perceived Claiborne, on the other hand, we do not know. Did he consider the kid a confidante of some kind? Did he share with the young man some of the more life-shattering, intimate details of his private life?

In any event, when Claiborne learned of Ringo's death it appears to have traumatized him to the extent that he took it upon himself to, as he saw it, "heroically avenge" what he considered his idol's murder, while dismissing or denying the possibility that he could have committed such an unthinkable act as suicide, that is, if he even was capable of conceiving that Ringo could have done such a (as he saw it, crazy? cowardly? taboo?) thing despite the fact that, if certain sources can be believed, Ringo made no secret of being susceptible to suicidal ideation.

So Claiborne, traumatized, grief-stricken, hyper-emotional, rage-filled, not thinking clearly but in dire need of a target or scapegoat to, in the context of his own value and belief system, explain Ringo's death in a way that he can process and accept i.e. makes sense to him, settles upon Leslie as the likeliest candidate to fit his pre-conceived scenario. And the rest, for young Billy, is history, which is to say the violent, bloody end of his.

Do we know how others in Tombstone and environs viewed Leslie's Claiborne-alleged involvement in Ringo's death? Did Claiborne's and/or Ringo's friends and familiars believe that Leslie was involved? How about the denizens of Tombstone? Was Leslie's alleged involvement, as I suspect, purely a figment of Claiborne's deranged imagination, or was there a widespread belief that Leslie was the killer, or even a fair amount of gossip? I suspect that there was no such belief because if there was, Leslie would at minimum have been questioned about it by the authorities, and we have no indication that that was the case, do we? All we know is that it was determined he killed the kid in self-defense.

Left unanswered, then, is why Leslie later, in Yuma, claimed to have been Ringo's killer, if in fact he wasn't. I haven't read the DeMattos/Parsons book--have you?--but perhaps an answer reposes in its pages, some manner of psychological insight that would in some measure explain what I will characterize as the violent, unstable, yarn-spinning--the man was famous for his fanciful stories about his florid past--Leslie's motivation behind making such a claim.

(I'd note that the newspaper article here reports that Ringo was shot in the heart, which prompts one to wonder what else they may have gotten wrong.)

  • I said "kind of"...Bob Cash, Wed May 24 22:49
    I posted this some years back, but I think I was most interested in the info on the Benson stagecoach murders and the interviewee's take on Doc's part (or not) in it. I have been under the impresson... more
    • Thanks for that, Bob. — olds, Thu May 25 10:14
      • Re: Thanks for that, Bob.Bob Cash, Thu May 25 15:12
        Here's Parsons' and DeMattos' take on Claiborne and Ringo: https://books.google.com/books?id=FxhgDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA45&dq=Ringo+Claiborne&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwifl-qJvMDoAhUKS6wKH... more
        • Once again, thanks Bob.olds, Thu May 25 18:48
          So according to Parsons/DeMattos, the scenario I described in my post is "pure fiction." Fair enough. They're the guys in the know. That said, from what they have written, I still fail to understand... more
          • Re: Once again, thanks Bob.Bob Cash, Thu May 25 21:26
            According to Bossenecker in RIDE THE DEVIL'S HERD, Billy apparently incorrectly thought that the group speaking with Leslie were talking about the recent shriff's election. Claiborne had supported Dave... more
            • That explains it then.olds, Fri May 26 7:19
              Dumb as it sounds, a misunderstanding about local politics leading to one thing leading to another leading to what it ultimately led to. (Claiborne sounds like a real piece of work, but then Leslie apparently... more
              • Adding my recSarah Stegall, Sun May 28 3:15
                Just want to say that I recently finished Boessenecker’s book, and it’s terrific. Highly recommended.
              • Re: That explains it then.Bob Cash, Fri May 26 11:06
                Olds, you should finish reading this highly educational post and then immediately order RIDE THE DEVIL'S HERD. Bossenecker is no slouch when it comes to research, but in this book his skills are combined... more
                • I unfailingly find your postsolds, Fri May 26 21:22
                  edifying, Bob, among other things. You've certainly furthered my education on this subject, for which many thanks. Problem is, the more I know, the more I remain partial to my original position. I... more
                  • Re: I unfailingly find your postsBob Cash, Sat May 27 10:51
                    Here's a motive that Ken Vail posited for Leslie, or any number of Cochise County characters. https://nediscapp.com/discussion.cgi?disc=39627&article=34553&search_page=2&search_term=Leslie
                    • Bob CashPeter Brand, Sat May 27 21:20
                      Bob I say this sincerely - you are the main reason I drop in on this discussion board. Your knowledge and research and measured delivery always impresses me. Keep it up. Cheers PB
                      • Re: Bob CashBob Cash, Sun May 28 14:21
                        Thank you, Peter. I really apptreciate that. I wish my posts would lure more world class authors and researchers (unlike me) back to the board, like you. I'm sure people would be more interested in how... more
                        • Re: Re: Bob CashB.J., Sun May 28 21:06
                          Hey Bob, I have communicated with Tefertiller several times recently. He did not mention anything (about being included in the group of non-posters)
                          • Re: Re: Re: Bob CashBob Cash, Sun May 28 23:04
                            B.J., all I meant by my post is that none of those mentioned post here nearly as much as they used to. I think you have done an excellent job in trying to maintain a site with a welcoming vibe.
                            • BobB.J., Mon May 29 20:55
                              Of all the people who post here, you have the most balanced historical perspective of events, protagonists and antagonists. I have learned that no matter how objective most historians are and try to... more
                            • Thx BobB.J., Mon May 29 1:55
                              I have never understood using silence as a form of communication. If informed of a problem, problem solving can implemented .
                    • Hmm.olds, Sat May 27 13:31
                      So the conjecture is that the motive would have been the reward money offered by this Protective Association? ($1,000 then would be roughly $30,000 now.) As motives go, plausible enough, I suppose, though... more
      • Who Shot J.R….?B.J., Thu May 25 14:59
        Growing up as part of a Native Arizona Family, the story circulating for many years was “who shot J.R.? Most of my family and other old timers used Frank Leslie’s name as a paid assassin who left... more