Murder of Wild Bill Hickok
By Steve Goldman, NCSA Member #9
As most Wild West buffs are aware, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was killed by Jack Mc Call in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, on August 2, 1876. Hickock was shot in the back of the head while playing poker and holding Aces and eights (two pairs) ever since known as the "dead man's hand."
The first newspaper report of Hickok's death was published in Deadwood's only newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer, on August 5, 1876. The headlines read:
ASSASSINATION OF WILD BILL
HE WAS SHOT THROUGH THE HEAD
BY JOHN MC CALL
WHILE UNAWARE OF DANGER
ARREST, TRIAL, & DISCHARGE
OF THE ASSASSIN
WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE AVENGED
A BROTHER'S DEATH
IN KILLING WILD BILL
The text read: "On Wednesday about 3 o'clock the report stated that J.B. Hickok (Wild Bill) was killed. On repairing to the hall of Nuttall and Mann, it was ascertained that the report was too true. We found the remains of Wild Bill lying on the floor. The murderer, Jack Mc Call, was captured after a lively chase by many of the citizens, and taken to a building at the lower end of the city, and a guard placed over him. As soon as this was accomplished, a coroner's jury was summoned, with C.H. Sheldon as foreman, who after hearing all the evidence, which was the effect that, while Wild Bill and others were at a table playing cards, Jack Mc Call walked in and around directly back of his victim, and when within three feet of him raised his revolver, and exclaiming, "damn you, take that," fired; the ball entering at the back of the head, and coming out at the centre of the right check causing instant death, reached a verdict in accordance with the above facts "
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