“A vivid portrayal of the time when western Missouri was part of the Wild West. Larry Wood has enhanced his careful historical research with graphic details and meaningful commentary. His account of these little-known bad men and women gives a true picture of the wild and brutal side of the era.”
—Ellen Gray Massey, author, The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance
The battle between the Blue and Gray had ended, but the Ozarks were still witnessing a war. Divided loyalties gave rise to rampant lawlessness and debauchery, plaguing this region with robberies, shootouts, and showdowns. In twenty-five compelling chapters, Larry Wood meticulously compiles his research from the shocking incidents that took place in the Ozarks during the late 1860s through the 1950s. The author includes haunting portraits of the corrupt criminals, snapshots of Western towns where the events took place, and excerpts from previously published magazine articles.
Wood recalls the notorious Springfield, Missouri, showdown between Davis Tutt and Wild Bill Hickok, which ushered in the era of the Wild West. He remembers the biggest railroad-settler dispute in Kansas history and the Roscoe shootout that resulted in the murder of a Younger brother. The author also mentions the not-as-well-known, but equally as scandalous crimes, such as the bank holdup by female bandit Cora Hubbard and the bloody Benders’ massacre. Bonnie and Clyde, Bill Cook, Henry Starr, and other infamous outlaws make an appearance in this revealing volume.