The Mack Marsden Murder Mystery: Vigilantism or Justice?

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In the late nineteenth century, Jefferson County, Missouri, was striving to emulate its cosmopolitan cousin to the north, St. Louis, while it battled to wipe out the remnants of its frontier lawlessness. The West was truly wild all the way back to the Mississippi River, and while progressive St. Louisans were installing telephones, the sheriff in Hillsboro was trying to find out who was stealing all of the pigs. One of the last of the bad men in Missouri was Mack Marsden. For over three years he was ...

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Overview

 

In the late nineteenth century, Jefferson County, Missouri, was striving to emulate its cosmopolitan cousin to the north, St. Louis, while it battled to wipe out the remnants of its frontier lawlessness. The West was truly wild all the way back to the Mississippi River, and while progressive St. Louisans were installing telephones, the sheriff in Hillsboro was trying to find out who was stealing all of the pigs. One of the last of the bad men in Missouri was Mack Marsden. For over three years he was suspected of every major crime in Jefferson County. Though the newspapers labeled him a desperado, he was tried only once and never convicted of any wrongdoing. When he was ambushed, shotgunned, and left dying on a dusty road, his life became even more mysterious. Who murdered him? And if Mack wasn’t the desperado behind all those crimes, who was?
            For the first time, all of the available resources, including oral histories, are mined for the clues that answer these questions and more. This narrative nonfiction book is a true mystery that bears striking parallels to the life of Missourian Jesse James—and is as thrilling as any of the more famous tales of the Old West.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883982690
  • Publisher: Missouri History Museum Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition, 1st Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Johnston is a writer, artist, and songwriter based in Nashville. He's a native of Missouri and a lifelong outdoorsman. Besides publishing How to Fail in the Music Business and Jesus Would Recycle, he is the inventor of the now-famous McDonald’s Happy Meal.  

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Table of Contents

About the Author vi

Foreword vii

Introduction ix

Who's Who xvi

Map of Jefferson County xvii

Map of Sandy Valley viii

Chapter 1 Death in the Dust 1

Chapter 2 A Good Place to Raise a Family 11

Chapter 3 Dreams 17

Chapter 4 The Road, the Bridge, and the Man 23

Chapter 5 A Visit from John 37

Chapter 6 Arson to Cover a Murder 49

Chapter 7 Midnight Ambush 59

Chapter 8 Weaver Takes Over 65

Chapter 9 The Shadow of Crime 73

Chapter 10 The Other Side of the Family 81

Chapter 11 A Big Mistake 89

Chapter 12 Eleven Fine White Hogs 97

Chapter 13 Every Man for Himself 105

Chapter 14 "They Want Mack" 115

Chapter 15 The Society Rides 123

Chapter 16 The Standoff 133

Chapter 17 Tensions Rise 141

Chapter 18 "Somebody's Lying" 147

Chapter 19 The Meeting in the Yard 153

Chapter 20 Dirty Dealing 159

Chapter 21 Who Killed Vail? 169

Chapter 22 Boiling the Soup 179

Chapter 23 "Don't Shoot, Boys!" 185

Chapter 24 Deathbed Testimony 195

Chapter 25 "Let's Go, Mother" 205

Chapter 26 A New Sheriff in Town 217

Chapter 27 At Last, the Trial 227

Chapter 28 Another Getaway 237

Epilogue 243

Sources 257

Index 259

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