This rare collection of wanted posters from the American West, found in the basement of the Missoula, Montana, County Courthouse, is a historical treasure. The book's nearly 150 original wanted posters, fugitive notices, and Pinkerton Agency circulars are supplemented by fascinating details about the technology of identification, the history of wanted posters, and the stories behind the crimes, from horse theft, jail breaking, safe-blowing, and train robbery to seduction, "white slavery," and murder. Posters for notorious bandits such as Jesse James, Kid Curry, Tom NIxon, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are also featured.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
Table of Contents
|Rogues' Hall of Infamy||11|
|Get on That Pony and Ride||23|
|Murder Most Foul||53|
|Be on the Lookout||113|
|Take the Money and Run||147|
|Bank Robbery and Safe Cracking|
|Obtaining Under False Pretenses|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wanted! Wanted Posters of the Old West: Stories Behind the Crimes based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I stumbled upon this book while searching for something entirely different and was really impressed by the collection. The wanted posters (all original!) shed light on the values and culture of the time period. Imagine a time when 'seduction' was a crime! What I loved the most was reading the language used in the posters---the way law enforcement (or vigilantes in some cases) described these characters is fascinating. They didn't use fingerprints or other forms of identification, so they kept detailed body maps of their moles and scars, as well as measurements of finger length, arm length, etc, which they placed on the posters. The mug shots and photos are fabulous and very engaging, and the brief 'follow-up' stories (wish there were more) with some of the wanted posters give you the rest of the tale (if the person was caught, what happened in the ensuing months, manhunts, trials etc.).
So for those of you who don't know the title is slightly deceiving. Yes, there are a couple posters that actually include a "background story" with it but for the most part the book is just an accumulation of clippings and cut outs from that period. Some posters were simple vague descriptions of the person that was wanted from said area, others included entire stories behind the crime, while few were simply wanted because they stole a horse, stole someones wife, or were just bad tempered, foul mouthed, and low in luck. Its quite surprising what you could actually be arrested for in some places. Bad day? Its a good time to avoid your neighbors because you don't want to be locked up or hung for having a bad disposition. Some of the warrants make you raise your brows, some will make you laugh, most will make you wonder what ever came of it. I would have happily rated this book five stars however it did feel as if something was missing. As much as there was in the book there were too many times there weren't any more details beyond the inclusion of the wanted poster and that itself doesn't always give any details. It would have been nice to know more beyond the extraordinary wanted posters of the celebrities where the author added a couple paragraphs about the warrants "story" besides the two sentences or less that was included on the original poster itself. All in all worth the read and I enjoy books like this so it was a winner for me.