27 Diller Avenue
Newton, NJ 07860
INQUEST: THE GUN FIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL
by Jim Cort
INQUEST : THE GUN FIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL
WYATT EARP : 32 Years old. Wyatt sounds ever so
slightly like he's making a speech.
There's a sense of control about him
when he's testifying, a sense of a
character put on. In his flashbacks he
sounds a little like he's in a play
scripted by Ned Buntline.
VIRGIL EARP : 37. Virgil is more down-to-earth than
Wyatt. His voice is somewhat deeper.
He sounds sincere and sure of himself.
BILLY CLAIBORNE : 21 years old. A boyish voice, strong
Mississippi drawl. Claiborne is not
pretending to be tough. He really is
JOHN BEHAN : Early 30's. We should get a sense that
Behan has a sense of his own importance.
He's just the tiniest bit pompous, but
he's not a fool. He knows the Earps and
he know politics.
IKE CLANTON : Late 30's. Ike has a rough voice. He's
a bitter man. He's ill at ease on the
stand. There should be some suggestion
that he's lying, but only a suggestion.
Don't make Ike the "bad guy".
WELLS SPICER : 50's. Justice of the Peace. He should
be strict, but slightly avuncular, too.
We should know that he's in charge.
NARRATOR : Female, 30's or older. A female voice
is strongly recommended to contrast with
the predominantly male cast, and to
double for the three small female parts.
LYTTLETON PRICE : 40's. He's aware that he's in the
spotlight, and he really believes the
Earps are guilty. A good speaking
voice. Takes things seriously.
THOMAS FITCH : Mid 30's. Not quite so stuffy as Price.
A bit more easygoing in his manner. We
should get the feeling that he's wily,
especially in cross-examination.
H.F. SILLS : Mid-40's. He's an earnest soul who just
wants to do his duty. He's a little
sorry he got mixed up in the whole
thing. Sounds slightly apologetic under
DOC HOLLIDAY : 30 years old. A harsh, rasping, breathy
voice. Slight Georgia drawl. His speech
should be punctuated by an occasional
(and only occasional, please) dry cough.
Holliday should sound like a psychopath.
BILLY CLANTON : Early 20's. Sounds like a boy.
TOM MCLAURY :
FRANK MCLAURY : Both 30's. Neither Tom nor Frank should
sound terribly intelligent. Frank is
the angrier of the two.
MARTHA KING : Mid-30's. A little ill-at-ease. She's
just a housewife who got dragged into
this. She talks about the gunfight as
if it were a scrap between two of her
ADDIE BOURLAND : Mid-50's. A widow. She's a bit of a
busybody, and should sound quite sure of
ALFRED BAUER : Mid-40's. A slight German accent.
Don't make him comic.
WILLIAM ALLEN :
WESLEY FULLER : Fuller is in his mid-20's. Allen, the
mid-30's. They are straight witnesses,
telling what they saw. Fuller is
matter-of-fact about it; Allen, a little
disturbed about what he saw.
H. M. MATTHEWS : 40's. The town coroner. He's seen it
all before. His speech is strictly a
recitation of a report. A dusty, matter-
of-fact sort of voice.
MORGAN EARP : 30. Morgan should sound like a juvenile
delinquent looking for a fight.
ALLIE EARP : Virgil's wife. Late 20's.
NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION
A NOTE ON THE GUNS:
The guns used are .44 and .45 caliber single-action black powder
pistols. They make a hell of a noise. The shotgun is a 10 gauge
double-barreled model. Its sound should be a deeper, throatier
roar than that of the pistols.
A NOTE ON THE FLASHBACKS:
The indication of (flashback) in the dialog of flashbacks is
meant to distinguish the quality of the sound of these lines,
which are in the "past", from that of the testimony of the
speaker in court describing the action, which is taking place in
the "present". What I want in the testimony is the audio
equivalent of a voice-over in a movie. We should be able to tell
the present from the past.
SFX indicated as UNDER LINES should usually be taking place in
the background while some dialog is taking place. They depict in
sound the scene the speaker is describing.
A NOTE ON THE CHARACTERS:
When characters occur in flashbacks, they should sound like the
speaker would have them sound. Thus the Earps, in the stories
told by Clanton, Behan and Claiborne, for example, should sound
more like thugs, schemers and bullies than they do at the trial,
or in their own stories. Behan in the Earps' stories should
sound more like an ineffectual fool. In his own testimony he
should come across like the dutiful lawman betrayed by the bad
faith of the Earps. The Clanton faction in the Earps' stories
should sound much more like vicious criminal types.
INQUEST: THE GUN FIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL
by Jim Cort
SFX: A HORSE WHINNIES; FOOTSTEPS X 4 ON A DIRT ROAD
WALKING AT AN EASY PACE, ALONG WITH THE HORSE'S
FOOTSTEPS. FADE DOWN TO CONTINUE UNDER NEXT LINE.
ALLEN: I saw the cowboys crossing the street
from the direction of Dunbar's stable.
There were four of them: Ike and Billy
Clanton and Frank McLaury and Tom
McLaury. One of them, I think it was
Frank, was leading a horse. They went
on and passed through the OK Corral.
SFX: FOOTSTEPS FADE OUT.
NARRATOR: Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona
Territory. October 26, 1881.
SFX: FADE IN BARBERSHOP SOUNDS UNDER: SCISSORS SNIPPING;
SHAVING BRUSH BEING WORKED IN A CHINA CUP; MUFFLED
MALE VOICES IN CONVERSATION
BEHAN: The first that I knew that there was
likely to be any trouble I was getting
shaved at Barron's barber shop. It was
about half-past one, I think. I saw a
crowd gathering on the corner of Allen
and Fourth Streets. Someone in the
barber shop said there was liable to be
trouble between the Earps and the
Clantons. I asked the barber to hurry
up, that I was anxious to go out and
disarm and arrest the parties.
SFX: CROSS FADE BARBERSHOP WITH STREET NOISES: HORSES,
WAGONS GOING BY; ETC. RUNNING FOOTSTEPS.
BEHAN: Then I went to Hafford's corner. I saw
Virgil Earp the marshal standing there
and asked him what was the excitement.
He said some cowboys were in town and
looking for a fight. I said "You had
better disarm the crowd."
VIRGIL: I asked Sheriff Behan to go with me, but
he refused. He said he would go down
SFX: CROSS FADE STREET NOISES WITH: THE HORSE WHINNYING
AGAIN, FOOTSTEPS AND HORSE'S HOOVES. AD LIB MUFFLED
MALE VOICES IN GREETING: "HOWDY, BILLY","HOW ARE
YOU, FRANK.", ETC. MORE FOOTSTEPS, ALL UNDER NEXT
CLAIBORNE: I met Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton
close to Brown's hotel on the southeast
corner of Fourth and Allen Streets. We
went to Dunbar's Corral and on through
the O. K. Corral and from there to
Fremont Street, where the difficulty
SFX: CROSS FADE FOOTSTEPS/HORSE WITH STREET NOISES
WYATT: About ten minutes afterward a man named
Coleman said to my brother Virgil,
"These cowboys mean trouble. They have
just gone from the OK Corral into
Fremont Street, all armed, and I think
you had better go and disarm them".
Virgil turned around to Doc Holliday,
Morgan Earp and myself and told us to
come and assist him in disarming them.
SFX: CROSS FADE STREET NOISES WITH CROWD NOISES UNDER.
KING: I was coming from my house to Bauer's
meat market on Fremont Street to get
some meat for dinner. I saw a number of
men standing in a group together on the
sidewalk by the door of the market. I
inquired what was the matter and they
said there was about to be a fuss
between the Earps and the cowboys.
SFX: CROSS FADE CROWD WITH: CLANTON FOOTSTEPS AND HORSE
UNDER. A MUFFLED CALL; FOOTSTEPS STOP; HORSE MAKES
NOISE; ONE SET OF FOOTSTEPS RAPIDLY APPROACHING.
BEHAN: When I arrived at Fremont Street I found
Ike Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury,
William Clanton, and William Claiborne
in the vacant lot down below Fly's
photograph gallery. I said "Boys, you
must give me your guns."
SFX: A DOOR OPENS ON SQUEAKY HINGES; FOOTSTEPS X 4 ON A
BOARDWALK EXITING THROUGH THE DOOR, THEN THE DOOR
BANGS SHUT. FOOTSTEPS X 4 ON BOARDWALK AT A
DELIBERATE PACE UNDER NEXT LINES.
WYATT: Virgil, Morgan, Doc Holliday and I left
Hafford's Corner and started through
Fourth to Fremont Street. When we turned
the corner of Fourth to Fremont we could
see them standing near the vacant lot
between Fly's photograph gallery and the
next building west. We went down the
left side of Fremont Street.
SFX: THE HORSE WHINNIES AND PAWS THE GROUND
CLAIBORNE: The Sheriff looked up Fremont Street and
ordered us to stay there till he came
back. Just as he started up the street
the Earp party appeared on the sidewalk
and were coming down.
SFX: EARPS' FOOTSTEPS. A FIFTH SET OF FOOTSTEPS
APPROACHES RAPIDLY UNDER NEXT LINES
VIRGIL: Johnny Behan seen myself and party
coming down towards them. He left the
Clanton Party and came on at a fast walk
SFX: EARPS' FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE. FIFTH SET OF FOOTSTEPS
STOPS UNDER LINES.
BEHAN: I met the Earps at Bauer's butcher shop
and told them not to go any further.
They wouldn't heed me, paid no
CLAIBORNE: The Earps didn't stop. They just passed
the Sheriff by.
SFX: FOOTSTEPS FADE OUT. DOOR OPENS AND A BELL TINKLES;
KING: The butcher was cutting the meat when
someone at the door said, "Here come the
Earp boys". I stepped to the door and
looked up the sidewalk and I saw four
men coming down the sidewalk. I only
knew one of the party and that was Mr.
Holliday. He was next to the buildings
on the inside. The wind blew open his
coat and I saw that underneath it he had
SFX: FADE IN EARPS' FOOTSTEPS LOUDER, QUITE CLOSE NOW,
STILL UNDER LINES, STILL COMING
WYATT: We came up on them close; Frank McLaury,
Tom McLaury, and Billy Clanton standing
in a row against the east side of the
building on the far side of the vacant
lot. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne
were standing in the vacant lot about
halfway between the photograph gallery
and the next building west.
VIRGIL: Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury had
their hands on their six- shooters.
CLAIBORNE: They came within ten feet of where we
SFX: EARP'S FOOTSTEPS STOP.
VIRGIL: (calling out) Boys, throw up your hands. I want your
SFX: BEGIN GUNFIGHT SOUNDS: TWO PISTOL SHOTS,
(Lines should be delivered quickly, almost overlapping)
FULLER: In less than a minute I heard two shots
in quick succession. I saw Frank
McLaury running out on the street from
the vacant lot, drawing his pistol, and
Mr. Holliday going out on the street
from the sidewalk with a shotgun in his
SFX: (ALL SFX UNDER) TWO MORE PISTOL SHOTS, THEN A
SHOTGUN BLAST: BOTH BARRELS. A MAN CRIES OUT IN
PAIN, FALLS TO THE GROUND.
ALLEN: When the shotgun went off, Tom McLaury
threw his hands up to his breast and
went down behind the building.
SFX: GENERAL GUNFIRE NOW, FROM 6 PISTOLS, UNDER
CLAIBORNE: I saw Billy Clanton was hit. He threw
his hands on his belly and wheeled
around. He slid down against the corner
of the house, firing with his left hand.
BEHAN: I saw Frank McLaury staggering and
bewildered and I knew he was hit.
SFX: (UNDER)A HORSE NEIGHS IN PANIC OVER AND OVER;
HOOVES STRIKING THE GROUND AS THE HORSE JUMPS.
FULLER: Frank was trying to get his rifle from
its scabbard on the saddle, but the
horse kept jumping away from him.
SFX: (UNDER) IN THE MIDST OF THE SHOOTING, A MUFFLED
VOICE CALLS OUT: "I'M HIT" A SECOND VOICE SHOUTS
ALLEN: Billy Clanton fired two or three shots
from a crouching position. I saw one of
them hit Morgan Earp. I saw Virgil Earp
hit by another shot.
SFX: (UNDER) IN THE MIDST OF THE SHOOTING, RUNNING
FOOTSTEPS, A SHARP CRY OF PAIN, A BODY FALLING IN
CLAIBORNE: Frank McLaury left the middle of Fremont
Street after Billy Clanton and Tom
McLaury were shot down, and ran across
the street. That's where he was killed.
SFX: (UNDER) SHOOTING IS PETERING OUT, ONLY 3 PISTOLS
ALLEN: Wyatt and Morgan were still firing at
Billy, and he raised himself up and then
fell down. He was still holding his
pistol in his hand. Then the shooting
SFX: SHOOTING STOPS. END OF GUNFIGHT SOUNDS. WE HEAR
THE ECHOES OF THE LAST SHOTS FOR A BEAT, THEN:
(UNDER FOLLOWING LINES)SEVERAL SETS OF RUNNING
Somebody get a doctor!
This one's dead.
That son of a bitch shot me!
Get that gun away from that man!
Give him room, give him room!
Carry him into the house! You take his
INTERSPERSED WITH THESE WE HEAR BILLY
CLANTON'S AGONIZED VOICE:
BILLY: I'm shot.I'm shot.Oh, Jesus, don't touch
me.Oh, Ma, I'm shot.etc.
NARRATOR: Virgil Earp was wounded in the leg.
Morgan had been shot through the
shoulders, the bullet entering the right
shoulder and exiting through the left,
narrowly missing his spine. A bullet
had gone through Doc Holliday's holster,
grazing his right side. Wyatt Earp was
MATTHEWS: When I arrived at the field of battle,
Frank and Tom McLaury were dead and
Billy Clanton was dying. Clanton had
suffered a gun shot wound two inches to
the left of the left nipple and another
underneath the twelfth rib. A third
wound was found on the right wrist,
about three inches from the palm of the
I found twelve gunshot wounds in Tom
McLaury's right side, probably from a
shotgun. Frank McLaury had been shot
once in the abdomen and once in the
SFX: BACKGROUND NOISES FADE OUT
MATTHEWS: As town coroner, it is my verdict that
William Clanton, Frank and Thomas
McLaury came to their deaths in the town
of Tombstone on October 26, 1881 from
the effects of pistol and gunshot wounds
inflicted by Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp,
Wyatt Earp and one Holliday, commonly
called "Doc" Holliday. (a beat)
MUSIC: BANJO PLAYING A WESTERN TUNE (UNDER)
NARRATOR: Tombstone was a boom town. In a few
short years it had grown from little
more than a mining camp to a community
of over 7,000. Its rapid rise was
fueled by the local silver mines and the
herds of cattle driven up from Texas to
supply the nearby Army posts and Indian
By 1881, Tombstone could boast a church,
a school, two newspapers, a theater, and
a railhead only 20 miles away. The town
also had a plentiful supply of saloons,
gambling houses and dance halls.
Two opposing factions struggled to shape
the town's future. One group lived and
made its living in town: saloon owners,
shopkeepers, gamblers, professional
people. They called themselves the Law
and Order faction. Prominent among them
were the Earp brothers -- Wyatt, Virgil
and James, and later on Morgan and
The Law and Order group stood against
the ranchers and cattlemen who lived
outside of Tombstone, and the itinerant
workers they hired: rough, violent men
who brought more trouble than money into
the community. They called these
outsiders "cowboys", and it was not a
compliment. Well known among the
cowboys was the Clanton family: Ike
Clanton and his brothers Phineas and
William, and their neighbors, Frank and
MUSIC: BANJO FADE OUT
NARRATOR: The day after the shooting on Fremont
Street the McLaury brothers and Billy
Clanton were laid out in a local funeral
parlor beneath a sign that read:
"Murdered in the Streets of Tombstone",
and Ike Clanton swore out a complaint
against the Earps and Doc Holliday for
three counts of murder.
Wyatt and Doc were arrested and jailed
and bail was set at $10,000 apiece.
Virgil and Morgan, bedridden with their
wounds, were excused.
SFX: A GAVEL BANGING; CROWD NOISES INDOORS; FADES UNDER
NARRATOR: On the 31st of October, 1881, Justice of
the Peace Wells Spicer convened a
hearing to review the evidence and make
recommendations to the grand jury.
Spicer was a Tombstone attorney and
mining broker with strong ties to the
Law and Order faction. As Justice of
the Peace he did not have the authority
to try such a serious charge as murder,
but he could function as a Grand Jury,
ruling on evidence and determining
whether defendants should be bound over
District Attorney Lyttleton Price led a
team of lawyers for the prosecution,
including Will McLaury, brother of Tom
and Frank, who had come up from Texas
for the trial.
Tombstone had drawn its battle lines.
Earp supporters amassed a bail and
defense fund of $42,000 and hired Thomas
Fitch, a prominent local attorney, to
defend. Cowboy supporters had gotten up
a similar fund to bankroll the
One of the first prosecution witnesses
was Billy Claiborne, who'd had the bad
luck to stop and chat with his friends
on Fremont Street.
CLAIBORNE: Well, I met Frank McLaury and Billy
Clanton and we went through to Fremont
Street, like I said. I have known them
for quite a while, and was with them for
the simple reason that I did know them
and was talking with them.
PRICE: And what object and motive did the boys
have for being around there?
CLAIBORNE The McClaury boys--
FITCH: (interrupting) Objection, your honor, How can the
witness testify as to the motives of
SPICER: Overruled, Mr. Fitch.
CLAIBORNE: Well, the McLaury boys had business at
the butcher shop to attend to, and the
Clantons were there to get their horses
and get out home.
PRICE: Please tell us what happened when the
Earps arrived on the scene.
CLAIBORNE: When the Earps brushed past Sheriff
Behan, they had their six-shooters in
their hands. Marshal Earp said.
VIRGIL: (flashback) You sons-of-bitches have been looking
for a fight, and now you can have it.
Throw up your hands!
CLAIBORNE: Billy Clanton threw up his hands and Ike
did, too. Tom McLaury held open his
TOM: (flashback) I ain't got no gun! I ain't got no gun!
SFX: BEGIN GUNFIGHT SOUNDS: TWO PISTOL SHOTS,
OVERLAPPING TWO MORE PISTOL SHOTS AND A SHOTGUN
BLAST - BOTH BARRELS; A MAN GRUNTS IN PAIN, FALLS
TO THE GROUND (UNDER BILLY'S LINES).
CLAIBORNE: Then the shooting commenced. Morgan Earp
shot Billy Clanton and Doc Holliday shot
When Doc Holliday fired that shot, Tom
McLaury staggered backwards. Billy
Clanton fell up against the corner of
the window and laid himself down on the
SFX: GENERAL GUNFIRE NOW, FROM 6 PISTOLS, CONTINUING
UNDER NEXT LINES AND SFX
CLAIBORNE: He drew his six shooter and threw across
his leg and commenced shooting.
SFX: (UNDER)A HORSE NEIGHS IN PANIC OVER AND OVER;
HOOVES STRIKING THE GROUND AS THE HORSE JUMPS.
CLAIBORNE: Frank McLaury was in the middle of
Fremont Street when I saw him, with his
six-shooter in his hand. He had got
hold of a horse. Ike Clanton was trying
to get away.
SFX: (UNDER) IN THE MIDST OF THE SHOOTING, RUNNING
FOOTSTEPS, A SHARP CRY OF PAIN, A BODY FALLING IN
CLAIBORNE: Frank McLaury left the middle of the
street after Tom McLaury and Billy
Clanton were killed. He wasn't exactly
running but he was getting around pretty
lively when he was shot down.
SFX: (UNDER) SHOOTING PETERS OUT, SHOOTING STOPS. END
OF GUNFIGHT SOUNDS
PRICE: What was Virgil Earp doing after the
initial shots were fired?
CLAIBORNE: He was shooting, first at Billy Clanton,
and then at Frank McLaury
PRICE: Did you see him shoot?
CLAIBORNE: Yes, sir.
PRICE: What was Doc Holliday doing?
CLAIBORNE: He was shooting at Frank McLaury out in
PRICE: What was Wyatt Earp doing?
CLAIBORNE: He was shooting.
PRICE: Also at Frank McLaury ?
CLAIBORNE: Yes, sir.
PRICE: Did you, at any time during the shooting
see Tom McLaury with a weapon in his
CLAIBORNE: I did not see any at all.
PRICE: Did you see Tom McLaury after the
shooting was over?
CLAIBORNE: Yes sir, I saw them bringing him into
the house about five minutes after the
PRICE: Did you see any arms or cartridge belt
about his person at that time?
CLAIBORNE: No sir, I did not.
PRICE: Nothing further, Your honor.
SPICER: Mr. Fitch.
FITCH: Mr. Claiborne, what were you doing all
CLAIBORNE: Beg pardon?
FITCH: You've told us what all of the Earps and
Doc Holliday were up to. What were you
doing when all this shooting was going
CLAIBORNE: After a while Sheriff Behan yanked me
into the photograph gallery.
FITCH: After a while? How long?
CLAIBORNE: After about 16 or 18 shots had been
FITCH: So you were just standing there while 16
or 18 shots were being fired?
CLAIBORNE: Yes, sir.
FITCH: Did any of these shots hit you?
CLAIBORNE: Yes sir, one went through the knee of my
FITCH: Why didn't you run to escape, instead of
waiting to be yanked into the photograph
gallery by Sheriff Behan?
CLAIBORNE: Because I thought there was more danger
in running than in standing still.
FITCH: Weren't you frightened with shots flying
around you so promiscuously?
CLAIBORNE: Oh, yes, a little frightened.
FITCH: Weren't you a great deal frightened?
CLAIBORNE: No, sir.
FITCH: How old are you, Mr. Claiborne?
CLAIBORNE: I was 21 the 21st day of October.
FITCH: What state are you from?
CLAIBORNE: From Mississippi.
FITCH: Do you like the Earps?
CLAIBORNE: I have nothing against them.
FITCH: But weren't you on terms of friendship
with the Clantons and the McLaury boys
before their deaths?
CLAIBORNE: I like them, not more than I do any of
my other acquaintances.
FITCH: Were you not in a killing scrape some
time ago in Charleston for which you are
now held under bonds?
PRICE: Objection, your honor! This is
immaterial and irrelevant.
FITCH: Mr. Claiborne, isn't it true that when
the first shot was fired you ran to the
point where Sheriff Behan yanked you
into the photograph gallery, and that
you saw nothing of the events you have
been describing here?
CLAIBORNE: No sir, I saw it all. The fact is I was
there and I saw it.
FITCH: Who fired the first shot?
(All these questions come rapidly.)
CLAIBORNE: Doc Holliday.
FITCH: Who shot second?
CLAIBORNE: Morgan Earp.
FITCH: Who shot third?
CLAIBORNE: One of the Earp brothers, I don't know
FITCH: Who shot fourth?
CLAIBORNE: One of the Earp party.
FITCH: Who shot fifth?
CLAIBORNE: One of the Earp party.
FITCH: How was Doc Holliday dressed?
CLAIBORNE: I can't say. I wasn't watching his
clothing. I was watching the six-
shooter he had in his hand.
SFX: LAUGHTER IN COURTROOM; BANGING OF GAVEL
SPICER: Quiet down there.
FITCH: What kind of a pistol was it?
CLAIBORNE: A nickel-plated pistol.
FITCH: Did you see him at any time with a
shotgun in his hand?
CLAIBORNE: Not that I remember.
FITCH: How many shots did Doc Holliday fire at
CLAIBORNE: I couldn't say. I don't know.
FITCH: How many drinks had you taken that day
with the McLaurys, the Clantons or any
other parties around town before the
CLAIBORNE: I hadn't taken any with the Clantons or
McLaurys. I probably had one or two
FITCH: I think that will do, Mr. Claiborne,
NARRATOR: The following day, the prosecution
called Ike Clanton to the stand.
PRICE: Where were you on the 26th of October,
CLANTON: I was here in Tombstone.
PRICE: Do you know Frank and Tom McLaury and
CLANTON: Yes, sir
PRICE: Are they living or dead, and if dead,
how did they die?
CLANTON: They are dead. They were killed.
PRICE: Were you present at the time they were
CLANTON: I was.
PRICE: Who was engaged in the killing of these
CLANTON: Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp,
and Doc Holliday.
PRICE: Now, begin at the commencement of the
difficulty and tell all you saw about
CLANTON: I and the McLaury brothers and William
Clanton and a young fellow named Billy
Claiborne were standing in a vacant lot
on Fremont Street west of the photograph
gallery when Sheriff Johnny Behan came
down and told us he was going to have to
disarm us. (fade out under NARRATOR'S
NARRATOR: Ike Clanton was a cowboy, a rancher, a
rustler, a probable horse thief and a
The Clanton family had been active in
and around Tombstone since the 1840's,
led by Ike's father, Newman Haynes
Clanton, known as Old Man Clanton. When
Old Man Clanton was killed by Mexican
soldiers earlier that year in a rustling
dispute, Ike became head of the family.
His account of the gunfight was the same
as Billy Claiborne's.
CLANTON: (fade in) .and Morgan Earp shot William Clanton.
He had his hands up. We all had our
PRICE: State, if you know, whether at any time
during the shooting, Tom McLaury was
CLANTON: I never saw him with any arms during the
PRICE: Mr. Clanton, what, if anything did Wyatt
CLANTON: He shoved his pistol up against my belly
SFX: WE HEAR A BIT OF GUNFIGHT SOUNDS UNDER WYATT'S LINE
AND THE SFX AND IKE'S LINES THAT FOLLOW
WYATT: (flashback) Throw up your hands, you son-of-a-
bitch. You can have a fight!
SFX: (UNDER FOLLOWING LINES) SOUNDS OF TWO MEN
STRUGGLING; A GUNSHOT; RUNNING FEET ON WOOD FLOOR;
MORE GUNSHOTS, MORE DISTANT NOW; SOUNDS OF TWO OR
THREE BULLETS RICOCHETING, STRIKING WOOD. RUNNING
FOOTSTEPS ON DIRT ROAD.
CLANTON: I grabbed Wyatt Earp around the
shoulder and pushed him around the
corner of the photograph gallery, and
then I jumped through the door. I went
right on through the hall and out the
back way. I heard some bullets pass my
PRICE: How many shots were fired by the Earp
party before you left the ground where
the shooting occurred?
CLANTON: About four or five.
PRICE: Had there been any shots fired by either
of the Clantons or McLaurys?
CLANTON: No sir, there had not. They all had
their hands up. Tom McLaury had his
hands up holding his coat open.
PRICE: Mr. Clanton, has there ever been a
previous difficulty between you and the
CLANTON: Yes sir. There was a difficulty between
Doc Holliday and I the night before at a
lunch stand near the Eagle Brewery
Saloon. It was about one o'clock in the
morning. (fade out)
NARRATOR: John Henry Holliday was from Griffin,
Georgia. He took a degree from a
dentistry college in Baltimore where he
also developed chronic pulmonary
tuberculosis. He moved to Texas in the
hope that the drier climate would do him
some good. Doc took up drinking and
gambling there and got into one scrape
after another. He soon let his practice
go and concentrated on gambling to make
a living. Wyatt Earp claimed that Doc
Holliday had saved his life in Dodge
City, and maybe he had. Whatever the
reason, the two became fast friends and
remained so for many years
Doc Holliday was a sour man, an
alcoholic consumptive: mean and
unpredictable with a penchant for
HOLLIDAY: (flashback) Ike Clanton, you no-good son-of-a-bitch
cowboy. I'm sick of you making threats
against me and the Earps. Get your gun
out and let's go to work.
CLANTON: (flashback) You got me wrong, Doc. I ain't been
making no threats. Besides I ain't got
HOLLIDAY: (flashback) You're a damn liar. Go for your gun if
there's any grit in you.
CLANTON: (flashback) Doc, I told you, I ain't heeled. I
don't want no trouble. Whatever you
heard I been saying, I ain't been saying
it. I'll leave here right now. I don't
want no trouble.
SFX: WOODEN CHAIR SCRAPING ON WOODEN FLOOR; FOOTSTEPS.
CLANTON: On my way out the door I met Morgan
NARRATOR: Morgan Earp had arrived in Tombstone
several months after his older brothers,
and hadn't yet set down roots. Wyatt
had gotten him a job dealing faro in the
MORGAN: (flashback) Where you headed, Ike? You can have all
the fight you want right now.
CLANTON: (flashback) Like I told your friend here, I'm
leaving. I'd appreciate it if you boys
didn't shoot me in the back.
SFX: FOOTSTEPS ON BOARDWALK, RECEDING, UNDER HOLLIDAY'S
HOLLIDAY: (flashback, Well, you son-of-a-bitch, if you ain't
calling after him) heeled, go on and get yourself heeled.
Then we can settle this.
CLANTON: I left there and went to the Occidental
Saloon and played poker until daylight.
SFX: (UNDER NEXT LINES) FOOTSTEPS ON DIRT STREET.
CLANTON: Later that day, I was walking up on
Fourth Street to Allen Street and Morgan
Earp and Virgil Earp came up from
SFX: SOUNDS OF A STRUGGLE; THUD AND A GRUNT AND A BODY
HITTING THE WALL; A PISTOL IS COCKED. (UNDER THE
CLANTON: Virgil Earp struck me on the side of
the head with his six-shooter and
knocked me up against the wall. Morgan
Earp cocked his pistol and stuck it at
me. They took away my Winchester and my
VIRGIL: (flashback) It's against the law to carry firearms
in town, you damned thieving cowboy.
We're going to take you up to Judge
CLANTON: They dragged me up to Judge Wallace's,
and made a lot of threats. I got fined
twenty-five dollars and was let go, but
they kept my guns. This all happened on
the very day of the killing.
PRICE: So you were unarmed at the time of the
CLANTON: Yes sir, that's right.
PRICE: Had you ever made threats against the
Earps as Doc Holliday had said?
CLANTON: No sir, I never threatened the Earps or
Doc Holliday either.
PRICE: Thank you, Mr. Clanton. No further
SPICER: Mr. Fitch?
FITCH: Mr. Clanton, do you know a man by the
name of Ned Boyle, the saloon keeper at
CLANTON: I know a man named Ned Boyle.
FITCH: Were you in the Oriental Saloon about
8:00 in the morning on the day of the
CLANTON: I don't remember being there.
FITCH: Didn't you say, in the presence of this
Ned Boyle at or about that time, in the
Oriental Saloon, that as soon as the
Earps came on the street, they would
have to fight? "The ball would open," I
think was the phrase you used.
CLANTON: I don't remember seeing Ned Boyle that
FITCH: Did you make that remark or one of
similar import at or about that time in
the Oriental Saloon in the presence of
CLANTON: I don't remember making any such remark
in that saloon.
FITCH: Were you in Kelly's Saloon at or about
the hour of 10 AM on the day of the
CLANTON: I was.
FITCH: Didn't you make the remark in Kelly's
Saloon in the presence of Joe Stump and
Mr. Kelly that the Earps had insulted
you the night before and that now you
had heeled yourself and they would have
to fight on sight?
CLANTON: I remember there was very near that
conversation in Kelly's Saloon.
FITCH: And did you not at that time, have a
Winchester rifle in your hand and a six-
shooter in your belt?
CLANTON: I had a Winchester and a six- shooter on
my person for self-defense.
FITCH: Self defense.hmmm.(a beat) Mr. Clanton,
do you know Billy Leonard, Harry Head
and Jim Crane?
SFX: (UNDER FOLLOWING LINES) STAGE COACH RIDING ALONG; A
MUFFLED SHOUT; STAGE COACH REINS IN.
NARRATOR: Eight months before, in March, 1881, the
stage coach from Tombstone to Benson had
been ambushed by a group of bandits.
The stage was carrying a Wells Fargo
strongbox with several thousand dollars
in gold, which the outlaws demanded.
SFX: (UNDER)A PISTOL SHOT
NARRATOR: The outlaws fired one shot that killed
the driver, Bud Philpot.
SFX: (UNDER) A SHOTGUN BLAST (BOTH BARRELS), SHOUT OF
"GIDDAP!", STAGE COACH AND HORSES RUNNING OFF
NARRATOR: The shotgun messenger, an ex-lawman
named Bob Paul, let go with both
barrels, grabbed the reins and whipped
the team away.
SFX: (UNDER) SCATTERED SHOTS AS STAGE COACH AND HORSES
FADE IN DISTANCE.
NARRATOR: The would-be robbers were caught by
surprise and could only send a few shots
after the fleeing stage, one of which
killed a passenger.
When the stage reached Benson, the alarm
was raised, and a posse rode out, the
Earps among them. After a while they
caught one Luther King, who confessed to
having held the horses for the robbers,
and named Billy Leonard, Harry Head and
Jim Crane as his accomplices. King was
taken back to Sheriff Behan's jail from
which he almost immediately escaped.
Bill Leonard and Doc Holliday were known
to be friends, and rumors sprang up
overnight that Doc was involved in the
holdup; had, in fact, fired the shot
that killed Bud Philpot. When word got
back to him, Doc was supposed to have
HOLLIDAY:(flashback) If I'd had anything to do with the job,
it wouldn't have been just an attempted
NARRATOR: Doc had an alibi and witnesses to back
it up, but the rumors persisted.
Sheriff Behan even tried to arrest him,
but couldn't make the charges stick. No
one was ever convicted of the crime.
CLANTON: I knew Billy Leonard and Jim Crane and
had seen Harry Head a few times, but was
not acquainted with him.
FITCH: Didn't these persons often stop at your
CLANTON: They sometimes stopped at a ranch I had
over in New Mexico.
FITCH: Weren't these parties supposed to be
connected with the robbing of the Benson
stage in which the driver Bud Philpot
CLANTON: I don't know anything about that. I only
know what Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday
PRICE: Your honor, I object.
SPICER: We're going to overrule you for now, Mr.
Price. The court is waiting to hear the
relevance of all this. Make your point,
FITCH: Didn't Wyatt Earp approach you for the
purpose of giving away these three
parties so that he, Wyatt Earp, could
CLANTON: Sure, Wyatt Earp approached me. I met
him in the Eagle Brewery Saloon one
night and he told me he wanted a long
private conversation with me. We
stepped out into the middle of the
SFX: NIGHT NOISES: CRICKETS, ETC. (UNDER THE FOLLOWING
WYATT: (flashback) Ike, I can put you onto a scheme to make
you six thousand dollars.
CLANTON: (flashback) What might that be?
WYATT: (flashback) First off I want your promise you won't
repeat this to anyone.
CLANTON: (flashback) All right.
WYATT: (flashback) I want you to help me kill Billy
Leonard, Harry Head and Jim Crane. The
Wells Fargo reward is four or five
thousand, and I'll make up the six out
of my own pocket.
CLANTON: (flashback) What makes you so anxious to catch these
WYATT: (flashback) I'm not looking to catch them, Ike. I
can't afford to catch them. I want them
dead. They trust you, Ike. You get
them to meet you someplace out of the
way and Morgan, Doc and I will do the
CLANTON: (flashback) I need to know what I'm getting mixed up
WYATT: (flashback) Come on, Ike. Do I have to spell it
out? The Benson stage job. Morgan, Doc
and me and Billy Leonard. We counted on
Leonard being long gone, but he's been
hanging around the country so damn long
I'm starting to worry he's going to get
caught. And if he gets caught he just
Billy's been riding with Crane and Head,
and who knows what he's told them. The
way I see it, I'm going to have to kill
them all or else leave the country. You
can help me, Ike, and make yourself six
CLANTON: (flashback) I'm going to have to think about this.
WYATT: (flashback) That's all right. You think about it.
Just remember what I said: don't breathe
a word of this to anyone.
CLANTON: The morning after this conversation I
was approached by Morgan Earp, who asked
me if I had reached any decision on this
matter. I told him I would speak to him
again before I left town, but I never
FITCH: Mr. Clanton, isn't it true that Wyatt
Earp told you that he expected to run
for Sheriff; that he would like to
capture these men if he could; that you
and your party could have all the reward
if you helped him capture them?
CLANTON: No sir, he never said anything to me
about running for Sheriff and he never
said anything about wanting to capture
FITCH: And didn't you and Frank McLaury agree
to lead those three men to a place where
Wyatt Earp could capture them, provided
the reward was paid dead or alive?
CLANTON: No sir, we never did.
FITCH: And didn't Wyatt Earp show you several
days later a telegram, this telegram in
my hand, which we're going to call
"Exhibit A", from the Wells Fargo
Company in San Francisco, that reads
"Yes we will pay rewards for them dead
CLANTON: No, I've never seen that telegram.
FITCH: You didn't tell Wyatt Earp that you
knew where Leonard, Crane and Head were
CLANTON: No. I didn't know where they were hid.
FITCH: You didn't offer to bring these men to
the McLaury ranch so that Wyatt Earp
could arrest them?
FITCH: And you and Frank McLaury didn't
complain later on several occasions that
Wyatt and Morgan and Virgil Earp had
revealed your part in this plan to bring
Leonard, Crane and Head to justice?
CLANTON: We never complained about anything like
that because we never agreed to anything
FITCH: Mr. Clanton, did anyone else ever
confess to you that they were
confederates in that stage robbery?
CLANTON: No sir.
FITCH: Isn't there anyone else you'd like to
accuse? James Earp perhaps or Warren
Earp; you haven't mentioned them. Or
myself, or the judge here, or his honor,
SFX: LAUGHTER IN COURTROOM; GAVEL BANGS
PRICE: Judge, I object.
SPICER: That will do, Mr. Fitch.
FITCH: No further questions, your Honor.
NARRATOR: Prosecutor Price called other witnesses
to back up the story told by Claiborne
and Ike Clanton.
Wesley Fuller, a gambler:
FULLER: The Earp party shot first.
NARRATOR: William Allen, who had been taking a
stroll down Fourth Street:
ALLEN: I think it was Doc Holliday who fired
NARRATOR: And Martha King, who had stopped by
Bauer's butcher shop to buy some meat
for dinner. She told of a conversation
she had heard just before the shooting.
KING: One of the Earp brothers looked around
to Doctor Holliday and said.
MORGAN: (flashback) Let them have it.
HOLLIDAY: (flashback) All right.
KING: I was frightened. I ran to the back of
the shop, but before I got there I heard
NARRATOR: On November 13th the court heard Sheriff
John Behan, who had been getting a shave
in Barron's Barber Shop just before the
Behan was the Sheriff of Cochise County
and a longtime enemy of the Earps. A
lifelong Democrat, he had successfully
defended his post against Republican
challenges from both Wyatt and Virgil at
When the Benson stage had been robbed
and Bud Philpot killed, it was Behan who
arrested Doc Holliday for the crime.
Even though the charges were later
dropped, it was just more fuel for their
BEHAN: When I arrived at Fremont Street I said
to the Clantons and McLaurys.
BEHAN: (flashback) Boys, you must give up your arms.
CLANTON: (flashback) What for, Johnny?
BEHAN: (flashback) I'm trying to preserve the peace, Ike.
We don't want any trouble.
CLANTON: (flashback) We're not looking to make trouble,
Johnny. Besides, I ain't got no guns.
You can search me.
BEHAN: I put my arms around his waist to see if
he was armed. I found he was not.
Billy Clanton told me.
BILLY: (flashback) Sheriff, I don't need to turn in my gun.
I was just leaving town.
BEHAN: (flashback) Billy, if you're leaving town, that'll
be all right. Frank, what about you?
FRANK: (flashback) I was going to leave, too, Johnny. I've
got some business in town I'd like to
take care of first.
BEHAN: (flashback) Frank, why don't you take your guns on
down to the sheriff's office and leave
them there until your business is done.
FRANK: (flashback) Johnny I'll lay my guns off when the
Earps lay off theirs.
BEHAN: (flashback) We can't have any of that, Frank. Tom,
let me have your weapons.
TOM: (flashback) Well, I ain't armed, Sheriff. See for
BEHAN: Tom McLaury showed me by pulling open
his coat that he was not armed. I said.
BEHAN: (flashback) Boys, you've got to go up to the
sheriff's office and lay off your arms
and stay there till I come back. I'm
going to disarm the other party, too.
SFX: DISCONTENTED MURMURS FROM THE CLANTON PARTY; EARPS'
FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING UNDER NEXT LINES
CLANTON: (flashback) There they are.
BEHAN: At that time I saw the Earps and
Holliday coming down the sidewalk on the
south side of Fremont Street. I told
the Clanton party to stay where they
were and went up to meet the Earps.
SFX: BEHAN'S FOOTSTEPS ON DIRT TROTTING UP TO MEET THE
EARPS; HIS FOOTSTEPS STOP.
BEHAN: (flashback) Don't go any further, boys. I'm here to
disarm the Clantons and the McLaurys I
think you should put down your guns,
BEHAN: They wouldn't heed me, paid no
SFX: ADD BEHAN'S FOOTSTEPS TO THE EARPS'; HE'S OUT OF
STEP, TAGGING ALONG BEHIND
BEHAN: (flashback) Gentlemen,I am Sheriff of this county
and I am not going to allow any trouble
if I can help it. You're just making
this situation worse. They've already
told me they don't want any trouble.
Just hold off and we can settle this
BEHAN: They brushed right past me, I turned and
went with them. I was probably only a
step or two to the rear as we went down
SFX: EARPS' FOOTSTEPS STOP
BEHAN: When they arrived within a very few feet
of the Clantons and McLaurys I heard one
of them say.
WYATT: (flashback) You sons-of-bitches have been looking
for a fight, now you can have it.
VIRGIL: (flashback) Throw up your hands!
BEHAN: I heard Billy Clanton say.
BILLY: (flashback) Hold on, I don't want to fight!
BEHAN: Tom McLaury threw open his coat as he
had done for me.
TOM: (flashback) I ain't got no gun!
SFX: GUNFIGHT SOUNDS AGAIN UNDER BEHAN'S DESCRIPTION OF
THE FIGHT: TWO PISTOL SHOTS, OVERLAPPING, THEN TWO
MORE PISTOL SHOTS, THEN GENERAL GUNFIRE FROM 6
BEHAN: Then there were two shots right together
simultaneously. The first two shots
came from the Earp party, I couldn't
tell by whom. I suppose there were as
many as eight or ten shots before I saw
arms in the hands of the McLaury or
SFX: (UNDER NEXT LINES) WITH GUNSHOTS IN THE BACKGROUND,
RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON DIRT STREET, THEN ON
Ike Clanton broke and ran after the
first five shots were fired. I saw him
at the back corner of Fly's building. I
couldn't tell where he was headed to.
SFX: (UNDER NEXT LINES) PISTOL SHOTS, THEN A SHOTGUN
BLAST: BOTH BARRELS; A MAN CRIES OUT IN PAIN, FALLS
TO THE GROUND.
The first man I saw was hit was Frank
McLaury. He was out in the street. Doc
Holliday shot Tom McLaury with a
shotgun. I managed to grab William
Claiborne and pull him out of harm's way
into the doorway of Fly's photograph
SFX: (UNDER LINES) SHOOTING PETERS OUT, STOPS
Billy Clanton was the last to go down,
and then it was all over. The whole
thing only lasted about 30 seconds.
SFX: END GUNFIGHT SOUNDS.
PRICE: Thank you, Sheriff.
SPICER: Mr. Fitch, cross examine?
FITCH: Sheriff, you went to see Marshal Earp in
Hafford's saloon some 10 or 15 minutes
before the fight.
BEHAN: Yes, that's right.
FITCH: Virgil Earp is the Town Marshal and the
Federal Marshal as well. Do you
remember asking him what he was going to
BEHAN: No, I do not.
FITCH: And do you remember Virgil Earp
replying, "I am going to disarm them"?
FITCH: And do you recollect replying to that
remark, "Don't do that, they will kill
you"--referring to the Clanton crowd,--
"They were just down in the corral
having a gun talk against you and
threatening your life"?
BEHAN: No such conversation happened. I made
no such reply.
FITCH: Don't you recall saying "I will go down
where they are; they won't hurt me, and
I will get them to lay off their arms."
--this said to Virgil Earp ?
BEHAN: This conversation did not take place.
FITCH: Did you, subsequent to the fight, say to
a man named Charles Shibbell that it was
a dead square fight and that you could
not tell who shot first?
BEHAN: No, sir.
FITCH: Didn't you make a similar remark to
Wyatt Earp just after the fight on the
corner of Fourth and Fremont streets?
BEHAN: No, sir.
FITCH: You're aware that many private citizens
have contributed money to support both
sides in these legal proceedings?
BEHAN: Yes, sir.
FITCH: How much have you given to the
BEHAN: I have not contributed one cent, nor
have I promised to.
FITCH: Weren't you and Wyatt Earp both
applicants to the territorial governor
for the appointment of Sheriff of
BEHAN: Yes sir.
FITCH: And didn't Wyatt Earp withdraw his
application upon your promise to divide
the profits of the office and didn't you
afterwards refuse to keep your promise?
PRICE: Objection, your honor. What has this
got to do with anything?
SPICER: Overruled. Answer the question, please,
BEHAN: In the first place we were both
applicants, Wyatt Earp and I. When I
became satisfied that I would get the
appointment, I went to Mr. Earp. I told
him I was convinced I would get the
appointment and that when I did, I
wanted him in the office with me. I
never tried to persuade him to break off
his own efforts to secure the
Something afterwards transpired and I
did not take him into the office.
NARRATOR: John Behan's feud with the Earps was
both political and personal. Tombstone
old-timers say what broke the deal was
Wyatt Earp's stealing away Behan's
mistress, Josephine Marcus.
FITCH: Didn't the Clanton party have a
reputation for courage and
PRICE: Objection, your honor.
BEHAN: They had such a reputation, That is
Frank McLaury and Ike Clanton did. I
have never heard the reputation of the
other two discussed.
FITCH: Isn't it true that the disturbances and
breaches of the peace and killings in
this city and county have been connected
with the Clantons and their
PRICE: (protesting) Your Honor!
SPICER: Sit down, Mr. Price. Answer the
question, please, Sheriff.
BEHAN: I never knew the McLaurys to be in any
trouble or rows. Ike Clanton I have
seen in one row here, and Billy Clanton
I know nothing about.
FITCH: Have you ever heard any threats within
the last few months on the part of the
Clantons and McLaurys against the
BEHAN: I never heard any threats at any time.
FITCH: When you left the Clanton party as you
stated and ascended Fremont Street to
meet the Earps, didn't you say,
addressing Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp
"I have got them disarmed," or words to
BEHAN: No sir.
FITCH: Were you satisfied when you put your
arms around the waist of Ike Clanton,
and when Tom McLaury threw the lapels of
his coat aside that these parties had no
BEHAN: When I left the Clanton party to meet
the Earps I was satisfied that Ike
Clanton and Tom McLaury had no arms on
FITCH: Couldn't they have had arms and you not
know it? Couldn't Ike, for example have
had a pistol in his pocket?
BEHAN: He could not have had a pistol in his
pocket as I examined him very closely
with my eye.
FITCH: What about Tom McLaury ? His shirt was
outside his pants, wasn't it?
FITCH: Couldn't he have had a gun under there
that you wouldn't have seen?
BEHAN: Tom McLaury might have had a pistol
without my knowing it.
FITCH: I guess he might have, at that, Sheriff.
No further questions.
NARRATOR: Other witnesses swore that Tom McLaury
had left his guns at the Oriental Saloon
before the fight. Alfred Bauer, the
butcher on Fremont Street, told of a
tussle between Wyatt and Tom McLaury on
the morning of the 26th.
BAUER: Tom McLaury took his hands from his
pockets to ward off the striking. Mr.
Earp pulled a pistol with his right hand
out of his coat pocket and knocked him
with the pistol on the shoulder and the
head-I think what they say he buffalo
him. McLaury fell in about the middle of
the street. Mr. Earp left Tom McLaury
lying down and walked away.
NARRATOR: Prosecutor Price had tried his best to
draw a picture of the Earps as violent
bullies who had shot down without
warning men who were trying to
On the sixteenth of November, Thomas
Fitch opened the case for the defense.
The first witness he called was Wyatt
FITCH: Mr. Earp, Give any explanation you may
think proper of the circumstances
surrounding this incident and state any
facts you think will exonerate you.
SFX: PAPERS RUSTLING
WYATT: (reading) The difficulty which resulted in the
death of William Clanton and Frank and
Tom McLaury originated last spring.
PRICE: Objection, your honor. Is this witness
going to be allowed to read his entire
statement from that manuscript? Without
any regard to the relevance of what is
SPICER: Yes. Mr. Price, I'm going to allow it.
Proceed. Mr. Earp.
WYATT: (reading) A little over a year ago I followed Tom
and Frank McLaury and two other parties
who had stolen six government mules from
Camp Rucker. Myself, Virgil Earp and
Morgan Earp and Marshall Williams and
four soldiers traced those mules to the
McLaury's ranch.(fade under)
NARRATOR: Buffalo hunter, peace officer, saloon
keeper, gambler, gunfighter; sometimes
on the sunny side of the fence,
sometimes in the shade: Wyatt Earp was
probably not the villain his enemies
said he was, and certainly not the
Galahad he later claimed to be. As in
most things, the truth was somewhere in
Like many men in the Old West, Wyatt
Earp had learned to be a pragmatist. He
was ambitious, aggressive and
intelligent, and, like all the Earps,
fiercely loyal to his brothers. He had
arrived in Tombstone in 1879, coming
from Dodge City with his wife, the
former Mattie Blaylock. He traveled
with his two older brothers, James and
Virgil, James' family, and Virgil's wife
Allie. Doc Holliday came along as well
with his wife, Kate Elder, known as Big
Nose Kate. Wyatt said that Kate had
saved Doc's life once in Fort Griffin,
Texas, and maybe she had.
After two years, Wyatt was firmly
established in Tombstone, dealing in
real estate, and buying shares in silver
mines and saloons.
WYATT: (reading) The statement of Isaac Clanton that I
ever said to him that I had anything to
do with any stage robbery is a tissue of
lies from beginning to end.
Shortly after the time Bud Philpot was
killed by the men who tried to rob the
Benson stage, I helped to trace the
matter up as a detective working for
Wells Fargo & Co. I was satisfied that
three men named Billy Leonard, Harry
Head and James Crane were in that
robbery. I knew that Leonard, Head, and
Crane were friends and associates of the
Clantons and McLaurys and often stopped
at their ranches.
So I went to Ike Clanton one night
outside the Oriental Saloon.
SFX: NIGHT SOUNDS AS BEFORE, WHEN IKE WAS TELLING THE
WYATT: (flashback) There's talk around town that Doc was
mixed up in that stage job, Ike, but I
know he wasn't. If I can catch the ones
who were, it'd be a way of showing
everyone that he didn't know anything
CLANTON: (flashback) I don't much care what happens to
WYATT: (flashback) There's something else: I'm looking to
get elected Sheriff, Ike. Capturing
Leonard, Head and Crane would be a sure
way to make that happen.
CLANTON: (flashback) Sure way to get yourself some reward
WYATT: (flashback) All I want is the glory. Ike. You can
have the reward. It must be about
$3,600 for the three of them. It's all
yours, just put me on their trail.
CLANTON: (flashback) I wouldn't mind seeing them get caught.
Bill Leonard's been interfering with my
claim to that ranch down in New Mexico.
Couldn't do that if he was locked up.
You'd have to keep this a secret.
WYATT: (flashback) No one will ever find out where I got
CLANTON: (flashback) But look here: Leonard, Head and Crane
won't give up without a fight. You
won't take them alive. Wells Fargo don't
pay for dead stage robbers. They want
to put them on trial. Where's my reward
WYATT: (flashback) Ike, I can guarantee that reward will be
CLANTON: (flashback) You can't guarantee nothing. It ain't
your reward. Wells Fargo's got to
WYATT: (flashback) I'll get word to Wells Fargo in San
Francisco. Will that satisfy you?
CLANTON: (flashback) Well, all right, but I got to have
SFX: NIGHT SOUNDS FADE OUT
WYATT: (reading) I then went to Marshall Williams, the
agent of Wells Fargo & Co. in town and,
at my request, he telegraphed to the
superintendent in San Francisco to find
out if the reward would be paid dead or
alive. He received a reply in the form
of a telegram, which he showed me,
stating that the reward would be paid
dead or alive.
I showed this telegram to Ike Clanton,
and to Frank McLaury as well, and they
agreed to lure Leonard, Head and Crane
to a spot near the McLaury's ranch,
where I would be waiting with a posse to
We found out that our plans were made
too late, for we received word that both
Leonard and Head had been killed in New
Mexico by horse thieves, and Crane had
been shot down by Mexican bandits.
After that the Clantons and McLaurys
claimed that I had given them away, and
my brothers and I began to hear their
threats against us. One night in the
Oriental Saloon.(fade under)
NARRATOR: Wyatt's statement continued, detailing
various threats made by the Clantons and
McLaurys against the Earps, and then
focused in on the events of October
SFX: EARPS' FOOTSTEPS AS BEFORE, UNDER
WYATT: (reading) When we turned the corner of Fourth and
Fremont Street we could see them
standing near the vacant lot between
Fly's photograph gallery and the next
When we got about 100 feet away, Sheriff
Behan left the party and came toward us.
I heard him say to Virgil.
SFX: FOOTSTEPS SLOW; BEHAN'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH
BEHAN: (flashback) For God's sake don't go down there;
you'll get murdered!
VIRGIL: (flashback) I'm going to disarm them, Johnny.
BEHAN: (flashback) I have disarmed them.
WYATT: (reading) When I heard Behan say that, I took my
pistol, which I had had in my hand, and
put it in my overcoat pocket. Behan
then passed up the street and we walked
SFX: FOOTSTEPS STOP
VIRGIL: (calling out; Boys, throw up your hands. I want
flashback) your guns.
WYATT: (reading) Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury laid
their hands on their six- shooters.
VIRGIL: (calling out; Hold on, I don't mean that! I'm
flashback) here to disarm you!
WYATT: (reading) Then Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury
commenced to draw their pistols. At the
same time Tom McLaury throwed his hand
to his right hip, throwing open his
coat, and jumped behind a horse. I drew
my pistol from my overcoat pocket.
SFX: GUNFIGHT SOUNDS: TWO PISTOL SHOTS, UNDER WYATT'S
WYATT: (reading) The first two shots were fired by Billy
Clanton and myself, he shooting at me,
and I shooting at Frank McLaury. I
don't know which fired first.
My first shot struck Frank McLaury in
the belly. He staggered off on the
sidewalk, but fired one shot at me. I
never drew my pistol or made a motion to
shoot until after Billy Clanton and
Frank McLaury drew their pistols.
SFX: (UNDER) TWO MORE PISTOL SHOTS, THEN A SHOTGUN
BLAST: BOTH BARRELS. A MAN CRIES OUT IN PAIN, FALLS
TO THE GROUND.
If Tom McLaury was unarmed, there was
nothing in his actions or threats that
would have led me to think so. I believe
he was armed and that he fired two shots
at our party before Doc Holliday, who
had the shotgun, fired and killed him.
I never fired at Ike Clanton even after
the shooting commenced because I thought
he was unarmed. After about four shots
were fired, Ike Clanton ran up and
grabbed my left arm. I could see no
weapon in his hand and thought at the
time he had none, so I said.
SFX: SCATTERED SHOOTING UNDER THIS AS BEFORE, WHEN IKE
WAS TELLING THE STORY
WYATT: (flashback) The fight has commenced. Go to fighting
or get away!
SFX: (UNDER) SOUNDS OF A SCUFFLE RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON
DIRT ROAD, RECEDING, ALL WITH SCATTERED SHOOTING
UNDER. SHOOTING FADES OUT UNDER LINES.
WYATT: (reading) I pushed him off with my left hand and
he ran down the side of the building and
disappeared between the lodging house
and the photograph gallery.
I believed then, and believe now, that
Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, Ike and
William Clanton had formed a conspiracy
to murder my brothers Morgan and Virgil,
Doc Holliday and myself. I believe I
would have been legally and morally
justified in shooting any of them on
sight, but I did not do so, nor attempt
to do so.
I went to disarm and arrest them as a
part of my duty as a Deputy Marshal and
under the direction of my brother the
Marshal. I drew my pistol in defense of
my own life and the lives of my brothers
and Doc Holliday.
I have been in Tombstone since December
1, 1879. I came here from Dodge City,
Kansas. I have here a document sent to
me from Dodge City since my arrest on
this charge signed by some of the
leading citizens of that town attesting
to my good character. I would like this
included as part of my statement.
PRICE: You honor, this is outrageous. Such a
document can hardly be construed as
FITCH: Your honor, this is a simple testimonial
to the man's character from people who
have known him-- (arguing start to fade
under NARRATOR'S lines)
PRICE: How can we verify the authenticity of
FITCH: It seems to me the rules of evidence in
a proceeding such as this. (fade out)
NARRATOR: The testimonials were finally admitted
to the record over the objections of the
prosecution. Wyatt Earp was excused
without having to undergo cross-
Fitch called several witnesses to
corroborate the threats made by the
Clanton faction against the Earps. He
called the town clerk to read the
ordinance against carrying weapons
within the town limits.
One important witness was Addie
Bourland, a dressmaker who had seen the
shooting from the window of her house on
BOURLAND: I don't know which party fired first,
but I didn't see anyone holding up their
hands. I'm sure I would have seen it if
NARRATOR: And then on November 19.
VIRGIL: My name is Virgil W. Earp. I reside in
Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona
Territory. My occupation: Chief of
Police of Tombstone and Deputy U.S.
NARRATOR: Virgil Earp had in fact lost his post as
City Marshal because of the murder
complaint. This was a major blow
because, as marshal, he got to keep a
percentage of the taxes he collected
Virgil and his wife Allie had been
living in Prescott Arizona when his
brothers Wyatt and James stopped by on
their way to Tombstone in 1879. He
decided to pull up stakes and go with
them. Virgil secured an appointment as
Federal Marshal, and got the Town
Marshal job several months later. Like
Wyatt, he had held a variety of jobs
before coming to Tombstone.
Virgil came to the stand still limping
from the wound in his leg.
FITCH: State what official or other positions
were held by Morgan and Wyatt Earp on
the 25th and 26th of October.
VIRGIL: Morgan Earp was sworn in as a special
policeman and wore a badge with "Special
Police" engraved on it. He had been a
Special for about a month. Wyatt Earp
had been sworn to act in my place while
I was in Tuscon and on my return his
saloon, the Oriental, was opened and I
appointed him a Special to keep the
FITCH: And John H. Holliday?
VIRGIL: I called on him on the 26th for
assistance to help disarm the Clantons
FITCH: State fully the circumstances that
occurred on the 26th of October
concerning the difficulty that resulted
in the deaths of Frank and Tom McLaury
and William Clanton.
VIRGIL: On the morning of the 26th somewhere
about six or seven o'clock, I started to
go home and Ike Clanton stopped me.
SFX: APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS (FLASHBACK)
CLANTON: (flashback) Marshal, hold up Marshal. I want you to
take a message to Doc Holliday.
VIRGIL: (flashback) What's the message?
CLANTON: (flashback) You tell that damned son of a bitch he's
got to fight.
VIRGIL: (flashback) Ike, I'm an officer of the law, and I
don't want to hear you talking that way.
I'm going home to bed now, and I don't
want you raising any disturbance while
SFX: FOOTSTEPS RECEDING (FLASHBACK)
CLANTON:(calling after You won't carry the message?
VIRGIL: (off mike; No, of course I won't
CLANTON: (calling after Be careful, Marshal Earp , you may have
him; flashback) to fight before you know it.
VIRGIL: I made no reply, but went home to bed.
I got up sometime later and about 11 or
12 o'clock, I found Ike Clanton on
Fourth Street between Fremont and Allen
Streets with a Winchester rifle in his
hand and a six-shooter down in his
SFX: SOUNDS OF A STRUGGLE;THE THUD OF A GUN BARREL
AGAINST IKE'S HEAD; A GROAN; A BODY HITTING THE
GROUND (UNDER FOLLOWING LINES)
VIRGIL: I walked up and grabbed the rifle in my
left hand. He let loose and started to
draw his six-shooter. I hit him over
the head with mine and knocked him to
his knees and took his six-shooter from
VIRGIL: (flashback) Looking for me, Ike?
CLANTON: (flashback) If I'd have seen you a second sooner,
you'd be dead now.
VIRGIL: I arrested Ike for carrying firearms
inside the city limits, and took him to
Judge Wallace's court, where he was
fined and released.
The next time I saw him he was with The
McLaurys and William Clanton in
Webster's Gun Shop on Allen Street,
filling up their belts with cartridges
and looking at pistols and guns. When I
saw them again, all four of them were
going into Dunbar's Corral. They did
not remain there long. They came out
and went through the OK Corral into
A man named Sills met me on the corner
of Fourth and Allen streets about 2:00
in the afternoon and warned me there was
a group of armed cowboys down by the OK
Corral making threats against my life.
I called on Johnny Behan to go with me,
but he refused. He said if he went
along with me there would be a fight
sure; that they would not give up their
arms to me. He said.
BEHAN: (flashback) They won't hurt me. I will go down
alone and see if I can disarm them.
VIRGIL: After a while I received word that they
were in Fremont Street. I called upon
Wyatt and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday
to go and help me disarm the Clantons
SFX: THE EARPS' FOOTSTEPS, THEN BEHAN'S FOOTSTEPS, MORE
QUICKLY (UNDER FOLLOWING LINES)
VIRGIL: Johnny Behan seen myself and party
coming down toward them. He left the
Clanton party and came on a fast walk.
Every once in a while he would look
behind him as though expecting some kind
SFX: FOOTSTEPS STOP
VIRGIL: (flashback) Johnny, I am going to disarm them.
BEHAN: (flashback) I have disarmed them all.
VIRGIL: When he said that I had a walking stick
in my left hand and my right hand was on
my six-shooter in the waistband of my
pants. And when he said he had disarmed
them I shoved my pistol clean around to
my left hip and changed the walking
stick to my right hand.
SFX: EARPS' FOOTSTEPS AGAIN (UNDER)
VIRGIL: The Clantons and McLaurys were all
standing in a row. Billy Clanton and
Frank McLaury had their hands on their
six-shooters and Tom McLaury had his
hand on a Winchester rifle on a horse.
As soon as we came close to them I said.
VIRGIL: (flashback) Boys, I want your guns.
VIRGIL: With that, Frank McLaury and Billy
Clanton drew their six shooters and
commenced to cock them.
VIRGIL: (flashback) Hold on I don't want that!
SFX: GUNFIGHT SOUNDS AGAIN UNDER VIRGIL'S DESCRIPTION OF
THE FIGHT: TWO SHOTS OVERLAPPING
VIRGIL: Two shots went off right together. Billy
Clanton's was one of them.
I changed my cane to my left hand and
went to shooting; it was general then,
and everybody went to fighting.
SFX: (UNDER) TWO MORE SHOTS; A SHOTGUN BLAST (BOTH
BARRELS); THEN GENERAL SHOOTING; HORSE NEIGHING IN
PANIC; HOOVES STRIKING DIRT
At the sound of the first shots, the
horse shied away and Tom McLaury failed
to get the Winchester. He followed the
movement of the horse around, making him
a kind of breastwork, and fired two
shots over the horse's back. Then I
think the horse get away from him and he
I think it was Billy Clanton that shot
me. Then he went down and it was all
SFX: GUNFIGHT SOUNDS STOP; LAST ECHOES FADE (UNDER)
NARRATOR: Virgil testified further about threats
made by the Clantons and McLaurys, and
then prosecutor Lyttleton Price cross
PRICE: This Mr. Sills, who warned you about the
cowboys at the OK Corral, where does he
live and what is his occupation?
VIRGIL: I never met him until that day. I don't
know what his business is. I don't know
where he resides.
PRICE: Where is he staying in Tombstone?
VIRGIL: I don't know; only by say-so.
PRICE: You can't give us any information about
where he lives?
VIRGIL: I understand he is stopping at the
PRICE: When did you last see him?
VIRGIL: Yesterday. I saw him here.
PRICE: Who was present when he gave you this
warning on the corner of Fourth and
VIRGIL: I don't think anyone was close enough to
hear the conversation.
PRICE: You say that at the commencement of the
fray, two shots went off close together,
and that Billy Clanton's was one of
them. Who fired the other shot?
VIRGIL: Well, I'm inclined to think it was Wyatt
Earp that fired it.
PRICE: How many shots did you fire, and at
VIRGIL: I fired four shots. One at Frank
McLaury, and I believe the other three
were at Billy Clanton.
PRICE: At the time you spoke of when Sheriff
Behan approached you in Hafford's
saloon, did you have a rifle or a
VIRGIL: I had a pistol and a shotgun.
PRICE: Where did you get the shotgun?
VIRGIL: Got it at the Wells Fargo office on
Allen Street. It's been there at my
service for about six months. I just
went and got it after I saw the Clantons
and McLaurys were in the gun shop.
PRICE: What did you do with it?
VIRGIL: When I noticed that Doc Holliday had on
a long coat, I told him to let me have
his cane and he take the shotgun. I did
not want to create any excitement going
down the street with a shotgun in my
PRICE: Now, about that gun shop: which of the
Clantons and McLaurys did you see
putting cartridges in their belts on the
occasion you mentioned?
VIRGIL: William Clanton, and Frank McLaury was
standing right behind him. I don't
believe I saw anyone else putting
cartridges into their belt.
PRICE: Was Tom McLaury with them at this time?
What was he doing?
VIRGIL: I can't say. They were all in a bunch
and I could not see what each one was
PRICE: What about Ike Clanton, was he there?
VIRGIL: Yes sir.
PRICE: And Frank McLaury?
VIRGIL: I am positive that William Clanton,
Isaac Clanton and Frank McLaury were in
the shop, and I am under the impression
that Tom McLaury was there also.
PRICE: At the time you took Isaac Clanton's
rifle and pistol from him, did you
approach in front or behind him?
VIRGIL: From behind.
PRICE: Did you speak to him before you seized
VIRGIL: I think not.
PRICE: You are aware from the testimony of Mr.
Bauer, the butcher, and others, that
Wyatt Earp had a similar run-in with
Tom McLaury almost immediately after
VIRGIL: Yes, sir
PRICE: Tom McLaury was also buffaloed--struck
on the side of the head with a pistol--
isn't that so?
VIRGIL: That's what I heard. I was still in
with Judge Wallace.
PRICE: Do you know whether Tom McLaury was also
ambushed from behind, like Ike Clanton
FITCH: (protesting) Your honor!
SPICER: Mr. Price, I think you can express that
question in a less insulting way. (To
VIRGIL) Mr. Earp, you don't have to
answer this question.
VIRGIL: (hotly, over Nobody got ambushed. If Ike Clanton had
SPICER's lines) seen me before I got to him, he'd have
shot me sure. He said so. As for Tom
McLaury, he met Wyatt on the street and
they had words. Tom challenged Wyatt to
a scrape right there, and Wyatt knocked
him down and walked away. That's what I
PRICE: But as you say, Marshal, you weren't
there. No further questions.
NARRATOR: Up until this point, the witnesses had
been either cowboy supporters or Earp
supporters. Into this partisan fight
the defense now brought a stranger to
Tombstone, who couldn't tell an Earp
from a Clanton.
SILLS: My name is H. F. Sills. I'm from Las
Vegas, Nevada. I'm a locomotive
engineer for the Atchinsen, Topeka &
Santa Fe Railroad.
FITCH: Mr. Sills, tell us about any threats you
may have heard on October 26th, 1881
PRICE: Objection, your honor.
FITCH: Please tell us anything you may have
overheard in the vicinity of the OK
Corral on October 26, 1881.
SILLS: I saw four men standing in front of the
OK Corral, talking about some trouble
they had had with Virgil Earp.
CLANTON: (flashback) .knocked me down and took my guns. I
say we kill him as soon as we see him.
TOM: (flashback) Earp and his brothers; they're all the
same. We ought to shoot them all down.
CLANTON: (flashback) Holliday, too.
SFX: MURMURS OF ASSENT FROM 3 OTHER VOICES, FADE OUT
SILLS: I then walked up the street and made
inquiries to know who Virgil Earp and
the Earps were. A man on the street
pointed out Virgil Earp to me and told
me he was the City Marshal.
I went over to him and told him there
were four men down by the OK Corral that
were armed and making threats against
him. He thanked me and said he would
look into it.
Just a little while later, that's when
all the shooting happened.
One of those men at the corral had a
bandage around his head. He was pointed
out to me on the day of the funeral as
FITCH: Thank you, Mr. Sills. Your witness.
PRICE: Mr. Sills, when did you come to
SILLS: I came here on the 25th of the month.
PRICE: How did you come?
SILLS: I came in a Wells Fargo bullion wagon.
PRICE: Was anybody else on the bullion wagon?
SILLS: There was the driver and another
passenger, I don't know who they were.
I don't think I would know them if I saw
PRICE: Where have you been since you came to
SILLS: The first few days I stayed at the
lodging house below the Wells Fargo
Stage barn. Then I went to the
hospital. I am on lay off from my
employment with the railroad because of
some health problems.
PRICE: This man who pointed out Virgil Earp to
you, do you know who he was?
SILLS: He was a stranger to me. He was just a
man in the street.
PRICE: You wouldn't know him if you saw him
SILLS: No, There were lots of men in the
PRICE: This man you saw with the bandage on his
head, how did you know it was Isaac
SILLS: He was pointed out to me on the day of
PRICE: But how did you know that the man who
was pointed out to you was the same man
you had seen at the OK Corral? Did you
recognize his face?
SILLS: No sir.
PRICE: His face was not familiar to you?
SILLS: When he was at the corral he had his
back to me.
PRICE: When did you first see his face?
SILLS: At the funeral.
PRICE: Can you positively swear that the man
you saw at the funeral was the same man
that you saw with the bandage around his
head in front of the OK Corral?
SILLS: Yes sir, I can. By his appearance and
by hearing him talk.
PRICE: Even though his back was to you; even
though you didn't see his face?
SILLS: I recognized him by his voice and
because he had a bandage on his head on
the day of the funeral.
PRICE: Have you discussed your testimony with
anyone prior to your coming here today?
SILLS: No, sir.
PRICE: No one at the hospital? None of the
SILLS: No sir. I didn't know I'd be wanted
here as a witness until sometime last
week, Thursday or Friday. Nobody
mentioned it to me when I was at the
lodging house.(fade out under)
NARRATOR: Price tried hard to break Sills' story,
but without success. His testimony put
the cap on the defense's case.
On December 1st the witnesses had all
been heard, the arguments had all been
made, and Judge Wells Spicer rendered
SFX: GAVEL BANGING
SPICER: This case has now been on hearing for
the past 30 days. The importance of
this case, as well as the great interest
taken in it by the entire community,
demand that I should be full and
explicit in my findings and conclusions.
It is certainly clear that several
controversies had taken place between
Wyatt and Virgil Earp and John H.
Holliday and Isaac Clanton and Thomas
McLaury. The defendant Virgil Earp was
certainly aware of this. It is my
opinion that in calling upon Wyatt Earp
and J. H. Holliday to assist him in
arresting and disarming the Clantons and
McLaurys, Virgil Earp committed an
injudicious and censurable act.
SFX: CROWD REACTION TO THIS STATEMENT, GAVEL BANGS
AGAIN; CROWD NOISES IN THE BACKGROUND THROUGHOUT
SPICER: But when we consider the lawlessness and
disregard for human life that exist in
a frontier community, the existence of a
law-defying element which has been a
terror to the country and kept away
capital and enterprise, and when I
consider the many threats made against
the Earps, I can attach no criminality
to this unwise act.
It is clear in my mind that Virgil Earp,
the chief of police, honestly believed
that the purpose of the opposing party
was, if not to attempt the deaths of
himself and his brothers, at least to
resist with force of arms any attempt on
his part to perform his duty as a peace
Witnesses of credibility testify that at
least two of the deceased yielded to a
demand to surrender. Other witnesses of
equal credibility testify that William
Clanton and Frank McLaury met the demand
for surrender by drawing their pistols,
and that the discharge of firearms from
both sides was almost simultaneous.
Considering all the testimony together,
I am of the opinion that the weight of
the evidence sustains and corroborates
the testimony of Wyatt Earp: that their
demand for surrender was met by William
Clanton and Frank McLaury by drawing or
making a motion to draw their pistols.
It seems clear the defendants acted in
the interests of self-preservation.
There is a dispute as to whether Tom
McLaury was armed at all, I will not
consider this question, because it is
not of controlling importance.
Certainly he was a member of a party
which was armed. It is beyond question
that William Clanton and Frank McLaury
were armed and made quick and effective
use of their arms as to seriously wound
Virgil and Morgan Earp.
If this shooting had been the result of
a conspiracy by the Earps to attack and
kill the other party, as Isaac Clanton
has maintained, then Isaac Clanton
himself should have been the first to
fall. He could have been killed first
and most easily. The fact is, as Wyatt
Earp has testified, he was believed to
be unarmed and told to go away. He was
not harmed. I can find no felonious
intent in the defendants' actions.
SFX: FADE UP UNDER NEXT LINES: SOUNDS OF EARP'S
SPICER: When therefore, the defendants,
regularly or specially appointed
officers, marched down Fremont Street to
the scene of the subsequent homicide,
they were going where it was their right
and duty to go, and they were doing what
it was their right and duty to do; and
they were armed as it was their right
and duty to be armed when approaching
armed and determined men who were expert
in the use of firearms, as quick as
thought and as certain as death, whom
they believed to be contemplating
resistance. They had a right to repel
force with force.
SFX: TWO OVERLAPPING PISTOL SHOTS, TWO MORE SHOTS AND A
SHOTGUN BLAST (BOTH BARRELS) WE HEAR THE ECHOES
SPICER: There being no sufficient cause to
believe Wyatt S. Earp, Morgan Earp,
Virgil Earp and John H. Holliday guilty
of the offense mentioned, I order them
to be released.
SFX: BANG OF THE GAVEL, THEN BIG CROWD REACTION TO THIS:
MIXED: SOME IN FAVOR, SOME NOT, GENERAL HUBUB
NARRATOR: On December 16,1881 the Grand Jury,
following Spicer's recommendation,
refused to indict the Earps and Doc
Holliday. But the story was not yet
SFX: NIGHT NOISES; A DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES; FOOTSTEPS ON
BOARDWALK UNDER LINES
NARRATOR: On December 28, 1881, at about 11:30 at
night. Virgil Earp left the Oriental
saloon and walked west down Allen
SFX: FOUR SHOTGUN BLASTS, CLOSE TOGETHER.
NARRATOR: He was shot from ambush. Buckshot
shattered his left arm and tore into his
left side. It would take him months to
recuperate and he would never regain the
use of his left arm.
Virgil had been relieved of his duties
as Tombstone town marshal when Ike
Clanton had sworn out his complaint.
Now he lost his appointment as US
Marshal as well.
Suspicion fell on Ike Clanton and Will
McLaury, but nothing was ever proved.
SFX: A BILLIARDS GAME: THE CLICK OF BALLS, MURMURED
VOICES, A FEW FOOTSTEPS ON A WOODEN FLOOR. (UNDER
NARRATOR: Three months later, in March 1882 Morgan
Earp was passing the time playing pool
at Hatch's saloon.
SFX: TWO GUNSHOTS; SHATTERING GLASS; A CRY OF PAIN; A
BODY FALLING; BILLIARD BALLS SCATTERED, POOL CUE
HITS THE FLOOR.
NARRATOR: Two shots came out of the night and
At the coroner's inquest, four men were
implicated: Pete Spence, a longtime
crony of the Clantons who ran a lumber
camp near Tombstone, Florentino Cruz,
one of his employees, an Indian named
Charlie, and one of John Behan's former
deputies, Frank Stillwell.
Spence and Indian Charlie soon gave
themselves up, figuring John Behan's
jail a safer place for them than the
streets of Tombstone.
SFX: TWO SHORT BLASTS ON A TRAIN WHISTLE, THEN THE SOUND
OF THE STEAM ENGINE PUFFING AT REST, FADING UNDER
THE NARRATOR'S LINES
NARRATOR: On March 20, Virgil Earp and his wife
Allie traveled to Tuscon to take
Morgan's body home on the train to
California. Wyatt, Warren, Doc
Holliday, and a couple of the old Dodge
City crowd, Sherman McMasters and Turkey
Creek Jack Johnson went along. In the
railroad yards Wyatt and his party came
upon Frank Stillwell.
SFX: LONG BLAST ON THE TRAIN WHISTLE; THEN THE ENGINE
STARTS WORKING AND THE TRAIN PULLS AWAY. ENGINE
PUFFING CONTINUES UNDER ALLIE'S LINE.
SFX: SIX GUNSHOTS IN THE DISTANCE, BUT HEARD OVER TRAIN
ALLIE: Virgil, what was that?
SFX: TRAIN SOUNDS FADE INTO DISTANCE
NARRATOR: Virgil and Allie Earp never came back to
Frank Stillwell's body was found in the
railroad yard, riddled with half a dozen
gunshot wounds. There were enough
witnesses for Tucson authorities to
telegraph a warrant to Sheriff Behan in
Tombstone for the arrest of the Earps,
Holliday, McMasters and Johnson. Behan
confronted them, but could not stop
them. They stayed in Tombstone only
long enough to throw together some
belongings and ride out again. Wyatt
left his wife Mattie behind. She never
saw him again.
SFX: FIVE HORSES GALLOPING, BEING REINED TO A HALT
NARRATOR: On their way, the Earp party stopped off
at Pete Spence's lumber camp
WYATT: (calling) Cruz! Florentino Cruz!
SFX: FIVE GUNSHOTS; TWO HORSES NEIGH IN ALARM; A CRY OF
PAIN; A BODY HITTING THE GROUND; FIVE HORSES GALLOP
AWAY AND FADE INTO THE DISTANCE UNDER THE NEXT
NARRATOR: Sheriff Behan got up a posse and gave
chase, but the fugitives got clear and
crossed the border into Colorado. The
time of the Earps in Tombstone was over.
SFX: HORSES FADE OUT.
NARRATOR: Young Billy Claiborne was killed in a
showdown with Buckskin Frank Leslie
outside the Oriental Saloon in the
summer of 1882.
Ike Clanton tried twice more to bring
the Earps up on charges but never got
very far. In June of 1887, The detective
J.V. Brighton caught Ike and his brother
Phineas rustling cattle on Eagle Creek
near Fort Grant, Arizona. Phineas
surrendered. Ike refused and Brighton
shot him dead.
Doc Holliday had a falling out with Wyatt
in Colorado that neither man ever
bothered to explain, and went his own
way. He continued to gamble and drink
and get in trouble with the law. His
tuberculosis finally killed him in
November 1887 at a sanitarium in
Glenwood Springs. His last words were
reported to be:
HOLLIDAY: This is funny.
NARRATOR: Mattie Blaylock Earp, abandoned by her
husband Wyatt, left Tombstone and stayed
for a while at the Earp family homestead
in Colton, California. Depressed and
heartsick, she soon returned to Arizona,
finally settling in the mining town of
Pinal. By this time she was a
prostitute and an alcoholic. In July,
1888 she took her own life with an
overdose of laudanum.
Warren Earp spent some time in Colorado
and, when things had quieted down, went
back to Arizona. He drove a stage
between Globe and Willcox for a while
and later became sanitary inspector for
the Arizona Cattleman's Association. He
was killed in a barroom fight in Willcox
Virgil Earp became a rancher and a
prospector and continued working as a
lawman. He died of pneumonia in 1905
while serving as Deputy Sheriff of
Esmerelda County, New Mexico.
John Behan's political connections
remained strong. He went on to run Yuma
State Prison. He later became a customs
inspector, served in the Spanish
American War and in the American brigade
sent to quell the Boxer Rebellion in
China. He died in Arizona of Bright's
disease in 1912.
Wyatt Earp left Colorado and traveled to
Texas, New Mexico and Kansas.
SFX: FOOTSTEPS ON A DIRT ROAD, APPROACHING UNDER NEXT
NARRATOR: According to one story, he met his old
nemesis John Behan on the street of some
SFX: A PUNCH; A GRUNT; A BODY FALLING TO THE GROUND.
NARRATOR: .and knocked him flat. And maybe he did.
He opened a saloon in San Diego, then
moved to San Francisco where he found
and married his old Tombstone flame,
In 1896, two greatly embellished
articles about his exploits appeared
under Wyatt's name in the San Francisco
Examiner. The description of the
Gunfight gave a clear cut picture of the
white hats against the black hats. The
stories contained all the flourishes of
the worst penny dreadful style, but they
helped perpetuate the myth that Wyatt
was weaving around himself.
Drawn by the gold rush Wyatt went to
Alaska in 1898, where he ran a saloon
and gambling hall. In 1900 he settled
in Los Angeles, trying to support
himself by prospecting in the desert for
part of the year. He had fallen upon
hard times and was indicted in 1911 for
vagrancy and involvement in a swindle.
The charges were later dropped.
In the last years of his life Wyatt
cooperated in the writing of two highly
slanted books about his life and
exploits. One author referred to him as
"The Lion of Tombstone". He also became
friends with the actor William S. Hart
and tried to interest Hart in making a
movie of his life. The movie was never
Wyatt Earp, the last of the Earp
brothers, died of chronic cystitis on
January 3rd, 1929. He was eighty years
SFX: EARP'S FOOTSTEPS ON FREMONT STREET, FOOTSTEPS STOP;
TWO PISTOL SHOTS OVERLAPPING, TWO MORE GUNSHOTS; A
SHOTGUN BLAST (BOTH BARRELS) WITH SLIGHT REVERB: WE
HEAR THE ECHO FADE AWAY COMPLETELY