New copies of my book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques are now available from Amazon at $24.95.
This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Man With Bowie Knife Kills Eight?!

In History of the Oklahoma City Police Department, by Ed Hill and Ron Owen, we read:
In 1896 the Territorial Legislature passed a law making the Chief's post an elective one. The first elected Chief was Edward F. Cochran, serving his second term. Cochran had a force of 8 men and 3 bloodhounds to maintain some semblance of order.

Probably the highlight of his term occurred within a single week in 1897. The first incident occurred at Traylor's Saloon at 16 West California. Patrolman Ike Ashburn and two other officers got in a "free-for-all shootout" with a house full of drunks, leaving 6 dead. Chief Cochran strongly defended his officers and refused to "fire" them. A few days later, a repeat performance took place at The Bucket of Blood in the 800 block of East 1st. A berserk Mexican, brandishing a Bowie knife, killed 8 razor-toting patrons before being killed by an unnamed police officer.
This is the kind of throwaway line that drives the conscientious researcher crazy. If, in fact, a berserk Mexican killed 8 razor-toting patrons of the Bucket of Blood saloon in the course of a brawl, it would be one of the most remarkable feats of personal combat on record. Even in the waning years of the Old West, this would qualify as national news. However, my research in on-line newspaper archives turned up nothing to support this story, so I can't give it much credibility.

Ron Owen, the co-author of the book, has written several excellent books on law enforcement in Oklahoma, including a biography, Legendary Lawman: The Story of Quick Draw Jelly Bryce.

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