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John Wesley Hardin
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    (May 26, 1853-August 19, 1895)
    Born in Bonham, Texas
    Wild West outlaw
    Claimed to have killed 44 men
    Shot to death while playing cards in an El Paso saloon
    He started killing at age 15 when he shot one of his uncle's former slaves, followed by the three soldiers sent to arrest him.
    When he was 41, he married a teenager.
    He was caught by the law when his gun got tangled in his suspenders as he tried to draw it from a shoulder holster.
    Despite his many crimes, he was convicted only once, serving 17 years for second-degree murder for the killing of deputy Charles Webb.
    He killed with little provocation.
    He complained, 'They tell lots of lies about me. They say I killed six or seven men for snoring. Well, it ain't true. I only killed one man for snoring.'
    His brother Joe and seven cousins were lynched by Texas Rangers.
    He earned a law degree in prison.
    Although he was shot in the back of the head, his killer claimed self-defense and escaped with a hung jury.
    He inspired the Johnny Cash song 'Hardin Wouldn't Run' and his name, at least, inspired Bob Dylan's 'John Wesley Harding.'
    His killing a man for snoring too loud was famously mentioned in ads for Time-Life Books' 'Old West' series.

Credit: C. Fishel

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