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Outlaws & Crime

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Encyclopedia | After midnight on December 12, 1917, three men took Wade Hampton, a Black man charged with attempting to rape three white women, from his Rock Springs jail cell at gunpoint. Less than an hour later, Hampton was dead.
Encyclopedia | Lifelong criminal James Costin forged checks, passed them, stole money from his employers and coyote pelts from a ranch. In April 1933, though he only drove the getaway car, he masterminded a bank robbery in Green River. Later, he sued the men who tried to shake him down for the loot.
Encyclopedia | A Winchester rifle at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum reportedly belonged to Wild Bunch member Bub Meeks, who participated in the famed Montpelier bank robbery, escaped prison twice and an insane asylum once and after a final scrape with the law died in 1912 in the Wyoming State Hospital. 
Encyclopedia | In October 1903, six Oglala Lakota Sioux and two white men died in a tragically unnecessary armed confrontation on Lightning Creek, northeast of Douglas, Wyo. But 35 years later, both sides made a public effort at a kind of reconciliation—at the Wyoming State Fair.
Encyclopedia | It began with a bowl of mush and ended in the murders of two men—one shot through the heart, the other dragged from the jail and lynched by a vicious mob of 300 to 400 people. Afterward, no one would testify to who was in the mob.
Encyclopedia | In 1904, a Laramie mob hanged African-American Joe Martin from a light pole near the courthouse, drawing a crowd of 1,000 people or more. Despite having called several witnesses, a grand jury brought no indictments. And lynchings of Black men became more and more frequent in Wyoming in the coming two decades.
Encyclopedia | After Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968, newspaper editors across the nation expressed varying degrees of shock and outrage. Wyoming joined in, but some editorials hinted at mixed sentiments about the killing and its aftermath.
Encyclopedia | In 1919, when 17-year-old Austrian-born Joseph Omeyc shot Game Warden John Buxton with a revolver near Rock Springs after the officer confiscated his rifle, the crime appeared related to poaching. But Wyoming at the time required non-citizens to license guns, Omeyc didn’t have a gun license—and anti-immigrant feeling was running high.

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