Worst Outlaw in the History of the American West Inspired Others
November 13, 2010

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

On This Date in History: Al Jennings was born in 1863 Virginia. His father was aTemple Houston-the one in the middle judge and Al began practicing law in the Oklahoma Territory in 1889. Al’s law-partner, brother Ed Jennings, was shot to death in October 1895 by another lawyer named Temple Houston, who was the son of famous Texan General Sam Houston. When Houston was acquitted, Al and another brother Frank vowed vengeance. They took off after Houston but never caught up to him. So, what does any good lawyer who fails at a vengeance killing do? Join a gang. He and Frank robbed a Santa Fe train with their new found friends in 1897. Well, they tried to rob a train. This may be where the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid comes from because these guys tried to get the guy in charge of the mail car to open it up but he refused, just like Woodcock did with Butch. But, instead of blowing up the rail car, these desperados got chased away by the conductor.

Temple Houston

Temple Houston

They tried again. This time they piled up railroad ties across the tracks. instead of stopping, the engineer opened up the locomotive at full throttle and simply plowed through the obstruction. They then tried to rob an express office but a simple phone call from the office brought the town sheriff and a bunch of armed men. The would be robbers fled with nothing. Then they tried a bank but someone must have blabbed because when they arrived, the bank was surrounded by numerous armed men. The bumbling robbers left empty handed. So, they gang decided to return to what they knew best…train robbing!

CabinetSaloon

Cabinet Saloon Where Temple Shot Ed

In another probable Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspiration, they tried a 3rd time when they flagged down a Rock Island passenger train and tried to blow up the two safes on board in a box car. The safes did not open but they did manage to blow up the box car. They did get $300 from the passengers though. But, they got no more chances. They were caught and sentenced to 5 years in prison…except for Al, who got a life sentence for robbery with intent to kill.

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Al goes to prison and who does he share a cell with but a guy named William Sidney Porter. After spending time listening to the tales of Jennings, Porter was released and took up the profession of a scribe, taking the pen name, O. Henry. O. Henry is considered one of the finest American short story writers of his time. Through his short stories, Henry managed to rehabilitate the image of Jennings and, On This Date in 1902, Al Jennings was released from prison after his sentence was commuted to 5 years by none other than President William McKinley. Jennings returned to Oklahoma to practice law. So, what does a lawyer who was a terrible train robber do? Why run for office. Not just any office…why not county attorney! In 1912, he ran on the promise that “when was a train robber, I was a good train robber. And if you choose me, I will be a good prosecuting attorney.” Obviously, Al had developed a politicians ability to stretch the truth and it helped because he won the nomination but lost the election. He ran for Governor in 1914 but opposition by newspapers left his campaign in third place when the votes were counted. So, where does a failed train robber and failed politician go? Why to Hollywood!

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew In Hollywood

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew

O. Henry had encouraged him to write so he went out west and ghost wrote several movies, several of which were supposedly based on his life. The westerns portrayed him as being more treacherous than Billy the Kid, robbed more men than Jesse James and was a participant in nearly 25 face to face shootouts. I would say that there wasn’t much mystery in who the ghost was behind those scripts. Al continued this sort of thing the rest of his life as he was behind many of the B-movie westerns through the 1950′s with the lame scripts that were as phony as the image Jennings created for himself. To perhaps illustrate the level of Al’s position in Hollywood, the photo to the left is not of Al with star Fatty Arbuckle, but instead Fatty’s cousin, Andrew. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and certainly long life for Al, who did not pass away, for real, until 1961. He lived through Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, the closing of the frontier, two world wars and the dawn of the space age. So much to write about yet he chose to write about…himself…and most of that was not true, except his name, Al Jennings. Here is a biography, which is really funny.

4th Coldest October In US History, Worst Outlaw in US History
November 13, 2009

denversnow

Biggest Denver October Snow in 12 years

statewidetrank_200910

Oct 2009 Avg Temp rank by State

While Global Warming cannot be determined by any one set of data from any one country, I’m sure Global Warming enthusiasts will find a tougher time in the states arguing their point. That is because October  2009 was the 4th coldest October in recorded US history, which dates back to 1895. It was also the absolute wettest October in US history. Only Florida was decidedly hotter than averge with its October 2009 coming in as the 105th coolest month, or the 11th hottest. Oklahoma checked in with the coldest October on record. As I mentioned, by itself this data is irrelevant to climate trends. But, if this had been the 4th hottest October on record, don’t you think that it would make headlines? I wonder if the media doesn’t think that cold temperatures are just as newsworthy as hot temperatures.

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

Crime Pays Or the Worst Outlaw in the West? Al Jennings was born in 1863 Virginia. His father was aTemple Houston-the one in the middle judge and Al began practicing law in the Oklahoma Territory in 1889. Al’s law-partner, brother Ed Jennings, was shot to death in October 1895 by another lawyer named Temple Houston, who was the son of famous Texan General Sam Houston. When Houston was acquitted, Al and another brother Frank vowed vengeance. They took off after Houston but never caught up to him. So, what does any good lawyer who fails at a vengeance killing do? Join a gang. He and Frank robbed a Santa Fe train with their new found friends in 1897. Well, they tried to rob a train. This may be where the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid comes from because these guys tried to get the guy in charge of the mail car to open it up but he refused, just like Woodcock did with Butch. But, instead of blowing up the rail car, these desperados got chased away by the conductor.

Temple Houston

Temple Houston

They tried again. This time they piled up railroad ties across the tracks. instead of stopping, the engineer opened up the locomotive at full throttle and simply plowed through the obstruction. They then tried to rob an express office but a simple phone call from the office brought the town sheriff and a bunch of armed men. The would be robbers fled with nothing. Then they tried a bank but someone must have blabbed because when they arrived, the bank was surrounded by numerous armed men. The bumbling robbers left empty handed. So, they gang decided to return to what they knew best…train robbing!

CabinetSaloon

Cabinet Saloon Where Temple Shot Ed

In another probable Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspiration, they tried a 3rd time when they flagged down a Rock Island passenger train and tried to blow up the two safes on board in a box car. The safes did not open but they did manage to blow up the box car. They did get $300 from the passengers though. But, they got no more chances. They were caught and sentenced to 5 years in prison…except for Al, who got a life sentence for robbery with intent to kill.

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Al goes to prison and who does he share a cell with but a guy named William Sidney Porter. After spending time listening to the tales of Jennings, Porter was released and took up the profession of a scribe, taking the pen name, O. Henry. O. Henry is considered one of the finest American short story writers of his time. Through his short stories, Henry managed to rehabilitate the image of Jennings and, On This Date in 1902, Al Jennings was released from prison after his sentence was commuted to 5 years by none other than President William McKinley. Jennings returned to Oklahoma to practice law. So, what does a lawyer who was a terrible train robber do? Why run for office. Not just any office…why not county attorney! In 1912, he ran on the promise that “when was a train robber, I was a good train robber. And if you choose me, I will be a good prosecuting attorney.” Obviously, Al had developed a politicians ability to stretch the truth and it helped because he won the nomination but lost the election. He ran for Governor in 1914 but opposition by newspapers left his campaign in third place when the votes were counted. So, where does a failed train robber and failed politician go? Why to Hollywood!

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew In Hollywood

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew

O. Henry had encouraged him to write so he went out west and ghost wrote several movies, several of which were supposedly based on his life. The westerns portrayed him as being more treacherous than Billy the Kid, robbed more men than Jesse James and was a participant in nearly 25 face to face shootouts. I would say that there wasn’t much mystery in who the ghost was behind those scripts. Al continued this sort of thing the rest of his life as he was behind many of the B-movie westerns through the 1950′s with the lame scripts that were as phony as the image Jennings created for himself. To perhaps illustrate the level of Al’s position in Hollywood, the photo to the left is not of Al with star Fatty Arbuckle, but instead Fatty’s cousin, Andrew. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and certainly long life for Al, who did not pass away, for real, until 1961. He lived through Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, the closing of the frontier, two world wars and the dawn of the space age. So much to write about yet he chose to write about…himself…and most of that was not true, except his name, Al Jennings. Here is a biography, which is really funny.

Weather Bottom Line:  Still looks good for the rest of the week and really, I think, the majority of the weekend.  Look for highs Friday with lots of sunshine creeping to the low to mid 60′s after a cool start.  Then Saturday we mayget to 70 or so ahead of a very deep low pressure area.  I don’t think that we get rain until Sunday evening but clouds will be increasing during the day on Sunday.  Now, this low tends to get cut off in the Southern Plains.  After several days in that region, it is progged to move north-northeast and stay to the west of our area.  I’m skeptical of this solution.  We’ll see.  Either way, we wil be in the 50′s for next week so get out and enjoy the next few days.

Demerol, Michael Jackson & Dr. Conrad Murray-A Young Woman and Fatty Arbuckle
June 29, 2009

Jackson

The Killer?

The Killer?

Much of the speculation making the rounds regarding the death of Michael Jackson involve Demerol and Dr. Conrad Murray. Gossip pages are running amuck.  TMZ cites a Jackson family member as a source, saying that Jackson had a daily demerol shot and had one just prior to his death.  Even some mainstream press organizations are jumping on board.   However, the lawyer for Jackson physician/cardiologist Dr Conrad Murray says his client never gave prescriptions or injections of demerol or oxycontin.  It’s all speculation but there must be some reason that the Jackson family wants a second autopsy

I’ve had demerol before, after shoulder surgery.  I could have an injection every 3 hours.  I could set my watch by it.  From the time of the injection, I became very sleepy and quickly was snoozing.  Every time I awoke, it was exactly 3 hours and 1 minute from the time of the injection.  It’s powerful.  Now, I know of someone who suffered from migraine headaches.  Doctors prescribed demerol.  I’ve since found studies that say its not the proper solution due to the high risk of addiction and long term toxicity.  Death happened almost instantaneously.  The amount of demerol found in the system was theraputic but there was a huge toxic level in the liver.  The lab results took a long time.  If the cause of death of Michael Jackson is demorol, my limited experience would say that its from long term use, not a single lethal injection.  If a layman like me is aware of this risk, then one would think a physician would also be aware of such a risk.

On This Date in History:  When anything happens involving a big celebrity like Michael Jackson, the public can’t get enough.  This has been true for as long as there have been performing celebrities in America.  When things went well for actor/director Fatty Arbuckle, they still went bad.  He was a big star.  So, big that he signed a 3 year contract with Warner Brothers for a million dollars in 1921.  Really huge money in those days.  When he signed the deal, he had a party. At that party, a young starlet was found drunk and bleeding in Arbuckle’s room.  He was accused of rape and murder after the woman died of a punctured bladder 3 days later. It was Hollywood’s big scandals and William Randolph Hearst made it into a media circus.  Hearst didn’t care about the facts, he was in the business of selling papers and he made it into one of the first trials “of the century.”  He is quoted as saying that the scandal “sold more newspapers than any event since the sinking of the Lusitania.” 

Mugshot of Fatty

Mugshot of Fatty

The judge found no evidence of rape but determined that Arbuckle could be tried for manslaughter.  In fact, the whole case isn’t nearly as cut and dried as I had been led to believe.  There are numerous instances of bribes by the prosecutor, false testimony and doctored evidence.  Twice juries were hung 10-2 in favor of Arbuckle with some interesting circumstances. The third trial ended in acquittal but, the prosecutor and newspapers tried Arbuckle in public with wild, unsubstantiated salacious charges and false accusations.  The main witness wasn’t allowed to testify because she was so unreliable.  During the 3rd trial she didn’t even show up as she had been found to be planning to extort money from Arbuckle from the night of the party and besides that, she was too busy on the lecture circuit spreading her tales.  They were inadmissible and unfounded in court but good enough for the stage. 

Women Couldn't keep their hands off Fatty

Women Couldn't keep their hands off Fatty

Though acquitted, Arbuckle’s movies were banned in the US for something that he may not have even done.  On this date in 1933 he was signed by Warner Brothers to make a feature length film.  Perhaps it was too much for the not-so-slender Fatty.  That night he had a heart attack and died. 

Maybe he would have been better off not signing contracts with the Warner Brothers.

Weather Bottom Line:  After a week of August-Like conditions we get a nice break.  We’ve also had a lot of rain.  June official numbers come in at 9.22″ which is less than an inch shy of the all-time June record of 10.11″ set back in 1960.  Wonder if there was a remnant of a tropical cyclone back then.  This year, that was not the case, just a hot and humid pattern that lent itself to storm activity.  That pattern has shifted with a big trof setting up in the east and a semi-staitionary low in the Great Lakes.  That will put us in a northwest flow which is tough to get much rain out of.  It also will drag down dry air.  Look for lows this week in the low 60′s with some folks in the upper 50′s on Tuesday morning after a reinforcing shot of dry air filters through following a cold front quietly sneaking through Monday evening.  The models want to toss out a few showers from time to time during the week but I find that a tough solution considering the relatively dry air.  High temperatures will only be in the low 80′s.  I suppose if we were to get some isolated activity popping up, the best chances wouldn’t get started until late in the week as we warm somewhat and a front to our south tries to move northward a bit.  That would be ahead of the next system that will get ejected eastward across the plains and increase storm chances on Sunday.  Right now, the 4th of July looks pretty good.  Invest 93L is dead in the tropics.

Worst Outlaw in the West and A Big Ozone Hole
November 13, 2008

ECMWF Tues AM 540 Line (theorhetical freeze line) near Charlotte

ECMWF Tues AM 540 Line (theorhetical freeze line) near Charlotte

Look for perhaps a few peeks of sunshine late Thursday with moderating temperatures, but it won’t last. Front comes through on Friday and the mercury tumbles over the weekend. Low 40′s for highs on Saturday with perhaps a worthless flurry or wet snowflake. Later in the season this wouldn’t cause a ruckus but since its the first flake or two, watch the folks on the tube go crazy…Steve Burgin will be giddy. Mid 40′s on Sunday with again a few peeks of sun. Low 50′s on Monday but a cold front comes in and we may not get out of the 30′s on Tuesday. Remember, NOAA says this will be a warmer than normal winter. Winter doesn’t start until December 21.

Ozone Hole over Antarctica

Ozone Hole over Antarctica

This has nothing to do with Global Warming: Members of the 4th Estate, the Press, often get confused. In environmental issues, it is not uncommon to find the purveyors of the pen to link Global Warming and the Ozone hole. I’ve been on numerous speaking engagements and the public is often led to believe they are somehow intertwined. They are not. But, we haven’t heard much about the Ozone hole for years. Why is this? Why the Congress and legal bodies all over the world claimed the problem was solved when they banned the use of fluorocarbons. What people don’t realize is that it takes about 15-20 years for fluorocarbons to reach the top of the atmosphere where the ozone layer resides. While you may have thought we were safe, the hole has still been there all this time…the press just chose not to report it. Consequently, we have yet to find out if, indeed, man was the cause of ozone depletion. From this report, it would seem that we need to wait a little longer. The ozone hole over Antarctica was the 5th largest on record this past year. Here’s the story, that 20 years ago would have been headline news, but today is only found in odd places, like this blog.

Ozone Hole is still there

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

Al Jennings-Worst Outlaw in the West

Crime Pays Or the Worst Outlaw in the West? Al Jennings was born in 1863 Virginia. His father was aTemple Houston-the one in the middle judge and Al began practicing law in the Oklahoma Territory in 1889. Al’s law-partner, brother Ed Jennings, was shot to death in October 1895 by another lawyer named Temple Houston. When Houston was acquitted, Al and another brother Frank vowed vengeance. They took off after Houston but never caught up to him. So, what does any good lawyer who fails at a vengeance killing do? Join a gang. He and Frank robbed a Santa Fe train with their new found friends in 1897. Well, they tried to rob a train. This may be where the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid comes from because these guys tried to get the guy in charge of the mail car to open it up but he refused, just like Woodcock did with Butch. But, instead of blowing up the rail car, these desperados got chased away by the conductor.

They tried again. This time they piled up railroad ties across the tracks. instead of stopping, the engineer opened up the locomotive at full throttle and simply plowed through the obstruction. They then tried to rob an express office but a simple phone call from the office brought the town sheriff and a bunch of armed men. The would be robbers fled with nothing. Then they tried a bank but someone must have blabbed because when they arrived, the bank was surrounded by numerous armed men. The bumbling robbers left empty handed. So, they gang decided to return to what they knew best…train robbing!

In another probable Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspiration, they tried a 3rd time when they flagged down a Rock Island passenger train and tried to blow up the two safes on board in a box car. The safes did not open but they did manage to blow up the box car. They did get $300 from the passengers though. But, they got no more chances. They were caught and sentenced to 5 years in prison…except for Al, who got a life sentence for robbery with intent to kill.

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Jennings Mugshot 1902

Al goes to prison and who does he share a cell with but a guy named William Sidney Porter. After spending time listening to the tales of Jennings, Porter was released and took up the profession of a scribe, taking the pen name, O. Henry. O. Henry is considered one of the finest American short story writers of his time. Through his short stories, Henry managed to rehabilitate the image of Jennings and, On This Date in 1902, Al Jennings was released from prison after his sentence was commuted to 5 years by none other than President William McKinley. Jennings returned to Oklahoma to practice law. So, what does a lawyer who was a terrible train robber do? Why run for office. Not just any office…why not county attorney! In 1912, he ran on the promise that “when was a train robber, I was a good train robber. And if you choose me, I will be a good prosecuting attorney.” Obviously, Al had developed a politicians ability to stretch the truth and it helped because he won the nomination but lost the election. He ran for Governor in 1914 but opposition by newspapers left his campaign in third place when the votes were counted. So, where does a failed train robber and failed politician go? Why to Hollywood!

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew In Hollywood

Jennings with Fatty Arbuckle's Cousin Andrew

O. Henry had encouraged him to write so he went out west and ghost wrote several movies, several of which were supposedly based on his life. The westerns portrayed him as being more treacherous than Billy the Kid, robbed more men than Jesse James and was a participant in nearly 25 face to face shootouts. I would say that there wasn’t much mystery in who the ghost was behind those scripts. Al continued this sort of thing the rest of his life as he was behind many of the B-movie westerns through the 1950′s with the lame scripts that were as phony as the image Jennings created for himself. To perhaps illustrate the level of Al’s position in Hollywood, the photo to the left is not of Al with star Fatty Arbuckle, but instead Fatty’s cousin, Andrew. Nevertheless, it was an interesting and certainly long life for Al, who did not pass away, for real, until 1961. He lived through Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, the closing of the frontier, two world wars and the dawn of the space age. So much to write about yet he chose to write about…himself…and most of that was not true, except his name, Al Jennings. Here is a biography, which is really funny.

A Bust On Severe Threat? Mississippi River Flooding, Fatty and More Doom Deniers
June 29, 2008

Track Storms from Around the Nation at Home Down to Street Level With the Interactive Radar.

The above photo is that of a water rescue in Natchez, MS from the Natchez Democrat.  These two kids decided to go for a swim in the high water.  The current whisked them away only to be rescued by three men who just happened to be in the area.  Can you say lucky?  Here are more photos from a gallery courtesy of the Natchez Democrat.  It includes a cute picture of an otter that came into someone’s yard with the high water.

Natchez Mississippi Flood Photos

We Busted, Maybe: When I lived in the South, I often got accused of seeming disappointed when a hurricane turned away from our location.  We’ve had two nights of pretty good storms and I”m not disappointed that we missed out this time.  A complex of storms was to our northeast and another to our southwest.  We were in between.  We got to near 90 but the complex to the northeast helped draw down dry air close to the area, effective cutting off any storms from that direction.  Late in the evening, the jet streak that we’d been looking for swept around and produced a line of mild thunderstorms From St. Louis to Springfield.  As it moves around, it will help did the upper trof down our way.  Theres a fair chance that we get some storms or rain on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, I just don’t think the prospects for anything too exciting is all that great.  But, it’s worth watching as some of the cells have developed rather quickly as the line extended toward Terre Haute by 1 AM.  That would be a result of the speed max rounding through the jet. If you saw at 11 pm I outlined the possibility.  The SPC issued an MCD on it.   The map is below along with the link to the discussion.  They kinda talk out of both sides of their mouth as on the one hand, they say no watches are anticipated but the first thing they say is that damaging winds and hail are possible.

MCD 1625 Discussion

I posted about the Super-Collider Dooms Day Machine back on June 23rd.  Here was the link to the BBC:

Earth Not “At Risk” From Collider

Well, either the BBC has no clout or the Associated Press is tardy with their reporting. In any event, here is the AP’s version of the deniabilty that we are about to be absorbed into a man-made black hole, thus ending the global warming debate and leaving us to wonder who will win the election.

Nothing to Fear

On This Date in History:  When things went well for actor/director Fatty Arbuckle, they went bad.  He was a big star.  So, big that he signed a 3 year contract with Warner Brothers for a million dollars in 1921.  Really huge money in those days.  When he signed the deal, he had a party. At that party, a young starlet was found drunk and bleeding in Arbuckle’s room.  He was accused of rape and murder after the woman died of a punctured bladder 3 days later. It was Hollywood’s big scandals and William Randolph Hearst made it into a media circus.  Hearst didn’t care about the facts, he was in the business of selling papers and he made it into one of the first trials “of the century.”  He is quoted as saying that the scandal “sold more newspapers than any event since the sinking of the Lusitania.” 

The judge found no evidence of rape but determined that Arbuckle could be tried for manslaughter.  In fact, the whole case isn’t nearly as cut and dried as I had been led to believe.  There are numerous instances of bribes by the prosecutor, false testimony and doctored evidence.  Twice juries were hung 10-2 in favor of Arbuckle. The third trial ended in acquittal but, the prosecutor and newspapers tried Arbuckle in public with wild, unsubstantiated salacious charges and false accusations.  The main witness wasn’t allowed to testify because she was so unreliable.  During the 3rd trial she didn’t even show up as she had been found to be planning to extort money from Arbuckle from the night of the party and besides that, she was too busy on the lecture circuit spreading her tales.  They were inadmissible and unfounded in court but good enough for the stage. 

Though acquitted, Arbuckle’s movies were banned in the US for something that he may not have even done.  On June 29, 1933 he was signed by Warner Brothers to make a feature length film.  Perhaps it was too much for the not-so-slender Fatty.  That night he had a heart attack and died. 

Maybe he would have been better off not signing contracts with the Warner Brothers.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers