1882 - Payback for the O.K. Corral gunfight! After taking in a Saturday night performance of the musical, "Stolen Kisses," at Tombstone's Turnverein Hall (the performance lasts abot three hours), Wyatt and Morgan Earp decide to play a few rounds of billiards at the town's Campbell & Hatch Billiard Parlor before going home to their sweethearts. It is a very, very bad idea (just the day before, Wyatt is warned that there is a plot against the Earps from a local named Briggs Goodrich, who has a lawyer brother that does legal work for a number of Cowboys)!
Tombstone, Arizona - 1881
Cowboys Killed At The O.K. Corral - Tom McLaurey, Frank McLaurey, And
The Campbell & Hatch Billiard Parlor
At about 10:50 in the evening, Morgan is playing a game of pool against the establishment's owner, Bob Hatch, while Wyatt, Dan Tipton, and Sherman McMaster watch. Lining up a shot, gunfire suddenly erupts through the upper window of a door leading out to a dark alley at the back of the property. Standing only ten feet away from the door when bullets are pumped into the parlor, Morgan is struck in the right side by a rifle round that shatters his spine, passes through his left side, and comes to rest in the thigh of parlor patron and local mining foreman, George Berry (another round, lodges in a wall, only inches above Wyatt's head). Rushing to his brother's side, Wyatt and Morgan's friends try to stand up the fallen lawman, but the wounded Morgan pleas, "Don't, I can't stand it. This is the last game of pool I'll ever play." Doctors summoned, Morgan is looked at by physicians William Miller, James Matthews, and George Goodfellow (the nation's leading expert on treating abdominal gunshot wounds) ... all agree that the lawman's wounds are fatal. Moved to a clean spot on the floor near the door to a card room in the parlor and then placed on a lounge, Morgan dies less than an hour after being shot ... his last words honoring an agreement the brothers have about reporting dying visions of the next life, Morgan whispers to Wyatt before passing, "I can't see a damned thing" (Wyatt's original story of the moment has Morgan expressing sorrow he will not be able to get even with his killers, and Wyatt responding that he'll take care of it).
True West Magazine - Last Seconds
Pissed already at the crippling of his brother Virgil in another Tombstone ambush in December of 1881, law be damned, Wyatt makes a personal decision to kill the men he believes are responsible (and any of their friends that might not like it and get in the way) ... and soon, begins stalking Cowboys, Pete Spence, Indian Charlie (Florentino Cruz), Frank Stilwell, and Frederick Bode ... revenge which begins only days later (3/20/1882) at the Tucson, Arizona rail yards, where Cowboys are set up to go after Virgil Earp again (with his wife Allie, on his way to his parent's home in Colton, California).
Pete Spence & Florentino Cruz
In the ongoing feud, this time the Cowboys are the victims of an ambush (along the train tracks, about a hundred yards from the Porter Hotel) that leaves surprised outlaw Frank Stilwell with a load of buckshot in his legs, a load of buckshot in his chest, and four "finishing" bullet wounds in his chest and head (a local will state that Stilwell's is the worst shot up body he's ever seen ... some of the buckshot is fired at such close range that Stilwell's clothes catch on fire and he has wounds with a radius of three inches in his body ... studying the corpse, the Tucson coroner will state the Cowboy has been shot by five different weapons).
True West Illustration - The Stilwell Crime Scene
Stilwell Gets His - True West Magazine
Goodbye Stilwell - True West Magazine
Life Size Statue of Wyatt And Doc Holliday
At The Spot Where Stilwell Is Killed
What will be called "The Earp Vendetta" ride has begun ... and by the time its over, by either Wyatt's hands, Wyatt's friends, or from the guns of others, along with Stilwell, Florentino Cruz, Curly Bill Brocius, Billy Claiborne, Johnny Ringo, and Ike Clanton will all go adios to bullet deaths.
The Vendetta Ride - True West Magazine
Where Morgan Sleeps