Some of the cable channels have Destination America. They had a show about the 10 Most Wanted Outlaws in the american west.
Jim Miller was the #1 worse outlaw ever.....huh? The Kid shot his jailer while walking back up an outside staircase? Never saying who shot Hardin or why.... Sam Bass being shot and dying immediately...huh?
I just didn't like the show. Did anyone else see it?
More on Jim Miller. In his Frontier biography, Dan Thrapp made the claim that Jim's father may have died when he was an infant but that his mother lived at least until 1884. He was uncertain as to why Jim Was living with his grandparents. Many observers now believe Jim may well have shot Pat Garrett from ambush. If the young man killed at Fort Sumter in 1881 was not Billy the Kid and was, as some people have speculated, a relative of the Clements family, Jim may have killed Pat for free since his wife was a member of the family. The definitive work on Miller his probably that by Glenn Shirley, but, I have heard of another by Bill C. James that I have been unable to locate. I remember seeing an article, possibly in Real West Magazine, in the 1970s. that Identify Miller as Pat's murderer.
The best Miller article I've read was 'Killer in Deacon's Clothing' by Robert Barr Smith, in the August 1992 'Wild West' magazine. It can be read on line here
I noted some time ago that it was easy for somebody to attend a church and basically pretend to be something they were not because the people at that time had little resources where they could ascertain someone's previous status or sincerity. I understand that now, many churches require a new member to present documentation and even a letter from the previous pastor giving information. It is a sad state of affairs, but many miscreants have, in the past, been able to infiltrate congregations and create virtual havoc. And, from what I understand, churches have not been the only victims. Someone who was as devout and sincere as Jim Miller appeared to be would not have been a hired killer!
In the new Oct 2012 issue of Wild West which I just read, Ellis Lindsey has a great article on Jim Miller. Plus he has a book on this subject coming out in 2013. He states that Miller said just before they hung him that he had killed 51 men. He did not kill his grandparents. He was very likeable and no one could believe he was a killer. Ellis also reviews all the other previous works on this subject. And he believes that Miller killed Garrett. Really great issue this month of Wild West.
I've long believed Miller killed Garrett. However, Leon Metz could only find that he was in the area at the time. He could find nothing to tie Miller to Garrett, which was usual in a Miller killing, because he covered his tracks extremely well. He was probably paid more than the standard $50 for it, too, because of Garrett's fame.
I believe he used a Model ''94 Winchester in the killing. The '94 had only been on the market a few years & the .30 WCF chambering was very new. It shot much flatter than the .44 WCF in the 73 & '92. The back of a man's head at 150 to 200 yds is a very small target, but it would be the aiming point for a person using a .44 at that range. Because of bullet-drop the slug would hit just about where the suspenders cross. I think Miller was used to a .44 & took a .44 aiming point, but because the .30 had so much higher velocity he actually hit his aiming point--which probably surprised him.
I had some experience with this back in the '50s. A very handsome, likeable, apparently devout young man applied for a position as youth-group minister at a church near the one I attended. He had worked at previous churches, but not in the same town.
The guy was a predatory pederast! Boys or girls, made no difference to him as long as they were pre-pubescent. He was fired as soon as this was discovered, but the elders in that church refused to say why he was fired. He apparently victimized a couple of churches in that city, then moved on. A couple of years later I saw in the paper where he had been murdered in another city. It turned out he was shot by the father of a 10-yr-old girl he was molesting.