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Marshal Fred White | Tombstone Marshal's Office, Arizona Tombstone Marshal's Office, Arizona

Marshal

Fred White

Tombstone Marshal's Office, Arizona

End of Watch: Saturday, October 30, 1880

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 5 years

Badge # 1

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 10/28/1880

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Shot and killed

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Marshal Fred White was shot and killed by a group of five outlaws who were shooting up the town. When Marshal White asked the leader to stop shooting the man walked up to him. The man's gun discharged as Marshal White grabbed the barrel and pulled it towards him.

The suspect was taken into custody by the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and two other Earp brothers.

The suspect was acquitted of Marshal White's murder after Marshal White provided deathbed testimony that the shooting was an accident. However, the suspect and his fellow gang members were all later shot and killed by Wyatt Earp and his posse.

Marshal White had served in law enforcement for 5 years. He is buried in Row 6, Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Private George R. "Red" Bingham
Texas Rangers, Texas
End of Watch: Saturday, July 3, 1880
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

While it's the more popular of all of the famous films on Tombstone, the Kurt Russel hit "Tombstone" does enormous injustice to the true history and timeline of events in Tombstone. One of it's most glaring examples is the casting of famous Western and war film star Harry Carey Junior as Fred White. Though White was 31 at the time of his death, "Tombstone" depicts him as a white haired and bearded old man, as Carey was 73 at the time.

Such gross misrepresentations of simple historical facts in a movie during the filming of which the stars and producers claimed it was the "most accurate" film ever produced on the life of Wyatt Earp and Tombstone are partly travesty, tragedy and a reminder to never forget (to paraphrase Mark Twain*) "it's not what we know for sure that gets us into trouble, but what we know for sure that just ain't so"!


FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Frederick G. "Fred" White (c. 1849 – October 30, 1880) was a young lawman, the first "town marshal" (equivalent to chief of police) of the new mining boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona Territory. White was elected to the town police position on January 6, 1880. At the time, Tombstone was officially still a town, defined as having fewer than 1,000 residents, and did not become an official city, with over 1,000 residents, until a year later. Before that time, White died in office in a notorious accidental shooting, and was succeeded in office by Virgil Earp.

Although White is usually portrayed, as in the film Tombstone, as an elderly or older man, he was actually only 31 or 32 years of age at the time of his death. He was born in New York according to the 1880 Census. Some claim that the Ghost of Fred White still haunts the street where he was shot.[1]

* Twain is also the one who said "The truth is a stranger to fiction!"

Marshal KAP
June 4, 2014

 

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