Bloody Bill Longley (Hardcover)
The Mythology of a Gunfighter, Second Edition (A.C. Greene Series #10)
University of North Texas Press, 9781574413052, 384pp.
Publication Date: February 2, 2011
Declaring himself the “worst outlaw” in Texas, the story that he created became the basis for his historical legacy, unfortunately relied on and repeated over and over by previous biographers, but all wrong. In truth, Bill Longley was not the daring figure that he attempted to paint. Rick Miller’s thorough research shows that he was, instead, a braggart who exaggerated greatly his feats as a gunman. The murders that could be credited to him were generally nothing more than cowardly assassinations.
Bloody Bill Longley was first published in a limited edition in 1996. Miller separates fact from fancy, attempting to prove or disprove Longley’s many claims of bloodshed. Since the time of the first edition, diligent research has located and identified the outlaw’s body, the absence of which was a longstanding myth in itself. This revised edition includes that part of the Longley story, as well as several new items of information that have since come to light.
About the Author
RICK MILLER is the author of biographies of Sam Bass (Sam Bass & Gang), Jack Duncan (Bounty Hunter), and Eugene Bunch (The Train Robbing Bunch). He served as chief of police in both Killeen and Denton, Texas. Currently, he is the elected County Attorney of Bell County, Texas. He lives in Harker Heights, Texas.
Praise For Bloody Bill Longley: The Mythology of a Gunfighter, Second Edition (A.C. Greene Series #10)…
“Rick Miller’s research has always been excellent. As a policeman, attorney, and longtime county judge, Rick knows how and where to dig. Longley’s hanging had a grisly twist, and rumors persisted that through a ruse Longley escaped death. Rick has addressed this common theme with fresh research about Longley’s end and burial. I found it interesting and persuasive.”--Bill O’Neal, author of The Johnson-Sims Feud
"Miller has gathered together an unbelievable amount of information on Longley, his family, and his times. His military experiences have never before been discussed in any detail. . . . Longley was not a noble character but certainly was an interesting one. Miller does not attempt to glorify his deeds but presents his biography-history without sermonizing. . . . For the outlaw-lawman buff, this work is a must.”--Chuck Parsons, NOLA Quarterly
"Using hundreds of primary sources, Miller examines Longley's fanciful tales one by one, takes them apart, and shows how most of them could not have happened. Stripped of embellishments, falsehoods, and melodramatic flair, then reduced to the facts, Miller tells the story of a brutal fiend, imbued with no other feeling than a desire to kill. He has produced a page-turning account of how a legend was born."--Denver Westerners Roundup
"Rick Miller's Bloody Bill Longley peels away the folklore encasing a once-notorious Texas outlaw. More cowardly braggart than badman, Longley boasted of 32 victims and probably killed six or seven. On trial for murder, he wrote self-serving letters to the newspapers, pleading that he was a victim. Longley's career documents the climate of violence prevailing in post-Civil War Texas."--True West
"[Miller] is right that the folkloric quality built up around Longley and others did not die with them, and his book is an interesting look at the process that shaped much of America's cultural memory. Best of all, however, it reads like an old fashioned western yarn, embracing its subject's hyperbole for the whizzing bullets and dustry trails of Texas and the Old West."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly