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Death Of An Outlaw

July 2024
1min read

P ATRICK COUGHLIN was shot to death by a sheriff’s firing squad near Evanston, Wyoming, on December 15, 1896. “Have you anything to say?” asked Sheriff Dickson. “Nothing,” came the answer. Then, as he was fastened to the chair, he added: “I have one request to make and that is my picture may not be taken.”

In vain. These pictures were taken. Carl Pugliese of Yonkers, New York, found them and sent them on to us with a most flamboyant account of Coughlin’s career published in the Evanston News-Register . Coughlin was a thief who shot and killed two deputies in a posse that had tracked him down. He received extreme unction from the same priest who had administered communion to him as a young man.

1. The target pinned to Coughlin’s heart was a piece of paper four inches square with a diamond in the center.

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2. The firing squad shot Coughlin at 10:25 in the morning. Four bullets entered the body; three were in the paper square; one hit the diamond.
3. Two hundred spectators watched Coughlin being shot. Here some of them examine the body. None of the people Coughlin invited showed up.
4. “Keep up your courage, my boy,” said the priest to the victim. “O you bet your life,” answered Coughlin. These were his last words.

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