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19. In Conclusion

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nineteen

In Conclusion

Who killed Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain and Henry Fountain?

In telling this story, I’ve attempted to lay out all of the surviving evidence.

Over the years, the more people spoke of this mystery, the more names have been added to the list of suspects. The following is a list of the men who have been mentioned as suspects or possible conspirators in this crime at one time or another: Oliver Lee,

James Gililland, William McNew, Ed Brown, Green Scott, Emerald

James, William Carr, Tom Tucker, Jack Tucker, Albert B. Fall,

Hiram Yost, John Yost, Frank Hill, Frank Chatfield, --- Thergood,

José Chavez y Chavez, Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum, Sam Ketchum,

Joe Morgan, William Gililland, Print Rhodes, Charles Jones, Jim

Miller, Randolph Reynolds, --- Brady, William Johnson, Fred

Pellman, --- Stiles, Bob Raley, Tom Priedemore, John Lynch, Jim

Lynch, --- Johnson (William?), --- Grady, Gene ---, Len Watts, Luis

Herrera, and --- Lillaret.1

Many of these men where not mentioned as suspects until years after the murders, because at the time no evidence was found linking them to the crime, and in some cases they even had an airtight alibi. Take José Chavez y Chavez, who has been cited by many over the years as one of the men believed to have killed the Fountains.

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12. Shootout at Wildy Well

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twelve

Shootout at Wildy Well

Shortly after the hearing, Fall temporarily left New Mexico. As a captain in Company D, New Mexico Volunteers, Fall joined the SpanishAmerican War. Although he did not go to Cuba and fight in the war, he stayed out of New Mexico for the time being.1 An interesting side note was the endorsements Fall received in his quest to be a captain in the war. One letter of endorsement that came to Governor

Otero was signed by Numa Reymond, Fred Bascom, John McFie,

John Riley, and Pat Garrett.2 Judging from all surviving documents, no one else received the number of endorsements that Fall did, and none of his were from expected Fall supporters. It was obvious that what they really wanted was to get Fall out of New Mexico.

Also leaving for the war was William Llewellyn, who was captain of Troop G in the regiment that would become known as

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Llewellyn became a lifelong friend of

Theodore Roosevelt. During the Rough Riders’ charge up San Juan

Hill, Llewellyn contracted yellow fever and was sent to a hospital in

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5. Bring in the Pinkertons

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five

Bring in the Pinkertons

Shortly after Pat Garrett began his work on the case, Governor

Thornton brought in additional help. Garrett was a man of action, a man who could round up the suspected parties. What Thornton sought next was a professional investigator. He called in the

Pinkertons.

The Pinkerton National Detective Agency had been founded in

1850 by Scottish immigrant Allan Pinkerton. For years, Pinkerton men served as ruthless strikebreakers and bodyguards, most notably for President Lincoln. Pinkerton private detectives also pursued some of the most wanted men in the West, among them the James and Younger gangs, the Hole-in-the-Wall gang, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch.1

Thornton contacted the Pinkertons towards the end of February.

It had been worked out ahead of time with James Cree that their investigation would be paid for by the Southeastern New Mexico

Stock Growers’ Association. Cree also sent Thornton the letter he received from Colonel Fountain, dated October 3, 1895, showing

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8. Exit John Fraser

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eight

Exit John Fraser

Now that John Fraser had completed his investigation, he was to be, as planned, taken off the case and a new operative brought in to investigate.1

So on Wednesday, March 25, 1896, Fraser left Las Cruces by train and headed for Denver, but his investigation didn’t stop. On the train, he ran into Librado C. de Baca and Elfego Baca. De Baca, the man who told Fraser about Ed Brown, Green Scott, and an unidentified man, added to his story. He told Fraser of a statement made to him by one Alexander Garcia, who said “that Ed Brown,

Green Scott and the third man whose name he did not know, but whom they called Gene, had left Brown’s ranch on Jan. 29th, and returned to Brown’s ranch three or four days afterwards, that they afterwards had told that they had only gone as far as Tularosa, that one rode a gray horse, one a sorrel and the other a buck skin

[brown with black points].”2 Back on March 6, Saturnino Barela stated of the men he saw trailing Fountain; “one rode a white horse and the others dark horses . . . .”3 De Baca continued, offering his opinion that the three men “acted in a very suspicious manner after their return, keeping close to the ranch and evidently always on the lookout for some one.”4 Fraser wrote in regards to Baca and a conversation he had with current Sheriff Numa Reymond, who also happened to be on the train, “After leaving San Marcial I learned from Numa Raymond [Reymond] that Elfego Baca had requested

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14. Jack Maxwell Testifies

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fourteen

Jack Maxwell Testifies

The next day led off with the witness whom the prosecution had been waiting for. Jack Maxwell, who claimed he had been absent due to illness, was brought into town by Ben Williams. Maxwell was finally sworn in and took the stand.

Maxwell stated that he had known Lee and Gililland for five or six years and that his ranch was not very far from Lee’s. “On

February 1, 1896, I was at Dog Canyon ranch and spent the night there. I got there just before sundown. When I got there I found

Mrs. Lee [Oilver’s mother], Mr. Blevins, Mr. Bailey, and Ed, the colored man. I ate supper there that night and slept in the house with Mr. Blevins.”

“What time did you get up Sunday morning?” Childers asked.

“At sunup and I ate breakfast with Mr. Blevins and others.”

“Did you see either of these defendants there for breakfast?”

“No sir.”

“What did you do that day?”

“I stayed down at the corral.”

To an unknown question, Maxwell answered, “Saw four persons mounted on two horses coming from the northeast toward the house. They came within 200 yards from me and dismounted.”

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