Surprising New Information on Pat Garrett's DeathDetails From
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Surprising New Information on Pat Garrett's Death: Details From the Fornoff Report by Chuck Hornung We are told in the Biblical book of Matthew (10:26) "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." The truth of that wisdom will be shown in this narrative. I believe that the information contained in the investigative report by Captain Fred Fornoff of the New Mexico Mounted Police contained the real reason why Pat Garrett was murdered nearly nine decades ago. Some of the data shared here was not made public before my presentation to the 1996 WOLA Convention.(1) Join me now on the journey to seek new light on the murder of Pat Garrett. Fred Fornoff and Pat Garrett were not friends. Their names however are linked for all time. The El Paso flmes caught the essence of Garrett's life saying, "Pat Garrett was the victim of a reputation he did not seek and for which he was not responsible, simply because he was placed in the category of dangerous men."(2) The Alabama-born (3) Patrick Floyd Jarvis Garrett had been a Texas ranger captain, buffalo hunter, rancher, customs collector, and sheriff of both Lincoln and Dona Aria counties in New Mexico. Pat Garren always seemed to have money problems due to his gambling and it was this weakness that caused his death. Frederick Fornoff was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in February, 1859. He came west to work as a miner, brick maker and day laborer He served as one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders in the Spanish American War, but Fornoff earned his reputation as a manhunter while city marshal of Albuquerque, deputy U.S. marshal, secret service agent and special investigator for the Justice Department. It was, however, as captain of the New Mexico Mounted Police that Fred Fornoff earned his place of honor in southwestern history. He died in November 1935 at the Veteran's Hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming and is buried in the National Cemetery at Santa Fe, New Mexico.(4) Pat Garrett, while serving as sheriff of Lincoln County, had killed an escaped murderer named Henry McCarty. The New York born outlaw was commonly called The Kid or Billy the Kid. In later years Captain Fornoff was vocal in his contempt for the romantic legends that had developed around the young outlaw. Fornoff was often heard to say, "Billy the Kid was a viper and a danger to society. Ole Pat done right when he killed him."(5) It was Leap Year Day. Mid-morning Saturday February 29, 1908, was the appointed time for 57-year-old Pat Garrett to meet his fate at a mesquite-covered desert crossroads called Alameda Arroyo on the desolate Mail Road a few miles east of Las Cruces, county seat of Dona Ana County, New Mexico. A chunk of lead slamrned into the back of Pat Garrett's head pushing some of his graying brown hair into his skull. The aging bounty hunter was knocked forward, hit the ground and rolled over on his back as a second piece of hot lead bored into the front of his body. Later that morning a local cowboy named Jessie Wayne Brazel walked calmly into the Dona Ana County sheriff's office. Brazel laid a Colt .45 on the desk in front of Deputy Sheriff Felipe Lopez and said he had killed Pat Garrett. The deputy sheriff thought it was a joke until Brazel's companion, Carl Adamson, confirmed Brazel's story. Wayne Brazel was arrested for murder. A short time later a sheriff's posse (6) found Pat Garrett lying on his back with his bloody head facing toward the site where Wayne Brazel said he had sat on his horse. Wayne Brazel claimed that Garrett was about to shoot him with his shotgun when he, in self- defense, was forced to shoot the former lawman in the back. Garrett's body had been left where it fell. Pat's fly was unbuttoned and his lower pant's leg was still damp from urine spray. A wet puddle of sand was at his feet. The old lawman's left hand was ungloved, while his shooting hand contained a glove. Pat Garrett's shotgun was found at the death site. It was located on the ground about three feet from Pat's body. The undisturbed nature of the sand around the weapon, however, would seem to indicate that the shotgun had been placed where it was found and that Garrett had not thrown it down in a death jerk reaction. The most damaging fact concerning Garrett's shotgun was it's physical condition. Lawme, at the murder scene. Found Garrett's shotgun was cased in it's scabbard and unloaded. Pat had a few birdshot cartridges in his jacket pocket. W.C. Field was the owner of Los Alamos Farms in Dona Ma County. He advertised his farm as "growers and shipper of alfalfas, cantaloupes, and all kinds of fruits."(7) Field was also a Las Cruces doctor and was the person who examined Pat Garrett's wounds at the murder scene and later performed the autopsy. Dr Field claimed that Pat's head wound came from a bullet that entered just below the hat line and exited on a straight plain with the right eyebrow. This is the type of head wound a man standing and looking at the ground could receive from a person shooting from a level above the man's head. A person on horseback or located on a slight incline could have delivered this type of shot. Pat's undamaged hat was still on his head. Pat Garrett's second entry wound came from the opposite direction than that of the head shot. The projectile entered the stomach and pushed upward to lodge behind Garrett's shoulder A .45 caliber slug was removed from Garrett's body. Dr Field determined that the second bullet had been fired by a person Captain Fred Fornoff New Mexico Mounted Police, who made the report referred to here. standing at ground level. Had this second shot been fired by a man on horseback or from a person on an incline the bullet would have caused a steep angle wound in the stomach and not the shallow path as found by Dr. Field's examination. (8) On Sunday, March 1, 1908 Territorial 4 Governor George Curry, Attorney General James Madison Hervey and Mounted Police Captain Fred Fornoff made the trip from Santa Fe to Las Cruces for Pat Garrett's funeral. The governor was one of Garrett's pallbearers. On Monday, Garrett was buried in the Odd Fellow's Cemetery at Las Cruces. (9) It seemed like everyone in southern New Mexico had wanted to get a look at Pat Garrett's body resting in its oversized casket. To accommodate the large crowd of curious, and the few true mourners, Garrett's body was publicly displayed at Strong's Undertaking Parlor. Pat Garrett was an atheist or Free Thinker so there was no religious ceremony at the grave site. (10) Tom Powers, Garrett's controversial gambler friend and owner of El Paso's Coney Island Saloon, used the agnostic Robert Ingersoll's words as part of the old manhunter's grave-side commemoration. Another friend read a eulogy that William Jennings Bryan had written for a friend and then Pat Garrett was left alone for his long sleep. Captain Fornoff investigated the Garrett murder site. Later, upon the governor's orders, Fornoff conducted an undercover fact-finding mission into Pat's death. Late in the summer of 1908 Captain Fornoff presented a written narrative of his investigation to Governor Curry. The governor gave the report to Attorney General James Hervey for his review. This account has become known as "The Fornoff Report." The Fornoff Report was composed and typed by Page B. Otero from the notes supplied to him by Captain Fornoff. Page Otero (11) served as the Mounted Police office clerk from 1908 to 1910. The first attempt to make Captain Fornoff's investigation report public was undertaken by the El Paso Herald. New Mexico's attorney general refused the request by explaining that Fornoff's findings would be used at Wayne Brawl's trial and until then the data must remain confidential. Brazel was given a preliminary hearing before Justice of the Peace Manuel Lopez on Tuesday March 3, 1908. Brawl entered a not guilty plea on grounds of self-defense to the charge of murdering Garrett. He was bound over to the next session of the Dona Ana County grand jury. On Monday, April 13, 1908, the Dona Ana County Grand Jury heard the evidence of murder against Wayne Brazel. Carl Adamson and Dn W.C. Field were called to testify. The grand jury handed down a "true bill" against Wayne Brazel. The accused murderer, was then scheduled to be tried during the October 1908 terin of the district court. A $10,000 bond was set for Brawl's appearance before the district court. The bond was posted by a guarantee of local rancher W.W. Cox and six of his friends. The Brawl trial was later postponed until the spring of 1909. The Third District Court of New Mexico was held at Las Cruces. Territorial Judge Frank W. Parker presided over this court. Judge Parker had also presided over the trial that freed the four men Sheriff Pat Garrett accused of killing Col. Albert Fountain and his young son. Parker was a friend of defense attorney A.B. Fall and openly disliked Pat Garrett. Judge Parker convened Brazel's trial, the Territory of New Mexico v Wayne Brawl, at 9:00 am on Monday April 19, 1909.(12) The prosecution case was presented with such appalling indifference and incompetence that District Attorney Mark B. Thompson could have stayed at home and he would have presented a better case. Thompson was a political ally and friend of defence lawyer A.B. Fall. Unlike the preliminary hearing, the prosecution did not call Carl Adamson to testify. He was the only publicly known witness, besides Wayne Brawl, to Garrett's murder. Adamson would have been easy to locate. He had been arrested by federal officers and had been charged with smuggling Chinese laborers into the United States from Mexico. On December 14, 1908 Adamson was convicted at his trial in Alaniogordo and sentenced to a year and a half in the territorial prison. Prosecutor Thompson did not present any court room evidence showing that Garrett had been shot in the back of the head or that Pat had a glove on his shooting hand or that Garrett's shotgun was packed in it's carrying case and was unloaded. Captain Fornoff was not asked to testify concerning his in-depth investigation nor did Thompson make use of any data contained in the Fornoff Report. Albert Bacon Fall served as Wayne Brawl's chief defense attorney.(13) The defense presentation was short and to the point. The jury began their deliberations at 5:45 in the afternoon. Within 25 minutes Wayne Brawl was a free man. The defense had called only three witnesses. In an odd twist of fate one of Brazel's character references was Territorial Mounted Policeman John A. Beal.(14) Powerful Dona Ana County rancher William W. Cox had sat with Brazel during his preliminary hearing and the trial as a public show of his support. Following Brawl's acquittal, Cox hosted a barbecue, at his San Augustine Ranch, to honor Pat Garrett's killer.(15) The trial of Wayne Brazel ended all legal efforts to locate the killer or killers of Pat Garrett. The confessed murderer had been freed by a jury in a court of law. Territorial Attorney General James M. Hervey left the territorial service shortly after the Brawl trial. He returned to his private law practice in Roswell. Hervey took with him his personal papers and some of his confidential public papers. The Fornoff Report was part of these files. In 1909 New Mexico had no law requiring that public records remain in the custody of the territory. In the 1960s, I began my quest to compile a record of the New Mexico Mounted Police. During this search I became acquainted with Fred Lambert of Cimarron, the last living member of the territorial police and we developed a friendship that lasted until Lambert's death in 1971. Lambert became my mentor during those early years of research and he also became the godfather and name sake for my eldest son.(16) The author-Lambert conversations, many of which were taped, amounted to hundreds of hours as we relived the saga of a youth coming of age in turn- of-the-century New Mexico. Then on Saturday April 13, 1968 this discussion began focussing on Fornoff's probe into the murder of Pat Garrett. Fred Lambert expressed reluctance to discuss the killing. I told Lambert that I had discovered that James Hervey had died in 1953 and that his Roswell law partner, Charles Brice, had kept Hervey's records until his own death in 1963. I said I also understood that Charles Brice's farnily had taken both the Hervey and the Brice law office papers to the Roswell City Dump and burned them. I told Lambert that I believed that these records had included the only complete copy of the Fornoff Report. Over a year after the Lambert conversation I read an article by western historian Robert Mullin detailing his long search to locate a copy of the Fornoff Report.(17) He confirmed what I had told Lambert about the Fornoff Report having been destroyed. Lambert told me he had seen Captain Fornoff's field notes and Page Otero's draft of the report. When I asked what the notes contained Lambert replied, "Let it be. The families of those men are respectable now. Let those closets stay closed. Cap (Fornoff) could've been wrong." I pressured Lambert as to whether he really felt that Captain Fornoff's judgement of the facts as he knew them was wrong. Lambert flatly said, "No." What follows now are the facts that Fred Lambert told me. For a few days in October 1911, Lambert was stationed at the ranger's headquarters in Santa Fe. His assignment was to maintain the Mounted Police office during Captain Fornoff's absence on court duty.(18) Fred Lambert took this opportunity to review the open case files of the territorial police. Lambert told me that the Garrett murder data was stored in a maroon expandable folder tied with a red ribbon. In 1911 there were three of these large expandable folders, along with other regular size files, stored in the Mounted Police office. One of these large folders contained the official records of the 1910 Mounted Police shootout in the gold camp at Mogollon. The second oversized folder dealt with the Fountain murder case. The Garrett folder, according to Lambert, contained various newspaper clippings about the murder and Brawl's trial. It also had a few miscellaneous letters, a hand drawn location map, investigation notes, and a typed draft copy of the formal report. Captain Fornoff's field notes were basically of two types. The first set, hand written on foolscript, dealt with the murder site investigation and comments made by the people Fornoff had interviewed in the Las Cruces area. The second batch were a few sheets of stationery from the El Paso County sheriff's office. These papers contained comments gathered by Fornoff from individuals he had interrogated while unofficially visiting in the Pass City. Lambert especially remembered the Texas sheriff's department letterhead because of the big bold style of the design. Fornoff had asked Mounted Policeman John Beal, who was stationed at Deming, to send his impressions of the case. Beal knew both Brawl and Garrett. Beal's remarks, scrawled in pencil, were contained on lined notebook paper. Lambert told me he looked over Fornoff's field notes and read the draft report, but truthfully found the eight- year-old case uninteresting because the main suspect had been found not quilty at his trial and the other matters were federal crimes and not something the Mounted Police investigated.(19) Lambert said he was most concerned with the background facts in the file on the Mogollon troubles of the year before because the old mining town was still a troubled area in 1911. A year later, during the final days of 1912, Lambert and Fornoff discussed the Garrett murder. The subject came up during Lambert's visit to the Mounted Police office. New Mexico's first state legislature was scheduled to hold a second session early in 1913. Another heated debate was expected on the continued need for a state police force. Early in 1909, prior to Wayne Brawl's trial, the lawmakers had almost abolished the Mounted Police for "economic reasons". That attempt falled, but the force had been reduced to half its original strength. Southern power brokers had even tried to block Fornoff's annual appointment as Mounted Police captain. This effort also failed, but only because the captain was so popular. (20) Captain Fornoff told Lambert he felt that the next time the State Legislature met, in 1913, that the southern political bosses had the needed votes and that they would finally achieve their goal to disband the Mounted Police. Lambert asked why Fornoff felt that these men wanted the rangers destroyed any more now then they had back in 1909. The answer surprised Fred Lambert. "They know I know about the Garrett plot and the big money interest behind the Fountain killings. As long as the police exist they're in danger No police and there's less danger of any new evidence seeing day light. I've always said give it time. Well... Our time's 'bout over." The Mounted Police captain outlined, for Lambert, a plan and a motive that could have resulted in Pat Garrett's death. The original idea seems to have been to ruin Garrett financially, take his property and then to force him to leave the area. It was this intrigue that finally led to violence and cold blooded murder. Captain Fornoff had maintained his relationship with high level federal officers from his years as a deputy U.S. marshal and Secret Service agent. (21) These federal officers told Fornoff that Chinese Inspection officers were actively building a case against a small group of men who were conducting a smuggling operation. (22) The ring was based in El Paso and the smuggled "cargo" was illegal Chinese laborers for the mines and farms in southern Colorado. These smugglers had powerful political friends in El Paso and New Mexico. The federal officers suspected, amoung others, Mannie Clements, Print Rhode and Carl Adamson. They had the evidence against Adamson and hoped to make a deal with Carl if he would help convict the others. The lead on Carl Adamson and the other cartel members had been furnished the federal officers by a Las Cruces doctor. Doctor W.C. Field treated the federal prisoners housed in the county jail at Las Cruces. (23) Field had treated one of the Chinese prisoners and this man told Field about the smugglers. Field told U.S. Marshal Creighton Foraker who passed the news along to other federal agents. At this point Fornoff started his investigation. The smugglers could easily move across the US-Mexico boarder into New Mexico. Once in the territory they needed a safe hiding place to hold their growing business in human cargo until they could move the workers farther north and Bear Canyon was the ideal location. It was on the route north, had water and it was remote yet accessible. The "fly in the ointment" was that the land was owned by Pat Garrett and he had no plans to sell. (24) Legally speaking I am not sure Pat Garrett could have sold the Bear Canyon property. In 1902 he had mortgaged his ranch and property to Las Cruces businessman Martin Lohmann (25) for $3,567.50. This note was renewed two years later but was finally sold because of nonpayment. The man who bought the discounted note for $2,000 was Garrett's neighbor, W.W. Cox. Cox also renewed the note (26) and then tried to help Garrett make the ranch operation profitable hoping that Garrett would honor the pledge to pay his long over due bill. Cox may not have wished to publicly appear as a financial ogre by evicting the Garrett family for nonpayment of Pat's debts, but Cox did want his money. Both the Albuquerque Bank of Commerce and the Dona Ana County Commissioner's Court had taken Garrett for past due debts and in both cases the popular, if not legal, opinion had been on the old lawman's side. (27) Cox learned a public relations lesson from these two cases and did not openly challenge Garrett for his long outstanding debt. Old timers understood the western code that if an honest debt was not honored in life then the due could be collected in blood, confiscation of property or both. Fornoff believed the mastermind behind the plot to get Garrett was Pat's neighbor, W.W. Cox, along with his brothers-in-law, A.P "Print" Rhode, and Oliver Lee. (28) Pat had at one time tried to cdnnect one or all of them to the ambush murders of Albert Fountain, a criminal prosecutor, and his young son. Garrett often expressed his opinion that wealth9 stock rustling ranchers had ordered the prosecutor's death because Fountain had been aggressive in pursuit of cattle and horse rustlers in southeastern New Mexico. It was quietly talked about locally that Cox, Rhodes and Lee had built their wealth upon a foundation as former livestock rustlers. Now they may have found that easy money could be made by smuggling illegal workers into the United States via Texas. On October 7, 1899, Sheriff Pat Garrett and a deputy had killed a wanted man at Cox's San Augustine Ranch. Mrs. Cox was at the ranch and witnessed the killing. Print Rhode may have believed this violent encounter had needlessly endangered the life of his sister and held Pat Garrett responsible for what he felt was a careless act. One wonders if this dislike or hate would have remained strong enough over a decade to result in murder. Lambert remembered that Fornoff's notes revealed that informants told the ranger chief about Jim Miller Western writers for years reported that Miller wanted to buy some southern New Mexico range land on which to run a herd of Mexican cattle. In fact Miller wanted a hideout to serve as cover for his Chinese smuggling operation. Many of these writers stated that W.W. Cox supplied the money to get rid of Pat Garrett and that this money was funnelled through Albert Bacon Fall. Fall was Cox's personal attorney and was a powerful political boss in his own right. It also was claimed that Fall passed the Cox money to Emanuel "Mannie" Clements, El Paso's underworld strong man and former city policeman, with instructions to fmd a standby trigger man to kill Garrett. It was stated that Clements made such a deal with his brother-in-law, "Deacon Jim" Miller. Jim Miller was widely known as a gunman- for- hire. Fornoff believed that Miller was part of a plot to get Garrett's Bear Canyon ranch land but he did not believe that Jim plotted to kill the old lawman. Fornoff also understood that the land grab plot called for one of Cox's range hands, Wayne Brazel, to make a deal with Garrett to lease the Bear Canyon ranch land. It was believed that the cash-poor Garrett would accept the offer. The five- year lease was, however, made between Brawl and Pat's son Dudley Poe Garrett. Pat agreed to the deal and assumed that Brazel would graze a small herd of cattle on the leased land. Brawl and his new business partner, Print Rhode, soon moved a large herd of goats to Garrett's land. Pat almost had a heart attack when he heard about the goats. He was a cattleman and had no love for sheep or goats. Just as the plotters had planned, Garrett became deterrinhed to remove the goats from his Bear Canyon lands. Garrett ordered Brawl to get the goats off his land. Wayne said no to Pat's demand. But he offered to break the lease if Garrett could find a person to buy the goats. The plotters now sent their pretend buyer to Garrett. The would-be goat buyer was a minor criminal named Carl Adanison. This man was "Deacon Jim" Miller's cousin-in-law by marriage. Adamson and Miller inspected the goat herd and agreed on the purchase. The deal was set until Brawl, not a part of the plot, claimed the two men had undercounted the goats, and demanded more money. Garrett asked Adamson if he would agree to buy the additional goats. Adamson said Miller was in El Paso and he would send word to have Miller meet them in Las Cruces to talk over the new offer. (29) On Friday February 28, 1908, Adamson spent the night with Garrett and his family. They sent a message to Brawl to meet them the next day on the road to Las Cruces. Together the threesome would journey to the City of Crosses to confer with Jim Miller. Garrett and Adamson left Pat's ranch in a buggy. When they arrived near the Organ crossroad the two men saw Brawl talking with another man. The unknown horseman rode away before Garrett's buggy could reach the meeting site. Fornoff believed that the mystery rider was Brawl's partner Print Rhode. In the preliminary hearing both Adamson and Brawl claimed Garrett accused Wayne of lying about the number of goats in Bear Canyon. Brawl said he again claimed he had simply miscounted. They said the argument became more heated until Adamson asked Garrett to stop the buggy. Carl said he needed to relieve himself. Garrett and Brawl continued to argue. Adamson claimed he went to the front of Garrett's buggy near the horse. This move would have placed Adainson in a position to stop the horse from bolting when a gun shot was fired. At this point Garrett also got out of the buggy. Near the back of the buggy Pat Garrett began to relieve himself. A few seconds later he was dead. In 1961, eight years after his death and in accordance with his wishes, James Hervey's account of the Garrett assassination was published. (30) In this narrative Jim Hervey recounts how he, Captain Fornoff and Carl Adamson visited the Garrett death scene. The former attorney general described how they found a Winchester cartridge casing in a side arroyo about 50 feet from the death scene. A person concealed at this site was not visible to a person in the little arroyo where Garrett died. Even the sound of a gunshot would have been muffled by the sand drifts. Horse tracks and other signs indicated that this site could have served as an ambush nest for the killer. A cigarette butt was also found near the horse tracks. (31) Governor Curry understood the importance of Fornoff's discovenes. In his autobiography, published eleven years after his death, Curry wrote, "His (Fornoff) report to me differed materially from that of the local sheriff and medical examiner, and confirmed my impression from some of the information I had obtained, that Brazil (sic), who had volunteered a confession to the crime, was the victim of a conspiracy rather than the killer..." (32) Evidence would seem to indicate that Garrett was shot by two different weapons and from two different directions. According to Brazel's testimony he was mounted during the time Garrett was shot. Neither Brazel nor Adamson had a rifle with them at the time Wayne surrendered and confessed to the Garrett killing. Brazel surrendered his Colt .45 and said that the pistol was the murder weapon. Brazel, who was loyal to W.W. Cox, may not have known he was the dupe in the Garrett plot. In fact, he may not have known anything about the backup murder plan. It is easy to believe that Brazel may have felt his only job was to help force the hated Pat Garrett into an unwanted liquidation of his ranch. Iris doubtful that Brazel knew about or was a partner in an Chinese labor smuggling operation. Captain Fornoff was not sure what had triggered the need to kill Garrett, but he assumed that Brazel had no knowledge of any plot to kill Garrett. If that fact was true, and Brazel did not himself shoot Garrett, then the cowhand must have been a very surprised person when Pat was shot while he was urinating. Surprised as he may have been Brazel still might have placed the second shot into Garrett's body in support of his partner, Print Rhode, who may have fired the first shot. Secondly Fornoff expressed the idea that if Garrett's shooting had been a true surprise to Brazel, then it was more likely that Adamson fired the second shot. A code of public silence seemed to fall over the Garrett murder The alleged conspiracy to rid Dona Ana County of Pat Garrett and take his land had been hatched among farnily and friends and supported by business partners. The conspirators motives were a simple defense of their political power, enhancement of their personal wealth, and perhaps a blood payment for a bad debt and a personal hurt. J.R. Galusha, a veteran New Mexico peace officer (33), is quoted as saying that Brazel told him, "I didn't kill Pat Garrett. I just took the rap for Jim Miller" (34) Charley Siringo, the famous frontier detective and Fornoff friend, claimed the captain told him, "Jim Miller fired the bullet that killed Pat Garrett "(35) Jack Carter, a man who claimed to have known Brazel when he was a young man, wrote a magazine article about Wayne. (36) One of the sources used by Carter was Wayne's brother Rothmer. Carter claimed that Wayne Brazel said he really had killed Garrett. The horse Wayne rode on the murder day belonged to his brother It was anon- gun shy roping horse named Oso after the OSO brand she wore. A horse with these type of training would have been useful during an exchange of gun fire. Other stories have claimed Wayne's horse was a gunshy mount called Loco. James M. Hervey wrote in his Garrett story, "Fornoff made the trip to El Paso and came back and said he had made a real discovery but he did not know whether he would ever be able to prove it." It would seem that the so-called "Cox murder plot" was in fact not a murder plot at all but a conspiracy to acquire land to hid illegal aliens. It was not a blueprint for Pat Garrett's murder. Shortly after Lambert told me about the Mounted Police case file on the Garrett murder I searched for the records. I located the Territorial Mounted Police records in the special collections at the University of New Mexico. (37) The Garrett murder case file was not part of the records then held by the university. I did, however, locate an incomplete file on the Fountain investigation and the file on the Mogollon trouble. They were contained in folders like the ones Lambert had described to me. (38) Fred Fornoff, Jr told me in March 1991 that he knew nothing about his father's investigation of the Garrett murder He also said that most of his father's private and public papers had been destroyed in a house fire. Among the lost items was a large collection of family photographs. One can only wonder what else might have been lost to history. I must confess that in 1968, during my conversations with Fred Lambert, not all the import of what Fred told me about the Garrett plot fully registered. I was 25 years old, newly married and beginning my careen I was still learning how the world of economic intrigue and political influence operated. A quarter of a century has passed and now I better understand the plot, the murder and the coverup. It had nothing to do with personal honor or anything but the love of power and money. Fate dealt many twists to the lives of the people involved in the final days of Pat Garrett's life. Oliver Lee served as a member of the 1919 State House of Representatives. I find it interesting that he voted in favor of the bill to re-establish a full company of the hated Mounted Police. Lee also served as president of the New Mexico State Cattle Growers Association. He died a wealthy and respected rancher in December 1941. Today the Oliver Lee Ranch is a New Mexico state park named in his honor. Jim Gililland, another Fountain murder suspect, was a personal friend of George Curry. In 1910 Curry appointed Jim a special Territorial Mounted Policeman. Jim never talked about the Garrett or Fountain murders. Gililland died August 8, 1946. Territorial Attorney General James Hervey's father had been a friend of Pat Garrett. Hervey was a boyhood friend of western author Emerson Hough. Hough had gathered information for his book The Story of the Outlaw from Pat Garrett. The old lawman earned about $200 for his help with Emerson's book. Hough advised Pat's son not to seek revenge for his father's death or these men would kill him like they killed his father. Governor Curry was a long-time friend of Pat Garrett. He had campaigned for Pat to be sheriff of Lincoln County and a few days before Garrett's death George loaned Pat $50. During A.B. Fall's federal conspiracy trial, resulting from Fall's misdealings while serving as secretary of the interior, Curry testified as a character witness for his former attorney general. Curry lost his federal job as a result of his testimony in support of Fall so New Mexico created a job for him as state historian. George Curry died a poor man. His last days were spent at Albuquerque's VA Hospital were he died in November 1947. Curry is buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. Pat Garrett had known the Brazel family during his Lincoln County days. Pat liked and trusted Jessie Wayne Brazel and his father The Garrett ranch, in Dona Ana County, was a short distance from the Gold Camp School. Olive Boyd was a teacher in this one room building and in 1910 she became Mrs. Wayne Brazel. The web became more twisted. Herbert B. Holt was one of Wayne Brazel's defense attorneys. Holt had been Pat Garrett's personal lawyer. Holt was also a political ally of A. B. Fall. Underworld strongman Emanuel "Mannie" Clements was assassinated in the crowded wine room of Tom Power's Coney Island Saloon, in El Paso, on December 29, 1908. No one admitted seeing who fired the fatal shot and El Paso newspapers hinted that the death was payback for the recent murder of two Chinese immigration agents. Clements was just a few weeks from his 60th birthday. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. (39) Power was Pat's close friend. Ironically, Wayne Brazel was acquitted of murder on the same day, April 19, 1909, that "Deacon Jim" Miller was lynched by a mob at Ada, Oklahoma. The Arkansas born killer- businessman had been a Texas Ranger and deputy U.S. marshal. He was 43 years old at his death. Jim is buried with his wife and mother-in-law in Fort Worth's Oakwood Cemetery. Adamson married and worked a sheep ranch. His venture went bust following World War I. He died of a fever on November 11,1919. He is buried in South Park Cemetery in Roswell. Pat Garrett's son, Jarvis, always believed that Adamson had been the trigger man in his father's murder Adamson's rancher grandson, Joe Skeen, became a New Mexico congressman. William Web Cox sued Brazel for recovery of the $574.80 he had fronted the cowboy for the goat heard on the Bear Canyon Ranch, (40) Cox got the goats and the lease on Pat Garrett's land. (41) Cox developed his livestock empire and was a powerful political boss before his death on December 23, 1923. konically, Cox is buried in the same cemetery as Pat Garrett. Albert Bacon Fall (42) became a member of President Warren Harding's cabinet. He was disgraced in a national political scandal and federal prison was his reward. Fall died, in poverty, and a broken man, on November 30, 1944. Along with his wife and daughter he is buried in El Paso's Evergreen Cemetery. Brazel homesteaded a small ranch west of Lordsburg and settled down until his wife died in 1911. Three years later Brazel disappeared and walked into oblivion. Not even his lawman brother, and later his son, could locate him. No clear judgment can be made concerning Wayne Brazel. A court of law proclaimed him innocent of murder in the death of Pat Garrett. The verdict, however, did not remove the suspicion of Brazel's part in a larger conspiracy against the old lawman. If Brazel did kill Pat Garrett he must have done it out of a deep fear of or a strong hatred for the old lawman. It would take a stong emotion or lack of emotion to shoot a man in the back and then months later be able to convincingly lie to ajury about how this back shooting was done in self-defence. (43) Lambert told me that when Fornoff finished his narrative about his Garrett murder investigation he leaned back in his chair and lit a cigar. Fornoff took a long draw, blew the smoke at the ceiling light, and said, "Ya know Kid, the joke would be if Brazel really done it. It'd ruin a damn nice plot." The ranger chief took another long draw then added, "If its true, it would explain a helleva lot." "Cap looked at me to see my reaction (to his comments);' said Lambert. "Said I had the same damn look (Attorney General) Hervey had when he had told him that (feeling about Brazel)." (44) Fornoff's feelings proved right concerning the fate of the Mounted Police. The 1913 session of the New Mexico State Legislature voted not to continue funding the state rangers. Between 1914 and 1917, Lambert was New Mexico's only Mounted Policeman and was paid from the governor's special office funds.(45) In 1918, a full company of Mounted Police was authorized for service during the final months of World War I. In 1919 the state lawmakers funded a new ranger force that served as state police until the corps was abolished in February 1921. The present-day New Mexico State Police were formed in 1935. Fred Lambert died February 3, 1971. At 84 he was honored as the dean of New Mexico peace officers. On the day he died Lambert wore a special deputy sheriff's badge pinned on his shin and a New Mexico State Police commission in his pocket. We buried him with full honors near his family in Cimarron's Mountain View Cemetery. HISTORICAL NOTES AND COMMENTS 1. The author presented the Fornoff Report as a slide presentation Saturday afternoon, 20 July 1996, at the Sixth Annual WOLA Convention held at the Holiday Inn in Craig, Colorado. The substance of this article is a chapter in the author's unpublished history of the New Mexico Mounted Police. 2. "The Real Pat Garrett:' The El Paso Times, 02 March 1908. 3. Garrett was born OS June 1850 in Chambers County, Alabama, but spent his childhood in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Leon Metz's Pat Garrett, The Story of a Western Lawman (The University of Oklahoma Press, 1974) is an excellent biography of the man. 4. The author, with the support of the Fred Fornoff farnily, is presently working on a full length biography of Captain Fornoff. 5. Fred Lambert notes, author's Mounted Police collection. 6. One of the posse members was former New Mexico Mounted Policeman Robert M. Burch. Bob had been a territorial ranger stationed at Las Cruces during 1906-1907. 7. Dr. W.C Field letterhead, 1908, U. S. Marshal Papers, Special Collections, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico. 8. The Brazel trial records have disappeared, but contemporary newspaper reports and Dr. Field's New Mexico Sentinel (23 April 1939) interview were used to reconstruct the murder wounds. 9. In 1957 Pat Garrett and other members of his family were reburied in the new Masonic Cemetery in Las Cruces. The site is marked with a large family stone and smaller individual markers. 10. Garrett's First marriage was performed before a justice of the peace. However his second marriage took place in the Roman Catholic Church in Anton Chico. 11. Page B. Otero had been the first game warden for New Mexico Territory and was the older brother to former Territorial Governor Miguel A. Otero. Page had a fine singing voice and had the ability to play the guitar, banjo, and the mandolin. 12. The official inquest and trial transcripts have disappeared from the Dona Ana County courthouse. The basic court record is contained in Criminal Docket Book C, Case No. 4112, District Court Records, Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The court docket does not record the court testimony, however local newspapers did report the questioning at the trial. 13. Attorneys Herbert B. Holt, William A. Sutherland, and Edward C. Wade were the active part of the Fall defense team. 14. John Beal was the territorial ranger stationed at Deming from 1907 till New Mexico became a state, then he became second in command of the state rangers during 1912- 1913. 15. My friend Leon Metz makes a case for a cordial relationship between Cox and Garrett. His research has uncovered a time when Pat sent Cox some watermelon for his children and in August 1906 Cox arranged to help Pat hid some cattle from the tax collector. 16. Fred Lambert was one of Captain Fornoff's most trusted officers. The captain often referred to Lambert as "the boy" or "Kid" in denoting his youth. The terms were used as a sign of his personal affection. In 1913 Fornoff gave Lambert his Winchester 73 rifle as a parting gift when the rangers went out of service. Lambert gave the author Fornoff's rifle in 1970. 17. Robert Mullin, "The Key to the Mystery of Pat Garrett," Los Angeles Westerners Corral Branding Iron, #29, June 1969. 18. In 1911 the Mounted Police had no office clerk so the seven man ranger force would take turns doing office duty if Captain Fornoff had to be out of town. 19. Fred Lambert told the author that in his day a Chinese smuggler ranked lower then a wife beater and was not near as honorable as a chicken thief. Lambert never said so but his mannerisms during our talks indicated to me that he did not think much of Pat Garrett. 20. The year before the reappointment controversy Governor George Curry had written Fred Fornoff concerning his "very efficient and satisfactory service as Captain of the Mounted Police.... Thank you on behalf of the people of the Territory for your very excellent work in the mounted police department." Letter: Curry to Fornoff, 25 March 1908, copy in author's Mounted Police collection. 21. Fred Fornoff used these same connections to get Fred Lambert a special agent's appointment with the U.S. Indian Service following Lambert's service with the Mounted Police. 22. An Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad conductor named Charles Maynard was arrested and later convicted, at Las Cruces, of conspiarcy to smuggle Chinese into the United States. Maynard's train route ran north out of El Paso. 23. Letter: W.C. Field to U.S. Marshal Creighton M. Foraker, 19 July 1907, U.S. Marshal Papers, Box 1, Folder 52, Special Collections, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M. 24. Leon Metz and the author have discussed the Chinese smuggling idea and agree that, if true, this motive could change the believability of a small conspiracy to "steal" Pat Garrett's Bear Canyon ranch. However, we both agree that a large or small plot to murder Pat Garrett is a sperate issue. 25. Garrett named one of his sons Oscar Lohmann Garrett (1904-1951). 26. Chattel Mortages, Record Book 3, pages 228-229; Renewal of Chattel Mortgages, Record Book 1, pages 139, 156 and 170, Dona Ana County, New Mexico. 27. Garrett still owed the bank $1,000 from a note he had signed in July 1890. Case No.6557, Bernalillo County, New Mexico; Garrett owed DonaAna County six years back taxes. Rio Grande Republican (Las Cruces), August and September 1906. 28. W.W. Cox had married Margaret Rhode and Oliver Lee had married Winnie Rhode. Oliver Lee had once served as a Dona Ana County deputy sheriff and as a deputy U.S. marshal. 29. It is hard to believe that a man like Garrett did not know the type of men he was dealing with in this goat business. Money and goats must have blinded Pat's good judgement. 30. James Madison Hervey, "The Assassination of Pat Garrett," True West, March-April, 1961. 31. In July, 1991 Leon Metz led a NOLA field trip to the Garrett murder scene. That extended hike, in a New Mexico rain storm, earned him the honored nickname "Metz Mile" from my wife. One of the ideas we discussed that afternoon was the possible locations of any hidden ambush sites. In his book (Pat Garrett, The Story Of A Western Lawman, p 300) Metz takes issue with the whole killing from ambush idea. 32. H.B. Hening (Ed), George Curry, 1861-1947: An Autobiography, Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1958. 33. Jandon R. Galusha had a long career as a New Mexico peace officer. He served as a Santa Fe railroad detective, deputy U.S. marshal, marshal of Albuquerque, and as a special Mounted Police. 34. Howard Bryan, "Off The Beaten Path," Albuquerque Tribune, 01 March 1968. 35. Charles A. Siringo, A Lone Star Cowboy, Santa Fe, N.M.: private printing, 1919, p 165. This statement may be the basis for later writers to claim that Captain Fornoff believed Jim Miller killed Garrett. I don't believe Siringo's quotation because it is not what Captain Fornoff told Fred Lambert. Siringo and Fornoff had been friends and Charlie does mentions Fred in his 1912 autobiography, A Cowboy Detective, but Siringo was known to embellish a story to enhance his own reputation. 36. Jack Carter, "Some Facts About Wayne Brazel, from (an) old-timer who knew him," Frontier Times, June-July 1972, pp 10-13,40. 37. All territorial records held in the Special Collections of the University of New Mexico library were transferred to the State of New Mexico Records Center and Archives in 1971. The NMRCA had been established in 1960 as a result of the Public Records Act of 1959. 38. In 1974 the Mounted Police records were microfilmed as part of the 189 roll collection of territorial records. The police files are contained on rolls 91, 92 and 93. The Mogollon trouble file and the Fountain murder case file are part of Roll 93. 39. Many writers, including my friend James A. Browning in his excellent book Violence Was No Stranger; A Guide to the Grave Sites of Famous Westerners (Barbed Wire Press, 1993), have mistakenly claimed that Mannie Clements rest in an unmarked grave in El Paso's Concordia Cemetery. His site is well marked in Evergreen Cemetery. 40. Cox had loaned the $574.80 on 29 June 1907 backed by a one year note on the goats. On 15 May 1909 Cox lent Brazel an additional $300 for his legal fees at his murder trial. Both notes were due in 90 days with 10 percent interest. In 1913 Cox was forced to sue Brazel for $1,506 plus court costs to recover his two over due debts (Dona Ana County Civil Docket, Book 5, Case No.3387). Finally Cox dropped the case because Brazel could not be located. 41. El Paso Herald, Ol Dec 1908. The paper said that Mrs. Garrett sold the ranch to Cox. The truth is that Cox repossessed Garrett's property for the past due mortgage. 42 A.B. Fall had played a large role in Pat Garrett's appointment as sheriff of Dona Ana County in 1896. The El Paso Daily Herald, 07 June 1899. 43. Leon Metz believes that Wayne Brazel did murder Pat Garrett. "There were no conspiracies, no large amounts of money changing hands, no top guns taking up positions in the sandhills. It was simply a case of hate and fear erupting into murder along a lonely New Mexico back road" (Garrett, p 303) 44. The author sent Leon Metz a draft copy of this article and in his reply Metz wrote, "I suspect the work you have done on THE FORNOFF REPORT will be the last word on Garrett's death. All the evidence now seems to be in except possibly for a video of the shooting, or perhaps an affidavit from God." (04 Feb 1997) I don't believe this is the last word on the death of Pat Garrett, but I do hope it does shed new light on the subject. 45. New Mexico's governors had appointed 704 men as special non- salaried Mounted Police during these four years. Most of the men were named not as police officers, but were used as patrolmen along the Mexican border during the First World Wan The state's National Guard had been called into federal service and New Mexico was left without military protection.