November 19, 2017 – Lecture – OUTLAW GANGS: THE SCOURGE OF TERRITORIAL NEW MEXICO

Presented by Don Bullis

 During New Mexico’s territorial period, 1850 to 1912, several criminal gangs roamed the sparsely-settled reaches of the mountains and deserts. New Mexico author and historian Don Bullis will talk about the most notorious of them. Some were rustlers, some train robbers, and yet others were simply thieves and ne’er-do-wells. At least one gang, the Horrell brothers, were murderers who preyed on New Mexico’s Hispanic residents. Another group with some notoriety was Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch which used a ranch in southwest New Mexico as a hideout after they robbed trains and banks in other states. The High Fives gang primarily robbed trains and banks, but were rarely successful while “Bronco Bill” Walters and his cohorts successfully robbed a train and then hid their loot so well that they could not find it. John Kinney’s rustlers were so successful that they damaged the economy while Billy the Kid’s so-called gang were primarily horse and cattle thieves who often resorted to burglary and petty theft. None of them came to a good end.

Don Bullis graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1970 and attended graduate school at the University of New Mexico in 1971. He has been a student of New Mexico history since 1967. Bullis has a background in New Mexico law enforcement and served as editor of the Sandoval County Times-Independent and as a columnist for the Rio Rancho Observer. His column, “Ellos Pasaron Por Aqui,” ran from 1987 until 2007. His work has also appeared in New Mexico Magazine, New Mexico Stockman and Tradición Revista. He serves as vice-president of the Historical Society of New Mexico, sheriff of the Central New Mexico Corral of Westerners, editor of the New Mexico Historical Notebook, and he was named New Mexico’s Centennial Author by the State Library in 2010 and served in that capacity through New Mexico’s 2012 centennial year. He is also an active member of the Western Writers of America.

He is the author of eight non-fiction books and two novels:

2:00pm at the DeLavy House

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