Who Really Murdered A Famous Cattle Baron In El Paso?
The owner of the largest cattle ranch in the United States of America, circa 1917, was lured to El Paso and savagely beaten to death.
The biggest question about this murder isn't "why was he killed?" so much as "why wasn't everyone involved in the conspiracy convicted?"
They had suspects and plenty of evidence yet, in the end, only the hit man was jailed and he, (out of fear it would seem), refused to name those who hired him.
Tom Lyons had 1.5 million acres spread across Grant County, New Mexico and was both respected and feared.
A kind and caring man to some, while others saw him as mean and vicious. A man who would do anything to further his own agenda(s).
Montague Stevens, an English college student, visited America in 1880 and got to know Lyons. According to Stevens, Lyons was "one of the bad men of the West".
When it came to conflicts with neighboring ranchers, Stevens said Lyons “... hired killers to kill them … I knew the killers, some of them.”
Once he was lured to El Paso and whacked, despite the court seeming to know full well who all was involved in the conspiracy, only the hit man himself was locked up.
It seems the identity of the conspirators was very well known yet two co-conspirators had charges against them dismissed and a third was never even indicted.
They were described as "prominent cattlemen." The murderer himself refused to say who hired him.
Another mystery involves Lyons widow who was, initially, very active in her quest for justice.
Once the hitman went down though, and the others were freed, she suddenly announced she was done and pursued the case no further.
Was she scared off by the conspirators? Was she in on the murder herself?