Was It Suicide or Doc?
True West|February - March 2022
Doc Holliday did not kill John Ringo. Nor did Wyatt Earp kill him. Most of the important evidence has already been presented by others here.
By Gary Roberts, With Jeff Morey, Casey Tefertiller and John Boessenecker

After Colorado Gov. Frederick W. Pitkin refused to honor Arizona’s extradition request for the return of Holliday, Doc was ordered released on a writ of habeas corpus. Before he was processed, however, an arrest warrant for larceny was issued at Pueblo. On the morning of May 31, 1882, Deputy Sheriff Linton, Bat Masterson and Bob Paul escorted Doc to Pueblo where that afternoon he was charged with having swindled a man out of $400. Doc waived examination, posted bond of $300, and was bound over to the July term of court.

Holliday remained in Pueblo for a while, and on June 16, 1882, he checked into the St. James Hotel in Gunnison. He was interviewed by the Gunnison paper, and it appeared in print on June 18, 1882. His reunion with Wyatt and Warren Earp continued through the end of June. On July 8, he was reported to have arrived in Salida, Colorado, with two other gamblers, Sam Osgood and Texas George Robinson. The paper reported that they would “remain [in Salida] several days.” The visit was cut short by his court affairs in Pueblo.

On June 11, the grand jury indicted Doc for larceny and advised the sheriff that he could admit Doc to bail in the amount of $500. Clearly, the process had been worked out in advance because the “District Attorney, and the said defendant in his own proper person as well as by his counsel, W. G.. Hollins, Esq., also came.” Doc pled not guilty, posted bail, and was released. On July 18, the case was continued, and the same day, the Leadville Daily Herald reported that Doc was visiting in Leadville. Remember, Ringo died on July 13.

It is worth noting that Chuck Hornung, in his Wyatt Earp’s Cow-boy Campaign: The Bloody Restoration of Law and Order Along the Mexican Border, 1882, acknowledges that Steve Gatto and I made a strong case that Doc was in Pueblo based on the court records. He suggests that Doc’s appearance and the document’s language could have been a subterfuge in a covert operation hatched in Gunnison by the Earps.

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