acrylic on canvas
48 x 48
Tom Horn (1860 - 1903) - Army scout, lawman, cowboy, detective, assassin.
Horn was well known in the West, having participated in the campaign, and capture, of Geronimo.
He eventually wound up in Wyoming where he became a stock detective for the Cattleman's Association where he often had to deal with sheepmen, the arch-enemy of cattlemen.
His most infamous deed was the killing of 14-year old, Willie Nickell, the son of a sheep herder.
He was put on trial for the murder and although the Cattleman's Association put up a lot of money for his defense, they also knew that Horn was keenly aware of the crimes that the Association had been guilty of. The Cattlemen knew this and so although they raised money for Horn, to them he had become expendable. If he was hung they would breath a sigh of relief.
Found guilty of the murder of young Willie Nickell, Horn was strung up in Cheynne, Wy., on Nov. 20. 1903.
But was he really guilty? That debate has bounced around the West ever since Horn's body was laid to rest in Boulder, Co.
He confessed to the killing to Joe LeFors while he was drunk and that sealed his fate. He also made a jail break which didn't do him any good when he was caught.
As some people said, if he was innocent of the killing of young Nickell, he sure as Hell was guilty of other crimes for which he should have been hung.
He appeared sympathetically in the 1980 movie, "Tom Horn", in which he was played by Steve McQueen (it was the next-to-last movie McQueen ever made before his own death at 50).
Several books have been written on him and many feel that he was innocent and a victim of circumstances.
The second photo shows Horn in jail with the rope he made by hand and which they used to hang him.
Horn used to scout out his victims from a distance, using binoculars to watch their moves. The idea behind this painting is that you, the viewer, are his next victim! Kind of brings the viewer into the painting.
If this was hung on an all-white wall it would look like Horn was sitting right outside your window watching you!!!!!!!!
"audience participation" sort of thing.