Friday, July 15, 2011

Train Robbers


We bring Criminal Minds week to a close today with this picture of the sad end of two train robbers. The picture was taken near Sanderson, Texas in 1912. The men were killed during their attempted train robbery in the area. The men were Ole Hobek and Ben Kilpatrick.

8 comments:

  1. So . . . .are they dead in this photo? It looks like they're being held up.

    I'm always amazed at how familiar people were with death in the 19th Century. Many people died young and at home, and spectators often attended public hangings as events (such as with the Lincoln consipirators).

    Also, since many children died young and photographs were rare, it was common to take photos of the deceased in memoriam. This was called "Post-Mortem" or Bereavement Photography. An excellent website is "Secure the Shadow" which shows excellent examples of this lost art. Also,the Burns Archive has an excellent collection of memorial photography.

    Today it would be considered gruesome, but it wasn't back then. In our society, death is something to be hidden.

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  2. I'm not a big fan of the "human trophy" mentality. They needed killin'... that's fine but this reminds me too much of somalians dragging the corpses of US Army Rangers through the streets of their God forsaken country. Professionals do their job. They don't gloat.

    John

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  3. Maybe next week should be "dead outlaw week".
    I've seen pictures where they put the dead guy in a pine box and take their pictures. Maybe it's "proof" of death. I would find dead pictures gruesome, but even in this century, people snap shots of the recently deceased in their coffin.

    Beth

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  4. Oy vay! Are they just propping up dead people in the pic? Old timey photos aren't anything to mess with.

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  5. Smart Girl, death was a constant companion until the invention (discovery) of penicillin in the early 1940s. "Now I lay me down to sleep" isn't used very often any more decause it's supposed to be frightening to little ones, but to children in the 1800s and 1700s the hope that the Lord would take your soul was a comfort.

    Adorable, there are still parts of the South (maybe the North, too, but I've not heard of it) where the Dearly Departed is propped up, either in the cemetary or at the funeral home for one last family group shot. When my dad had a parish in Roxboro NC he was asked to stay after he had finished the Committal and pose with the family. He respectfully refused.

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  6. It wasn't until the early 1920s roughly that people would name their kids before they were two because infant / toddler mortality rates were so high. One of the things I like to do is wander cemetaries and see if the older children's graves have names. Some do. Some say stuff like baby boy Johnson. It's kind of sad when you think about it, but it was just a part of life in that era.

    My aunt took some shots of my mom in her coffin. I have to say I thought about it, but I didn't want to offend any of my relatives. I guess it woudln't have mattered.

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  7. There's a big difference between pictures of deceased loved ones and dead enemies (or criminals). The first some would use to ease sorrow. The other is a trophy like a 10 point buck you nailed last hunting season but with possibly less respect than one would have for the deer. Killing the enemy is often necessary but the celebration of victory should not include the bodies of the defeated.

    John

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  8. Ben Kilpatrick was a member of the Wild Bunch and appears in the well known group photo with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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