[Bio] [Books] [Events] [Press] [Contact]
[Sourtoe] [Delivered from Evil] [The Darkest Night]
[Outlaw DC] [Outlaw Texas] [Outlaw Rockies]
[Angel Fire] [The Deadline] [The Obituary]
Winner of 2010 EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
The first-ever travel guide to the many sites
related to the Lone Star State’s renowned rambunctious past,
from outlaws to gangsters to serial killers and white-collar criminals,
complete with GPS coordinates that put you at the scene of the action!
The Crime Buff's Guide to
OUTLAW TEXAS interview
with Ned Hibberd/Fox 26 Houston
"The ultimate guilty pleasure book."
— Columnist Scott Stroud, San Antonio Express-News
"The research in this book is simply amazing! Ron Franscell has basically re-mapped Texas, specifically pinpointing where all of our most notorious outlaws lived, performed their gruesome deeds, and died. On top of that, he's uncovered riveting stories about outlaws in far away corners of the state that very few us even knew about. For everyone interested in Texas' great outlaw past, this is an indispensable guide."
— Skip Hollandsworth, executive editor of Texas Monthly
"Texas, of course, was home to some of the world's most infamous criminals but author Ron Franscell rounds all of them up and puts them in one place ... an encyclopedic tour of notable buildings and sites where crimes took place and graveyards where criminals are buried. Interspersed are some of the more amazing stories that go with them. Sordid yet fascinating."
— Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram
"[Texans] will have a field day with this book ... [Franscell] maps out not only the histories of the outlaws, but the law officials who hunted them down and, in some cases, the victims and peripheral players. He details their histories, from scenes of the crime to burial spots, then leads us there, aided by Global Positioning System technology."
— Houston Chronicle
"Texans love their outlaws … [and] Ron Franscell has written an intriguing guide with brief profiles of the men and women whose names are forever linked with the dark side of Texas history."
— San Antonio (TX) Express-News
"Traveling the Old West calls for the adventure in us, as many of the trails and sites are not on established roads, nor well marked or marked at all. Journalist Ron Franscell has finally given us a weapon to help us win this battle—GPS coordinates to the graves and sites of Texas outlaws and the lawmen who chased and convicted them. ... For those of you who want to ensure you reach the prize at the end of your search, Franscell’s guidebook is an indispensable resource."
— True West Magazine
"If a hit or two off Ron Franscell's OUTLAW TEXAS doesn't turn you into a Lone Star crime junkie, I don't know what will."
— Austin (TX) American-Statesman
"Fascinating ... The outlaws range from mere scoundrels to the essence of evil — a cast of characters worth pursuing across the great Lone Star State. This isn’t a book to put away after reading. Take it on the road."
— Beaumont (TX) Enterprise
"Texas has more than its share of unforgettable crime stories that cover a full range of human emotions-from the tragically comical to the unspeakably horrific. None of those stories can be fully understood without the context of place and Ron Franscell's OUTLAW TEXAS, an effective combination of interesting stories, directions, and GPS coordinates, gives us the "what and where" necessary to understand our uniquely Texan true crime heritage."
— Gary Lavergne, bestselling author of "A Sniper in the Tower" and "Bad Boy from Redbud"
"Gifted crime writer Ron Franscell takes you along on an absolutely fascinating road trip. And along the way, be prepared to often hear yourself saying, 'Damn, I didn't know that!'"
— Carlton Stowers, dean of Texas true crime and Edgar-winning author of "To The Last Breath" and "Careless Whispers"
"My only complaint: It ended much too soon! ... OUTLAW TEXAS is a superbly researched book that is a must read for any wishing to know about the places Wyatt Earp palled around with Doc Holliday, how The Chicken Ranch in LaGrange became the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, or what became of the sites of some of America’s worst mass murders."
— Kim Cantrell, editor of True Crime Book Reviews
"Can't wait to fire up my GPS. A fascinating trek through Texas crime."
— Kathryn Casey, author of the Texas true crimes "Shattered" and "Descent into Hell"
"No cowboy should be without “The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Texas” ... filled with true stories of bad guys (and gals) from around the Lone Star State, this browse-able book is a fun to read treasure."
— Syndicated reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer of BookWormSez
"History itself is not only about politics or religion or institutions, it's also about anti-social behavior and the effects of criminal activity on society. If you want a guide to the vast world of Texas criminal history, go to your local bookstore and pick up The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Texas."
— Robert Waters, author of "The Best Defense" and co-author of "Outgunned!"
"This intensely written book ... adds another turn off-the-beaten-trail to the list of outstanding Western titles from this fine New England press. ... Written not just with skill, but with art."
— Western Writers of America's Roundup Magazine
Introduction: Chasing Shadows
One late November day, back when many more things were black and white, I watched the black-and-white newsreels on a neighbor's television. I was six and I truly didn't understand what it meant when they said the president had been murdered in Dallas.
[Delivered From Evil] [Outlaw Rockies] [Sourtoe]
I am still haunted by those images. I know now, almost fifty years later, what I could not see. The man in the window above. The crimson spray of blood. The fear my mother must have felt. In my mind, this great event had played out on a great stage, as all consequential and inexplicable moments in human history must.
But years later, when I visited Dealey Plaza, I found it to be much smaller, much more intimate than my imagination had made it. Peering down from a sixth floor window of the Schoolbook Depository, the fatal shots no longer seemed especially distant, certainly nothing that required a military sharpshooter. To me, they were shots that any 12-year-old boy who'd ever hunted Wyoming rabbits could make.
Through this window I saw it all below, as if I had unwittingly stepped into a wrinkle of time where I could see forward and back, in color and black and white at the same moment.
Being there changed everything.
I have since felt the same unexpected intimacy in Ford's Theatre, the Oklahoma City bombing memorial, Antietam's Bloody Lane, and the Alamo - all places where imagination, myth and history entangle. Places where the past exists just beneath the surface of the present. Places best seen through a haunted, magical window.
Let this book be your window. Our appreciation of history begins in the places where it happened. The magic of Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) allows you to stand in a precise historic spot, as best as our modern technology and imaginations can muster. We have made every attempt to put you literally within inches of history.
Being there makes all the difference.
San Antonio, Texas
[The Darkest Night] [Angel Fire] [The Deadline] [The Obituary]
[Bio] [Books] [Events] [Press] [Contact]