One thing alot of people forget is Bounty Hunter’s have been around since the mid 1800’s. The famous Taylor vs Taintor decision that give’s bounty hunter’s the right to go anywhere without a warrant to apprehend their fugitive was ruled on in 1873. I wanted to pay respect to a famous old west bounty hunter. This guy infiltrated the Butch Cassidy gang. Pretty cool stuff.
A lot of folks have tried to trace the private eye, as we understand it, to the American cowboy myth. While I think it actually goes back further than that, you could certainly make a case if you consider CHARLIE SIRINGO, who billed himself as “The Cowboy Detective.” He’s a fascinating character, a real-life frontier figure who spent more than two decades as The Pinketon Agency’s “Cowboy Detective.”
Charlie Siringo was born on February 7, 1855, in Matagorda County, Texas, the son of an Irish mother and an Italian father. He received some schooing, but by the age of fifteen he was working as a cowboy, mostly in Texas, at first, before eventually becoming a trail driver, and working the Chisolm Trail. In 1884, he quit the cowboy life, settled down and got married, becoming a merchant in Caldwell, Kansas. It was there he began writing his first book, A Texas Cowboy; or, Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony. A year later, it was published to much popular acclaim — one of the first real looks at the cowboy life by someone who actually lived it.
In 1886, perhaps bored with the quiet life, Siringo moved to Chicago and joined Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency (using Pat Garrett’s name as a reference) and ending up working for them for over twenty years. He worked cases all over the West, from as far north as Alaska to as far south as Mexico City. In a long and varied career, Siringo chased rustlers and robbers, and went undercover in outlaw gangs and labour unions.
Posing as Charles L. Carter, a gunfighter on the run from a murder charge, he infiltrated Butch Cassidy’s notorious Train Robbers Syndicate, and with the information he gathered, seriously put a crimp in their plans for over a year. A few years later, following the legendary Wilcox train robbery of 1899, Siringo would once again be assigned to tracking down Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, “dogging the Bunch over mountains, deserts, across raging rivers, through blizzards, from Wyoming to Arkansas… he was four years in the saddle… and covered an estimated twenty-five thousand miles.”