Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roscoe "Red" Jackson

Another chapter in my Desperadoes book is about Roscoe Jackson's murder of traveling salesman Pearl Bozarth in early August of 1934 near Brownbranch in northeast Taney County and the subsequent hanging of Jackson at Galena in Stone County in the spring of 1937. Originally from the Howard's Ridge area, Jackson, after having lived in Oklahoma for ten years, was trying to get home to Ozark County when he was picked up by Bozarth south of Springfield on August 1 and taken on to Forsyth. The next day, as the trip continued toward Ava, Jackson killed the man who had befriended him, apparently for his money. Jackson stole Bozarth's car and made a run for it but was captured in Oklahoma and brought back to Taney County. His trial was moved to Stone County, where he was tried and convicted and eventually hanged (over the protests of Stone County citizens, who felt the execution should occur where the murder had taken place) in May of '37. The execution, the last legal hanging in Missouri, became a public spectacle that drew a big crowd. It has been called the last public hanging in the U. S., but the validity of that claim depends on one's definition of "public."


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