For one thing, I called him Frank Martin in my previous post, and he did go by that name occasionally. However, his full name was William Franklin Martin, and he usually went by Billy. Also, the murder of his uncle George Mizer that I wrote about in my previous post was not Billy's first killing. In July of 1878, about a year before the Mizer shooting, Billy had gotten into an argument with two other young men at a wheat threshing. One of them apparently threatened Billy with a pitchfork, and he pulled out a pistol and killed one of them and wounded the other. In addition, Billy's killing of his uncle was not his last serious crime. In the mid-1880s, a few years after he had been cleared of all charges in the Mizer case, he was convicted of stealing a pair of horses and sentenced to the state pen at Jeff City.
He was released after serving about three years of his four-year sentence, came home, and resumed his life with Maggie, the girl who had helped him escape from the Laclede County jail after he had been sentenced to death for killing his uncle and was awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court. He and Maggie had married while on the run together, and she had stood by him through thick and thin. Apparently, they ended up having a happy life together after Billy was released from the state prison in the late-1880s.
I said in my previous post about Martin that I had run onto newspaper articles and so forth about his case several times but that I had never attempted to write extensively about the case because, despite the obvious contemporaneous interest in it and despite the element of romantic intrigue, it had never struck me as particularly exciting or dramatic. Suffice it to say, I was wrong.