This issue of This Land is packed with tales of crime and consequences. Jamie Birdwell-Branson shares an outlaw family legend, Kent F. Frates illuminates the darker details of a murder-extortion plot, Glenn Shirley cross-examines an unorthodox legal strategy, David A. Farris takes us from Chicago to Guthrie to Cheyenne in search of a missing cult member, and James A. Pearson shines a bright light on our state’s crime statistics. Plus, new poetry by Julie McConnell and a striking back-cover portrait.
BANDIT IN BOLEY: Jamie Birdwell-Branson recalls an outlaw ancestor whose criminal tendencies would haunt her family for generations.
THE SOCIETY GANG KILLING: Kent F. Frates recounts the murder trial of a young Tulsa socialite.
LAWYER WITH A GUN: Sam Houston’s eccentric son shucked a life of Texas politics to practice law in Oklahoma Territory. Glenn Shirley narrates a historical courtroom drama that ended in a bang.
MURDER BY SAMARITAN: David A. Farris takes us into the strange underworld of the Samaritan Foundation, a Guthrie-based cult that lured a Chicago filmmaker from his family and, eventually, into a crawl space.
STRUNG OUT, LOCKED UP: James A. Pearson explains how one woman’s story of drug addiction, theft, and prison is indicative of a much larger problem in Oklahoma.
A GHAZAL FOR OKLAHOMA: Julie McConnell extrapolates new poetry from recent headlines.
ORIGINAL OKIES: Cornel Williams, founding editor of Tulsa Crime Monthly, poses with Keith Reed, who established the Reed Foundation, a boxing gym for at-risk youth.