Wild Bill and the Dead Man’s Hand

This topic has been in my In box for a while but since Miles’ guest writers/singers were way out west recently, I thought I’d add to the pile now.

When I was looking into Truman Capote and his fictional murders, I took a side trip to get a glance at James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. One of Capote’s characters was named Hickock and I wondered if there might be a connecting clue to Wild Bill. I couldn’t find any though there was a hint through some tangential Rodeo promoters in the 30’s, but there wasn’t enough to continue that digression.

Later, to streamline that look into Hickok, I decided to list a few basic questions that could be applied to any historical person of interest to determine if they were whom the MSM says they were. These questions by now are familiar, but I am attempting to sift through several people of the 19th century, especially here in the good old U S of A, to get a better grip on, for example, our “special relationship” to Britain and the crown and the methods used by spooks major and minor to keep that relationship intact.

So here, as a test case, I ask about Wild Bill Hickok, the following questions in no particular order:

Zal Rule? Yes, of course.

“The Plainsman” in 1930, personally directed by Cecil B DeMille, starring Gary Cooper in the lead role of Hickok. More recently we got, “Wild Bill” (1995), directed by Walter Hill and starring Jeff Bridges as WB. Even more recently, the HBO series “Deadwood” early on featured Keith Carradine in the roll.

Peerage? Yes.

WB’s maternal g-g-g-grandfather, Israel* Butler, was a peer, his lines marrying off in many directions, including down to Poppy Bush.

Government asset? Yes.

Here is a list, courtesy of Wikid, of WB’s occupations: Farmer, vigilante, drover, teamster, wagon master, stagecoach driver, soldier, spy, scout, detective, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, performer, actor

Skates justice? Yes.

WB was arrested for murder (a duel) but later walked due to an unwritten “fair fight” law imposed by judge Sempronius H. Boyd, a juiced tool of the railroads. He also accidently killed Abilene Special Deputy Marshal Mike Williams and was relieved of his duties as Marshal of Abiline, Texas 1871 for “this incident being only one of a series of questionable shootings and claims of misconduct”. No jail time, indicating WB’s rep as a gunman was likely fiction. “Wild” indeed.

Aliases? Yes, all kinds.

James B. Hickok, J.B. Hickok, Shanghai Bill, William Hickok, William Haycock-

Again from Wikid: “James B. Hickok used the name William Hickok from 1858 and William Haycock during the Civil War. He was arrested while using the name Haycock in 1865. He afterward resumed using his given name, James Hickok. Most newspapers referred to him as William Haycock until 1869. Military records after 1865 list him as Hickok but note that he was also known as Haycock-

WB, early in life, was allegedly connected to the Jayhawkers in “Bleeding” Kansas. As with his other regular reassignments, WB appears to be an infiltrator and intelligence gatherer. More on that below.

Mysterious death/retirement? You betcha’!

Wikid once more: On August 1, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. When a seat opened up at the table, a drunk man named Jack McCall sat down to play. McCall lost heavily. Hickok encouraged McCall to quit the game until he could cover his losses and offered to give him money for breakfast. Though McCall accepted the money, he was apparently insulted.[54] The next day, Hickok was playing poker again. He usually sat with his back to a wall so he could see the entrance, but the only seat available when he joined the game was a chair facing away from the door. He twice asked another man at the table, Charles Rich, to change seats with him, but Rich refused.[55]

McCall entered the saloon, walked up behind Hickok, drew his Colt’s Model 1873 Single Action Army .45 caliber revolver and shouted, “Damn you! Take that!” He shot Hickok in the back of the head at point-blank range.[56] Hickok died instantly. The bullet emerged through Hickok’s right cheek and struck another player, riverboat Captain William Massie, in the left wrist.[57][58] Hickok may have told his friend Charlie Utter and others who were traveling with them that he thought he would be killed while in Deadwood. (Prepping the locals with a little predictive programming) 

First howler: August 1st, 1876. 8/1/1876. Aces and Eights. The Deadman’s Hand. More on that later.

The “assassination” is a recreation of the Lincoln hoax. Point blank to the back of the head. Also, though this is for amusement only, the added touch of the collateral wrist wound to the man seated with WB echoes decades later in Gov. Connelly’s collateral wounds in the JFK hoax.

PS- The Colt .45 listed here apparently didn’t come out until a few years later. That’s Waki for you, or the details of the likely hoax weren’t ever certain as it evolved over the years. Mauser/Carcano, anyone? These things don’t write themselves. Professional liars have to write them. 

The doors of the saloon were locked, according to the barber/physician, Ellis Pierce, who had to knock to get in. This implies something was being hidden, like in the basement of the Dallas Jail where Oswald was kilt. A crowd, led by Calamity Jane, led the locals on a fast hunt for the killer. A close associate of WB’s, this looks like her leading the crowd away from the saloon deliberately. (Jane died on 8/1/1903)

Jack McCall had a Jack Ruby-like ending, having been first acquitted and then retried, after which it is reported he was hung. Ruby got a retrial but was retired before that could go forward, dying of secured-location cancer.

(This next insert is from notes I made a few months ago. It will have some redundancies, but I like the flow and rewrites are tedious. I thank you for your patience.) 

[Deadman’s hand job 

Periodically, mention is made in these research circles of the ‘deadman’s hand’. It is noted when certain numbers in a psyop appear in the official narrative and are interpreted as a ‘spook marker’, which is a numerical signal from the spooks running the op to other spooks out of this particular loop to stand down, nothing is actually happening here.

The numbers in question for the deadman’s hand are ones and eights. These numbers refer to the alleged hand James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok held while playing five card stud in Nuttal and Mann’s Saloon, Deadwood, in the Dakota territories when Hickok was unceremoniously gunned down by one Jack McCall, in the centennial year of 1876.

The hand Wild Bill held consisted specifically of the eights of spades and clubs and the aces of spades and clubs, with the hole card unknown to this day. Of note, all the known cards are black, emphasizing the grim nature of the event.

However, the specifics of the hand were not finalized until a hagiography of Hickok was published in 1926, that being Frank Wilstach’s book Wild Bill Hickok: The Prince of Pistoleers- (Zal rule: The book was adapted to film by Cecil B DeMille as ‘The Plainsman’ starring Gary Cooper)

The first howler is that Wild Bill was murdered on August 2nd, 1876 but that the incident began the night before. That would be 8/1/1876. Aces and eights transposed and I suppose if you add the last two numbers you have a king as the hole card. Since the make up of the hand wasn’t determined until 1926, we must have the wildest of coincidences on our hands.

The term Deadman’s Hand was part of poker parlance from the 1880’s on, possibly referring to a poker game played in 1843 where a judge literally bet the house, his last piece of property, and lost, the shock inducing a fatal heart attack. At that time, three jacks and a pair of tens was considered the fateful hand as the judge’s full house was bested by three queens and the other two tens.

Since all of this is barroom banter, the purpose of Wilstach’s assertion that the black aces and eights was Hickok’s dead hand is likely based on the date of the fateful insult that started the hoax rolling. Wilstach was a newspaper man on both coasts and certainly was trusted if not juiced- (His middle name, Jenners, has one name in the peerage) He later became a theatrical agent and entrepreneur. Regardless, it is his version of the deadman’s hand that has been adopted as a spook marker.]

Wikid bonus points: “The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Division, the Los Angeles Police Department CRASH squad, and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System all use the dead man’s hand in their insignia.” 

I tend to believe that Wild Bill was a persona used by more than one person, the peer being the template. His name, looks and temperament shifted as much as his location and occupation. To my mind, the most plausible explanation, beyond the legend building, is that this ‘one tough hombre’ was an intel asset sent into the territories to gather information on various projects, like the Jayhawkers, that were unofficial assets in the vanguard for the industrialists. The law out west was determined by the railroads and whatever the alleged chaos, the Wild Bill’s of the era were much like the pirates that preceded the British Royal Navy in tranquilizing the high seas. While the ruffians did battle with the natives and planted assets like Wild Bill reported back to the swells, the railroads and the attendant industries crept west, in the rear with the gear much like the British Navy taking over already established ports along already mapped sea routes. In this way, the industrialists appear to placate the lawless breed and come off as saviors. It’s an old con and always works.

*For those researchers who flavor their findings with Substance J, the name Israel Butler will raise flags. His grandson Benjamin was a Christian minister and he may be part of the engineered schisms begun in Venice and London in the early 16th century, but Israel may also be a name chosen by devout Christians who are a tad more militant in their faith than the New Testament prefers. That is, naming customs that employ Old Testament monikers, and therefore assumed to be employed by Jewish people, isn’t as cut and dried as implied by certain well known researcher(s). For example, I have two second cousins, once removed, who carry the names Joachin and Boaz, and they were born long before 911 made that twin tower fetish a staple of the ‘truther’ liturgy. And as I’ve stated before, my family has nary a drop of Substance J in our DNA in any direction going back generations. Now this family anecdote doesn’t settle anything, but this is why I downgrade the Jewish suspicions from being an upper case factor in elite creep behavior. I wouldn’t say its misdirection, but IMO it is oversold. If Israel Butler’s grandson is preaching the Good News, its real hard for me to call that being Jewish, despite the survival tactics of Marranos and the like.

Good evening.

18 thoughts on “Wild Bill and the Dead Man’s Hand

  1. Let me just say this as a random and marginal comment: I find curious up to the hilt that you being a visual artist, painter… your blog posts are devoid of any visuals and some other writers here and round the corner rely heavily on images to support their “opinion pieces”. Not suspicion at all, just being Mr. Obvious here.


    1. I’m terrible at posting links and whatnot because I rarely hit links others leave. I’m a fool to take anything on faith but I have faith in the sincere attendees here who simply want to improve the discussion and the research. If anyone leaves a link, I trust that it will buttress their argument, otherwise, why post a link? Truth is, I can only give so much.
      I put out the concepts for analysis and the comments section can affirm or enhance or refute to taste. Besides, how many pictures of these historical goons are an accurate accounting? Precious few, I’ll wager, but Wakipeedia will supply them if you need suspect visuals.
      (I can be susceptible to confirmation bias so I should leave the hardcore forensics to better sets of eyes.)


  2. Excellent! Indeed, the Colt 1873 in .45 Colt saw nearly it’s entire production go to the US military. It would have been a rare and expensive bird indeed in civilian hands, especially some drunken dope who couldn’t afford breakfast.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting point about a military grade weapon being part of the official story. Likely all of the participants were active military.


      1. I see wiki has edited the Jack McCall entry, now calling the murder weapon “a single-action .45 caliber revolver”, how generic. In 1876, the only .45 caliber revolvers to choose from were the Colt SAA and Remington 1875 in .45 Colt or the S&W Model 3 in .45 Schofield, but again, the US Cavalry had all of the S&W’s and production only began in 1876. Only a handful of Remington 1875’s were produced in .45 Colt, so again, any .45 caliber revolver would have been a very rare gun for a boozy bozo to possess.


  3. As a huge Deadwood fan, I find it (even being a fan) riddled with all kinds of spooky markers. George Hearst himself is one of the main characters, which of course leads us to William Randolph Hearst and the founding of the CIA itself, from the Pinkertons on up. The CIA was founded and funded with Black Hills Gold profits from 50 years prior, basically. The show was cancelled despite being one of the best shows ever made, from a cinematography and writing stance I should qualify. The writing was impeccable, the dialogue and character exchange unrivaled.

    But it’s still a show put on by spooks about other spooks, at the end of the day. They just decided to fund some seriously good writers and producers for once – and it still got canned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deadwood’s creator, David Milch, apparently doesn’t play well with others and I think his career of late, starting with the abrupt cancellation of Deadwood, has suffered because of that. Right now he seems to be caught in Turn Around Hell, a place where even A-list spooks get stuck if they are too good at what they do and their ideas drift too far afield from the sustainable mediocrity and propaganda laden bile that makes for Must See TV.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That reminds me, the actor who played Jack McCall, Garret Dillahunt, returned to the show as another character, much like I assume the real Jack McCall returned later to the scene as a new character.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He also plays a Terminator in the TV-show, “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. It’s an amazingly boring and plot-sloppy show, but it has some excellent insight into tech and spookiness. He plays Cromartie and then once they kill that T-888, he is revived by Shirley Manson’s T-1000 character and built into an AI system and named “John Henry”.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I live in LA and worked as a movie/TV extra for 15 years here. Deadwood was in production when I was doing that work and I tried now and then to get on the show (having longish hair and a penchant for Westerns) but I never did. They had a regular group of people that Central Casting liked to use for that show and I wasn’t one of them.

    Not being an HBO subscriber I had only brief glimpses of Deadwood. I was actually a bit put off by the language. Not that I care one bit about profanity. I don’t. It just struck me as unrealistic and so I found it distracting. Maybe I’m wrong but I find it hard to believe that people actually talked that way at that time. I mean, they didn’t even talk that way in the 1950s and before that common language was even more conservative so I wouldn’t expect it at all in 19th century.

    It struck me as being part of the “Wild West” propaganda project that we have been inundated with for about as long as movies have been made. Another story in itself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, it’s definitely part of the “Wild West” propaganda. But I also found it humorous, intelligent, and more interesting than most shows. The dialogue, while profane, was often very detailed and artistically interesting as well.

      I looked at the profanity much like when watching practically ANY show about European history made for the US/UK. How is it that people in France have English accents again? How about in 0-th century Rome? Why do the Romans have English accents? What about Spartacus? The Medicis? The Borgias? What about Troy? Absurd. It’s preposterous. But yet, that’s all you’ll ever see. They would never make a show about Romans with a Latin accent, or even Italian.

      At least to me, Deadwood’s profanity was creative and interesting.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I understand your reticence regarding spook markers. On the outside looking in we cannot know if they mean something, nothing, or are being tossed at us for fun. I do see that if they are real, 99.9@ would not see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tyrone, great work. Love the check list — useful and to the point!! I agree that taking biblical/Hebrew first names was sometimes a Christian convention and is weak evidence taken in isolation.

    And may I just say, happy Birthday, Mark! 4-20 blaze it woohoo!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Josh. We are in Tucson, Arizona, and we got up here sunrise today to climb a 1,700 foot ridge to celebrate the first day of my 69th year. There is, not too far away, a 4,000 foot mountain that people climb. They are too faint to make out even with binoculars.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Since you brought up his ancestry…it’s said that “a photo speaks a thousand words”, and I’d say Hickok’s nose is quite telling!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s