Wednesday, November 28, 2007

John Tunstall Murder Site

I took a trip to Lincoln, New Mexico to do some research for my latest book Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War: a Luke and Jenny Adventure. I brought along my trusty 35mm to snap a few research photos for later use. As I was heading down the highway from Ruidoso to Lincoln I stopped at the roadside historic marker indicating the spot where John Henry Tunstall had been murdered.

The brazen 1878 murder of rancher and shop owner John Tunstall by corrupt lawmen, loyal to Tunstall's competitors, Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, sparked a violent and bitter feud called The Lincoln County War. It ended five months later with the death of attorney Alexander McSween, who tried in vain to seek justice for the murder of his good friend, John Tunstall.

I took these two photos within a minute of each other. They were taken on a clear day with no breeze blowing. The first photo appears normal. But in the second photo is a strange, brown mist. It almost looks like a dust devil, but there is no shadow underneath it. One of my friends swears she can see the top half of Mr. Tunstall's face on the top of the 'cloud.' Perhaps this is just matrixing, or our mind's way of creating familiar shapes. And maybe it's just a coincidence, but the shape of the forehead on this face looks a lot like Mr. Tunstall's.

Either way, it's another accidental ghostly encounter



  1. As someone who grew up in the valley you photographed I can tell you that the real murder location is well over the next couple hills seen in the distance. We commonly have people stop by the house asking where it actually happened and we have to them them it really is not easily accessible to many cars. Sorry.

  2. Those darn highway markers! It said, "Tunstall Murder Site." Well, I suppose they are meant to mark the general location, and not the actual site.

  3. General location is a few miles off and very hard to get to and find. Do some research with the book Frontier Fighter by George W. Coe if you are going to write a book about Billy the kid.

  4. Do you have any info about john tunstall's ghost yet

  5. Yeah I been to the actual site it took forever to find it I said we wasnt leaving till I found it and we did