Wild West

WHISTLER’S MURDER

The opening scene of the 1995 film Wild Bill, starring Jeff Bridges as James Butler Hickok and Ellen Barkin as Calamity Jane, depicts the famous frontiersman crossing paths with an Oglala Lakota named Whistler (Blackfeet actor Steve Reevis), who is mourning over his wife’s burial scaffold on the open prairie. Following a brief exchange of insults and threats, Wild Bill and Whistler square off like mounted medieval knights. Heels hard to horse hide, they meet in the middle at a full gallop, and Wild Bill kills Whistler with a shot from one of his ivory-handled, nickel-plated Navy Colts, further cementing his reputation as one very deadly dude.

Truth and accuracy are lacking in most Hollywood Westerns, and, ironically, the real events are

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