This week’s story is about a gang that lasted only thirteen days. But during those thirteen days, they cut a swath of carnage matched by no other gang.
Rufus Buck was a Ute Indian living in the Indian Territory. His gang comprised of four Creek Indians and a combination Creek and black. All of them had served time in jail for minor offenses.
Buck supposedly boasted, “That his outfit would make a record that would sweep all the other gangs of the territory into insignificance.” And on July 28, 1895, the gang started a thirteen-day crime spree that did exactly that.
They shot and killed Deputy Marshal John Garrett. They came across a Mrs. Wilson. She was kidnapped and violated. From there they saw Gus Chambers with some horses. When he resisted, the Buck Gang shot and killed him. They next robbed a stockman, taking his clothes and boots. Fortunately, he was able to escape in a hail of bullets. Two days later, they invaded the home of Rosetta Hassan. She was violated in front of her husband and children.
The gang was arrested before they could create more havoc, and brought before Hanging Judge Isaac Parker. And true to his name, they were sentenced to be hanged. He scheduled the execution for July 1, 1896, between nine in the morning and five in the evening.
Quite possibly Judge Parker should have stated an exact time, because, on the day of the hanging, one of the gang members said he wanted to be hanged at ten in the morning so his body could be on the 11:30 train. Rufus Buck protested, saying that if he was hanged that early, there would be a several hour delay before his body could be on the appropriate train. The Rufus Gang then decided they wanted to be hanged separately.
Marshal Crump smiled, set the time for 1:00 p.m. and hanged them together one hour after noon.