Jack McCall is the most infamous murderer in Deadwood. On August 2, 1876, McCall walked into Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon #10 and point blank shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head while Hickok was playing a hand of poker. McCall claimed he killed Wild Bill to avenge his brother’s death. At the time of the killing, Deadwood had no law so a group of miners held a trial in the McDaniel’s Theatre. After two hours, McCall was found innocent and headed out of town.
He ended up in Wyoming where his mouth got him in trouble. McCall bragged so often about killing Wild Bill that finally a US Marshall arrested him. Since his trial was not held in a legal territory (Deadwood was still a gold camp in Indian territory,) the trial was deemed illegal. McCall was sent to Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, where he was retried, found guilty and hanged in the spring of 1877.
Click here to get more information on the Trial of Jack McCall reenactment performed in Deadwood, SD.