First off, Wes Hardin was convicted of murder for the death of Charlie Webb. This did not mean he actually killed him so that is covered and somewhat debatable in our book.
There was no gang and they were not what you would call outlaws. That is misleading. John Wesley Hardin killed people. He did not steal or rob but was handy with guns.
He was a wanted man for murder and nothing more. The reward was $4,000. He fled to Florida under alias name, then Alabama. He was captured (not legally arrested) in Pensacola, FL and finally the court allowed him to be transferred back to Texas. He should have been tried in a different location and would probably have received a much shorter sentence if convicted elsewhere.
The 300 citizens who stormed the jail is not debatable also. It is alleged that only six men did the lynching and could have been Texas Rangers (some say). The people who were lynched were in protective custody. They were Joe Hardin, Wes Hardin's older brother, who was an attorney and local businessman. The others were two of Hardins cousins, Dixons. None of these men had anything to do with the killing of Webb or any other person Wes Hardin had killed. So the lynching was plain murder.
A new book on the biography of John Wesley Hardin will be released in May, 2013 "A Lawless Breed".
I think Chuck Parsons and I, Norman Wayne Brown, will give readers a good, indepth story of his complete life and the people and events that surrounded him. We looked at every killing claimed by Wes and any killings claimed upon him by authorities and the results.
The book will be hardbound, 500 plus pages with 84 illustrations and published by UNT Press, Denton, TX; price $29.95.