Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Cursed Rifle of Lincoln County

Sitting in a museum in Alamogordo New Mexico, there exists a most curious weapon with a jaded history. It is an old Winchester 30-40 lever action rifle; a type best known for its use in the old west days. This rifle was bought by an unspecified "Mexican" man in Lincoln County in 1915. He used it to kill his wife and her lover one night when he caught them together. It lay in lock-up for a few years after his trial. Then the real story begins...

The rifle was given to a man named Howard Beacham by Judge Edward Mecham as a gift when he was elected Sheriff. He lent it to a man named William Rutherford to go hunting, who ended up cracking the stock. Rutherford was elected Sheriff a few months later, but six weeks into his term in January of 1923, he was gunned down by two fugitives in a stolen car.

In 1925, Chesley Thomason, a member of the State Legislature borrowed the rifle from Mr. Beacham. This time he broke the stock beyond repair, having to replace it entirely. He was hit by a train and killed the next spring.

A man named Bob Lee then borrowed the rifle for a hunting trip. Again the stock was damaged. He was killed in an explosion a few months later. By this time, the rifle had developed a sound reputation for being cursed. The only person to escape its curse was Mr. Beacham. He used it for many years while serving as a prohibition agent in the American Southwest.

He was also the only person who was known to have never damaged the vengeful jinxed weapon.

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