less than 1 minute read

Ed Cantrell Trial: 1979

Humble Pie Is Hard To Digest

The press found the verdict hard to accept. Texas journalist Molly Ivins, in a special dispatch to the New York Times, put a Wild West spin on the story. "An old Western saying is that the first thing to do in a murder case is to determine whether or not the victim deserved to die," she wrote, inventing "an old Western saying." She ignored the implications of the unsnapped holster and the bullet's path, as well as the prosecution's bullying and lies. Her account was fairer than most.

Ed Cantrell was free, but most of Wyoming, knowing only what they read in the paper or saw on television, still thought he was a murderer. For a long time, he couldn't get a job. Eventually he found work as a cattle detective—a private security guard for a group of ranchers.

William Weir

Suggestions for Further Reading

Holt, Don, and Paul Brinkely-Rogers. "Crime: Wide Open Town." Newsweek (August 7, 1978): 35.

Ivins, Molly. "Wyoming Jury Frees Law Official in Killing." New York Times (December 1, 1970): 10.

Spence, Gerry, and Anthony Polk. Gunning for Justice. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1982.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Ed Cantrell Trial: 1979 - Shredded Prosecution, Fireworks In The Courtroom, Humble Pie Is Hard To Digest - Shredded Evidence