Holbrook, Arizona    APACHE COUNTY CRITIC    July 9, 1887


Another Killing of Arizona Horse Thieves and Rustlers

Joe Williams, alias, Sprague, alias Long Hair, and Billy Evans, alias, Jack Diamond, alias, Timberline

"Gone over the Rock"

Correspondent of the Critic.

     On the morning of the 11th last, two more of the most desperate and daring outlaws who have infested the borders of Arizona and New Mexico for years past, were killed at the mouth of Blue Creek, where it empties into the San Francisco, in Graham County, this Territory.

     These two desperados sported many aliases.  The most dangerous and reckless of the two was known most generally by the names, "Joe Williams", "Sprague" and "Long Hair."  His right name is not certainly known here. His companion, Billy Evans, (which is his right name) generally went by the name of "Jack Diamond," or “Jack Timberline" and these same two men stole four horses last January, when they were followed to Grant Station, on the A.& P. Railroad and three of the horses were recovered, but the thieves succeeded in making their escape.

     Since that time they have been making their depredations in the wild Brakes of the Blue, and plying their nefarious vocation in, what they thought, an impregnable hiding place.

     On the evening of the 9th last, they made a raid on the horses of a prominent ranchman, on the upper Blue, who soon discovered that three of his horses were gone, together with two horses belonging to two quests who were stopping with him.  This ranchman, who is one of the best and most fearless citizens of the Territory, together with his two guests, immediately started in pursuit of the thieves and, when within about a mile of the mouth of Blue Creek, they saw smoke rising from a canyon, which came into the Blue from the south near where it empties into the San Francisco.

     The pursuing party dismounted and hitched their horses and took a straight cut across the hills, through a country that could not be traversed except on foot.  They approached the camp of the rustlers from the west, and found them in a canyon with abrupt walls on either side, and they could not be seen until they reached the bluff right over them, and not over thirty or forty yards distant.

     The pursuing party of course approached the edge of the bluff very cautiously, and saw their horses first, and upon advancing closer to the edge of the bluff, they discovered the bandits.  They had just finished their supper and were taking a smoke around the fire which had cooked the last supper for two out of the three.

     The pursuing party fired on them simultaneously, and "Long Hair" and Billy Evans fell dead, both shot through the heart.  The third man, supposed to be Kid Swingle, succeeded in making his escape on foot in the thick undergrowth and timber.

     Thus ended the career of two as dangerous and desperate outlaws as ever stole a horse or held up a railroad train.  But they are "good rustlers" now.  They are quietly sleeping the last sleep in a weird and untimely grave at the mouth of the Blue.  It's rough, but it is right.

     We may send you another chapter that will be interesting about Billy Evans, Alias "Diamond," et al.  He was wounded here during the holidays last December, while trying to escape a posse of officers who had arrested him.  He was held in jail at St. Johns until about January l8th, of this year, for the murder of old man Hale, who was killed last Christmas day.  There not being sufficient evidence to hold him on the charge he was released, but the little narrow house where he is now confined will hold him relentlessly until Gabriel blows his horn.   More Anon.  

From Jack Becker's Collection