Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shootout at Miracle Valley

We live in a pretty historical area of the country. Tombstone is about 15 miles away. Anytime anyone comes to visit, we always take them out there to see a couple of original buildings (Crystal Palace & Birdcage Theater) and the actual site where the shootout happened at the OK Corral, and the staged "shootouts" that happen every 20 minutes or so in the middle of town during the summer. Fun.

There is another place close by that has a huge historical past as well. It's called Miracle Valley. It's actually a stretch of two lane road between Hereford and Bisbee.

It happened in Cochise Co. Arizona in October, 1982. It involved a religious cult from Chicago and Cochise County law enforcement. Seems next to impossible to have happened here, considering the circumstances...but it did.

Our current sheriff, who was wounded in the shootout, sat in our kitchen one morning about 9 months ago and gave us the firsthand tale of this unlikely story. It is now available in paperback and for the first time, this book gives the law enforcement side of the events of that day.

Editorial Reviews
A little over one hundred years after the legendary shootout at the OK Corral, a radical South Chicago preacher named Frances Thomas moved to Miracle Valley, Arizona. She brought not only her congregation, but also a dangerous cocktail of fanaticism, faith healing, bigotry, and dynamite. Believing that God had called her to take over Miracle Valley, Pastor Thomas and her cult of followers set out to do just that -- with explosive results.

Customer Review:
An Enlightening Read!!, December 27, 2008
Adam W. Miller - See all my reviews Now and then a story comes along which is truly a page-turner. This story of the goings-on and eventual showdown between Pastor Frances Thomas' followers and the men and women who maintained law and order in the early days of the 1980's in Cochise County, AZ ranks right up there with only a few that I've read. It is a compelling, thoughtful and provocative account told by Mr. Daniel through his research of the facts surrounding this incident. It seems a shame that so many years have passed for the other side of this story to be told. A side which it seems was ignored or refuted at the time by self-serving politicians and others who sought to sensationalize the events for their own use. I would highly recommend this account to anyone who has an interest in humanity, conflict, religious-fanatacism, justice and the old and new west!! They say that fact can be stranger than fiction and in this case it rings true. I ask myself "what the hell were people thinking?" after putting this book down.


meryl's musings said...

Somehow I never heard of this incident at Chochise, but I have always wanted to see Tombstone. I'll have to check it out. Hunks and I have family in Phoenix and I'm thinking the next time we visit, there will be an additional road trip.

The6ofusinca said...

Sounds like a must read, I'm on it!


Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

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