The Patriot Resource - Tombstone

No Known Photograph
'Curly Bill' William Brocius
AKA William Brocious
AKA William Bresnahan
Born: ?
Died: ?

Character in Tombstone Portrayed by: Powers Boothe

There is little known about Curly Bill, but what is known is mostly portrayed accurately in Tombstone. The opening scene where he and the Cowboys go massacre a number of Mexican police is ficticious. Events surrounding the death of City Marshal Fred White were accurately portrayed. On October 28, 1880, Curly Bill was carousing and shooting at lampposts with several others when White went to disarm him. Brocius complied, presenting his gun barrel first. However when White attempted to take the gun, it when off and he was shot. He would die two days later. Wyatt Earp had been nearby and clubbed Brocius over the head with his pistol as was portrayed in the film.

The scene depicting Curly Bill Brocius' death at the hands of Wyatt Earp in a gunfight is based on Wyatt Earp's own claim that he killed Brocius in a shootout with several Cowboys on March 24, 1882. As the story goes, the Cowboys caught Earp and his posse by surprise near the bank of Iron Springs. Brocius missed Earp with a shotgun blast, while Earp cut him down with his own shotgun blast. No one else has ever substantiated the story by finding corroborating witnesses or a body. The best support for Earp's version is the fact that Brocius never resurfaced.

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