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tv   Legends Lies The Real West  FOX News  June 28, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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noon eastern with "outnumbered." have a great week. news is the first draft of history. it is immediate and takes place in realtime. legends take longer to develop and are sometimes based on myth. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legend.
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♪ >> led to fight for law & order. >> the true story of a legendary lawman. >> the fictional character captured the hearts and minds of people of all ages. >> and now for the first time, overriding the legend we bring you the true story of the wild west greatest champion of
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justice, the real lone ranger. ♪ ♪
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on the north american plains, opportunity causes to chase the frontier. they shape a nation and hold it in their destiny and with the o its reckoning. the lone ranger, the pure and righteous lawman, a symbol of truth and justice in an untamed land for nearly a century, this enduring icon has shaped our image of law and order but behind every legend lies a man and behind every man lies the truth. >> the lone ranger is a straight-shooting hero in a black and white world of good and evil. but a fictional idolized version of a real western legend.
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the truth is, lone ranger is likely based on a man who fights for law and ord on the western frontier but many have never heard of this true hero of the west, a dep dep tu u.s. marshal named bass reeves. >> a greater defender of the law. ten years after the civil war, the nation stitches itself back together and chaos rules the indian territory. the most dangerous place in the wild west. but deputy u.s. marshal bass reeves fights for the rule of law. >> what's it going to be?
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>> come on here, boy. >> the lone ranger symbolizes the pra tag mist of the western region but people don't know who he is. the lone ranger closely resembl resembl resembles bass reeves. >> bass reeves' name and face has been overlooked and obscured by history. >> bass reeves, a new deputy? >> yes, sir. >> bass reeves is one of only a few dozen deputy marshals who serve the federal court and jail in ft. smith, arkansas, a place that more than earns the name hell on the border. these men are charged with keeping the peace in the new home of the so-called five civilized tribes forced out of
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the southeastern states. >> the indian removal act took place a lot of the tribes were moved to oklahoma. indian territory is what it was called at the time. it was a diseased and awful place to be. >> it was a dangerous place. there were criminal elements that would go into that area simply to escape the law and the law wouldn't follow unless you were u.s. deputy marshals. >> here's a new warrant for you. that there is a bad man. best take a couple engines with you. >> won't need but one. >> no other place at any time is this deadly to u.s. marshals as the indian territory. they outnumbered marshals 300 to 1. bass reeves frequently rides
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with one man to back him up, a member of the five civilized tribes. >> like the lone ranger in tonto, bass reeves patrols the area. smuggling is rampant and profitable. as a deputy u.s. marshal, reeves is often tasked with bringing bootleggers to justice. like the lone ranger, bass reeves tries to apprehend criminals without violence. >> i have a powerful thrift. >> he gained an advantage using surprise. >> i've got a cure for what ails you. 12 bucks.
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>> hold it right there! [ gunfire ] >> bass reeves was the lawman that all outlaws did not want to meet. reeves was a cunning man. he was a wildly intelligent man and able to do things that no other marshal was able to do, like the lone ranger, he was determined to always get his man. >> there are many parl legals between bass reeves and the lone ranger. there's law and order. he was on a mission to bring in the bad guys and there's something about the man behind the mask that gave him a little bit of an aurora of mystery. >> his identity remains a mystery for many. few outlaw see him for who he
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really is until it's too late. >> this is my horse! what are you doing? >> we're moving, boys! yaw! >> let me go! i didn't do anything! >> i already told you, i bought this horse. i didn't know it was stolen. >> well, we think you stole it. we're the only law around here. >> when the west desperately needs the strong arm of the law, a man with a badge stands up for justice revealing a true american hero. >> who the hell are you?
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>> and unmasking a legend. >> and unmasking a legend. >> u.s. i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. mr. auto-mo-deal!s! hey, it's the wheel deal! hey, hey, the duke of deals! i know a few guys in the rental car biz. let's go, 'wheels'. rental car deals up to 40% off. you stay up. you listen. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future, we're here for you. we're legalzoom, and for over 10 years we've helped families just like yours with wills and living trusts.
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one crusader stops at nothing to protect the innocent and bring the guilty to justice. >> no one knows where he comes from or why he chooses the path. but he fights against crime and prejudice. >> there ain't no such thing as a colored lawman. >> it's those who doubted him he said, if you do not believe, i am the one i say i am. you'll truly die of your sins. you ready to die on your sins?
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>> in a famous radio series, the lone ranger delivered them to justice and rode away with people asking who was that masked man. >> the black mask that the lone ranger wore can be seen as symbolic of the black man who is often in this society because african-americans often were not recognized for many of their accomplishments. >> what was that you said back there? >> the bible. >> how did you know all of that scripture? >> i the lord command you to do what is just and right.
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>> please! >> come on with me. >> no! >> come on! >> you little rascal! >> not my boy! no! my boy! [ crying ] >> i see trouble.
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i don't want no blood on my hands. i said, go! >> it is not known definitively how bass reeves escaped being a slave. there are many conflicting stories but they all agree that he makes his way into indian territory. under federal law at the time, escaped slaves must be captured and returned, even in states where slavery is illegal. but the tribal governments of the indian territory do not adhere to u.s. law. so it's one of the safest places for escaped slaves. >> some of the tribes in indian territory have a long history of helping former slaves and bass reeves finds a home in their
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midst. >> two of the bands are actually african-american descent who have run away and became a part of the seminole nation. and i believe that bass reeves does indeed benefit from that network. >> the indians, they was mighty good to me. i was proud to gain their trust. >> when the civil war breaks out, reeves fights for the union cause to abolish slavery and finally achieve its freedom. >> by the end of the american civil war, bass reeves knows how to operate in three worlds. white men world, native american world and african-american world. so now we have a guy with a skill set that will be
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extraordinarily useful considering the wild times ahead for the nation. >> bass reeves became a free man and moved into indian territory for good, married a creek woman and started raising a family and he just wanted to live his life. >> the reeves tries to settle down by 1874. by 1875, the indian territory is exploding with crime and violence and it desperately needs law and order. >> henry, you are accused of horse stealing and murder. >> president grant appoints judge isaac carter to the bench giving his jurisdiction over the entire indian territory. >> the law sentences you to hang by the neck until you are dead. may god have mercy on your soul. >> parker sends an immediate message to the territory's
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outlaws by hanging six men at the same time. >> any last words? prepare to meet your maker. >> i have never hanged a man. it is the law. hanging al bow ligs providing certainty of punishment. it is the certainty of punishment that halts crime. >> they call judge parker the
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hanging judge and a lot of people certainly swung from his gal lows. he was no nonsense, tough as nails and he needed tough, no nonsense marshals. >> the indian territory was 75,000 square miles, the biggest court in u.s. history. reeves knows the language, the customs because he had lived there and so he was the absolute perfect person to be a deputy u.s. marshal. >> i'll put it bluntly, mr. reeves. i am looking for men with ho ar fight for justice, for civil rights for all. >> your honor, i cannot read or write. >> the president is not looking for school teachers and neither am i.
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>> judge parker and bass reeves, they were the same cut when it came to law and order, right and wrong. they were a perfect fit to work together. >> criminals soon learned to fear judge parker and his top enforcer, bass reeves. but unrepet tent killer jim webb does not obey the law and a neighbor spreads a brush fire that spreads to his ranch. >> stewart, what the hell are you doing to my place? you black bastard! [ gunfire ] >> jim weww was one of the most notorious bad men of the indian territory. as a racist, he represented everything that bass reeves had had to fight against all of his life. >> another warrant from judge
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parker for jim webb wanted for murder. >> bass, when you put a warrant in his hand, they said nothing could stop him. he was going to ride until he found that man. >> bass reeves charges out to serve his the beast was as long as the boat. for seven hours, we did battle. until i said... you will not beat... meeeeee!!! greg. what should i do with your fish? gary. just put it in the cooler. if you're a fisherman, you tell tales. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. put the fish in the cooler! time for the perfect night time snack. ♪ beautiful on the tongue, easy on the conscience.
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in the wild west, some are
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born great, some succeed to greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. such was the case with bass reeves. >> legendary deputy u.s. marshal bass reeves is on the trail of vicious murderer jim webb. knowing that webb will not hesitate to shoot at lawmen, floyd wilson and bass reeves approach with their badges hidden. >> they worked in disguise quite a bit, same as bass reeves. that's his m.o. and he disguised himself as a cowboy on this particular occasion looking for employment. >> mighty tired and hungry. might we get something to eat? >> bass reeves couldn't eat so what he would quite often do was hand the warrant to the person he was about to arrest and tell him to read it to him. he'd get a drop on him because
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he's filled his hands with paper and can't shoot me. >> haven't i seen you before, boy? >> don't recon so. >> gave me this letter to bring up here. >> this ain't no letter. >> just another young gun slinger doubted my ability with this six gun. he was real fast, but like a lot of people, he couldn't shoot both fast and straight. >> though he does his best to
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avoid gunfire, bass reeves is a deadly shot when he has to be. while there is no official record of how many men reeves kills during his career, an oklahoma paper puts the number at 14. all but one in self-defense. >> bass reeves, you son of a bitch, it ain't over! >> bass reeves spent months at a time in the wilds of indian territory rounding up fugitives but the longer the trip and the more felons he apprehends, the more dangerous it gets. reeves hires a team to help him on the trail, including a cook and a posse man. the trips are exhausting but he can't let his guard down. >> we have the same -- >> don't worry about it. you're going to miss me when i'm gone, sir, we're going to get out of here.
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mr. reeves, hush up now, all of you. >> you shot leech. >> get some help! >> the cook was shot in the neck, seriously wounded, did everything they could to provide medical attention. they took him to a doctor but the cook died. >> after he shoots his cook, some would like to see the famous black marshal hanged for murder. he could flee and become a fugitive himself but reeves' belief in justice compels him to face time in judge parker's court and accept the consequences of the law. >> i trust your word, bass, but
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the law demands you stand trial. >> i understand, judge. >> you can post bond and get back to your family. >> daddy! daddy! >> bass reeves, being in the line of work that he is, he's gone all the time. and so mostly he leaves his wife to raise the kids and a couple of his sons end up getting in trouble with the law. >> all rise. >> bass reeves' dedication to justice is hard on his family and if he is found guilty of murder, judge parker's gallows could take him away from them for good. >> the honorable judge isaac parker residing. >> be seated. >> it was a difficult situation to have judge parker facing his favorite u.s. deputy marshal but
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it had to be -- there had to be a trial. >> the prosecution calls deputy marshal reeves to the stand. >> in many ways, bass reeves was on trial for most of his career because a black man who has authority over whites did not sit well with a lot of people. >> deputy marshal reeves, you contend that you had nothing to do with this killing, that your gun did it. >> yes, sir. i had a cartridge in the magazine. i couldn't throw it up to the barrel so then i reached for my knife. either my knife or my hand
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struck the trigger and the gun went off. >> oh, get some help! >> my, that's a wonderful story. >> no further questions, your honor. >> the jury must now decide, did bass reeves murder the cook? if the verdict is guilty, his life will rest in the hands of life will rest in the hands of the hanging judge. this is good, mom. "good"? (chuckles) it's delicious! and this new kibble blend is so healthy. thank you. no, nancy, thank you. kibbles 'n bits. because every bit matters. kibbles 'n bits. i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day.
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the murder trial of bass reeves is nearing its end. like the lone ranger, reeves is committed to justice but now his faith in the law could make him lose his freedom once again.
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>> have you reached a verdict? >> we have, your honor. >> will the defendant please rise. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty of the charge in the indictment. [ applause ] >> i said, go. >> it's hard to believe that bass reeves was acquitted by a mostly white jury but one of the things that came under in the trial was that it was unlikely a man who was trying to kill the cook would then expend so much energy trying to save him. >> though judge isaac parker is remembered as the legendary hanging judge, the truthis, out of more than 13,000 cases, he
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sends just 79 felons to the gallows. given this, judge parker could more appropriately be remembered for his fairness and strict adherence to the law. virtually everyone who comes through his court receives a fair trial. even a black deputy marshal accused of murder. >> good to have you back with us. and just in time, too. this jim webb, he jumped bail and disappeared. >> freeze, you son of a bitch! it ain't over! >> jim webb, the killer who reeves put behind bars for murder, is once again at large and he'll do whatever it takes toid being caught. >> bass reeves always gets his man and the reason he always gets his man is not because he's a superman but because he has a network. >> reeves learned to annoy a lot
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of settlers regardless of ethnicity and they could tell him wa was going on in the area or give him any information that would be helpful to him. >> reeves gets a tip that webb is hiding with a friend in the chicksaw nation. >> if bass reeves had a next me sis, it was jim webb. web was everything that reeves was not. i mean, he's a believer in white supremacy, clearly no fan of the law. and bass reeves feels in his heart that he must bring him in.
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[ gunfire ] >> if you had got in a gunfight with bass reeves, it was like committing suicide. reeves was so good that he was able to, in a split second, make the right decision, make the right shot and put webb down. >> bass, you're truly, truly a
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brave man. take my pistol. it's killed 11 men. i recon you would have been the 12th. >> the giving of the gun to bass reeves is a sign of respect. so this white racist outlaw, this man who had murdered a black preacher finally with his dying breath sees that this black man has brought him down. >> jim webb's death closes one of the most violent chapters in bass reeves' career. he continues to pursue justice in the indian territory.
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but when he suffers, two of the greatest tragedies, everything he's built comes crashing down. greatest tragedies, everything he's built comes crashing down. oh no. who are you? daddy, this is blair, he booked this room with priceline express deals and saved a ton. i got everything i wanted..... i always do. he seemed nice. you've been staring at that for a while, huh?
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for two decades, like a real life lone ranger, bass reeves brings order to the western frontier. but in 1896, two personal tragedies threaten his role as a man of justice. his wife's death deals a devastating blow to his already strained relationship with his family. and the loss of judge parker leaves his career as a lawman in doubt. >> he was a mighty powerful man. doing a lot of good, according to what the bible said. he was named after the old prophet isaac. >> the partnership between isaac parker and bass reeves really
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started to clean things up. but by the time that judge parker dies in 1896, the country had changed. >> six months before parker's death, the u.s. supreme court makes a ruling with long-term effects on civil rights. >> what many do not realize is that america actually makes positive strides towards reconstruction following the civil war. but the separate but equal decision in 1896 brings an end to much of that reaacial progre. >> plessy versus ferguson ruled in segregated schools, water fountains and all of these things that would carry clear over into the 1960s. >> a year after the decision, reeves is transferred to
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muskogee and he's a second-class citizen. his wife and mentor are gone. >> reeves felt like he was portrayed. he worked for the federal government for years and years and the law is coming down on black people in terms of what they can and cannot do. >> everything is falling apart for bass reeves, his career, his freedom and his family. and two years into the 20th century, his code of justice is put to his greatest dishonorable
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people with that high feeling of duty and responsibility it is always duty before the duty before dishonor.ve reeves easily picks up his trail. ben isn't a hardened outlaw like the men reeves usually chases. but he has killed one family member andl he might not his to kill another. at night,
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and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your doctor about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. with unflinching resolution, he moves in to make the biggest arrest of his life, bringing his son to justice for murder.
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>> bass reeves really didn't have a choice. he was a peace officer and his son had commit add crime. he was duty bound to bring him in. >> ben reeves spends years in federal prison in kansas. bass will never again see his son outside of a prison cell, but his own freedom is also disappearing. in 1907. the indian territory officially becomes the state of oklahoma where segregation is now common place. >> like many other confederate
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identifying state, they use the separate but equal doctrine to enact jim crowe laws. this is the sad irony of bass reeves' life. the law he lifts his life to uphold turns against him. >> whites only. you need to move. >> history has given glory to the wild bill hickok where as it has forgotten bass reeves. they couldn't fathom having a black lawman who was
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better than all the white lawmen of his day. >> bass reeves rises from slavery to a position of authority and respect only to have it all taken away again. >> you want a story? >> yeah. >> all right. you wait for me right here. >> e had outlives the hair trigger world of the old west. a land he helps shape into a nation of laws. but his incredible legacy can't stay buried forever. >> where do i begin? >> bass reeves arrested 3,000 dangerous felons with little backup, to radio. coming from a law enforcement background, that is amazing to me. he's the man. >> this right here belonged to a bad man. >> bass reeves is the guy you think about when you think about tough as nails lawman. he was the engine that drove the taming of the wild west.
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>> he killed 11 men. >> bass deserves to be lifted among all the great american lawmen of the old west. i personally believe that bass reeves was the inspiration for the lone ranger. >> bass reeves, he was really at heart a man of justice and a man of peace. if he didn't inspire the lone ranger, he should have. >> return with us now to the thrilling days offiester year when from out of the past come the silver horse. >> to find an equal of bass reeves, it's difficult not to look to the legendary lone ranger character. the similarities between the two are hard to ignore. and to many, a strong indication that bass reeves is the true basis to the tv character. we may never know if bass reeves
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really is the inspiration for the iconic hero. but the true story of bass reeves is more extraordinary than any legend. the constitution grants them that. what do you think? let me know. with the syrian regime, terrorizing its people. >> they use the little poles to hit us and torture us. >> and isis on the rampage as well. >> either we become muslims or pay the tax money they want or they kill us. >> some wonder if america should do more. >> there's a full blown christian genocide. >> with jordan caught in the cross fire. its leader is trying to stand up to them. can america afford to stay on the sidelines? >> kill the bad guys, you kill the bad guys, that's what you

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