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West Gilbreath

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West Gilbreath is a "career law enforcement officer with more than thirty four years of experience. West first began his career with the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department, Las Cruces, New Mexico as a deputy patrolman. In 2001, West retired as the lieutenant, and commander over the Criminal Investigations Division. He and wife Sabrina moved to North Texas to start second careers, and they reside near Denton. West joined the University of North Texas Police Department in Denton, a month after retirement, and is the Captain over the Criminal Investigations and has also been crossed commissioned a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal. West is a graduate of the New Mexico State Law Enforcement Academy, Santa Fe, the F.B.I. National Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and the National Forensic Academy, University of Tennessee, at Knoxville. He holds a Texas Master Peace Officer license and is a Police Instructor. When not researching lawmen and outlaws of the Old West, West is an avid law enforcement badge collector who collects New Mexico and Texas sheriff badges and other law enforcement and Old West memorabilia. His first book, Death on the Gallows, The Story of Legal Hangings in New Mexico, was published by High Lonesome Press, and detailed the men and women executed by hanging in New Mexico from 1847 - 1923.  His second book is Death on the Gallows:  The Encyclopedia of Legal Hangings in Texas.

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According to the book description of  Death on the Gallows: The Encyclopedia of Legal Hangings in Texas"is organized by county in alphabetical order.  The book was thoroughly researched and details the individual stories of the 467 men and women who were convicted and hanged in Texas from 1834 before Texas was a Republic through Statehood, until 1923.  In that year the method changed from hanging to the electric chair which were conducted at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, Texas.   The stories within the book provides accounts of the crime committed, their capture, and persons last moments on the gallows.  The book further contains several photographs, and letters and interviews with the condemn person."

 

According to the book description of Death on the Gallows: The Story of Legal Hangings in New Mexico, 1847-1923, "In the old West, execution was a common form of punishment, and until 1923 hanging was the most common form of execution in New Mexico. Following exhaustive research of court records and newspaper accounts, former Las Cruces detective West Gilbreath has documented New Mexico's legal hangings, and a few illegal ones, to tell the story of how dozens of hardened criminals, and a few innocents, were dropped from the gallows and jerked to their final reward. The actual executions are presented in unvarnished form, just as eyewitnesses and the newspapers of the time described them. Most interesting, the crimes that led to the ultimate punishment are described in detail, providing a unique view of law and disorder in the land of enchantment."

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