Thunder Over the Prairie

The True Story of a Murder and a Manhunt by the Greatest Posse of All Time

The year was 1878. Future legends of the Old West–lawmen Charlie Bassett, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Bill Tilghman–patrolled the unruly streets of Dodge City, Kansas, then known as “the wickedest little city in America.”

When a cattle baron fled town after allegedly shooting the popular dancehall girl Dora Hand, these four men–all sharpshooters who knew the surrounding harsh, desertlike terrain–hunted him down, it was said, like “thunder over the prairie.” The posse’s legendary ride across the desolate landscape to seek justice influenced the men’s friendship, careers, and feelings about the justice system. This account of that event is a fast-paced, unforgettable glimpse into the Old West.


Listen to an interview from Chronicle of the Old West


Photos from the Thunder Over the Prairie
book launch in Dodge City, Kansas