This Texas outlaw constantly had the stench of death all around him. His list of casualties was impressively long back then as it is today. And you've probably never heard of him.

Meet James Brown Miller.

A Man By Many Names

James Brown Miller was occasionally referred to as "Deacon Miller" because a church-going man who just said no to booze and smoking.

Ironically enough, he would come to be known as "Killer Miller". He actually advertised that he would kill people for $150. It just goes to show you that you can't always judge a book by it's cover.

James Brown (Jim) Miller, his wife Sarah Francis “Sallie” (Clements) Miller, and child, probably son Claude C. Miller; circa 1890s/Public Domain

An Early Start

Though the evidence was not conclusive, Miller may have started his murder spree in 1869 when he was just eight years old. The victims? His grandparents.

The elderly couple was found dead and he was arrested, but never was taken to court.

This wouldn't be the only time he was accused of killing a family member either, because when he turned 19 years old he killed his brother-in-law with a shotgun while he was asleep on his porch.

This time, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, but the conviction was overturned on a technicality.

He Got The Feel For It

Following his release, Miller went to work as a ranch hand. When his boss was killed, the man responsible for the killing came to lose an arm after he was ambushed by someone wielding a shotgun. That someone was said to be none other but Miller.

He became a deputy, and gained a reputation for killing Mexicans "who tried to escape". He was involved in several disputes and shootings after but survived because somewhere along the line he picked up the habit of wearing a steel breastplate under his vest.


His Texas Ranger Days

With a few more killings under his belt, Miller was hired to be a Texas Ranger. In that time, he killed at least one person "during the course of his duties". It was shortly after that he started advertising his $150 murder special.

Miller was then involved in many more incidents, ambushes, and murders, but in the interest of time and space, we'll move on to his final days.

The Final Straw

James Brown Miller/Public Domain
James Brown Miller/Public Domain

Miller and some friends were arrested for the contract murder of an Oklahoma cattle rancher and lawman. Knowing that the accused would most likely be set free, the citizens of Ada, Oklahoma stormed the jail to lynch the men.

While being strung up and waiting for his fate, Miller denied the crowd some of the justice at the end by yelling "Let 'er rip" and stepping off the box himself.

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