Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Big Nose" George Parrot

George Parrott, also known as Big Nose George, George Manuse and George Warden, was a cattle rustler and train robber in the American Wild West in the late 19th century.

He is most famous for his skin being made into a pair of shoes after his execution.

In 1878, Parrott and his gang murdered two law enforcement officers during a botched train robbery.

Wyoming deputy sheriff Robert Widdowfield and Union Pacific detective Tip Vincent were killed as the gang was trying to escape.

Parrot was caught and after he tried to escape, a lynch mob hunted him down and strung him up themselves.

Parrot’s skull cap was sawed off and given to the doctor’s 15-year-old assistant. Throughout her life she used it as a pen holder, a doorstop and an ashtray. The doctor made a pair of shoes and a medical bag out of Parrot’s skin.
The death of Big Nose George faded into history until May 11, 1950, when construction workers unearthed a whiskey barrel filled with bones on Cedar Street in Rawlins. Inside the barrel was a skull with the top sawed off, a bottle of vegetable compound, and the shoes said to have been made from Parrott's thigh flesh.

Dr. Lillian Heath, then in her eighties, was contacted and her skull cap was sent to the scene. It was found to fit the skull in the barrel perfectly, and DNA testing later confirmed the remains were those of Big Nose George.