May 29, 2008
"Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings and Celebrated
Trials" by Bill Neal and published by Texas Tech University Press, has won the 2008
Rupert Norval Richardson Award for the best book on West Texas History, presented
by the West Texas Historical Association (WTHA).
Neal received the award last month at the WTHA Annual Conference in Canyon. The book was selected as the award winner from a list of finalists that included Lou Rodenberger's "Jane Gilmore Rushing: A West Texas Writer and Her Work," also published by Texas Tech University Press.
Neal spent more than four decades frequenting county courthouses in West Texas and hearing tales of sensational crimes and celebrated trials of bygone years. Most of the stories gathered in "Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier" have never before been published, and each is supported by a wealth of primary research. Neal practiced criminal law in West Texas for the past 40 years, 20 as a prosecutor and 20 as a defense attorney. He and his wife live in Abilene.
Neal is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, where he was a student of the late Rupert N. Richardson, for whom the award is named.
Established in 1996, the Richardson Award is given for the best nonfiction book on West Texas history, broadly conceived, published within the prior two years. The recipient receives a $500 cash award as well as a certificate of honor.
Rupert Norval Richardson was born April 28, 1891, on Sandy Creek near Caddo and died in Abilene April 14, 1988. He held a bachelor of arts degree from Hardin-Simmons and the bachelor of science from the University of Chicago. He obtained both the master’s (1922) and doctoral degrees (1928) from the University of Texas.
During his long career at Hardin-Simmons University, Richardson served both as president and professor emeritus and was also founder and longtime editor/director of the West Texas Historical Association. Considered one of the preeminent historians of Texas and the West, he authored numerous books, including "The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement" (1933) and a history textbook, "Texas: The Lone Star State" (1943).
For more information or a review copy of "Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings and Celebrated Trials," contact Barbara Brannon, marketing manager, Texas Tech University Press, (806) 742-2982 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on the book is available at www.ttup.ttu.edu/BookPages/0896725790.html