John Pointer

Ed and William Vandevere, William Bolding, and John Pointer traveled together from Arkansas to Wise County, Texas to pick cotton in August 1891. Having completed their work, Ed Vandevere and Bolding returned to Arkansas in December. They never arrived.

Though Pointer left the group during the summer and ended up in unspecified legal trouble elsewhere, he returned to Wise County just hours after Vandevere and Bolding departed. Pointer quickly left to join them.

Vandevere and Bolding were discovered dead in Indian Territory on December 26, 1891. Investigation led to Pointer, who was trying to sell the men’s horses and property.

Once arrested, Pointer was taken to Fort Smith to stand trial. At trial, Pointer’s claim of self-defense was rejected and he was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death on March 26, 1894.

John Pointer was hanged on September 20, 1894.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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