August 15, 1912
Frontier lawman Heck Thomas died, apparently of heart failure complicated by Bright’s disease. Thomas became one of the best-known officers of the law in Arkansas and Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). His reputation as a fearless crime fighter stemmed from a determination to bring felons to justice and from the notorious characters he encountered. In the early 1970s, NBC broadcast the movie The Century Turns, and the series Hec Ramsey, both loosely based on Thomas’s tenure as a Lawton, Oklahoma, police officer.