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June 27, 2006


Los Gatos Library Book Presentation and Signing: The Bad Man from Bodie



Peggy Conaway

Los Gatos Public Library

110 East Main Street

Los Gatos, CA 95030



It was murder as odious as had ever been seen in the Old West, planned by a Los Gatos saloonkeeper and his two trusty sidekicks.  MSgt, USAF (Ret.) Joseph P. Bowman will share the fascinating story and images from his 2005 book, The Bad Man from Bodie, when he appears at the Los Gatos Town Council Chambers on Tuesday, July 18.  The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. with coffee and a book signing, and the author’s talk will begin at 7:30 p.m.  Books will be available for purchase at the program. 


The little village of Los Gatos was shocked and horrified at the vicious, premeditated torture and murders that occurred at the ranch of William P. Renowden in the hills above Lexington on March 11, 1883.  The motive was robbery, as Renowden was rumored to have gold pieces in his cabin.  The names of the three guilty Los Gatos men, John Franklin Showers, Joseph Jewell, and mastermind and saloonkeeper Lloyd Leadbetter Majors, became infamous when court proceedings dragged on for a year.  Majors and Jewell were eventually hanged, and Showers was killed by a fellow inmate at Folsom State Prison. 


Author Joe Bowman is a highly decorated Air Force veteran who served in Desert Storm.  His family moved to Los Gatos in 1876, and while conducting genealogical research he discovered the Lexington murders and the involvement of one of his ancestors, John Franklin Showers.  He lives with his family in Fowler, California


The program is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Los Gatos Public Library.