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"Red Fox of the Big Thicket" arrested for the first time

January
13
1939

On this day in 1939, legendary Big Thicket outlaw Red Golemon was arrested for the first time. Thomas Jefferson Golemon was born in 1909 near Kountze, Texas, and left home at eighteen to became an oilfield roughneck. For the next twelve years he traveled through Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and earned a reputation for brawling. He was first arrested in Corpus Christi, where he and two companions were charged with the murder of a rig builder who had been killed in a drunken fight. Golemon was released on bond but failed to show up for trial. After he and an accomplice robbed a bank in Hull in July, Golemon hid out in Houston with relatives, one of whom turned him in to the police. Once again Golemon was freed on bond and once again he failed to appear for trial. He disappeared into the Big Thicket, and stories began flowing connecting him with a series of robberies, kidnappings, and other crimes. His criminal career ended in April 1940 when the notorious "Red Fox of the Big Thicket," discovered at his parents' home in Hardin County, died in a barrage of gunfire.

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