Wanted: Dead or Alive

The Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry is pleased to have a new exhibit from the Oklahoma History Center called Wanted: Dead or Alive, which focuses on Oklahoma outlaws and law enforcement.

Jan. 5-Feb. 25, 2023

This photography exhibit features images of some of Oklahoma’s most infamous criminals. Images from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections, the National Archives, and the Oklahoma Historical Society include mugshots, crime scene locations and group shots with criminals, and law enforcement officers. They span more than 70 years, starting before statehood in 1907 and reaching into the late 1950s.

While there may be a few familiar names, such as the Doolin and Dalton Gangs and Ma Barker, the exhibit showcases stories that might not be as well known. Visitors will learn about whiskey towns, the Tulsa Central Park Gang, Spencer State Bank, Wanda Bartram, Ralph Roe, and many more. Many of the people featured were born and raised in Oklahoma or moved here and began their lives of crime. Sometimes the stories are as much about the location as the individual. Although many of the tales feature truly despicable characters, others tell of people who temporarily went astray. Some of the accounts include strange twists and turns, and there is even an unsolved mystery.

Oklahoma Outlaws & Law Enforcers Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our poetry contest:

1st Place, Bill McCloud, Pryor OK

2nd Place, Jennie Mueller, Sapulpa OK

3rd Place, Irene Monnet Brown, Tulsa OK

You can read the winning poems in the document below.