McKinney Meets His Maker
Jim McKinney & Al Hulse vs. California Lawmen
By: Mark Boardman 02/16/2010
Acting on a tip, a 10-man posse surrounds the Bakersfield, California, establishment known as the Joss House, a combination meeting place, religious shrine, rooming house and opium den. Their target is Jim McKinney, wanted for two murders in Arizona and another in California.
At around 10 a.m., Bakersfield City Marshal Jeff Packard and Kern County Deputy Sheriff Will Tibbet are searching inside the house; they are about to enter the first floor room of Al Hulse, a known associate of McKinney, and his prostitute girlfriend Jennie Fox. The door swings open—directly in front of the officers is McKinney, shotgun leveled at them. Behind him and to his right is Hulse, pointing a rifle. Miss Fox is trying to find cover.
For some reason, McKinney hesitates. Packard fires his rifle at the outlaw but misses. Hulse puts a bullet into Tibbet’s right side. The lawmen back away from the room and move a few steps toward a back door. McKinney unloads one barrel of his shotgun, hitting both officers. Tibbet exits the house and stumbles down the stairs, collapsing in the backyard.
Packard is right behind his injured colleague, but as he attempts to escape he is shot again by both McKinney and Hulse. Badly wounded, the marshal finds some cover behind a privy door in the backyard.
The rest of the posse heads down an alley to the back of the Joss House. As they do so, Hulse and his girl escape through the unguarded front door.
Deputy Marshal Ernest Etter reaches the backyard and fires his pistol at McKinney, who stands in the back doorway. The shots miss. Deputy Sheriff Bert Tibbet—Will’s brother—is also at the scene. He spies McKinney, still partially framed in the door, and opens up with his shotgun, hitting his target in the neck and driving him back into the house. Satisfied with his strike against McKinney, Bert leaves to assist his wounded brother.
Kern County Deputy Gus Tower runs down the alley to help and sees McKinney through the kitchen window. Tower shoots and misses, but his gunfire forces McKinney to move again to the back door.
Bert, still helping his wounded brother, sees the badman in the doorway and fires the second load of shot. McKinney is hit in the left side of the face. The blast pushes him inside the Joss House; his body drapes over the railing to the stairs that lead to the basement hop room.
Jim McKinney, a most violent man, is, appropriately, dead by violence.