THE LAST WESTERN Release date: August 18th. $2.99
Award-winning journalist and investigative reporter Rone Tempest presents the gripping true crime story of a Puerto Rico-born undercover officer gunned down by a white Wyoming lawman in 1978 — and the notorious frontier trial that followed.
“THE LAST WESTERN is quick moving, deeply sourced, and a page-turning snapshot of an event that rocked the state and still lingers - for better or worse.”
— C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of LONG RANGE
“Hugely entertaining.... Think: High Noon meets Training Day in Deadwood.” —Mike Sager, Esquire, author of The Devil and John Holmes and Hunting Marlon Brando.
Of all the possible explanations for why lawman Ed Cantrell shot and killed his deputy Michael Rosa in the parking lot of the Silver Dollar saloon, the least likely was the one that prevailed at trial—that a deranged Rosa went for his gun and Cantrell outdrew him in self-defense. In his powerful and compelling reconstruction of the infamous 1978 killing in boomtown Rock Springs, Wyoming, award-winning journalist Rone Tempest tracks the parallel lives of Cantrell, an Indiana schoolboy who fashioned himself into a 19th-century Western gunfighter on the right side of the law, and Rosa, a Puerto Rico-born and West Harlem-raised decorated U.S. Marine who worked under Cantrell as an undercover narc. For a time, Tempest writes, the two were an efficient team: Cantrell, the steely-eyed Wild West throwback and Rosa, the street-savvy New Yorker with an impressive flair. But then came a falling-out. Tensions and paranoia built to a breaking point until a midnight meeting in a saloon parking lot where Cantrell, with two other cops beside him, drew his Model 10 .357 and shot Rosa between the eyes, killing him instantly as he sat in the backseat of an unmarked police car. Unearthing previously unseen investigators' notes, military records, personnel files, census records, college transcripts and even airplane manifests, Tempest skillfully demonstrates the true aim and cost of the raucous murder trial that followed the killing.