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RON HOUSE

Artistic Director of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center

Swift Fox - The Conflicting Stories of Willie Boy

On the 25th of September 1909 on Gilman ranch outside Banning, California, a 28-year-old Piute Indian, known locally as Willie Boy, shot and killed 68-year-old Mike Boniface -- an elder in the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe who had been living on the 29 Palms Indian reservation.

The cause of the argument was Mike Boniface's daughter Carlota, who then fled the scene of the crime accompanying Willie Boy.  A posse was formed in Banning several hours after the “murder” and a manhunt began. On this, all of the citizens of Banning, California, white and Native American will agree. From there the accounts differ widely depending on who you want to believe.

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Willie Boy / Swift Fox
1881 – 1909 or 1933?


October 20th 1909 at Ruby Mountain, California. Alleged body of Willie Boy burned at the site.