Gaskill Brothers

LIVING IN THE PAST: REENACTORS OF THE GASKILL BROTHERS GUNFIGHTERS

                                                                                                                                                                          

By Ariele Johannson

April 9, 2013 (Campo)--The reenactors involved in this fascinating hobby of bringing the famed Campo Gunfight to life have their own histories and stories of how they came to portray the Old West—that is, when they are not working as investment brokers, linemen, firefighters, lawyers, and more.

Frenchy (photo, right) is played by Bear Larsen, who has acted in Hollywood movies, such as The Dogs directed by John De Bello, best known for directing Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Larsen has been involved in reenacting for over 30 years. He speaks about it this way: "I love doing it. It's in my heart."

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE CAMPO GUNFIGHT

                                                                                                                                                                        

By Ariele Johannson

If you've watched a reenactment of the 1875 Campo gunfight, you may have wondered what led up to the conflict and wanted to learn more about this fascinating tale. Here are the true details behind one of East County's most infamous historical episodes.

The leader of a Mexican gang, or Californios banditos, was Clodoveo Chavez and his most trusted man, Cruz Lopez. Chavez had recently threatened revenge on the gringos, because his “captain,” the infamous Tiburcio Vasquez had been jailed in San Jose for two murders. Vasquez pled innocent, and it is possible he never committed any murders during his “career.”