December 25, 1890
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A jail cook stabbed a fellow inmate to death following an argument about the cook’s “unpalatable” food

The victim, Samuel McCowan, had insulted the cooking to other inmates and threw a handful of salt at the face of James Mullen, the cook. A fight broke out ending in a butcher knife in McCowan’s heart.

In one article in the Weekly Citizen (Albuquerque, NM Mar. 28, 1891) the reporter noted the defense presented a clear case that McCowan had instigated the fight and Mullen only acted in self-defense, though an article published in The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM Mar. 27, 1891) reported Mullen was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 3 years.

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