#2. Buford Pusser
Buford Pusser was the sheriff of McNairy, Tenn., back in the 1960s. When criminals weren't busy laughing at his name, they were busy getting their asses busted by the Pusser of Justice. Buford was a hell of a sheriff, and as such, made a lot of enemies. Among them was the State Line Mafia. When the Mafia robbed a nearby restaurant, killing one of Pusser's friends in the process, you could practically hear the wailing guitars of vengeance echo out from Pusser's office.
Cevdet Gökhan Palas/Photos.com
You guys are fucked.
Pusser went on a righteous tear, arresting, driving out of town, or outright killing several members of the SLM, including the mistress of their leader, Carl "Towhead" White. (No, Pusser didn't go full evil in his pursuit of vengeance; she tried to kill him first.) The SLM retaliated by murdering Pusser's wife. And if they had seen any action movies, especially the several they ended up making about Buford Pusser, they'd know this didn't shut Pusser down. It only sealed their fate.
Now a man with nothing to lose, Pusser took out two mafioso by straight-up driving his car through the front of an illegal Casino. As if to prove that he had gone full Payback-style antihero, Pusser next paid for a hitman to take out Towhead White. With the SLM splintered from White's death, Pusser personally went after the rest of his wife's killers, even as they fled the state.
Buford Pusser, a man of righteous vengeance and even more righteous hair.
Now, nobody is officially copping to the illegal vigilante kills that followed, but strangely enough, nearly all of the suspects in the murder of Pusser's wife were found shot dead. Only one suspect survived, and that's because he voluntarily went to jail as soon as he heard Pusser was in town. With his revenge now more or less complete, Pusser simply went back up to Tennessee and showed up at work again. Hopefully he at least clocked out, as we're pretty sure you can't use company time for a Vengecation.
#1. Frank Eaton
Frank Eaton's father was a vigilante, who was killed by a group of other, former-confederate vigilantes who did not approve of his vigilante lifestyle. Vigilantes are not exactly known for their keen self-awareness. Upon hearing the news, a friend of Eaton's father named Mose Beaman told him, "May an old man's curse fall upon you, if you don't avenge your father."
Frank Eaton was 8 years old, at the time.
"Can ... can I finish my ice cream before I start avenging?"
Aside from scaring the holy shit out of the kid with some sort of geriatric hex (did you know old people could do that?! We thought it was just gypsies!), Beaman also took the boy under his wing and taught him how to shoot, presumably via a series of cryptic lessons involving sweeping floors, painting fences, and waxing wagons.
By the age of 15, Frank had graduated with honors from Mose Beamon's Murder Academy and Beanery (it was the old west, it's safe to assume everything was also a beanery). Eaton figured he might have more to learn about the fine art of shootin' folks in the eyeballs, so he stopped in Ft. Gibson, Okla., to get some military training. But even back in the 1800s, the army didn't just up and hire any juvenile Punisher that showed up on their doorstop wanting to learn more about murder. They said he was too young to join up, but invited him to target practice with his pistol anyway. Eaton beat every trained soldier in the camp. The justifiably impressed/terrified colonel gave Frank the nickname Pistol Pete right there on the spot, if only to stop him from shooting for just a moment.
"You're going to give me a catchy nickname, and you're going to give it to me now."
When Eaton was 20 years old, he became one of the youngest marshals in history. Now, finally, armed with a badge (as well as a lot of guns), Frank set out to kill the men who shot his pa. By 1887, he had defeated five of the murderers in full fledged shootouts. The sixth escaped Pete's wrath, but only by selfishly dying before Eaton could get to him.
Oklahoma State Football
Frank Eaton: The Willie Nelson of shooting your ass dead.
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