Fort Smith hanging judge documentary filmed by U of A professor

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) – A University of Arkansas professor is bringing light to the eerie history of downtown Fort Smith.

‘Indians, Outlaws, Marshals, and the Hanging Judge’ follows the true story of a Saint Louis reporter’s coverage of Judge Issac Parker, commonly known as the ‘hanging’ judge’.

Set in 1896, the documentary takes the viewer to the gallows in Fort Smith where 86 men were hanged by Judge Parker. 

Filmmaker Larry Foley said the foundation of the film is the detailed interviews journalist Asa Patterson left behind. 

“It’s not a story we’ve gotten out of any kind of book, it’s not a story that someone of current day has told us, it’s a story that was written in 1896, so everything that we are doing is meant to take you from today, back to September the first 1896,” Professor Foley said.

Foley said the film will be released this winter. 

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