Good news for those of you following the caper of the missing lizard pin: The AP reported over the weekend that a stickpin that belonged to legendary nineteenth-century Judge Isaac C. Parker has been returned to the Fort Smith Museum of History.
The lizard-shaped, gold-and-diamond pin was stolen from the museum on Thursday and returned on Saturday (a $1,300 reward had been offered). Police are still investigating what happened.
Parker, known as the “Hanging Judge,” served as a federal judge in Fort Smith from 1875 to 1896, during which time he sentenced 156 men and four women to death (79 of them on the gallows). Parker himself told a newspaper that he opposed capital punishment. “I never hung a man,” he told a St. Louis newspaper in 1896. “It is the law.”
The Fort Smith Museum of History has a number of artifacts of Parker’s in addition to the pin.