A Famous Feud
In the early 1800s in America, two families embarked on a feud that would last for decades and result in the deaths of more than a dozen people.
Both Bill Anderson Hatfield, known to all as "Devil Anse," and Randall "Ran'l" McCoy had large families. One of the McCoys joined the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War, which angered all of the Hatfields and most of the McCoys. He got word that a few Southern sympathizers, a band formed by Devil Anse himself, were after him. He hid in a cave, where the raiders tracked him down and shot him. He was the first recorded victim in one of history's most widely known feuds.
After a few years, one of the Hatfields was accused of stealing livestock (one hog, actually) from one of the McCoys. The jury consisted of six McCoys and six Hatfields. One of the McCoys, angry at his family, sided with the Hatfields and the accused went free. Enraged by the decision, a few months later a couple of the McCoys found him and shot and stabbed him to death. The battle was on.
Back and forth the feud raged—with lots of intrigue on both sides—for decades. Oddly enough, the primary instigator of the whole thing, Devil Anse Hatfield, died of natural causes at over 80 years old!