1. The Feud Was Literally in This Clan’s Blood
The fighting between the Hatfields and McCoys finally came to an end in February, 1890, when Ellison “Cottontop” Mounts, a Hatfield, was hanged in Pikesville. The feud was remarkable for its intensity and longevity. That ability to keep a good hate going for a long time might have been due – at least on the McCoys’ part – to genetics. In 2007, an eleven-year-old McCoy girl prone to fits of rage underwent medical tests to find out just what was wrong with her. It was discovered that she, and many members of the McCoy clan, had tumors on their adrenal glands.
According to doctors, those kinds of tumors can cause the release of massive amounts of mood-altering chemicals, such as adrenalin. That could explain much about the infamous feud. As the McCoy girl’s physician put it, her family’s genetic defect: “does produce hypertension, headache and sweating intermittently depending on when the surge of these compounds occurs in the bloodstream. I suppose these compounds could possibly make somebody very angry and upset for no good reason“. Feuding was literally in the McCoys’ blood.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading
Anthony, Dave, and Reynolds, Gareth – The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories From American History (2017)
Critchley, David – The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931 (2008)
James, Rick – Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James (2015)
Jones, Dan – The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (2014)
Man of Many – The Story Behind Prince and Michael Jackson’s Rivalry
Raab, Selwyn – Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires (2006)