It's been awhile since I posted a conspiracy theory blog, but I've been thinking a lot about Red Dead Redemption lately and what an amazing game it was and how the prospects of a sequel in the near future would make me really happy. If you don't want to read spoilers for that game, you might want to skip this blog.

One of my favorite movies from the late 80s was Young Guns. Besides featuring an all-star cast (that might be a slight exaggeration) including the likes of Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie Sheen, the movie spotlighted one of my favorite personalities from the history books - the infamous Billy the Kid. I've read a lot of material about this notorious outlaw from the Wild West and the often exaggerated accounts of his dastardly deeds, like the fact local legends credit him with killing 21 men when a more likely number is less than half that. I guess I'm somewhat intrigued with how he was elevated to a position of historical prominence if he was indeed just a common outlaw and not nearly the villain the local papers that embellished his exploits made him out to be. I'm also fascinated by the reports surfacing many years after his purported death of individuals claiming to be the Kid, including Brushy Bill Roberts, whose tale you can see portrayed at the end of Young Guns II.

An interesting turn of events, don't you think?

Imagine that same scenario applied to one of the industry's favorite games and the beloved hero featured in that game - does any game or any character come to mind fit the description?

In the spring of 2010, Rockstar Games presented us with a bold and fresh new game titled Red Dead Redemption - an open world action game set in the Wild West utilizing a third person shooter perspective and featuring one of the most colorful characters in the modern era of gaming.

"Blackmailed in 1911 by unscrupulous federal agents into hunting down his former comrades in Dutch van Der Linde's notorious gang, Marston straddles more than the border between Mexico and the United States. He also stands between the Old West and modernity - between the celebration of the individual and the collective requirements of organized society - as he tries to salvage a family life from the smoldering legacy of his criminal past. Along the way, he and his creators conjure such a convincing, cohesive and enthralling reimagination of the real world that it sets a new standard for sophistication and ambition in electronic gaming." -The New York Times

If you've played Red Dead Redemption all the way through, which according to statistics only some of you have while most others have not, then no doubt you suffered the heartbreaking conclusion that left many of us sitting there in shock and disbelief as the hero of the game, the beloved John Marston, the former outlaw seeking redemption and a quiet life with his family, a man who was simply trying to settle down and live a simple life in the new frontier... gunned down right before our eyes.

While we're still reeling from the emotional strain of how these events transpired and while trying to come to terms with this unimaginable loss, we find ourselves at the hillside gravesite of John Marston, overlooking his ranch below. It's a very solemn and sobering experience etched into the history book archives as one of the most memorable moments in gaming; it will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come.

But what if...

What if that's not really the way it went down? Consider a different and very possible alternate ending.

John Marston was a smart man who learned a lot about life through the school of hard knocks vice text books and tutelage. He is a man of humble beginnings, who rose to greatness not because of his deeds or worth, but because of his quest to shed his checkered past and forge a new life of virtue and good will. He had to know or at least have some doubts about the U.S. Federal agents who employed him to hunt down and deal with the old members of his gang and whether they would ever truly let him or his family go free to chase the American dream of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

No, the only way John Marston would truly be free is if those who wanted him dead...

...thought he was dead.

There was no real technology back then; no complex crime scene investigation techniques like collecting DNA samples, ballistics matching or reviewing surveillance camera footage; there weren't autopsies performed to determine the cause of death or testimony from eye witnesses to recreate the timeline of events. There were no investigative journalists or lawyers to analyze the facts of the case to prove its authenticity. No, there was none of that. But what there was though was a corrupt man named Edgar Ross, the man supposedly behind ordering and helping carry out the execution of John Marston.

Ross is described as, "a cynical, greedy and unscrupulous federal agent, but is highly professional, keeping himself calm and organized in the direst situations and even when taunted or insulted by John. Despite his underhanded techniques, Ross' intentions are somewhat honest, since he truly believes that the West has to be federalized for the safety of its population, even if "dirty" and even Machiavellian techniques are necessary."

Why would Ross release John Marston back to his family and his little house on the prairie only to come back after a spell with a regiment of U.S. soldiers to carry out a death sentence?

And supposing he did come around to commit this unsanctioned transgression against the pardoned John Marston, is there anything that Marston could've possibly done to persuade him to consider an alternative solution. Perhaps a pay off?

If there is any truth to this theory that I am suggesting, then I fully expect one day, perhaps even anytime now, a man will come forward, breaking the silence of his deep dark past, in order to reveal the actual truth of that fateful day; that John Marston didn't go out in a blaze of glory like the legends say, but paid off the corrupt and greedy Edgar Ross to stage the whole event in order to secure protection for him and his he wouldn't always be looking over his shoulder wondering when men of ill repute would show up on his doorstep to exact their revenge upon a man who was able to break free from his sins and start his life a new...

...and that man will be John Marston.