A barroom killing may not sound like big news. But the song that came from the event, "Staggerlee," has been recorded more than 400 times. Apparently the first recording was in 1923 by... Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians????
In the most common version of the song Staggerlee dies in the electric chair and winds up taking over hell. (He was a bad man, that Staggerlee.) In real life there was a hung jury. On the second trial he was sentenced to twenty-five years in jail. Later he was pardoned, for some strange reason, and killed another William during a burglary. And he was pardoned again but died prior to release.
There is a fascinating website about the story/song. Its creator says: No other song has so transcended its humble beginnings and been re-invented in so many genres, in so many media and by so many artists.