- GRANBURY, Texas (Reuters)
- The remains of a man some believe was the Wild West outlaw Jesse James
were exhumed Tuesday for genetic testing to settle claims the infamous
robber died in Texas 69 years later than history books say.
- The widely accepted view is that James was shot and killed
by a member of his own gang on April 3, 1882, in St. Joseph in his home
state of Missouri. A grave marker there bears his name. But many people
in Granbury, a small town 45 miles southwest of Fort Worth, believe James
faked his death in Missouri and lived in Texas until 1951 -- when he would
have been 103 years old.
- ``After he died, several of the local residents here
did a visual post-mortem on his body and they found several old bullet
holes as well as a rope burn on his neck,'' said Mary Salterille of the
Granbury Convention and Visitors Bureau.
- ``So a lot of the long-time residents here fervently
believe he was the real Jesse James,'' she said.
- Speak your mind Discuss this story with other people.
- After decades of speculation, the exhumation was sought
by Jesse James researcher Bud Hardcastle and three reputed grandsons of
the outlaw who live in Arkansas.
- DNA samples from the bones of the Granbury remains will
be compared with those of the James descendants to determine if the body
is the outlaw's.
- The test is being run despite the results of a similar
DNA probe in 1995 that determined that James' body lies in the Missouri
- Funeral home workers used a backhoe and shovels to remove
dirt from a burial plot whose headstone reads ``Jesse Woodson James'' and
a death date of August 15, 1951.
- In smaller letters below it says, ``Supposedly killed
- James learned his fighting skills as a guerrilla raider
for the Confederate side in the U.S. Civil War. After the Union won in
1865, James and his brother Frank launched a 16-year outlaw career by banding
together with eight other men to rob a bank in Liberty, Mo., on February
- A botched Minnesota bank robbery in 1876 destroyed the
gang, ending with all of the members but Jesse and Frank dead or captured.
- The brothers kept on robbing with new partners and in
1882 one of them, Robert Ford, was said to have shot Jesse James in the
head in hopes of collecting a $10,000 reward.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
Site Served by TheHostPros