One of the most famous outlaws from the Wild West was shot on this day in the town of St. Joseph in the U.S. state of Missouri. He was betrayed by his own partners, who had cut a deal with the governor of Missouri. The governor’s priority was the arrest of Jesse James, which he announced at his inauguration.
Since the law prevented the governor from offering a large reward for James’ head, he persuaded the railway company to put up a $5,000 bounty (it was a large amount at that time). All this prompted James’ partners – the Ford brothers – to betray him.
On this day, after breakfast, Jesse James saw a dusty picture on the wall. He climbed on a chair to clean it, facing the wall. At this point, Bob Ford shot James in the back of his head and killed him. The murder became a national sensation, and crowds of people were coming to see James’ dead body.
The Ford brothers were arrested for murder by the local authorities quickly sentenced to death by hanging. However, they were granted a full pardon by the governor. The brothers were released, and they received a part of the reward. Many American films were made about Jesse James. He was portrayed by, among others, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, and Brad Pitt.