Saturday, June 24, 2023

How Crazy Was Jesse James? And, Can We Believe His Crime Stats?

 June 24, 2023

   Crazy times make crazy people. Just look at our current times. I, for one, am crazier than ever!

   Meanwhile, just how "crazy" was Jesse James? Well, for starters he was born into a  ridiculous, firestorm of violence which he had nothing to do with. And, that, for starters, gives him a wide berth when it comes to the interpretation of the word "crazy."

Daily Whip Out: "Born Into A Firestorm"

   Here's what one of my blog friends has to say about it:

Seven Shades of Crazy

"Correct me if I'm wrong but any illustration of Jesse should reflect the 'crazy' in the guy. Was it his Mama? His daddy leaving home, never to return? Or, perhaps that bomb thrown through the window leaving Mama Z with an amputated arm? Seeing his step-daddy strung up? His own gunshot wounds, his rampant paranoia.....whatever....he was a good deal south of sane. But by golly....the guy had sand."

—Desert Sun

Daily Whip Out:

"Dark & Paranoid Jesse #2"

   Here's another angle I'm working on for the book and it's far from complete.

Jesse James by The Numbers

• 24 robberies

• 11 banks

• 7 trains

• 3 stagecoaches

• 1 town looted

• 1 fairgrounds gate receipts robbery

• 1 steamboat robbery

• 19 year career of committing "crimes"

• $323,000 estimated dollars stolen (a gang member, "Doc" Miller claimed the actual take was much higher because of under-reporting by railroads: $1,038,000)

• 17 number of killings (not all can be attributed to Jesse and some were done in wartime)

• O minutes spent behind bars. Jesse was never arrested or captured

• 27,000 the estimated number of Missourian deaths from guerrilla violence during the Civil War.

• 37 number of movies about Jesse, so far

   Do any of these stats change the way we think about Jesse? Not really, because. . .

"There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics."

—Old Vaquero Saying

1 comment:

  1. Let's add to the crazy point. Jesse may have tried to commit suicide with an overdose of morphine, supposedly he was distraught over the engagement of his sister. It also may have been accidental- it's a hard story to pin down. Or, could he have been suffering from addiction due to his war wounds? In any case, it's not hard to believe that he suffered from what today we call PTSD. This story may be worth exploring in your book. Keep it up-the art is looking moody and mysterious, it seems to be capturing a complicated man. I think you caught the Jesse bug, a mutation of the virus commonly referred to as the Billy bug..


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