Tintype Of Outlaw Jesse James With His Murderer, Robert Ford, May Be Real Thing

Shelley Hazen - Author
By

Oct. 15 2015, Updated 9:42 a.m. ET

On April 3, 1882, the famous outlaw Jesse James got up to straighten and dust a picture hanging on the wall of his Missouri home. A new recruit to his gang, Robert Ford, sneaked up behind him, drew a revolver, and fatally shot him in the back of the head.

A decade later, Ford was shot to death in a saloon in Colorado at age 30.

Jesse’s death has been immortalized in film and books and now, a tintype and heirloom from a centuries-old family connection has emerged that depicts something remarkable: James seated next to his killer, Robert Ford.

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And a renowned forensic artist — the same one who identified the sailor who kissed the nurse in Times Square and a photo of that other outlaw, Billy the Kid — has declared that the photo is authentic, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The tintype is undated. In it, two stony-faced but young and handsome men are seated side by side, one bearded and the other clean-shaven. Sandra Mills’ grandmother, Isabelle Klemann, used to tell her stories about that photo and her family’s connection to the James gang. She kept it wrapped in a handkerchief in her dresser drawer, History added.

“This is Jesse James and the coward Robert Ford,” Klemann would tell her granddaughter.

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