Ghost Town Explorer
spacer
spacer
JOAQUIN MURRIETA
A True OG

There is a lot of dispute over the history of this notorious bandito who roamed the California lands in the 1800's. As my research indicates, Joaquin Murrieta was born in Mexico but settled in Shaw Flat California. Sometime after, his wife was raped and killed by vagrant Anglo miners. Whether this actually took place is a big question of this lore, but is very believable when one considers the treatment that Mexicans and Asian's endured in these days. Murrieta swore he would take his own revenge upon the Americans who were arriving by the hundreds and settling the lands that once belonged to Mexico. Murrieta apparently tracked down his wife's murderers and killed them. He then formed a gang of bandits and continued on with a life of Murder and robbery stretching from The California Gold Country to the Central Valley. Murrieta's accomplice and friend Manuel Garcia, also known as three finger Jack, was also considered a ruthless killer, and roamed the country side with Murrieta.

Ghost Town Explorer
Museum Photo of Joaquin Murrieta 

During his criminal spree from 1850 to 1853, Californians considered Joaquin and his gang the roughest and most feared to wander California. However, many Mexican communities and settlers supported Joaquin and his methods. Maybe out of fear, or maybe because Joaquin was viewed as the Mexican angle of revenge. In 1853 California Governor Bigler organized a special group of soldiers in Sacramento led by Captain Love and ordered the capture or death of Joaquin Murrieta who continued to ridicule his authority by murdering, stealing and pillaging the countryside. Later that year Captain Love caught up to Murrieta near Panoche Pass while tracking him to Joaquin Rocks, a known hide out of Murrieta. After a long battle, Joaquin's head and Three Finger Jacks hand were amputated and placed in large jars of alcohol and transported back to Sacramento to prove their deaths.

To this day Mexicans who know the lore of this famous bandit claim that Joaquin Murrieta was not killed on that day, but escaped capture and dropped in to old Mexico. They claim the head that was returned to Sacramento was that of another Joaquin, an innocent traveler. Some years following, Joaquin was said to have been sighted in Hornitos California where he retrieved his stolen fortunes before returning to Mexico. Others proclaim that Joaquin returned to Niles Canyon near Sunol California where he died from wounds obtained in the battle with Love and was buried under the adobe home of a relative. According to research, Joaquin Murrieta had frequented the towns of Murphy's, Hornitos, Niles Canyon and the Vallecitos Valley in California.

spacer
   spacer
   Copyright 2006 High Desert Drifters, All rights reserved.
DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript