Procopio Bustamante had a bandit pedigree. His uncle was famed outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, who became a hero to the young man. After Murrieta was killed in 1853, Procopia followed in his footsteps. He was a robber, a rustler and a murderer. After a prison stint, he joined Tiburcio Vasquez’ gang in 1871. Legendary lawman Harry Morse tracked Procopio down and arrested him in San Francisco in 1872. There was insufficient evidence to charge the hardcase with murder, but he was convicted of cattle rustling and did another five years of hard time.
True West June 2023