More Guts Than Sense

Jesse James

Pinkerton detective Joseph Whicher had more guts than sense.  In March 1874, he went undercover to try to catch Jesse James (in photo) by seeking work at the farm owned by Jesse’s mother and stepfather.

But the lawman’s real identity was known before he got there.  Ignoring advice from locals (one of whom said that Jesse’s mother might kill him), he headed toward the farm on March 11.  His body was found on a nearby road the next day, shot at least three times.  One account said a note was attached to the corpse: “This to all detectives.”

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