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An old poster advertising the exhibition
of the head of Joaquin Marietta and the
hand of Three Fingered Jack--photo
about 1855 in Pleasanton, Calif.
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Photograph of a poster advertising the pickled head of bandit Joaquin Murietta and the hand of "Three Fingered Jack", Pleasanton, ca.1855. The poster reads: "Will be exhibited for one day only! At the Stockton House! [...]day Aug. 19 from 9 A.M. until 6 P.M. The head of the renowned Bandit! Joaquin! And the hand of Three Fingered Jack! The notorious robber and murderer. 'Joaquin' and 'Three-Fingered Jack' were captured by [...] under the command of Capt. [...]".; The painting at the left, reputed to be painted from life by a Franciscan friar resident at Carmel, is said to show the face of the notorious bandit Joaquin Murrieta. It is not known, for certain, if there was ever a Joaquin Murrieta who single-handedly terrorized the Forty-Niners. One Captain Harry Love, a slovenly former Texas Ranger, showed up in San Francisco with the head of a Latin man, pickled in brandy, who he claimed was the newly demised outlaw. The head remained on display at a San Francisco "museum" until the Great Earthquake and Fire; when it was looted and passed through the hands of several collectors." -- Joel Gazis-Sax, 1999.; "[Captain Harry] Love knew there would be skeptics. So, after preserving the head in alcohol at Fort Miller, he brought it to Mariposa County where he found a glass jar big enough to hold it for public display. In the next two weeks he held public viewings of the gruesome artifact -- charging each person $1 -- in Mariposa County, Stockton and San Francisco. The purpose was presumably to attract people who had known Murietta and would sign an affidavit saying it was his head. Seventeen people signed, including a priest, all of them claiming to have known Murietta or seen him before, and that he was the same Murietta who was the terror of Calaveras County. But of those who signed, none wrote that they'd actually seen the owner of the head in the jar rob or kill anyone. One person who signed, supposedly the prisoner captured and hanged in Martinez, who had been a member of the gang, might have been able to positively identify the head had he not been hanged. All the others just said they knew it was Murietta without offering any evidence that the individual they called Murietta was actually seen committing a criminal act." -- Tom Pendergast, 2002.