Jesse James and his family were on the run when they rented a house in St. Joseph to hide.

Robert Ford was one of the only people James trusted, but unbeknownst to James,  Ford had been communicating with Missouri governor Thomas Crittenden behind James’ back. He was going to help capture the fugitive during a visit.

While James was adjusting a picture on the wall, Ford shot James from behind. Ford then alerted the governor about what he had done. Ford was all set to collect the reward money when it became a case of not so fast … 

Ford was charged with murder, sentenced to death by hanging, then pardoned by the Missouri governor all in a single day!

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

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