Sideshow Justice

Frontier lawmen chose some odd fundraising techniques. When rangers killed Joaquin Murrieta, “the Mexican Robin Hood,” in 1853, they cut off his head, preserved it in brandy, and sent it on tour through California, charging spectators $1 per person to see it.

Captain Harry Love insisted it was the real article, but Murrieta was sighted several times after his “death,” and the pickled head was said to lack a characteristic scar.

So whose head was it? It was lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, so we’ll never know.