Imagine for a second that you’re a young immigrant, lured to a foreign land with hopes of creating a better life for yourself and your family. Upon arrival, however, things don’t turn out quite like you dreamed and those in power decided to take everything from you that you hold dear.
Your land is stolen, your brother murdered by so called vigilantes without benefit of a trial and you yourself tied up, horse whipped, and forced to watch your beautiful wife beaten and raped, raped to the point that she would die in your arms shortly thereafter.
Sounds like a nightmare. I imagine most of us, under similar circumstances, would be looking for revenge.
And, according to legend, vengeance is exactly what the fabled bandit Joaquin Murrieta exacted.
Story goes that he waited till nightfall and slid into the camp of his tormentors, dressed all in black. Dispatched one of ‘em with a blade, silently chopping up the body and leaving the dismembered limbs scattered around camp to be found in the morning. And the next night he repeated this action. And again, the night after that.
Once Joaquin’s immediate thirst for retribution was satisfied, he moved on to other such men, the type who preyed on his kind. He soon formed a group of likeminded compadres, dubbed bandits, who dedicated their lives to protecting the innocent, robbing from the rich and righting various wrongs.
A compelling story that is said to have been the real-life inspiration behind Zorro and possibly even Batman. A tale found repeated all over the world wide web both in print and song.
But how true is it?
Historian Susan Lee Johnson summed it up best when she wrote “so many tales have grown up around Murrieta that it is hard to disentangle the fabulous from the factual”.
Who was Joaquin Murrieta? I mean who was he REALLY? Why is there so much misinformation about the man? Was he a freedom fighter - righteous avenger of injustice – or simply a blood thirsty bandit who preyed on the weak? How badly will I butcher any Spanish names I attempt to pronounce?
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Joaquin Murrieta | Literary Fiction or Historical Fact? https://www.cocohistory.org/essays-murrieta.html
Chasing the Elusive Joaquin Murrieta - https://www.historynet.com/chasing-elusive-joaquin-murrieta/
Judge Roy Bean | Wild West Extravaganza - https://www.wildwestextra.com/32-judge-roy-bean/
California Ranger Rosters - https://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/california_rangers/joaquin_murieta.html
California Bandidos: Social Bandits or Sociopaths | John Boessenecker - https://dokumen.tips/documents/california-bandidos-social-bandits-or-sociopaths-california-bandidos-social-bandits.html?page=16
Joaquin Murrieta | Los Alegras de Teran - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6rbNjy6PjI
The Bandit Joaquin | Dave Stamey - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-5hhfNKCTY
The Ballad of Joaquin Murrieta | Sons of the San Joaquin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWfHWFMPSjU
Book & Gear Recommendations - https://www.amazon.com/shop/wildwestextravaganza/list/YEHGNY7KFAU7