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Execution of the bandit Vasquez...



Item # 560665

March 20, 1875

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1875

* Tiburcio Vasquez execution death (1st report)
* Los Angeles, California outlaw bandit


On the front page at the bottom of the third column under "Executions" is an inconspicuous report headed: "Last of Vasquez--The Bandit Hanged At San Jose". The report which describes the execution of the infamous bandit Tiburcio Vasquez., states, in part:

* The bandit Vasquez was executed to-day at San Jose. Not attempt was made at a rescue....Everything passed off quietly. Vasquez asserted to the last his innocence....He died without a struggle...

& a bit more (see photos). Great to have this report about this famous Old West event on the front page!

Other front page reports include: "The Cheyennes" "Four of the Murderers of the Germaine Family Identified at Roll Call" "Murder In Vineland" "Floods And Gorges" "Damage Along The Susquehanna".

Eight pages, in very good condition.

wikipedia notes: Vásquez took up residence in the Hollywood Hills at "Greek George's" ranch, located on the San Fernando Valley side of the Cahuengas Mountains. Greek George was a former camel driver for General Beale in the Army Camel Corps. Allegedly, Vásquez seduced and impregnated his own niece. Either the girl's family or Greek George's wife's family betrayed Vásquez to Los Angeles Sheriff William Roland. Roland led a posse to the ranch and captured Vásquez on May 13, 1874. He was caught at a location which is now in, or close to, West Hollywood, CA. The ranch of "Greek George" by one account was at or near the present intersection of Fountain Ave. and King's Road in West Hollywood. This was, ironically, very close to where the movie industry would in a few decades set up shop.

Vásquez remained in the Los Angeles County jail for nine days. He had numerous requests for interviews by many newspaper reporters, but agreed to see only three: two from the San Francisco Chronicle and one from the Los Angeles Star. He told them his aim was to return California to Mexican rule. He insisted he was an honorable man and said he had never killed anyone.

In late May, Vásquez was moved by steamship to San Francisco, California. He would eventually stand trial in San Jose. Vásquez quickly became a celebrity among many of his fellow Hispanic Californians. He admitted he was an outlaw, but again denied he had ever killed anyone. A note written by Clovidio Chavez, one of his gang members, was dropped into a Wells Fargo box. Chavez wrote that he, not Vásquez, had shot the men at Tres Pinos. Nevertheless, in January 1875 Vásquez was sentenced to hang for murder. His trial had taken four days and the jury deliberated for two hours before finally finding him guilty of two counts of murder in the Tres Pinos robbery.

Visitors still flocked to Vásquez's jail cell, many of them women. He signed autographs and posed for photographs. Vásquez sold the photos from the window of his cell and used the money to pay for his legal defense. After his conviction, he appealed for clemency. It was denied by Governor Romualdo Pacheco. Vásquez calmly met his fate in San Jose on March 19, 1875. He was 39 years old.

Category: Post-Civil War

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