Wild West


1 The Name: Sure, “Jesse James” rolls off the tongue pretty easily, but it doesn’t have the same level of panache or commercial appeal as “Billy the Kid.”

2 The Jailbreak: It wasn’t Jesse who made the most dramatic and memorable jailbreak in American frontier history, on April 28, 1881, in Lincoln, New Mexico Territory.

3 Billy Embraced Another Culture: Bilingual (possibly trilingual) Billy’s ability to immerse himself in Hispano culture demonstrates a level of adaptation Jesse lacked.

4 The Prince of Box Office Pistoleers: Jesse has featured in his fair share of films, but Billy is ahead in the count.

5 He Didn’t Marry His First Cousin: Jesse did, and marrying one’s first cousin is illegal in present-day Missouri and 23 other states. Billy had plenty of girlfriends, but none were blood relatives.

6 Bad Company: Billy was no saint and sometimes kept rough company, but he didn’t ride with the abhorrent likes of William Quantrill or “Bloody Bill” Anderson.

Billy remains the

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