|Died||March 19, 1875 39) (aged|
|Cause of death||Execution by hanging|
|Criminal penalty||Death by hanging|
Tiburcio Vasquez (April 11, 1835 – March 19, 1875) was a Californio bandido who was active in California from 1854 to 1874. The Vasquez Rocks, 40 miles (64 km) north of Los Angeles, were one of his many hideouts and are named after him.
Tiburcio Vasquez was born in Monterey, Alta California, Mexico (present-day California, United States) on April 11, 1835 to José Hermenegildo Vasquez and María Guadalupe Cantua. 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm). His family sent him to school, and he was fluent in both English and Spanish.In accord with Spanish tradition, Vasquez's birth was celebrated on the feast day of his namesake, St. Tiburtius. Thus, he always referred to his birthday as August 11, 1835. His great-grandfather came to Alta California with the De Anza Expedition of 1776. Vasquez was slightly built, about
In 1852, Vasquez was influenced by Anastacio García, one of California's most dangerous bandits.In 1854, Vasquez was present at the slaying of Monterey Constable William Hardmount in a fight with Anastacio García at a fandango. Vasquez denied any involvement and fled, becoming an outlaw. Vasquez later claimed his crimes were the result of discrimination by the norteamericanos and insisted that he was a defender of Mexican-American rights. Vasquez and García played leading roles in Monterey County's murderous Roach-Belcher feud, which ended when García was executed by hanging in 1875.
By 1856, Vasquez was rustling horses. A sheriff's posse caught up with him near Newhall, and he spent the next five years behind bars in San Quentin prison. There he helped organize, and participated in, four bloody prison breaks which left twenty convicts dead.After his release, he committed numerous burglaries, cattle thefts, and highway robberies in Sonoma County in 1866. He was captured after a store burglary in Petaluma and sent to prison again for three years. His "trademark" was "binding [his victims'] hands behind their back and leaving them face down in the dust."
In 1870, Vasquez organized a bandit gang, which included the notorious Juan Soto, and later, Procopio Bustamante. After numerous bandit raids, he was shot and badly wounded in a gunfight with Santa Cruz police officer Robert Liddell. He managed to escape, and his sisters nursed him back to health.
In 1873, he gained statewide, and then nationwide, notoriety. Vasquez and his gang stole $2,200 from Snyder's Store in Tres Pinos, now called Paicines, in San Benito County. Three were killed, but not by Tiburcio. Posses began searching for him, and Governor Newton Booth placed a $1,000 reward on his head. Sheriff John H. Adams from San Jose pursued the band to Southern California; Vasquez escaped after a gunfight.
Vasquez hid for a while in Southern California, where he was less well known. With his two most trusted men, he rode over the old Tejon Pass, through the Antelope Valley, and rested at Jim Hefner's ranch at Elizabeth Lake. Vasquez's brother, Francisco, lived nearby. After resting, Vasquez rode on to Littlerock Creek, which became his first Southern California hideout.
Vasquez was popular in the Mexican-American community, and had many friends and family members from Santa Rosa in Northern California to Los Angeles in the south. He was handsome, literate, charming, played guitar, and was a skillful dancer. Women were attracted to him and he had many love affairs. He enjoyed reading romantic novels and writing poetry for his female admirers. He had several affairs with married women, one of which eventually led to his downfall.
Vasquez returned to the San Joaquin Valley. On November 10, 1873, he and his gang robbed the Jones store at Millerton in Fresno County. On December 26, 1873, he and his band sacked the town of Kingston in Fresno County, robbing all the businesses and making off with $2,500 in cash and jewelry.
Governor Booth was now authorized by the California State Legislature to spend up to $15,000 to bring the law down on Vasquez. Posses were formed in Santa Clara, Monterey, San Joaquin, Fresno, and Tulare counties. In January 1874, Booth offered $3,000 for Vasquez's capture alive, and $2,000 if he was brought back dead. These rewards were increased in February to $8,000 and $6,000, respectively. Alameda County Sheriff Harry Morse was assigned specifically to track down Vasquez.
Heading towards Bakersfield, Vasquez and gang member Clodoveo Chávez rode to the rock promontory near Inyokern now known as Robbers Roost. Near that spot, at Coyote Holes, they robbed a stagecoach from the Cerro Gordo Mines, silver mines near Owens Lake. During the robbery Vasquez shot and wounded a man who did not obey his orders.
The gang moved to Elizabeth Lake and Soledad Canyon, robbing a stage of $300, stealing six horses and a wagon near present-day Acton, and robbing lone travelers. Vasquez was believed to be hiding out at Vasquez Rocks. m) high, provided an excellent lookout point.These rock formations proved a formidable hideout for him and his gang. Shallow caves, deep crevices, and numerous overhangs created a maze for any posse to thread. The tallest rock, 150 feet (46
For the next two months, he escaped attention. However, he then made an error that led to his capture. On April 15, 1874, he and his band held the prominent sheepman Alessandro Repetto for ransom. Pursuing posses from Los Angeles almost trapped the gang in the San Gabriel Mountains, but once again, Vasquez and his men escaped.
Vasquez took up residence at the adobe home of "Greek George" Caralambo in the northwest corner of Rancho La Brea, located 200 yards (183 m) south of the present-day Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Greek George was a former camel driver for General Beale in the Army Camel Corps. Allegedly, Vasquez seduced and impregnated his own niece. Either the girl's family or Greek George's wife's family betrayed Vasquez to Los Angeles Sheriff William R. Rowland. Rowland sent a posse to the ranch and captured Vasquez on May 14, 1874. Greek George's adobe was situated near the present-day Melrose Place in West Hollywood, very close to where the movie industry set up shop a few decades later.
Vasquez 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 claimed he had never killed anyone. He was photographed by Valentin Wolfenstein behind the jail on May 18, 1874.
In late May, Vasquez was moved by steamship to San Francisco. He eventually stood trial in San Jose. Vasquez 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 purportedly written by Clodoveo Chávez, one of his gang members, was dropped into a Wells Fargo box. Chávez wrote that he, not Vasquez, had shot the men at Tres Pinos. Nevertheless, at his trial Vasquez admitted participating in the Tres Pinos raid. Since all the participants in the robbery were equally guilty of any murder that took place during its commission, whether Vasquez actually pulled the trigger was legally irrelevant. In January 1875, Vasquez was convicted and sentenced to hang for murder. His trial had taken four days and the jury deliberated for only two hours before finally finding him guilty of one count of murder in the Tres Pinos robbery.
Visitors still flocked to Vasquez's jail cell, many of them women. He signed autographs and posed for photographs. Vasquez 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. Vasquez calmly met his fate in San Jose on March 19, 1875. He was 39 years old.
Even today, Tiburcio Vásquez remains controversial. He is seen as a hero by some for his defiance of what he viewed as unjust laws and discrimination. Others regard him as a colorful outlaw. To this day, many continue to visit and pay respects to Vasquez's grave. He was buried in Santa Clara Mission Cemetery in Santa Clara, California.
His grave is very difficult to find, but visitors to Santa Clara cemetery have managed to find it for years. The groundskeeper directed Vasquez relative Patrick McAnaney to the grave in 1980, telling him "Vasquez lived at odds with the people, and he was buried at odds with them."[ citation needed ] This was in reference to his gravestone being set at an angle relative to the other gravestones.
Online photos show his grave beside two large cacti and in front of a palm tree, no longer standing. His carved granite headstone is the only stone in the entire cemetery to stand at an angle. All the rest are in uniform rows, and many other graves surrounding Vasquez's grave are flat to the ground as if no one else wanted to be interred near the famous bandido until decades later when his notoriety had died down.[ citation needed ] Vasquez's ghost is said to haunt many places, including the cemetery, some of his hideouts, areas where gruesome crimes were committed, and the prison cells where he was held.[ citation needed ]
With his upper-class Californio background, Vasquez is thought to have been one of several sources for the bandit-hero character Zorro.
The actor Anthony Caruso played Vasquez in Stories of the Century.
Armand Alzamora (1928–2009) played Vasquez in the 1957 episode, "The Last Bad Man" of the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days , hosted by Stanley Andrews. The segment focuses on Vasquez's early life of crime, his hatred for the US takeover of California, the prison escape, and his hanging at the age of 39.
The trunk and knife that belonged to Tiburcio are on display at the Andres Pico Adobe in Mission Hills, part of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society collection.
The Esalen Institute, commonly called Esalen, is a non-profit American retreat center and intentional community in Big Sur, California, which focuses on humanistic alternative education. The institute played a key role in the Human Potential Movement beginning in the 1960s. Its innovative use of encounter groups, a focus on the mind-body connection, and their ongoing experimentation in personal awareness introduced many ideas that later became mainstream.
Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo, also called The Robin Hood of the West or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a figure of disputed historicity associated with the novel The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta: The Celebrated California Bandit by John Rollin Ridge and subsequent legends about a famous outlaw in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Evidence for a historical Joaquin is scarce. Contemporary documents record testimony concerning a minor horse thief by the same name in 1852. Bandidos with the name 'Joaquin' involved in the robbery and murder of several Chinese were reported by newspapers during the same time. A California Ranger by the name of Harry Love was tasked with and eventually brought in a human head claimed to be that of Murieta.
Emil Harris was the only Jewish police chief in Los Angeles, California. He was also the second to have occupied the position since it was established in 1877. Harris was appointed to serve for one year from December 27, 1877 to December 5, 1878.
The Shedden massacre involved the gang-related killing of eight men, whose bodies were found in a field five kilometres north of Shedden, a small village in the Canadian province of Ontario, on April 8, 2006. Four vehicles, with the bodies inside, were first discovered by a farmer. The day after the bodies were discovered, five people, including one member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, were arrested for the murders, and three more people were arrested in June 2006. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said the killings were an isolated event and there were no fears for the safety of local residents. The name "Shedden massacre" is, in fact, a misnomer as the massacre took place at a farm outside of Iona Station and Shedden was just the hamlet closest to where the bodies were discovered in a farmer's field.
Yiorgos Caralambo also called Greek George and George Allen was a camel driver hired by US Army in 1856 for the Camel Corps experiment in the Southwest. The camels were to be tested for use in transportation across the "Great American Desert."
The unincorporated community of Paicines, formerly Tres Pinos, is located at 680 feet (207 m) above mean sea level (AMSL) in San Benito County, California along State Route 25. Guide signs along SR 25 say the community is 13 miles (21 km) south of Hollister. The community is at the intersection of Panoche Road and SR 25. Bolado County Park is just over three miles (5 km) north of the community and the site of the San Benito County Fair.
John F. Chellis (1792-1883) was a Republican who became the ninth Lieutenant Governor of California from 1862 to 1863.
Juan Flores was a 19th-century Californio bandit who, with Pancho Daniel, led an outlaw gang known as "las Manillas" and later as the Flores Daniel Gang, throughout Southern California during 1856-1857. Although regarded by historians as a thief and outlaw, Flores was considered among Mexican-Americans as a folk hero akin to Jesse James and who was thought of as a defender against vigilante movements in the years following the American settlement of California and its incorporation into the United States. However, the activities of Flores and other insurrectos such as Salomon Pico and Joaquín Murrieta against American and foreign-born settlers not only created long-lasting suspicion and hostility towards Mexican-Americans but also divided the traditional Spanish class structures of the Californios and the poorer peasants as well.
Procopio, also known as Red-Handed bebito and Red Dick was one of the best-known bandits in California history. His nickname was reportedly given due either to his red hair or his violent nature and bloodthirstiness. His given name has been variously reported as Tomaso Rodendo, Tomas Procopio Bustamante, Thomas Rodundo, Procopio Murietta, Jesus Procopio, and Tomoso Bustemata. In 1872, the San Francisco Chronicle called him "one of the most fearless and daring desperadoes that has ever figured in the criminal annals of our state." He was twice convicted of cattle theft and twice served time in San Quentin prison, but was never convicted of any of the murders he was alleged to have committed. Contemporary newspaper accounts compared him to Robin Hood, and he was reportedly aided in escaping from lawmen by Mexicans residing in California.
Slates Hot Springs is an unincorporated community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. It is located 8 miles (13 km) north-northwest of Lopez Point, at an elevation of 118 feet.
Salomon Maria Simeon Pico was a Californio, a cousin of former governor Pío Pico, who led a bandit band in the early years following the Mexican–American War in the counties of the central coast of California. Pico was considered by some Californios to be a patriot who opposed the American conquest of Alta California and its subsequent incorporation into the United States. He was hated for his banditry by the newly arrived Americans but protected by some Californios as a defender of his people.
Rufus Henry Ingram (1834–?) was a bushwhacker that led Captain Ingram's Partisan Rangers that operated in California in 1864.
John Hicks Adams (1820–1878) was an American 49er of the California Gold Rush, and Sheriff of Santa Clara County between February 6, 1864 and 1870, then again between 1871 and 1875. He was also Deputy United States Marshal for the Arizona Territory 1878, and a noted gunslinger.
Rancho Chamisal was a 2,737-acre (11.08 km2) Mexican land grant in the Salinas Valley, in present day Monterey County, California given in 1835 by Governor José Castro to Felipe Vasquez. The grant was located east of Monterey and extended along Pilarcitos Canyon, south of the Salinas River. The grant was bounded by Rancho El Toro on the east.
William "Billy" Richard Rowland was the eleventh sheriff of Los Angeles County, California, and a large landowner in the La Puente area of the San Gabriel Valley. He organized the posse and crafted the successful strategy that resulted in the wounding and capture of notorious bandit Tiburcio Vasquez in 1874. He did not accompany the posse himself for fear of the tactic becoming known. Rowland discovered oil in the Puente Hills and founded the Puente Oil Company, one of the oldest such endeavors in California.
Henry Nicholson Morse (1835-1912), "bloodhound of the far west," was an Old West lawman. Elected September 2, 1863 served from 1864 to 1878, as the sheriff of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office of Alameda County, California. He was a Republican. He later founded the Harry N. Morse Detective Agency in California. One of his accomplishments was to help identify Charles E. Boles as the perpetrator of the Black Bart stagecoach robberies. Other notable early California outlaws he helped bring to justice include Bartolo Sepulveda, Narrato Ponce, "Red-Handed Procopio, and Juan Soto.
Robbers Roost is a rock formation in the foothills of the Scodie Mountains portion of the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in the North Mojave Desert. The formation overlooks the southern portion of the Indian Wells Valley. The nearest municipality is Ridgecrest, California. The Los Angeles Aqueduct is within several hundred yards of the formation. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Robbers Roost lies west of Freeman Junction, which is approximately at the intersection of California highways 178 and 14.
Monterey Road is a major Silicon Valley thoroughfare that runs from Gilroy north to San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. It follows the historic route of El Camino Real and is an old alignment of U.S. Route 101.
John Boessenecker is an American historian and author, and a lawyer specializing in trust and estate litigation. He is based in San Francisco, California.
Celia Roth Cooney was an American who went on a robbing spree in the spring of 1924. Cooney robbed 10 buildings with her husband Ed Cooney before she was caught. She became known as the Bobbed Haired Bandit for her exploits. The robberies received significant media coverage, making headlines in The New York Times, the Washington Post,Chicago Tribune,San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, and others. The newspapers criticized Richard Enright and the New York City Police Department for their inability to catch Cooney. In response, Enright ordered the largest manhunt in the city's history, and still failed to catch Cooney.