SPIKE TV strikes out with Deadliest Warriors Al Capone and Jesse James

Home » SPIKE TV strikes out with Deadliest Warriors Al Capone and Jesse James

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Representing the family of Frank & Jesse James, The James Preservation Trust was contacted about participating in a segment of Deadliest Warriors, produced by Spike TV. The program pits Al Capone against Jesse James. The interview with Eric James, president of the Trust, identified several hurdles that prevented the James family from participating in the show.

Strike one for Spike TV.

Spike previously shot itself in the foot with the James family. Formerly in another program, Spike TV advertised that motorcycle celebrity Jesse Gregory James, aka Jesse James, was a direct descendant of the outlaw Jesse James. Although the Trust has a standing invitation to the celebrity to produce his genealogy and a DNA test, Jesse Gregory James has produced nothing more than his fraudulent claim. In the view of the James family, the celebrity is a con man. And anyone who supports the fraudulent claim of Jesse Gregory James promotes fraud.

Strike two for Spike TV.

When pitching Deadliest Warriors to the Trust, the agent for Spike TV assured the Trust all efforts would be employed to maintain weapons and historical authenticity. As example, the pitchman then cited Jesse’s use of a Bowie knife and hangman’s noose. In fact, nothing in the historical record identifies Jesse James as using a Bowie knife or hangman’s noose, although a noose was used on Jesse’s step-father by Union soldiers as Jesse himself witnessed.

Strike three for Spike TV.

As compensation, Spike TV offered only per diem and travel expenses, but no compensation. As a professional member of the entertainment unions, Eric James expected to be compensated for his work and the family’s own expertise. Spike TV replied, “Most everyone we use is just happy to be on television. That’s payment enough.” To which James asked, “Do you expect Jesse James would rob a bank if there wasn’t any money in it?”

James Francis “Jimmy” Keating

James points out that Spike TV struck out big time in pitting Al Capone against Jesse James. “If the Colt revolver was to be pitted against the Thompson machine gun,” James says, “why not pit Jesse against a member of his own family who actually used a machine gun to rob trains and banks?”

The reference James makes is to James Francis “Jimmy” Keating, a mobster of the Capone era who was an associate of George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Keating was from St. Paul, Minnesota. He robbed banks and trains throughout the Midwest down to Sherman, Texas, where Jesse’ sister lived. Keating’s son married Eleanor James, one of Jesse’s distant cousins.

George “Machine Gun” Kelly

Spike TV’s match-up between Capone and Jesse James has struck average video reviewers as a stretch. Apparently, Spike TV delivered exactly how much it was ready to pay for.


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Stray Leaves Daily

Stray Leaves Daily

Daily updates from the family of Frank & Jesse James with stories, photos, & two searchable genealog

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5 days ago
Stray Leaves Daily

FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
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FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
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Stray Leaves Daily

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Here’s the statement: "It is a sad year for us in the Gang. Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death. We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year. Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc. Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going." The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize. See MoreSee Less

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Heres the statement: It is a sad year for us in the Gang.  Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death.  We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year.  Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc.  Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going. The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize.
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