Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
For those who read about Jimmy Keating on page 196 in Volume I of Jesse James Soul Liberty, here’ s some supplemental information that didn’t make it into the book. The first is the fingerprint card for Francis Lawrence “Jimmy” Keating from Leavenworth Prison where he was incarcerated, following his train robbery with Jimmy Holden. The second is Keating’s FBI WANTED bulletin, issued by J. Edgar Hoover following Keating’s escape from Leavenworth Prison.
Jimmy Keating is still a wanted man. I continue to research for new information about him. For years, I’ve tried to learn more about his Keating genealogy. In recent weeks, I was contacted by one of his cousins and have been able to expand my knowledge about this silent and elusive criminal, who by chance became related to the James family. As the James-Keating family cousins were unaware of the cousin who contacted me, the contact cousin was also un-knowledgeable about his James-Keating cousins. I don’t foresee a family reunion in their futures, however.
I have enough material to write a book about Frances L. Keating, but my accumulated research is far from complete to tell Keating’s entire story. Presently in particular, I’ve been looking for information about one of Keating’s brothers, Robert “Bob” Keating, who died in Kansas City, according to a letter Jimmy Keating wrote when he learned in prison about his brother’s passing while reading the Kansas City Star.
From the documentation I have in hand, it’s clear Keating had outside support, both in the political community and among organized labor. Keating’s retirement was spent as president of a boiler maker’s local. I don’t believe more information about Keating will lead to where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. I don’t care about that. I do believe, though, from an historical point of view that James L. Keating was as interesting an outlaw as Jesse James.
One noticeable difference between Francis Keating and Jesse James is that Keating had the superior penmanship, and he could spell correctly. That’s the difference between graduating 8th grade and being home schooled.