Project Description

Legends of the Old West | Season 3 — Jesse James, American Outlaw

Jesse James might be the most legendary outlaw who ever lived. He robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches from Missouri to West Virginia and Alabama to Minnesota. He achieved unparalleled fame and it ultimately led to his downfall. This is a five-part series beginning November 11, 2018 on the life and career of Jesse James.

Three years after the Northfield raid, Jesse assembles a new gang to resume his career as a robber, but he quickly spirals downward into paranoia and suspicion. One by one, the new gang members fall as the law closes in on Jesse. A young man named Robert Ford brings the story to an end, and truly launches the legend.
S3 | E5: JESSE JAMES — “Northfield: The Manhunt”


The Northfield raid was a disaster, and now the surviving members of the James-Younger gang face a desperate struggle to escape Minnesota. Hundreds of men chase them through the countryside until the outlaws are forced to make hard choices about their futures. They display extraordinary stamina as they outrun nearly all of the lawmen on their trails.
S3 | E4: JESSE JAMES — “Northfield: All Hell”


The story of the catastrophic Northfield Raid begins… the James-Younger gang travels to Minnesota hoping for an easy score. Instead, they get shot to pieces by the townsfolk of Northfield while attempting to rob the First National Bank. It’s the turning point for the gang. In the aftermath, nothing will be the same.
S3 | E3: JESSE JAMES — “Burn It Down”


The Pinkerton Detective Agency attacks the James family farm, but the ambush has terrible consequences and Jesse vows revenge. Jesse and Frank marry their longtime sweethearts and move out of Missouri for the first time, but they return to rob a train at Rocky Cut. The blowback from the robbery forces them out of their safe zone and leads directly to their fateful trip to Minnesota.
S3 | E2: JESSE JAMES — “Confederate Avengers”


The James brothers partner with the Youngers to begin their careers robbing banks, trains and stagecoaches. As their fame rises, so does the death toll when the Pinkerton Detective Agency assigns agents to bring them down.
S3 | E1: JESSE JAMES — “American Outlaw”


In the aftermath of the Civil War, the South was in ruins. The leaders of the Missouri guerillas were dead. Jesse James and his older brother, Frank, rose to prominence and began their careers as killers and thieves… and a Kansas City newspaperman began a campaign to turn them into heroes.
Legends of the Old West | Jesse James — Sources and Music




“Frank and Jesse James: The Story Behind The Legends,” Ted P. Yeatman. Cumberland House Publishing, 2000.
“Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War,” T.J. Stiles. Random House Publishing, 2002.
“Shot All To Hell: Jesse James, The Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape,” Mark Lee Gardner. Harper Collins Publishers, 2013.
Jesse James Historical Site
About Kearney Missouri
General Benjamin Butler’s General Order No. 28
History | First National Bank of Northfield
Ames Family Papers, 1812-2012: Biographical and Historical Note
Kansas City Times archives, April 1882



Jesse James theme song by The Mighty Orq

Music from Robb Vallier and

Sound FX from and Free SFX

Select promo video footage from