Jesse W. James

Unique Identifying Features


Jesse Woodson James

DoB: September 5, 1847

Centerville, Clay County, Missouri

Died: April 3, 1882*

CoD: Ambushed, Fatal head wound.

Place: Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri

Height:  5’10”- 6″

Weight: 210lbs

Head Shape: Almond form

Eyes: Blue

Right eyelid covers top of pupil, sags to the nose.

Left eyelid sags over outer edge of the eye.

Ears: Right side larger, Left is teardrop shaped.

Nose: Right nostril slightly larger, left side flatter.

Mouth: Smaller sized with strong archer’s bow upper lip.

Chin: Broad round jaw line.

Shoulders: Substantial downward slope.

Aliases: Ben Nelson, Joe Jones, JD Howard, Jere James*

*Jesse faked his death in 1882 and lived until 1935 in Neodesha, Kansas.


Jesse W. James

jesse w james

Jesse W. James Posing as his cousin, Jere Miah James.


The image on the left is Jesse’s widely known rebel shot. The man on the right is Jere Miah James, an alias for Jesse W. James.

The two photos are made into 50% half tone transparent images and overlaid for comparison. Any and all of the facial features that match,  become 100% full toned once again.

The two subjects photos above are overlaid  below.

Jesse W. James and Jere Miah James images overlaid.

Jesse W. James and Jere Miah James images overlaid.

The differences such as the hat, hair, beard and clothing are still half toned. The two transparent facial images align perfectly, proving they are both Jesse W. James.


The images below are further examples of how Jesse could change his appearance and take on a new identity.


J W James

Jesse W. James

Jesse Woodson James

Jesse Woodson James














 The two images below clearly share the same features for a positive match. They even have the same swollen eye injury.

Jesse W. James

















The eye injury is erased and the image overlaid with the rebel photo and all of the facial features align perfectly.


Jesse W. James














Jesse was kind enough to have his photo taken in much the same pose, lending themselves well for facial comparisons. All of the sample images align perfectly, proving that the man is Jesse W. James in various disguises.


Jesse W. James

Flattop compare

The facial expression is far more relaxed in the left image and the posture of the pose differs, but the half-tone overlay shows that the facial features match up.

These photos illustrate Jesse’s remarkable ability to change his appearance and no doubt, what made him so elusive in his lifetime.

The RJ Pastore Collection establishes a framework in which to exhibit the photos, and place them in the proper context. Gratefully, these rare heirlooms are brought together to create an important archive of historic photos that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.


Explore more of Jesse’s life and many other figures of the wild west in the top menu bar.