Timecapsule: September 24, 1855

The preserved head of Joaquin Murieta and the hand of Three-Fingered Jack were sold at auction today to settle their owner's legal problems.

Joaquin Murieta was a notorious and romantic figure in the early history of California. With Jack, his right-hand man, Murieta led a gang of Mexican bandits through the countryside on a three-year rampage, brutally "liberating" more than $100,000 in gold, killing 22 people (including three lawmen), and outrunning three separate posses. After posse #4 tracked him down and chopped off his head - or at least the head of someone who might possibly have maybe looked like him - Murieta's story entered California folklore.