News & Opinion | March 20, 2018 11:26 am

Photo of Infamous Outlaw Jesse James Could Be Worth $2 Million

It was purchased on e-Bay for $10.

jesse james
Jesse (left) and Frank James, backed by their mother, Zerelda Samuel, formerly the Widow James.
Bettmann Archive

A mysterious 19th-century photograph that was purchased on e-Bay for just $10 could, in fact, be worth $2 million after experts identified it as an extremely rare portrait of the infamous outlaw Jesse James. Justin Whiting, who lives in the U.K., bought the tintype for just $10 in July 2017. He then noticed a similarity between the person in the picture and a photo of James in a book. Tintypes, which are kind of like 19th-century Polaroids, were created by applying chemicals to a thin metal sheet. “I noticed the picture for sale — it was $10. It was a bit blurry on the site, but when I got it, it was a lot clearer,” Witing said, according to Fox News. “I thought to myself: ‘Gee wizz; this could be a real photo!’ I’ve been obsessed with American outlaws for years and read lots of books and study their faces.” He contacted forensic experts in the U.S. and they analyzed the picture. They suspect the picture could be worth at least $2 million. Jesse James earned notoriety as a bank and train robber. He was also part of a Confederate guerrilla during the Civil War. He was shot dead by Robert Ford, a member of his gang, on April 3, 1882. The tintype appears to be from when James was just 14-years-old.