Five Joaquins Gang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Five Joaquins)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Five Joaquins (1850-1853) were an outlaw gang in California led by Joaquin Murrieta and composed of himself, Joaquin Botellier, Joaquin Carrillo, Joaquin Ocomorenia, and Joaquin Valenzuela. Between 1850 and 1853, the gang, joined by Murrieta's right-hand man, "Three-Fingered Jack", were reported to have been responsible for most of the cattle rustling, robberies, and murders committed in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevadas. They are credited with stealing more than $100,000 in gold and over 100 horses, killing at least 19 people, and having outrun three posses and killed three lawmen.[1] The gang is believed to have killed up to 28 Chinese and 13 Whites.[2]

On May 11, 1853, Governor of California John Bigler signed a legislative act creating the "California State Rangers," led by Captain Harry Love (a former Texas Ranger). Their mission was to capture the "Five Joaquins". The California Rangers were paid $150 a month and stood a chance to share a $5000 reward for the capture of Joaquin Murrieta. On July 25, 1853, a group of Rangers encountered a band of armed Mexican men near Panoche Pass in San Benito County, 50 miles from Monterey. A confrontation took place, and two of the Mexicans were killed. One was claimed to be Murrieta, and the other was thought to be Three-Fingered Jack. A plaque (California Historical Landmark #344) near the intersection of State Routes 33 and 198 now marks the approximate site of Murrieta's headquarters in Arroyo de Cantua, where he was presumably killed.[1]

Representations in media[edit]

  • The Mask of Zorro (1998) The film features a fictionalised representation of the confrontation between the gang and Captain Love. Joaquin Murrieta, an American version Three-Fingered Jack and Murrieta's fictional brother Alejandro (Antonio Banderas) are three bandits who are confronted by Captain Harrison Love (A Fictionalized Harry Love) and his posse. Joaquin and Jack are killed whilst Alejandro escapes to assume the role of Zorro and kills Love in revenge. Victor Rivers played Joaquin.[3]
  • Behind The Mask of Zorro (2005) a History Channel documentary about Murrieta and his gang, and how he inspired the character of Zorro.[4]


  1. ^ a b Paz, Ireneo (1904). Vida y Aventuras del Mas Celebre Bandido Sonorense, Joaquin Murrieta: Sus Grandes Proezas En California (in Spanish) (English translation by Francis P. Belle, Regan Pub. Corp., Chicago, 1925. ed.). Mexico City.  Republished with introduction and additional translation by Luis Leal as Life and Adventures of the Celebrated Bandit Joaquin Murrieta: His Exploits in the State of California, Arte Publico Press, 1999.
  2. ^ Peter Mancall, Benjamin Heber-Johnson. Making of the American West: People and Perspectives. p. 270. 
  3. ^ Five Joaquins Gang at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Five Joaquins Gang at the Internet Movie Database