Joaquin Murrieta Organization founder
Joaquin Carrillo Murrieta (sometimes spelled Murieta or Murietta) (c. 1829 – c. July 25, 1853), also called the Mexican or Chilean Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was an infamous figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Depending on the point of view, he was considered an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot. Controversy surrounds the figure of Joaquin Murrieta: who he was, what he did, and many of his life's events. This is summarized by the words of historian Susan Lee Johnson: So many tales have grown up around Murrieta that it is hard to disentangle the fabulous from the factual. There seems to be a consensus that Anglos drove him from a rich mining claim, and that, in rapid succession, his wife was raped, his half-brother lynched, and Murrieta himself horse-whipped. He may have worked as a monte dealer for a time; then, according to whichever version one accepts, he became either a horse trader and occasional horse thief, or a bandit. John Rollin Ridge, grandson of the Cherokee leader Major Ridge, wrote a dime novel about Murrieta;
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1. Five Joaquins Gang
The Five Joaquins 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. The gang is believed to have killed up to 28 Chinese and 13 Anglo-Americans. On May 11, 1853, Governor of California John Bigler signed a legislative act creating the "California State Rangers," led by Captain Harry Love. 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.