Woodson Conrad James

Conrad-James

Woodson Conrad James was the great-nephew of outlaw bank-robber Jesse James (born Jesse Woodson James). Unlike his infamous great-uncle, Woodson grew his fortune in a more socially acceptable way; he was a lawyer specializing in criminal defense.

Woodson was eight years old when he learned of his great-uncle’s treacherous life, and although saddened by the deaths left in Jesse’s crime spree wake, Woodson was proud of having such a well-known, and feared, family member. It is said that he decided early on to become a criminal defense attorney in memory of his great-uncle Jesse.

Woodson was clever and unusually successful. His services came at a high price, and his satisfied clients included mobsters, casino owners, corporate CEOs, high-end escorts, and petty thieves from good families. Although he treated his clients with respect, each was aware that if one wanted Woodson as your attorney, you’d best be prepared to pay grand hourly fees for listening to tale after tale of Jesse’s exploits.

Despite his legal successes, Woodson did not fully escape the notoriety of his great-uncle. He, like Jesse, fell in love with his first cousin, Naomi Springfield; but unlike Jesse, who eventually married his first cousin, Woodson feared being ostracized due to the familial love affair and, after five years of romantic secrecy and promises of betrothment, he ended the relationship with Naomi.

Naomi, heart-broken and furious, arrived at Woodson’s home under the guise of returning a diamond necklace he’d given her. Instead, she grabbed one of Jesse’s pistols from the collection on display in Woodson’s living room, walked quietly to his office, and shot him in the face as he sat at his desk eating his lunch, a ham sandwich.

She’d later claim she hadn’t realized the gun was loaded and only wanted to threaten Woodson, not kill him. She was found guilty of pre-meditated murder and given a life sentence. Her attorney worked a plea that promised she’d never be served ham sandwiches in prison.

Priscilla Alice Mosey, Twin Sister of Annie Oakley

Priscilla-Alice-MoseyPriscilla Alice Mosey is the fraternal twin sister of Annie Oakley. Annie’s birth name was Phoebe Ann Mosey, known as Annie to her family. She took the surname Oakley after the town of Oakley, Ohio.

Priscilla kept her birth name both because she liked it, and because the sisters, since childhood, enjoyed fooling people into thinking they were strangers, who happened to be doppelgängers who didn’t think they looked alike. The stunt later became part of Annie’s act, carried out between performances of her gun show.

The sisters, dressed identically, would casually cross paths amongst the crowd. Someone, at times a shill, would point out how similar the women looked. They’d stop and stare at one another, from hat to boots, then pretend not to notice any resemblance between them. A debate would ensue, with Priscilla eventually changing her mind and exclaiming she did see a resemblance after all. She’d tell Annie how their eyes looked alike, their noses, the texture of their hair, even their earlobes. Annie would say she just didn’t see it. Priscilla would not back down, and the sisters would enter a heated argument. Annie would pull out her gun and threaten to shoot her sister if she didn’t leave the grounds post haste. Audience members were initially stunned, then delighted, by their shenanigans.

In reality, the sisters were extremely close, able to communicate, they said, by thought. Priscilla lived with Annie and her husband, Frank Butler, and traveled with them on the Wild West circuit performing The Non-Resembling Twins act to audience acclaim.

Priscilla and Annie died of Pernicious Anemia on the same day in 1926, at the age of 66. They were buried next to one another. Their tombstone reads, “OK. Fine. We do look alike.”