DNA Controversy: Why the DNA Results from the 1995 exhumation of the alleged grave of Jesse James, are Tainted. — The Outlaw Jesse James

I wanted to present some of the evidence we’ve gathered over the years just as my late mother, Betty Dorsett Duke had written it. Without further ado, I present you with… DNA Controversy: Why the 1995 DNA Results are Tainted…. 1. The validity of the DNA Reference Sources. 2. The questionable origin of the teeth and […]

via DNA Controversy: Why the DNA Results from the 1995 exhumation of the alleged grave of Jesse James, are Tainted. — The Outlaw Jesse James


Below is another article written by my late mother in 2007, punching more holes in the story that Starrs and those who hired him wanted the world to believe…

Professor James E. Starrs Admits To Dissembling About Missouri Law

“Professor Starrs’ troubles began when he chose to not follow the agreed upon exhumation plan first outlined in the June 1994 issue of Wild West magazine. He was not only supposed to exhume the grave bearing the name of Jesse Woodson James, but his mother’s grave as well. Her remains were to be the extremely vital mitohondrial DNA (mtDNA) reference source used to determine if the man buried in the grave bearing Jesse’s name was actually him. Once the remains were retrieved from each grave and DNA extracted and sequenced from each sample, the two sequences would then be compared. If they proved to be an identical match there would be no doubt that Jesse James was buried in that grave. But Starrs had a sudden change of heart and no one’s telling what caused it. He decided against exhuming Jesse’s mother’s remains claiming that Missouri law prevented it because her death wasn’t of a suspicious nature. (A & E Documentary, ‘In Search of Jesse James’.)

I visited the University of Texas Law Library to check out that law and found, in a Missouri law book, that the statute Starrs’ referred to said nothing of the sort. But just to be sure I contacted the Missouri Attorney General’s office for confirmation, and on August 26, 1999 I received the following fax from them confirming that no such law exists:

‘Stacey Hall, State of Missouri Office Of Attorney General, August 26, 1999: Ms. Duke, There are no state laws regarding exhumation of bodies. Please obtain a court order to disturb a gravesite.’

‘Also, in a an email to this author from Anchorman Jim Riek of KOMU TV, Columbia, Missouri, dated 8-31-00:

‘Hi Betty,

Just got off the phone with Scott Holstein from the MO Attorney General’s office…he agrees, Starrs was making up the law.’

Emmett Hoctor said, “Being a law professor surely he [Starrs] had access to a set of Missouri law books.” (NBC 8, KOMU TV, Jim Riek, “The Story You Haven’t Heard”, 2001)

Starrs stuck to his story for years but in 2005 finally admitted that he had “dissembled” in his book, ‘A Voice For The Dead’.His exact quote follows:

‘Because Zerelda [Jesse’s mother] died a natural death, I dissembled, while the death of her son has been rife with doubt and conflict as to its occurrence and cause. There is, therefore, no allowable basis for exhuming someone in Missouri who dies a natural death. I knew full well that the local medical examiner had the statuary power to request an exhumation even if the death had been previously classified as a natural one. I was just not of a mind to add one more exhumation to my agenda unless out of dire necessity.” (Starrs, James E. with Katherine Ramsland, Berkley books, New York, 2005.)

Professor Starrs legalese is reminiscent of the “You saytomato, I say tamato” kind of thing. Starrs says dissembled, I say lied.Anyone who reads ‘Bone Hunter’ written by Amanda Ripley and published in the Washington City Times, will see that the last sentence in Starrs’ quote listed above is simply not true.(This article is available on the Internet.)”


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