Prof. James E. Starrs sure was kept busy exhuming the graves marked as those of Jesse Woodson James in 1995.In a way I feel sorry for him having to deal with all of that cover-up.
In 1995 he got the order to exhume the one in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.He was going to exhume Jesse's mother's grave too (Zerelda) and had permission to exhume it but something, or perhaps someone, made him change his mind about doing that so he made up a story blaming Missouri law for it. Why??? Was someone afraid that the mtDNA sequences from her remains and those retrived from the alleged grave of Jesse James wouldn't match?
So in July of 1995 Starrs began digging for a metal casket but what did he find -- not much.However, he did find evidence of someone's wooden casket and someone's bones buried face down.But he obviously didn't find what he was looking for DNA-wise.He said the bones were too detriorated.So he was compelled to dig up another one of "Jesse's" graves -- the one alleged to be in the yard of the family farm because he was looking for a tooth that could talk!At least he said it "could tell the tale." Betty Barr even helped dig for it.
However, Starrs was so dissappointed because he said the tooth he was looking for wasn't there.I wonder how and where he got the DNA that "talked" for him?
Let's see, "Jesse Woodson James" was supposedly buried in April of 1882 and then in 1902 Frank and Zerelda dug him up to move him over to Mt. Olivet Cemetery so they could bury him face down, as Starrs said "Facing the proverbial fires of hell from whence he came." Then in 1978 Milt Perry, the curator of the James Farm & Museum at that time, decided to dig up the original grave again and found all kinds of stuff--animal bones, human bones, & trash.Now why would Jesse's family treat his grave in such a disrespectful manner?Anyway, he sent those remains off to Michael Finnegan at Kansas State for testing, including some teeth and hair. Then in 1995 Starrs dug up the Mt. Olivet grave and the original grave and was supposed to rebury everything he took out of both graves all together in the Mt. Olivet Site.Are you still with me?
Guess what?He didn't do it.According to John Hartman, the head honcho of the entire Clay County Parks Dept. at that time, Starrs didn't return the remains and he didn't prove anything.