The JLC Controversy - A Rebuttal

There is a book on the market, "Jesse James Lived and Died in Texas", by Betty Dorsett Duke, which claims that her great-grandfather, James L. Courtney, was really Jesse James. She claims that Jesse faked his death and lived in Texas until age 96. James L. Courtney's mother was Dianna D. Andruss Courtney-Haun. On September 17, 1999, in a Falls County, Texas courtroom, a judge decided not to allow the exhumation of James L. Courtney's body for DNA testing after a forensic scientist proved that the picture of Dianna Courtney-Haun in Mrs. Duke's book had been altered. At this hearing, other evidence was presented which challenges the accuracy of Mrs. Duke's story. The following pictures will allow viewers to reach their own conclusions.

This picture of Dianna Andruss Courtney-Haun and her four sons was included in a family history video that was made in the summer of 1994. This is the original photo that belonged to a sibling of James Lafayette Courtney, and is shown and described on the video by that sibling's grandson. In this photo, both of Dianna's hands can be seen in her lap. She is holding a white fan in her right hand.

This picture of that same family photograph is clearly NOT a tintype - it is in a gray folder, and is the sort of studio portrait that was done in the early 1900's. The sons are, left to right: John A., holding a large light colored hat in his right hand; James L., behind his mother's right shoulder, is holding a large dark hat in his right hand; Robert W. is behind his mother's left shoulder; and Theodore N. is on the right.

This picture of Dianna was cropped from a copy of the original photograph. The white fan that Dianna is holding in her right hand is unfolded, and fades against her white apron. The black edge of the fan extends across her left hand and wrist, and the fan itself covers the upper part of her left hand and wrist.

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