Almost immediately following his exploits, the legend of Jesse James was elevated to almost mythic proportions to that of Robin Hood type. The reality of the man was much different. Born in Missouri to a Confederate family that was extremely hostile to the Union, Jesse got his first taste for violence as a bushwhacker, ambushing and brutalizing northern soldiers with his brother Frank and a band of older outlaws. From then, Jesse and his brother took to robbing banks and with the help of a pulp novelist, began to spread his name throughout the West until his cold blooded murder at the age of 34. "Jesse James" is another excellent entry in the American Experience western series, and features great footage, insightful experts, and really fine narration from Michael Murphy. Even today, one has a tendency to thins of Jesse James as a champion of the poor. This documentary helps to dispel that myth.