real photo post card entitled in negative The Hanging of “Black Jack” The Outlaw, showing the wooden scaffolding with Black Jack in center as they are placing the noose around his neck. Interestingly he is not blindfolded.
Thomas E. "Black Jack" Ketchum (1863-1901) was born in Texas but left for New Mexico in 1890, likely to escape the law. By 1894 his older brother, Sam, had joined him and they commenced their criminal careers, killing a merchant near Carrizozo, robbing various establishments, holding up stages and trains. In 1897 they robbed two trains in Arizona, spending intervals in Old New Mexico. They robbed a train near Folsom, N.M., Sept. 3, 1897. On Aug. 16, 1899 Tom tried to hold up a train at virtually the same site by himself, was seriously wounded by the conductor, Frank Harrington, and was picked up beside the tracks the next day. His arm was amputated while he was awaiting trial. He was sentenced to hang Oct. 5, 1900, at Clayton, N.M. While in jail he gained weight and the drop from the scaffolding was too great, severing his head from his body.