The Five Joaquins (1850-1853) were an outlaw gang in California led by Joaquin Murrieta and composed of himself, Joaquin Botellier, Joaquin Carrillo, Joaquin Ocomorenia, and Joaquin Valenzuela. Between 1850 and 1853, the gang, joined by Murrieta's right hand man, "Three-Fingered Jack" (Manuel Garcia), were said to have been responsible for most of the cattle rustling, robberies, and murders committed in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevadas. They are credited with stealing more than $100,000 in gold and over 100 horses, killing 19 people, and having outrun three posses and killed three lawmen.
On May 11, 1853, Governor of California John Bigler signed a legislative act creating the "California State Rangers," led by Captain Harry Love (a former Texas Ranger). Their mission was to capture the "Five Joaquins". The California Rangers were paid $150 a month and stood a chance to share a $5000 reward for the capture of Joaquin Murrieta. On July 25, 1853, a group of Rangers encountered a band of armed Mexican men near Panoche Pass in San Benito County, 50 miles from Monterey. A confrontation took place, and two of the Mexicans were killed. One was claimed to be Murrieta, and the other was thought to be Three-Fingered Jack. A plaque (California Historical Landmark #344) near the intersection of State Routes 33 and 198 now marks the approximate site of Murrieta's headquarters in Arroyo de Cantua, where he was presumably killed.