Robert S. James' real name was Major Raymond Lisenba. He was known as Robert S. James during his marriage to Mary Emma Busch James and at the time of her death in 1935, and, after her murder by rattlesnake bite and drowning, as "Rattlesnake James."
Mary B. Skeele, wife of Walter Skeele, the Professor of Organ and Dean of the College of Music at the University of Southern California was kidnapped in 1933. The ransom was paid and Mrs. Skeele was returned unharmed. A former student was found guilty of the crime.