Dunno, there is a "link" or connection missing in Popular History here I think.
I am thinking...
I suspect Martha Bolton who was there. But, there is a gap (in my knowledge) as to how it went from a secret, unmarked grave dug by the Fords (Liddil had been shot in the leg) to Ford and Liddil surrendering to Sheriff Timberlake for Hite's murder, on the condition that they would receive pardons and a reward.
The story does not add up. Who snitched? How did the law know? I see the pardon and reward as being for giving info on James and not on shooting Hite.
Ford claimed that he met with governor Crittenden who agreed to pardon Ford for the murder of Wood Hite if he would deliver Jesse James, dead or alive. Liddil must have confessed to sheriff Timberlake (but why?)
Ford shot James shortly after James heard of Liddil's confession of killing Hite. Ford claimed that he believed James would kill him after learning of the murder. After the death of James, Ford stood trial for Hite's murder and was found guilty, though he was later pardoned. Liddil was rearrested for the murder of Hite in 1891, but was later released and dying of heart failure three months later.