It is one of the practices of the political propagandist to recruit as victims of the policies they are against people near and dear to their political enemies. So it should come as no surprise that some of the people accused of killing Theodosia were not pirates at all, but rather law abiding privateers. One of these was Captain Jean DesFarges, who while working for Jean Laffite, was accused of piracy for taking as a prize a Spanish ship named the Filomena . This occurred about seven years after Theodosia's disappearance. The purpose of the prosecution and later hanging of DesFarges and his crew was to discredit Jean Laffite and his privateering establishment in Galveston. As part of the general smear campaign, a baseless story was published to the effect that DesFarges had confessed to murdering Theodosia.
The following newspaper account, countering the "pirate" story, from The Famer's Repository, Charleston, W. Vrginia, August 30, 1820 was provided to me by Pam Keyes;
The New Orleans Advetiser of contradicts the story in the New York prints of June 1820, of certain pirates, executed at New Orleans, having confessed they composed part of the crew of the pilot boat Patriot who murdered Mrs. Alston. The Advertiser discredits the whole account: and upon the testimony of the Rev. Mr. Larned, who attended them in prison from the day of condemnation to the moment of their being swung from the gallows, "It did not appear that they had ever stained their hands with blood."
Nevertheless, the legend of Theodosia having been done away with by pirates lives on. And very few people understand that DesFarges and his crew were not pirates. Likewise, Jean Laffite is known as a pirate, and Aaron Burr, while acquitted of treason, is known as a traitor. This is how political operatives kill two birds with one stone.