OLD WEST ROBBERS    <>    RAILROAD SERIAL KILLERS

Railroad Criminals

 OLD WEST Robbers

 The first peacetime robbery of a train in the United States occurred on October 6, 1866, when robbers boarded the Ohio & Mississippi train shortly after it left Seymour, Indiana.  They broke into one safe and tipped the other off the train before jumping off.  The Pinkerton National Detective Agency later traced the crime to the Reno Gang.  There was one earlier train robbery in May 1865, but because it was committed by armed guerrillas and occurred shortly after the end of the Civil War, it is not considered to be the first peacetime train robbery in the United States.

This robbery was one of many crimes that the railroads face in the early 19th century. Below are some high-lights of some of the more notorious Thieves, Gangs, and Robbers. 

     


Reno Gang members:

 

Frank Reno, William Reno, Simeon Reno, and John Reno were from the small community of Rockford Indiana, which was two miles north of Seymour.

This gang was involved in crimes unrelated to the railroad, however, on October 6, 1866 they came up with a new idea--- to rob a train.  This crime opened up a new form of robbery for years to come. On that historical night, John and Simeon Reno, along with a man named Frank Sparks, boarded the eastbound Ohio & Mississippi train at the Seymour depot. Once on board, the three masked men made their way to the express car, held a gun on the messenger and stole some $12,000. Afterwards, they pulled the bell rope to signal the engineer to stop the train and jumped off into the darkness when the train slowed, thus recording the first peacetime train robbery.

On September 28, 1867 a “copycat” holdup occurred at Seymour when another train was robbed. It was immediately suspected the Reno brothers were involved, however, it was found that Walker Hammond and Michael Colleran robbed the train.  This robbery was very similar to the Reno hold-up the previous year; the pair heisted about $8,000. Though Hammond and Colleran were “associates” of the Reno’s they had not been given permission to hold up the train. John Reno tracked them down, beat them, took their loot, and then turned them into the authorities. 

On May 22, 1868, the Reno’s struck again in Marshfield, Indiana, approximately17 miles south of Seymour.  After forcing their way into the Express car, they threw the messenger from the train and robbed it of some $96,000 in cash and government bonds. Gang members: Frank Reno, Sim Reno, William Reno, Charlie Anderson, Albert Perkins, Michael Rogers, Miles Ogle, Frank Sparks, Volney Elliott, John Moore, Charles Roseberry, Henry Jerrell, and Theodore Clifton split the loot and went into hiding as Pinkerton agents were on their trail

On July 9, 1868, Sparks, Elliott, Moore, Roseberry, Jerrell, and Clifton, returned to Jackson County and attempted to rob an O & M train at the Shields watering station near Brownstown, west of Seymour. Ten Pinkerton Detectives were waiting for them by hiding in the express car.  After a hail of gunfire, gang members:  Henry Jerrell, Volney Elliott and John Moore were wounded.  All were able to escape but Elliot.

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 The James Younger Gang: 

The James-Younger Gang was credited with many robberies in their time.  Of these, seven were for train robberies:  They were originally formed in 1866, with its leaders of Frank James, Jesse James, and Cole Younger.  The James gang averaged 12 men.  Most were formerly members of Quantrills Guerillas “Raiders.”  It is believed that at least 41 men rode as outlaws with the Jameses and Youngers during their notorious history.  

 

Train robberies:

 

Adair County, Iowa - Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific train, July 21, 1873 Train overturned killing engineer John Rafferty, fireman Dennis Foley injured. $3000 taken

 

Gad's Hill, Missouri - train, February 1874, $2000 to $3000 taken

 

Muncie, Kansas - train, December 8, 1874, $30,000 taken. Bud McDaniels arrested--killed after escaping

 

Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri - train, July 7, 1876, Missouri Pacific Railroad train, over $15,000 taken

 

Glendale, Missouri – train, October 8, 1879, Chicago and Alton Railroad, $40,000 taken

 

Winston, Missouri – train, July 15, 1981, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad,$2000 taken

 

Blue Cut, Missouri - train, September 7, 1881, Chicago and Alton Railroad, $15,000 taken

 

Members who were involved in the Younger Gang train robberies:  

 

Thomas Cole Younger, born January 15, 1844 in Missouri

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

-Gad’s Hill, Missouri, train robbery, 1874

-Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

 

Jim HardinYounger, born January 15, 1848 in Missouri

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

 

Robert Ewing Younger, born December 1853 in Missouri

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

            -Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

           

John Harrison Younger, born in 1851 in Missouri

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

           

Alexander Franklin “Frank” James, born January 10, 1843 in Missouri

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

-Gad’s Hill, Missouri, train robbery, 1874

-Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

Jesse Woodson James, born September 27, 1847

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

-Gad’s Hill, Missouri, train robbery, 1874

-Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

-Winston, train robbery, 1881

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

Arthur C. McCoy, born 1825 in Ireland, St. Louis

 

            -Adair, Iowa, train robbery, 1873

            -Gad’s Hill, Missouri, train robbery, 1874

 

James Andrew “Dick” Liddil, born September 15, 1852 in Jackson County, Missouri

 

            -Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

            -Winston, train robbery, 1881

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

Clelland B. “Clell” Miller, born September 1850 in Clay County, Missouri

 

            -Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

 

Samuel Wells, alias Charlie Pitts

 

-Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

           

William Stiles, alias Bill Chadwell from Minnesota

 

            -Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

 

Clarence Browler Hite, born 1862 in Logan County, Kentucky

 

            -Winston, train robbery, 1881

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

Robert Woodson Hite, born 1850 in Logan County, Kentucky

 

-Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

-Winston, train robbery, 1881

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

Daniel Tucker Bassham from Jackson County, Missouri

 

            -Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

 

Edward T. Miller, born 1856 in Clay County, Kentucky

 

            -Muncie, Kansas, train robbery, 1874

            -Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

           

Hobbs Kerry,

 

            -Otterville or Rocky Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1876

 

Charles Wilson Ford, born July 9, 1857

 

-Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881       

           

Bill Ryan, alias Tom Hill, born 1851, Irish

 

            -Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

 

Jim Cummins,

 

            -Muncie, Kansas, train robbery, 1874

            -Glendale, Missouri, train robbery, 1879

            -Winston, train robbery, 1881

            -Blue Cut, Missouri, train robbery, 1881

 

 The James-Younger Gang is credited with killing the following Pinkerton men and railroad trainmen:

 

     -Edwin/Edward Daniels, a Pinkerton Agent, who was shot and killed trying to

      apprehend the Youngers

 

     -Captain Louis J. Lull, a Pinkerton Agent from Chicago, who was shot and killed

      trying to apprehend the Youngers

 

     -Jack Ladd, believed to be a Pinkerton spy, commonly believed to be a revenge

      killing for the January Pinkerton bombing on the James farm

 

     -John Rafferty, an engineer at the Adair robbery, was crushed as the engine

      overturned

 

     -William Westfall, conductor on a train at Winston, Missouri, reportedly the

      conductor who brought the Pinkertons to James Farm January 25, 1875

 

     -John W. Whicher, a Pinkerton Detective, killed in 1874

 

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 Seven Knights of the Road

 

As Central Pacific Train number one, “The Atlantic Express”, eased into the town of Verdi after leaving Oakland, CA on November 5, 1870, five men wearing mask boarded the train heavily armed.  They uncoupled the engine, tender, and express car from the rest of the train and forced the engineer to continue to the Lawton Springs Gravel Quarry several miles out of town.  This gang escaped on horseback with $41,000 in bags containing $20 gold pieces. Within four days of the holdup, the entire gang had been arrested and $39,750 of the gold was recovered.

 

Gang members

 

A.J. “Gentleman Jack” Davis (leader) – was very professional in demeanor.  He was known to be very gentle and intelligent.  Arrested and received 10 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison for his part in the Central Pacific Train robbery.

 

E.B. Parsons – arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

 

John Squires – arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

 

Tilton Cockerill– arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

 

R.A. Jones– arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

 

James Gilchrist– arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

 

Sol Jones – did not take part in the actual robbery.  He took care of having the horses ready for their escape.  Arrested and received 21 years on the rock piles of the Nevada State Prison

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The Dalton Gang

 

On February 6, 1891, Southern Pacific southbound train #17 arrived at the Alila station in California’s San Joaquin Valley.  As it later departed, the fireman observed a man running towards the train as two masked came towards him from the top of the wood tender.  One of the masked men was carrying a Remington Frontier .44 and was missing two fingers.  He directed the engineer to continue with his train until told to stop some 17 miles later.

The messenger slid the door open on his express car and looked down the tracks.  He saw his engineer and fireman walking toward him and being followed by three masked men.  The messenger bolted the heavy door closed and grabbed his .44-40 rifle and revolver and prepared for action.  After he refused to open the door, one of the masked men fired a shotgun at point blank range at him.  One of the pellets struck the messenger in his eye; however, he was able to return fire.  After he stopped firing, there was silence for several moments.  Then, a vicious gun battle ensued.  After several minutes the battle was over and the masked men made good their escape on horseback with no rewards. 

This victory was short lived when it was learned that the brakeman had died from a bullet wound to his stomach.

Posses were organized in Tulare and Visalia with over 150 men under the guidance of Sheriff Vern Borgwaldt of Kern County and Sheriff John Kay of Tulare County.

Southern Pacific Special Agent B.F. Whitmer and Wells Fargo detectives were also called to the scene to investigate the robbery.

Suspicion fell on the Dalton Brothers.  Robert and Emmett Dalton were recently seen heavily armed around William Dalton’s ranch and who fit the description of the robbers.   P.J. Conway, a saloon operator, recognized Gratton Dalton from a reward flier and arrested him while in the saloon.  Gratton was immediately taken to the county jail in Vasalia and questioned by detective Smith of the Southern Pacific Railroad, detective Hume of Wells Fargo, and Sheriff Kay.  With little evidence, they were forced to release him.  Several days later armed with more evidence against him, Southern Pacific Detective Hickey rearrested Gratton.

A week later, Robert and Emmet Dalton were indicted by the Tulare County grand jury for train robbery and William was indicted for harboring known criminals.

The Gang’s next robbery was the Katy train at Leliaetta, near Wagoner I.T.  With Robert and Emmett, were Bitter Creek Newcomb, Bill Powers, Dick Broadwell, Charlie Pierce, and Bill Doolin.  On the night of September 15, 1891 they stopped and boarded the train, and robbed the express car of $2500.

At the end of May in 1892, the three Dalton boys teamed up with Pierce, Newcomb, Powers, Broadwell, and Doolin for another train holdup.  On June 1, 1892 at the train station at Red Rock, they positioned themselves and awaited the approaching train.  When the train entered the station the train coaches were dark,  the gang sensing something was wrong allowed it to leave the station unmolested.   Suddenly a second train appeared and as it stopped at the station the gang boarded it and proceeded to rob it.  As it turned out the gang was correct in their suspicion, the first train was full of armed guards protecting $75,000 of the Sac and Fox annuity.  Unfortunately the second train had little of value on it and the gang only made off with $50.

 On July 14, 1892, the gang made its last train robbery at Adair I.T. Once again the train was loaded with deputies, but the gang was so quick and quite with their work that the marshals didn’t realize the train was being robbed until the job was almost completed.  Unloading from the train the marshal’s engaged in a fierce but brief gun battle with the bandits.  During the battle an innocent bystander was killed and another one wounded.  The bandits would escape unharmed with an undisclosed amount of cash.

 After the Adair robbery, the Gang split up and went their own way.  With the law on their trail, the Dalton boys figured to make one last robbery and get enough money to leave the country.  A plan was devised to rob two banks in the same town at the same time, thus getting enough money to leave the country.  The perfect town for the robbery was Coffeyville, KS, the Dalton boy’s old hometown.  On October 5, 1892 five members of the gang, Robert, Gratton, and Emmett Dalton, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell rode into Coffeyville robbed the Condon National Bank and First National Bank.  As they tried to make their escape, a gun battle ensued with the towns’ people.  Emmett Dalton was seriously wounded but was the only member of the gang to survive.

 

Gang Members involved in Train Robberies

 

Emmett Dalton road in several posses led by his brothers who were deputy marshals before becoming outlaws.  November 1892, he pleads guilty to second-degree murder and is sentenced to life in prison.

 

     -Alila, CA, Southern Pacific train robbery, February 6, 1891

     -Wharton, O.T., train robbery, May 1891

     -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892,

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

 

Robert Dalton was at a time a deputy marshal for the federal court in Kansas Wichita and Head of the Osage Police before becoming an outlaw.  Killed in Coffeyville bank robbery shoot out on October 5, 1892.

 

     -Alila, CA, Southern Pacific train robbery, February 6, 1891

     -Wharton, O.T., train robbery, May 1891

     -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892,

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Gratton Dalton was at a time a deputy marshal for the Muskogee court before becoming an outlaw.  Killed in Coffeyville bank robbery shoot out on October 5, 1892.

 

     -Alila, CA, Southern Pacific train robbery, February 6, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Bill Dalton

 

     -Alila, CA, Southern Pacific train robbery, February 6, 1891

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Charlie Pierce

 

     -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

George Newcomb aka Bitter Creek Newcomb,

 

     -Wharton, O.T., train robbery, May 1891

     -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891   

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892,

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Charlie Bryant aka Black-Faced Charlie

Shortly after the Adair robbery, Deputy Marshal Ed Short in Hennessey, O.T, arrested Bryant.  While being transported by train to the federal jail in Wichita, KS, Bryant attempted to escape by securing a pistol.  He became involved in a shootout with Deputy Short with both Bryant and Short shooting and killing each other..  

     -Wharton, O.T., train robbery, May 1891    

 

 

 

Richard “Dick” Broadwell, aka Texas Jack aka John Moore 

Killed in Coffeyville bank robbery shoot out on October 5, 1892.

      -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Bill Powers

Killed in Coffeyville bank robbery shoot out on October 5, 1892.

      -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

Bill Doolin

      -Leliaetta, Indian Territory Near Wagoner, KATY train robbery, September 15, 1891

     -Red Rock, train robbery, June 1, 1892

     -Adair, Indian Territory, train robbery, July 14, 1892

 

The killing of members of the gang in Coffeyville did not put an end to the gang.  Bill Doolin, Bitter Creek Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce joined up with Bill Dalton as the infamous Doolin-Dalton Gang.   

 

 

Doolin – Dalton Gang

 

Gang members involved in train robberies

 

Bill Doolin

Killed on August 24, 1896 by Deputy Marshall Heck Thomas’s Posse at Lawson, O.T.

      -Chaney, KS, DM&A train robbery, October 12, 1892, $1,500

     -Cimarron, KS, Santa Fe train robbery, June 11, 1893, $1000

    

Bill Dalton

Killed on June 8, 1894 by Deputy Lawson Hart near Ardmore, I.T.

      -Cimarron, KS, Santa Fe train robbery, June 11, 1893, $1000

 

George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb

     -Dover, O.T., Rock Island train robbery, April 3, 1895, $1437.50

     -Chaney, KS, DM&A train robbery, October 12, 1892, $1,500

     -Cimarron, KS, Santa Fe train robbery, June 11, 1893, $1000

 

Dan “Dynamite Dick” Clifton

Killed on November 7, 1897 by deputies near Cheetoah.  

     -Cimarron, KS, Santa Fe train robbery, June 11, 1893, $1000

    

George “Red Buck” Weightman 

Killed on March 4, 1896 by deputy marshals near Arapaho, O.T.

      -Dover, O.T., Rock Island train robbery, April 3, 1895, $1437.50

 

Charley Pierce

     -Chaney, KS, DM&A train robbery, October 12, 1892, $1,500    

     - Dover, O.T., Rock Island train robbery, April 3, 1895, $1437.50

 

Ole Yantis

Marshals shot and killed Yantis on November 30, 1892

      -Chaney, KS, DM&A train robbery, October 12, 1892, $1,500

    

Bill Blake aka Tulsa Jack Blake  

     -Cimarron, KS, Santa Fe train robbery, June 11, 1893, $1000    

     -Dover, O.T., Rock Island train robbery, April 3, 1895, $1437.50

 

 Little Bill Raidler

     -Dover, O.T., Rock Island train robbery, April 3, 1895, $1437.50

 

Sontag and Evans Train Robbers:  

(Known for the exploits in blowing up and looting express cars.)

 

Members:

 Chris Evans- Born in Vermont in May of 1847 and later settled in San Joaquin Valley, CA. as a simple farm laborer.

 

John Sontag – was a former brakeman for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Cailifornia and received a crushed ankle when caught between two cars.  Born in Minnesota in the early 1960’s as John Constant and later taking the last name of his stepfather.

 

George Sontag – was born during the 1860’s in Minnesota as George Constant and later taking the last name of his stepfather.

      -Pixley, CA, Southern Pacific Passenger Train No. 17, February 1889, $5000

 

Evans and John Sontag  used dynamite to blow open the express car.  They later shot Brakeman Henry Grabert by shotgun blast as he walked towards the front of the train.  Deputy Sheriff Ed Bentley from Modesto who was on the train traveling for vacation was with Grabert and was shot in the arm.

     -Goshen, CA, Southern Pacific Passenger Train No. 19, January 24, 1890, $20,000

 

Dynamite was again used to gain access into the express car.  Evans and John Sontag killed a hobo who happened to be in the wrong area at the wrong time as he was getting off the train during the robbery.

      -Goshen, CA, Southern Pacific Passenger Train No. 19, September 13, 1891, $000

 

Dynamite was used to blow the door on the express car; however, the express messengers armed themselves and shouted that they would kill anyone who tried to enter.  Evans and John Sontag lit another stick of dynamite and threw it in the express car but it was a dud.  Southern Pacific Detectives Len Harris and J. Lawson who were passengers on the train and rushed to the front of the train.  In an exchange of gunfire, Detective Harris was seriously wounded.  The bandits escaped without any goods.

 

     -Chicago, Western Union Station, train robbery, November 5, 1891, $4,800

  George Sontag joined his brother John and Chris Evans to pull of this robbery.

      -Collins, CA, Southern Pacific Passenger Train No.17, August 3, 1892,  $15,000

 

 As in all of the other robberies by the gang, three masked men entered the engine by climbing over the tender.  Heavily armed they ordered the crew to bring the train to a stop.  They then blew both doors on the express car seriously wounding the messenger.  A Posse was formed and soon joined by 12 railroad detectives who were instructed to find the bandits at all cost.  Southern Pacific Railroad Detective Will Smith and Deputy Ed Witty approached the George Sontag at a local saloon after becoming suspicious of their activities.   Sontag was soon locked up and Smith and Witty rode out to the Evans ranch to further investigate the crime. 

 They entered the cabin where they found Evans and his older daughter.  They inquired as to the where about of Sontag and were told he was not there.  After a short time of questioning, John Sontag burst into the kitchen with both barrels of his double barrel shotgun blasting.  Both Smith and Witty lay on the floor with severe wounds.

 Deputies were nearby and after hearing the gunfire, quickly surrounded the cabin, however, Evans and Sontag were able to make good their escape.  Needing food, clothing and horses, Evans and Sontag returned to the ranch.  A six-man posse including Deputy Sheriff Oscar Beaver also returned and encircled the ranch.  Deputy Beaver kicked the door to the barn, shot twice, and ordered the bandits out.  Sontag shot back killing Deputy Beaver.

 Evans and Sontag were again able to sneak out of the barn and make good their escape.  A possee of twelve deputies were later out on their trail as they were said to be hiding out in Evan’s claim at Sampson’s Flat.  Southern Pacific Detectives Will Smith and Frank Burke, Deputy Sheriff Andy McGinnis of Modesto, Constable Warren Hill of Sanger, and two Apache Indian trackers joined V.C. Wilson of Tucson, a former Texas Ranger in this hunt for the bandits.

 As the posse crept up to Evan’s cabin, the door suddenly opened with Evan’s and Sontag running and gunning.  Wilson and McGinnis fell dead, Witty was struck in the neck and Evan’s was believed to have been hit before he and Sontag fled into disappeared into the woods. 

 In May of the following year, Evan’s and Sontag ambushed and shot manhunter S.J. Black near Camp Bodgers.  A posse was immediately was organized by US Marshall Gard who was joined Southern Pacific Detective Will Smith and 13 other men.  This posse included sharp shooters Hiram Rapelje, Fred Jackson, and Tom burns.  This posse saw two heavily armed men walking down a path toward them.  The posse immediately started firing striking Evans on his left arm.  Evan’s returned fire shattering Jackson’s ankle. 

 Both Sontag and Evans were struck numerous times.  Evans had both arms wounded and an eye half blown out, however, found away out and walked many miles.  Sontag died the next morning while being taken back to Visalia by members of the posse.  Evans survived and was later arrested and put on trial for killing deputies Victor Wilson and Andrew McGinnis.   George Sontag testified against Evans who was later found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life in prison.

 While waiting in jail, Evans’ daughter and a young waiter (ed Morrell) from a local Café helped him escape.  During their attempt, Evans shot police chief J.D. Morgan and again were able to escape

 Fowler, CA, Southern Pacific Train, January 11, 1894, Agent and several passengers were robbed by Evans and Morrell.

 Some time later, both men were arrested without incident.  Evans was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison at Folsom.  Morrell was tried for stealing a horse and cart on the night of the escape and received a life sentence.

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 Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch

 

Members were inter-related with members of the Ketchum Gang.

 

Gang members involved in train robberies

 

Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) – Born in 1866 in Beaver, UT

 

Harry Longbaugh (Sundance Kid) – Born in 1867 in Plainfield, NJ . 

 

Ben Kilpatrick (Tall Texan) – Born in 1874 in Coleman County, TX

 

William Carver (News Carver) – Born in 1868 in Coryell County, TX

 

Harvey Logan (Kid Curry) 

Arrested on December 13, 1901 in Knoxville, Tennessee after wounding to police officers during his arrest.  He later was convicted of passing bank notes from a Great Northern Train robbery and sentenced to 20 years.  He escaped from jail and was wounded by the posse chasing him.  When he realized he could not escape the grasp of the posse, Logan committed suicide.

 

George Curry (Big nose or Flat nose) – Born in 1864 in Prince Edward Island,

 

Elzy Lay – Born in 1868 in Mount Pleasant, OH

 

Laura Bullion – Born in 1876 in Knickerbocker near Mertzon, TX

 

Tom Ketchum (Black Jack) –Born in 1863 in San Saba County, TX

He was hanged in 1901 for train robbery.

 

Sam Ketchum , Born in 1854 in Caldwell County TX.  Died of blood poisoning resulting from gunshot wound in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 24, 2899.

The Wild Bunch, 1900, Photo by John Swartz, 705 ½ Main Street, Ft. Worth

Left to right: Standing, Bill Carver and Harvey Logan “Kid Curry”

Seated: Harry Longbough “the Sundance Kid”, Ben Kilpatrick “the Tall Texan”

Robert Leroy Parker “Butch Cassidy”

 

The following robberies may show different dates of the robberies depending on the sources, and those involved in the robberies is sometimes at best an intelligent guess by those reporting. 

 

            -Grand Junction, Colorado, Denver & Rio Grande, November 3, 1887, $150.00

 Three masked men rushed the express car and demanded that the messenger open the safe.  He refused saying that he did not have the combination.  The three men, believed to have been Tom McCarty, Matt Warner and Butch Cassidy left the scene with only a little over $100.00.

 

            -Malta, Montana, Great Northern #23, November 29, 1892, $19.20

As passengers boarded the Great Northern #23, Bill Madden, Harry Bass and Sundance joined making their way to the front of the train.  After it departed the station the trio put on masked and ordered the engineer to stop a mile down the tracks near where a fire had been started.  Two of the robbers went to the mail car and ordered the clerk to open the door.  The clerk advised that he had the combination for one of the safes but not the other.   This safe was opened and the second safe, they would have stolen more then $25,000.

 

Madden and Bass were soon after arrested in a local Saloon and received long sentences in the state penitentiary.  Sundance and Black were arrested as they were boarding another train.  Black was released and Sundance escaped before being formally charged.

 

            -Southern Pacific Train, Lozier, Texas, Southern Pacific westbound #20, May 14, 1897, $42,000

 

Will Carver and Tom Ketchum climbed into the engine and ordered the engineer to stop the train at the next siding.  They used dynamite to open the safe from the express car and escaped with about $42,000.

 

            -Folsom, New Mexico, Colorado & Southern Express, September 3, 1898, $3,500

 

Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, Black Jack Ketchum and his brother Sam involved in the robbery.  They again used dynamite to blow open the safe and make their escape with about $3500 cash and some jewelry.

 

            -Stein’s Pass, New Mexico, Southern Pacific Train, December 9, 1897

 

Will Carver, Black Jack Ketchum and his brother Sam, along with three others tried to rob the train as is stopped at Stein’s Pass.  One of the robbers was killed in a gun battle with the train crew.  The rest of the outlaws left without obtaining any of the money from the express car.

 

            -Humboldt, Nevada, Southern Pacific Passenger train #1, July 14, 1998, $450.00

 

As the train pulled out of Humboldt House two men who were already on board and were armed instructed the engineer to stop about a mile down the tracks where a third man was waiting with horses.  The bandits, believed to be Sundance Kid, Harvey Logan, and George “Flat nose” Currie used dynamite to scare the messenger to open the safe.  They got away with some jewelry and about $450.00 in cash.

 

 -Wilcox, Wyoming, Union Pacific Overland Flyer, June 2, 1899, $30,000

 

Carver, Curry, Cassidy and Longbaugh stopped the Union Pacific Flyer after barricading a trestle near Wilcox.  The robbers forced the train to proceed several miles before dynamiting the express car.  The messenger was injured and was not able to open the safe.  The robbers used dynamite to blow open the safe and then stole the contents of $30,000.  A posse pursued the robbers who had split up in different directions.  Carver was chased and later killed by a posse on April 1, 1901.  Another part of the posse caught up with the robbers near Teapot Creek.  During the ensuing gun battle Converse County Sheriff Joe Hazen was shot and killed.

 

Others believed involved in this robbery were William Cruzan, Bill Jones, Elzy Lay and O.C. Hanks.

 

            -Folsom, New Mexico, Colorado & Southern Flyer, July 11, 1899, $50,000

 

Will Carver, Sam Ketchum and Elzy Lay robbed a train and made off with $50,00.  The Posse led by Sheriff Edward Farr from Huerfano County located the robbers near Cimarron, New Mexico.  During the ensuing shootout, Sheriff Farr was shot and killed and Ketchum and Lay being seriously wounded.  Ketchum was later arrested and died while incarcerated in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Lay was arrested on August 16, 1899 by Eddy County Sheriff M.C. Steward and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Farr.

 

-Tipton, Wyoming, Union Pacific No. 3, August 29, 1900, $50,000

 

The same modus operandi was used to rob the Union Pacific No.3 train.  As Union Pacific #3 departed Tipton, Wyoming an armed and masked man boarded the engine and ordered the train stopped near a fire burning on the tracks.  Three other masked men soon joined and ordered the engineer to uncouple the mail and express cars from the rest of the train.  The men used three sticks of dynamite to blow open the safe and steal its’ contents before making the get away on horseback.  A 25-man posse under the direction of U.S. Marshall Hadsell and Sheriff Swanson searched for the robbers to no avail.  Pinkerton Agents investigated this case and later identified three of the masked men as Harvey Logan, Ben Kilpatrick, and William Cruzen.

 

            -Wagner, Montana, Great Northern Flyer, July 3, 1901, $40,000

 

It is believed a lone man boarded the train as other passengers were boarding.  He made his way to the engine and ordered the engineer to separate the engine and express car from the passengers.  They used dynamite to blow the safe and made their escape with about $40,000.  During the robbery, two brakemen were shot, one of them later died.

 

             -Rock Island, Chicago, Chicago Rock Island Express No.3, July 3, 1902, $500.00

 Two men on board as stow a ways armed with guns forced a passenger to the engine where they ordered the engineer to stop the train.  The armed men threatened the messenger with use of dynamite, which caused him to open the door.  Once inside, the armed men were able to open the small safe and take jewelry and about $500 in cash.  Before being able to open the large safe, which contained about $90,000, the robbers were scared off.  These two robbers were believed to be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

            -Sanderson, Texas, Southern Pacific train, March 12, 1912, $37.00

Ben Kilpatrick and Ole Hobeck boarded the Southern Pacific Train and while they were robbing it, the messenger clerk stabbed Kilpatrick to death and Hobeck was shot dead.  Their prize would have been a grand total of $37.00 if they had been successful.

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Serial killers on the Railroads

 

Francisco del Junco 

Del Junco confessed to killing four women and dumping their bodies along the railroad tracks in Miami, FL between 1995 and 1996.  All four women were bludgeoned to death and set on fire.  


Robert Joseph Silveria, Jr., Aka “Sidetrack” 

Serial Killer

Believed to be a member of the FTRA (Freight Train Riders of America) Death Squad and may be responsible for over 100 deaths.

 


Angel Maturino Resendez, AKA: Rafeal Ramirez or The Railroad Killer.

Mugshot of Angel Resendez

Caught in 1999, Resendez killed 9 people. Tracked down and arrested by Texas Ranger Drew Carter, Angel M. Resendez surrendered himself to Ranger Carter on the US/Mexico border in El Paso, TX.

Resendez was executed in Huntsville, TX in July of 2006 after being found guilty and sentenced to death.

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