Life History of Roy Gardner, The Smiling Bandit, A Strangely Interesting and True Story. Louis S. Sonney.

Life History of Roy Gardner, The Smiling Bandit, A Strangely Interesting and True Story

Los Angeles: Louis S. Sonney.

Second edition. Undated, but ca. 1924. 32 pp, original wrappers, with four illustrations from photographs and a small map. Archivally repaired tear to front wrap, some chipping and light soiling; about very good. Gardner was a notorious armed robber who stole more thant $350,000 in cash and securities from banks and mail trains. He escaped from custody many times and had a $5,000 bounty on his head when he was arrested by the author of this pamphlet, a Centralia, Washington police officer. Sonney, who characterizes Gardner as "humane, generous, industrious, and very likeable, but withal courageous, determined, and with nerves of steel, or none at all," offers a fairly straightforward account of his subject's early life and criminal exploits. He details the various escapes and manhunts of 1920 and 1921, ending with Gardner's incarceration at Leavenworth Penitentiary, where he remained "safely behind four reinforced concrete walls, each 30 feet high, charged wires on the top, and a small standing army of guards on the outside and about 250 on the inside." In 1925, Gardner was transferred to Atlanta Federal Prison, where he led a failed escape attempt that ended with his transfer to Alcatraz. He remained there until 1939, when he was granted clemency. Six-Guns 2063. Scarce; 6 copies located in OCLC, all in California.

Item #19786

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