ALL FOR NOTHING The True Story of the Last Great American Train Robbery

Author: Sturholm (Larry) & Howard (John)
Year: 1976
Publisher: BLS Publishing (Oregon)
Edition Details: 1st US edn.
Book Condition: NrF/Vg+
Price: 10.00
Hardback. A multitude of texts have been written about the excitement, the daring and, in some cases, even the glory of America's railroad holdup men. Legends have been created around such men as Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid. But few stories have come down to us written with the aid of a first person point of view. Many of the stories surrounding America's traditional bad men have been spun by story tellers, thrill entrepreneurs and fiction writers who have so woven fact and fiction that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish between truth and rumour. Here, the authors manage to preserve all the excitement, humour, emotion, tragedy and fast action which surrounded the Last Great American Train Robbery without straying into the realm of fiction. In the autumn of 1923, the United States was adjusting to a new President, "Silent Cal" Coolidge, after the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. The Klu Klux Klan was nearing the pinnacle of its power; Al Capone was preparing for an all-out war to control Chicago's multi-million dollar bootlegging operation; and a New York outfielder by the name of Casey Stengel was thumbing his nose at the mighty Yankees. As the nation was gearing up for the Roaring Twenties, on October 11, 1923, Southern Pacific's Number 13, known as the Gold Special, had just left the small Oregon community of Ashland on its way south to San Francisco. It was an Indian Summer day as the train chugged its way through the vast timberland that covered the Siskiyou Mountain range which straddles the Oregon-California border. Three men waited for Number 13. They were the DeAutremont brothers, Ray and Roy, identical twins, and their younger brother Hugh. What followed was the last great American Train Robbery, but they so badly bungled the job that their story might have been one of the most humourous and inept attempts in the annals of crime except that in their attempt they cold-bloodedly gunned down 3 unarmed men and blew another to pieces, leaving his body "burned to a crisp" as newspaper accounts would later describe the remains of the mail car clerk. The explosion touched off perhaps the greatest manhunt in the history of the United States. When the DeAutremonts were finally captured 4yrs later, the US Postal Service had extended the hunt to five continents and expended more than a half million dollars on 3 men whose efforts ironically were 'All for Nothing.' They never found a dime aboard the Gold Special. The story is punctuated by the personal remembrance of Ray DeAutremont, who after more than half a century still recalled those few minutes at Tunnel 13 which turned a comic opera into a tragedy. Illus. + Epilogue. 186pp. 8vo. h/back. Nr. F. in Vg+ dw. which has small closed tear to fr. cover.


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