Friday, August 20, 2010

Dead Bank Robber Bounty

This is the first of my Texas Believe it or Not Series,and is so crazy I had to share this with you all first.  During the 1920s the Texas Bankers Association started offering $5,000 to anyone that killed a bank robber. At the time banks were being robbed at a rate of 3-4 times a day. To further clarify the proclomation, they identified that they would not pay a single penny for a "live" bank robber,  only "dead" bank robbers. The inherent flaws in this carte blanche retribution were many, one being that innocent men were shot on the suspect that they were the one/s that had commited the crime earlier in the day, last week or what ever. Frank Hamer, a legendary Ranger who would latter track down and ambush Bonnie and Clyde, went on record with a public press conference stating "I can' keep silent any more, I have seen too much. I know too many of the so-called 'bank robber' who have died over this state who were nothing more than pigeons, sent to their doom by grasping, dishonest men who are much worse than any of the bank robbers they profess to want to see die." This did not deter the bank association and they only reworded the reward program to include "only legally killed bank robbers". AND believe this or not, it wasn't until 1964, that the reward was quietly discontinued altogether. Only in Texas.