Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Bandit Trio Leave Today For Prison

Source: Marion Leader-Tribune, Marion, Indiana, January 4, 1925, p. 2.


Sheriff's Force Start at Early Hour for State Reformatory


Expect to Arraign Two Women and Man in Jail Sometime Monday or Tuesday.

One week after the arrest of the first bank robber in connection with the South Marion and Upland bank robberies, six of the nine bandits alleged to be implicated in both jobs have been arrested and three of the six given sentences of from ten to twenty-five years in prison, who will start on the trip to prison this morning, while the other three, one man and two women are in jail awaiting arraignment in circuit court on charges of automobile banditry.

James Robbins, the first bandit to be arrested, at Lebanon; William Behrens, arrested next at Monticello, and Marion, alias "Red" Smith, arrested at Indianapolis, will be taken to the reformatory near Pendleton this morning over the traction line to begin their long sentences.  They will be accompanied by Ralph Malott, sent up for obtaining money under false pretenses, and Ray Wilson, who was given a sentence for forgery.  They will leave in the company of a sufficient number of deputy sheriffs to insure their safe arrival at prison.

Only three of the bandits who are alleged to have taken part in the robbery of the Upland and South Marion banks, remain uncaptured, but operatives from the Webster agency at Indianapolis, the department at Indianapolis and sheriffs from several counties are on the job and it is believed that the three will yet be arrested, but it may not be accomplished for some time.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morse, who were arrested at their home in Indianapolis Friday evening and Mrs. Mary Bridgewater, arrested at Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon, will probably be arraigned in court Monday or Tuesday of this week, Sheriff Bert Renbarger said yesterday.  Morse and his wife have admitted to having taken part in the South Marion robbery, Mrs. Morse remaining in the automobile, while the men went in the bank.  Mrs. Bridgewater has admitted to being in the car with the bandits when they came to Marion to rob the South Marion bank, but said that she was not aware of the bank being robbed or of the nature of the automobile trip from Marion to Indianapolis on November 26, the day on which the South Marion robbery took place.

The round up of the bandits during the past week, in which the active co-operation of Sheriff Renbarger, the Webster agency and the police of Indianapolis and Lebanon took part, was one of the biggest roundups of any gang of robbers which has taken place in the state for some time, all of which resulted from James Robbins displaying a big roll of money at Lebanon a week ago yesterday.

This article is another in a series of follow-up stories to the robberies of the Upland State bank and South Marion bank by a group of robbers, led by my paternal cousin, Harry PIERPONT (1902-1934).  Harry later became famous as a member of the "Terror Gang" with John Dillinger.  These earlier robberies terrorized Indiana during 1924-25.

Black Sheep Sunday – create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.” Bring out your ne’er-do-wells, your cads, your black widows, your horse thieves and tell their stories. And don’t forget to check out the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG). This is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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