Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Did Not See Bank Bandit

Source: Marion Leader-Tribune, April 3, 1925, p. 7


But Deputies Did Make Kokomo Trip

Deputy Sheriffs John Schell and Woody Smith, who were at Kokomo yesterday on business, denied that they had met Harry Pierpont, arrested at Detroit, in connection with the robbing of the South Kokomo bank March 27, and wanted here for taking part in the robbing of the South Marion and Upland banks, and identified the man as Pierpont, as was stated yesterday.  The local officers went to Kokomo on other business with the Kokomo police department and did not see the alleged bank robbers, which were brought back from Detroit.

The Kokomo police in their investigation yesterday learned that Pierpont took part in the attempted robbery of of a Noblesville bank last fall, as well as having taken part in the Grant county bank robberies.

Roscoe C. "Whitey" Hayes, arrested at Detroit, as a suspect, who last fall was a member of the Pete Sullivan orchestra, was not one of the Kokomo bank robbers, in the opinion of the police.  Thaddeus Skeer of Fort Wayne, the other bandit, under arrest, has told the police at Kokomo that Hayes does not know anything about the Kokomo robbery.  Hayes was arrested after A.F. Gorton, cashier of the Kokomo bank had picked Hayes out of a photograph of fifty men of Company G, 152nd infantry, of which Hayes was a member, as the bandit who stood in the doorway of the bank while the robbery took place.

Pierpont, Skeer and Miss Louise Brunner of Fort Wayne, who is being held as a witness, were brought back to Kokomo yesterday morning under a guard of eleven armed men.  They came by train to Peru and from Peru the trip to Kokomo was made by automobiles.  The route taken and time of their arrival at Kokomo was kept carefully guarded until the party arrived at the Kokomo jail.

This article is another in a series of follow-up stories to the robberies of the South Kokomo State 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.

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