In the process, two more men were wounded from accidental discharge of their weapons, bringing the total number of wounded to eight, excluding the three surviving robbers. Today, the robbery is commemorated by a plaque on the side of what used to be the First National Bank. In March, he was given a sentence of life imprisonment—99 years. Ratliff had been caught with his brother Lee after robbing a bank in Valera, and they had each served only a year of their sentences before being pardoned by Governor. The money was returned to the bank. When the quartet finally fought their way to the getaway car — killing two cops in the process — they realized it was almost out of gas. In the alley, Chief Bedford and Deputy George Carmichael were mortally wounded; Officer Carmichael found himself reeling from a bullet that had been fired from one of the robbers' guns.
Having duped the two jailers, the man who had played Santa managed to get hold of a six-shooter in an office desk, fatally wounding Jones, and violently fighting the second jailer in hand-to-hand combat, sometimes shooting a few rounds that, fortunately for Kilbourn, missed their mark. There Ratliff convinced his jailers, Pack Kilbourn and Tom Jones, that he really was insane, as they had to feed him, bathe him, and take him to the toilet. He began acting insane the day of Helms's execution, much to the conviction of his jailers. The main street of Cisco was crowded with people going about their daily activities. Most of the customers escaped; however, two small girls, Laverne Comer and Emma May Robertson, were taken as hostages. Besides the two police officers, there had been six townspeople wounded in the shootout, but no one was sure whether the robbers or the mob was responsible.
Jones died that evening, bringing the total number of dead as a result of the Santa Claus Bank Robbery, including three bank robbers, to six. The is one of Texas' most infamous crimes, having invoked the largest ever seen in the state. In the course of things, Ratliff was once again faced with an angry mob, and this time, there was a call for a Texas Necktie Party. His mother, Rilla Carter, filed for a lunacy hearing in. Helms and Hill were both wounded, but they managed to escape into the woods.
Though Ratliff was given a long sentence, he had been just before the infamous bank robbery. It can blow this bank into dust. Some of the happy children who had followed Santa continued into the bank after him. Soon the lark turned into a tragedy—and at times a comedy—of errors. At 200 yards from the jail a strong telephone cable was pointed out, a rope flung across it.
The First National Bank still stands in Cisco, although it is in a new building. The civilians of Eastland County grew infuriated to learn Ratliff had not already been executed for his deeds, and were further aggravated by this new development. The gang fled in their stolen vehicle, with a couple of children as hostages, only to find that they were low on gas. The wounded bandits, especially Ratliff, were doing very poorly due to their injuries, lack of food, and the icy, sleeting conditions. More than 200 bullet holes were later counted in the walls. Handbook of Texas Online, Walter F.
A fusillade of gunfire began, as many citizens who owned guns were now outside the bank. Saturday, handed a note to the teller and then split with an undisclosed amount of cash. His mother, Rilla Carter, filed for a lunacy hearing in Huntsville. Everyone was in the spirit, so no one thought it odd when Santa came walking down the street around noon, one day before Christmas Eve. Ratliff was convicted of armed robbery on January 27, 1928, and was also sentenced to 99 years in prison. Comer got a quick glance at his face and recognized him as Marshall Ratliff, 24, a lifelong troublemaker from Cisco.
He was pronounced dead 20 minutes later, at 9:55 pm on November 19. Another youngster, age 6, also played a key role that day. Though Ratliff was given a long prison sentence, he had been paroled just before the infamous bank robbery. Our heroes were then forced back to their original vehicle as the Oldsmobile driver and the two hostages escaped. The Santa Claus Bank Robbery occurred on December 23, 1927, in the Central town of.
Worth hospital after his capture, but efforts to save his life failed. In 1967, the Texas State Historical Survey Committee now the placed a medallion on the bank commemorating the robbery. Greene's 1990 book, Taking Heart — which examines the experiences of the first patient in a new heart transplant center himself — made the New York Times Editors Choice list. Once word got around town, most of the locals who owned guns had gathered at the entrance. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the authors.
Many people in Cisco over the years have claimed to have been present at the robbery or related to someone who was, and it is now a part of local folklore. However, the citizens of Eastland County were infuriated that he had not been executed yet, and even further aggravated to know that Ratliff was attempting the insanity plea. A general gun battle erupted during the robbery, owing to the general citizenry being armed, and a standing reward available from the bank association for shooting a bank robber in the act. Image available on the and included in accordance with. Photograph, The gun used in the Santa Claus Bank Robbery. Ratliff was convicted of armed robbery on January 27, 1928 and sentenced to 99 years. Judge Davenport issued a bench warrant for an armed robbery charge, for stealing the Harris car, and extradited Ratliff to the Eastland County jail.