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Book Review – Santa Claus Bank Robbery by Tui Snider

Posted by mcm0704 on December 15, 2019 |

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANTA CLAUS
BANK ROBBERY
A True-Crime Saga in Texas

by
TUI SNIDER
Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: December 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos
Scroll down for Giveaway!

When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running – with loaded guns in hand!

But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress.

This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning!Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion.

Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?

Watch the Trailer on You Tube

I decided I would really love this book from the very opening when the author talked about going to that delightful restaurant that serves family-style meals. She and her husband sat down next to a cowboy who passed them a bowl of fried chicken and told them that they had to try the fried squash, too. “It’s grown fresh by the owners outback.”

One can learn so much about a place by sitting down at a restaurant like that.

When first hearing about this book, I thought it was going to be a farce, or perhaps a fun illustrated children’s book, and what a surprise it was to find out that it’s based on real incidents. The author did extensive research to ferret out the story of the robbery and the attempts to catch the robbers.

More bank robberies occurred during the 1920s than in the era of the Wild West

While the book focuses mainly on one robbery, Santa Claus Bank Robbery has other interesting historical facts about bank robberies in Texas, one of which is the fact that more bank robberies occurred during the 1920s than in the era of the wild West. I did not know that. The legend of Jesse James and his gang  had me believing otherwise.

Scattered throughout the book are images of clippings from newspaper stories about different bank robberies, as well as photographs of key people involved with either one of the gangs or somebody who worked in law enforcement at the time.  These images add another layer of interest, especially for people like me who love to dig through musty old photographs to see the people and places of long ago.

In addition to all the fascinating glimpses into what life was like for the people of the time, was reference to the book by A.C. Greene, written about the robbery and events surrounding it. Tui Snider points out that much of Greene’s accounting was fictionalized, and he failed to include important facts in his recounting of the robbery.

According to documentation that the author found, the Santa Claus Gang was comprised of four men, and the leader wore a costume to look like the Jolly Old Elf when robbing banks. A six-year-old girl and her mother foiled one robbery when they came into the bank and the mother saw what was going on. The mother continued to walk toward the back of the bank, ignoring the shout from one robber to stop. When guns were pulled, the girl cried out, “They’re going to shoot Santa Claus.”

Continuing to ignore the robbers, the mother walked through the bank and out the back door. She told people on the street that the bank was being robbed, and those people ran to get help. Afterward, the little girl told reporters that she knew, “That wasn’t really old Santa Claus, for I saw his pants and they were just like Papa’s.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the Santa Claus Bank Robbery.  It has the history that always interests me, and the added element of looking at a true crime. Readers who enjoy the same elements in a book, will want to grab this one. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.

◆  WEBSITE  ◆  FACEBOOK  ◆  TWITTER
◆  AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  ◆  GOODREADS  ◆
◆  INSTAGRAM◆  YOUTUBE  ◆
—————————— 
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 GRANDPRIZE (US only)
Signed Paperback +$10 Amazon Gift Card
+ Thank You Post Card
2ND PRIZE (US only)Signed Copy + Thank You Post Card
3RD PRIZE (International): Kindle eBook
December 12-22, 2019

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