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The Fleagle Gang - Betrayed by a Fingerprint - Written by N T Betz

February 24, 2007 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

Fleagle Story - Incredible

You better believe it! This story tossed down through the ages, generation after generation, toppled the lives of a community in the roaring 20's, rankled the great plains, and scoured a nation. Little Jake Fleagle, a name innocent enough in conception, appears a bit as one might expect to appear on the Apple Dumpling Gang, in the Little Raskals, or more recently appearing Slappy and the Stinkers. But the man had no dimples, he wasn't cute, and his memory shivers fear though the citizens of southeastern Colorado.

On a warm sunny May afternoon, First National Bank opened for business; a day like any other in 1928. Laughter regaled the prairie, neighbor folks cheerfully greeted each other, and life in rural Lamar, Colorado resounded with pure simplicity. May 23, 1928 echoes through history as the date Lamar, Colorado lost its innocence. Ravaged by murder of prominent citizens, the community changed. Innocence abandoned the towns people, and brash reality filled it's place

The story is told in historic simplicity by one of the community's best, N.T. "Tom" Betz with the expertise and accuracy we've all come to expect from the Betz family. The Betz family published the local paper for many years, including during the time of the robbery. News reals, publications, articles, and people who remember the incident well were interviewed and included for this factual commentary of one of the most magnificent crimes, still 77 years after the event, taunted as the biggest robbery in County History. Details of an intense and on going investigation and search for the men guilty of murder make this a most interesting and profound book. Intriguing commentary, news items, and recounts of historic court room events, tracking options, and numerous "firsts" used in the investigation of the crime and location of the guilty parties make this book a worthy read for anyone interested in history of crime investigations.

Some of the numerous "firsts" in the investigation process included:

* First fingerprint used to identify and locate the guilty party in a murder/robbery.

* First time aeroplanes were used in tracking criminals traveling by vehicle away from a crime.

One interesting aspect of the investigation and search included the various forms of communication used by everyone involved.

* Messages dropped from planes.

* People receiving verbal shouts from passing officials.

* Messages left with injured bystanders.

* Notes written and passed from person to person.

* Telephone messages sent hours after the fact, saved, for hours, in case another message is received.

* Telegraph.

In today's' remarkable world of nanosecond communications, technologically advanced instant forms of transmission, and instant satellite tracking systems reading the historical commentary of first implemented fingerprint and flight tracking gives the reader a comprehension of the extreme radical changes experienced by even basic services across our nation, and around the world.

Tom's rendition of this hellacious scar on Southeastern Colorado History bring tears to the citizens there, and revelations to those who pass through... An understanding of the isolation experienced by those who reside in the area.

I'm Jan Verhoeff, a writer from Southeastern Colorado. When I pick up a book to read, it better be good. Time is of the essence, so the few books I get to read have to capture my interest, or I put them down fast. For more book reviews and writer info, visit my Writer Blog at

Source: EzineArticles
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