Remember When Santa Became the Grinch & Robbed a Texas Bank?
Yes it turns out that not only does Santa Claus love coming to Texas, he also loves the banks. He REALLY loves the banks...so much that in 1927, good ol St Nick tried to ROB a bank here in the Lone Star State. And his attempt...well...it didn't go well. In fact that year Santa Claus turned into a real life Grinch.
Background of the 1927 Santa Claus Texas Bank Robbery
The date is December 23, 1927, two days before Christmas in the small town of Cisco, Texas. Four men would meet up at the The First National Bank of Cisco -- Marshall Ratliff, Robert Hill, Henry Helms, and Louis Davis. All of them came up with a plan to rob the joint for all the cash. They stole a car in nearby Wichita Falls & drove to Cisco. Oh did I mention that Marshall, Robert & Henry were ALL ex cons? Turns out this wasn't their first crime, but this would be the one they would be known for...
Marshall, who was wearing a Santa outfit at the time, drew the attention of many children as they walked to the bank. The children just wanted to say hi to Santa, but Santa did not reply. The four men busted into the bank and held everyone inside at gunpoint as they started stealing the money.
One woman, Mrs. B. P. Blassengame and her daughter, saw everything go down and ran to alert the police chief Cy B, who happened to be near the area. Minutes later, the cops surrounded the bank a gunfight ensured. And this is where the story turns tragic...
Several hostages were shot & injured and two officers were mortally wounded: Chief Bedford and Deputy George Carmichael. Bedford would die hours later & Carmichael would die days later on January 17th. Ratliff & Davis would be shot but managed to flee. The bandits stole a nearby Oldsmobile & even took 2 hostages with them.
A manhunt would ensue to find all four men; Ratcliff would be shot and captured by the Brazos River while the other three ran into Graham, Texas. They would eventually be captured on December 30th. In total, six people were killed & eight were injured,
Ratcliff would be convicted of armed robbery on January 27, 1928. He would later escape from prison on November 18th, but he was captured by a mob outside the prison. In an act of mob justice, they would lynch Ratcliff & hang him on November 19th. He would die at 9:55pm & thus... Santa was dead.
That's only a VERY brief summary of the entire story -- you can see the entire story explained by The Causal Criminalist down below.
This story became one of the most infamous bank robberies in the state of Texas; thankfully we haven't seen anything like this happen since. Let's hope it stays that way...
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