Instead, they pulled revolvers, leaped onto the counter and ordered the teller and his son to gather the bank’s money, which they did.
Even those who, against the odds, successfully carry out a bank caper these days typically find themselves with little to show for it.
Greenup Bird and his son, William, were working at their desks inside the Bank of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty when two strangers walked in. on a snowy day in February 1866, and the father and son were the bank’s lone employees, overseeing the vault — state-of-the-art and filled with gold and silver — and handling the day-to-day transactions.
But the strangers — later believed to be members of the James-Younger gang, the famed outlaw mob led by Missouri’s own Jesse James — were not interested in everyday bank business.
Their actions, though often inherently violent, are viewed in a kind of romanticized way.
After Jesse James, who would be credited with various bank robberies during his short lifetime, came a string of Depression-era criminals who seemed to make bank robberies acceptable, if not downright fashionable.