Henry Starr, as I pointed out last time, was killed in a bank robbery at Harrison, Arkansas, in February of 1921. The rest of the gang escaped, but apparently they didn't learn much from the fatal outcome of the crime. A year and a half later, in September of 1922, the attempted holdup of a bank in Eureka Springs ended even worse for the remnants of the gang than the Harrison caper had. Local citizens armed themselves when they realized a crime was in progress, and three of the gang members were killed and the other two wounded and captured in the ensuing shootout. Commenting on the downfall of the gang, some people have pointed to various mistakes the robbers made, such as the fact that they chose a difficult target with few easy escape routes and the fact that they brought along a raw, inexperienced kid as the driver of the getaway car. There is little doubt that the gang was pretty inept, but the main mistake they made was not taking into account the determined resistance the townspeople put up. As one newspaperman pointed out at the time, maybe they didn't realize they were in Arkansas, and standing idly by while their bank was getting robbed was not how they did things in Arkansas back then.
I recently had an article in The Ozarks Mountaineer
about the failed Eureka Springs bank robbery, and you can also read a version of the story in my book about notorious Ozarks incidents, which, by the way, I've finally received a copy of. So, it should be available in bookstores very soon if it isn't already. I thought it was going to be out long before now, but the wheels always turn slowly in the publishing world and sometimes even more slowly than others.
Labels: Eureka Springs, Henry Starr