c0nc0rdance Profile picture
Sep 16, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Strap in for some crazy #Texas #history:
"The time they lynched Santa Claus for robbing a bank."

Let me set a scene:
1927: Texas Banker's Assn. responds to rash of bank robberies (3-4/day) by offering $5K reward for shooting a bank robber in the act.
Group of 4 criminals plan December 1927 heist of Cisco, TX bank:
1. Robert Hill
2. Harry Helms
3. Marshall Ratliff
4. Louis Davis
Ratliff was veteran bank robber, Helms and Hill he knew from Huntsville prison.
Davis was a cousin of Helms brought in because safe cracker got flu.
Ratliff borrows a Santa Claus suit from boarding house, dropped off blocks away, followed by children as decoy for entry of the 4 men through alley entrance of bank.
They pull guns, hold up bank, force tellers to open vault. Women with daughter enters during hold-up, bolts out side door, screams for help.

$5K reward draws an armed citizenry in addition to police!
Hill fires through window, into ceiling as warning... which results in a hail of random gunfire from armed civilians outside. Two police shot, possibly by civilians by accident. #WellRegulatedMilitia

Robbers grab two small girls as hostages, bolt to car under fire.
Here comes amateur hour:
Car was almost out of gas, one tire completely shot out.
Made it to the edge of town under fire, pursued by townspeople.
Stop & steal Oldsmobile from a 14(!) yr old driver Woody Harris.
Woody runs into trees (carrying keys).
Robbers, still under fire, transfer to new car, realize they can't start it.
Leave now unconcious Louis Davis in Olds, transfer back to original car.
They forgot money in Olds: total of $12K in cash, $150K in nonnegotiable securities.
At least 200 bullet holes in bank. 2 police officers shot, 6 townspeople shot. Davis dies from wounds.

Three days later, surviving 3 robbers caught by Texas Rangers in largest manhunt in Texas history to that date. 2 posse members injure themselves with accidental discharge.
Hill - 99 years. Escaped prison 3 times, paroled in 1940's.
Harris - death penalty for murder of police, execution 1929.
Ratliff went for insanity plea; had to be manually fed, bathed, taken to toilet.
Tried to escape, killing a jailer.
The next day, a mob of over 1,000 overpowered jailers, took Ratliff (Santa) and hung him from a power line pole. Knot failed on first try, but second attempt successful.

No trial resulted from the lynching.

"The time they lynched Santa Claus for robbing a bank."
Quick note for perspective:
The $5000 reward for shooting a bank robber in 1927 is the equivalent today of $72,000.
The $12K in cash they tried unsuccessfully to steal would be worth $172,000 today.

No wonder the armed townspeople were eager to shoot!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with c0nc0rdance

c0nc0rdance Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @c0nc0rdance

Sep 18, 2018
#Texas political affiliation, according to 2014 Pew Survey.

Top level: Texas is a preponderance Democrat state run almost entirely by Republicans. In some areas, the only challenger to Republican candidate is a Libertarian.

Let's drill down one level...
A mystery starts to unravel. Texans who are strongly Republican. Latinos are mixed/lean Democrat, and blacks are Democrat.

This makes voting rights and gerrymandering issues extremely important to how a Republican minority dominates elections in a state with equal D & R.
Correction: Texans who are *white are strongly Republican.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Richard Feynman, "The Uncertainty of Science"
"Scientists, therefore, are used to dealing with doubt and uncertainty. All scientific knowledge is uncertain. This experience with doubt and uncertainty is important." /1
"I believe that it is of very great value, and one that extends beyond the sciences. I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar." /2
"You have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right. Otherwise, if you have made up your mind already, you might not solve it." /3
Read 7 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Unintentional drowning rate tells an interesting story to me.
It's *almost* completely preventable, in principle...
but are there narratives we can construct from the data?
By age:
- Under 1 yr old are high risk for drowning in bathtubs.
- 1--4 yr olds more likely to drown in swimming pools or lakes/ponds
- Older ppl drowning deaths show a broad distribution of locations.
Breaking out just 1-4 yr old deaths, boys more than twice as likely as girls to die from drowning, and the rates are largely unchanged for drowning 1999-2010.

Over that same period, MVA deaths decreased, likely reflecting public health regulation and education.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 4, 2018
I understand a lot of people don't like George W. Bush for very legitimate reasons (he was deeply flawed & not up to the job most days) ... but you have to admit that he really seemed to have cared about people, individually.
He would have made a fine youth minister, or small business ower, because I believe in his heart, he cared about people he met.

My wife met him during his years as TX Gov. when she was donating blood, and he spent some time joking with her, thanking her, being kind.
If I'm being critical: he was the Peter Principle, applied to the US Presidency. He was barely an adequate Gov, and he failed his way upwards.

But, again, I think he had heart and compassion, at least for the people he met in person.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
In 1784, a Royal Commission headed by Benjamin Franklin & Antoine Lavoisier designed a series of experiments to debunk France's greatest medical rogue, Anton Mesmer, and his bizarre healing of illnesses based on his bogus theory of animal magnetism.
Let that sink in:
Lavoisier was the father of chemistry.
Franklin did experiments in physics, was an avid inventor.
They took on the fraud that gave us the word "mesmerize".
And the process they developed was the blueprint for every CLINICAL TRIAL of modern times.
Also on the commission that invented the concept of blinded clinical trials, was a Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, whose invention was to become important in French politics.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 18, 2018
Was the Battle of the Alamo fought over slavery?
Yes, but almost trivially.

1833-35: Mexico had a new President, Antonio López de Santa Anna, who suspended the Mexican Constitution, abolished state legislatures, consolidated absolute power in a centralized govt. he controlled.
An end to all Anglo immigration, outlawing of slavery, and the imposition of a series of punitive new taxes (all in response to US offers to purchase Texas) were seen as violations of the settlers autonomy. It would have crippled the economy of the Mexican state of C y Tejas
Santa Anna eventually progressed to dictator of Mexico, until he was overthrown by the Revolution of Ayutla, promising liberal reforms and decentralization, seiged Mexico City.

Santa Anna's palaces (he had several) were seized and redistributed to the people.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!