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Top 9 Most Notorious Bank Robbers in History

4. Patty Hearst

The granddaughter of a wealthy magazine and newspaper publisher, no one would have expected Patty Hearst to become a bank robber. However, after being kidnapped by and then allegedly joining the Symbioese Liberation Army, (SLA) she did just that.

If you’re not familiar with the Symbioese Liberation Army, it was a left-wing revolutionary organization that was active from 1973 to 1975. Hearst was kidnapped on February 4, 1974.

A couple of months after her abduction—which occurred when she was just nineteen years of age and living in Berkeley, California—Hearst and other members of the revolutionary organization stole over ten thousand dollars from a bank in San Francisco. Two members of the public were shot and killed during the course of the robbery.

Nineteen months after her abduction, Hearst was found; at that point, she was a fugitive from justice, having been accused of several crimes. She was eventually found guilty of bank robbery. United States President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence; she was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.

It has been debated whether or not Hearst was a willing and active participant in the 1974 bank robbery for which she was tried. At the time of her arrest, she weighed very little and exhibited obvious signs of trauma. It has been alleged that she was brainwashed by the SLA. Hearst herself claims that she was sexually assaulted by members of SLA, as well, while she was their captive.

Since her release from prison, Hearst has become active with charitable fundraising organizations.

H/T – Source

5. Bonnie and Clyde

Sweethearts who captured people and also killed during their reign of terror, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are well known these days partially as a result of a 1967 film. Starting in 1932, the pair began robbing rural gas stations and grocery stores—and banks! One robbery resulted in a store owner being shot and killed. Bonnie was arrested, but later released. Later, the pair killed two of five police officers who were investigating their home due to suspected bootlegging.

Because of the number of crimes and the deaths that resulted, there ended being intense pressure placed on law enforcement to capture the criminal duo and their gang. Stories of their exploits made headlines. Eventually, their life of crime caught up with them. Bonnie and Clyde died on a rural road in Louisiana in May of 1934. They were ambushed by four Texas police officers and suffered in excess of 50 bullet wounds.

In total, Bonnie and Clyde robbed 12 banks and killed 9 police officers. Because of the fame they earned committing their crimes, the funeral of Bonnie and Clyde was attended by roughly 20,000 people. Although they were smitten with one another from the moment they met, they are not buried side by side. Bonnie’s family wouldn’t allow it.

H/T – Source

6. John Dillinger

Also operating during the Depression era, John Dillinger and his “Dillinger Gang” (also known as “The Terror Gang”) successfully robbed 24 banks and also four police stations, which they raided in order to procure supplies. Ten men died as a result of the gang’s crimes. Impressively, Dillinger also managed to escape from jail not just once, but twice!
Dillinger was so notorious that, in 1934, J. Edgar Hoover, the chief of the Division of Investigations created a special task force to capture Dillinger. In July of that year, a Romanian immigrant who worked in a brothel and was facing deportation offered federal agents information on Dillinger in exchange for letting her remain in the country. Dillinger had been associating with another prostitute at the brothel named Polly Hamilton, and the two had plans to go to the movies the next day.

Long story short, federal agents were waiting for Dillinger the evening of July 22, when the movie he went to with Dillinger let out. Dillinger was told to surrender, but refused and headed towards an alley. Federal agents open fired, and he was shot four times. He died as the result of a bullet that entered through the back of his neck, which ended up severing his spinal cord. People allegedly dipped their skirts and handkerchiefs to his blood as souvenirs of the experience.

Dillinger’s body was put on display at the morgue, and over 15,000 people per day viewed it. Numerous films have been made about him and his gang.

H/T – Source 

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