Ruthie Jones's Reviews > Santa Claus Bank Robbery: A True Crime Saga in Texas

Santa Claus Bank Robbery by Tui Snider
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it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle-book, lone-star-book-blog-tours

Santa Claus Bank Robbery by Tui Snider is a quick glimpse into a 1920s West Texas bank robbery rife with haphazard shootouts, errors aplenty, and several colorful characters on both sides of the law. This book is a sure winner because while this bank robbery was no doubt bloody and frightening for all involved, Tui is a natural storyteller and gets right to the relevant and juicy details without overloading the reader with lengthy prose or buckets of gore. In addition to the gathered facts from her own on-site research and interviews and meticulous perusal of archived news sources and A.C. Greene's book from 1972 (The Santa Claus Bank Robbery), Tui Snider interjects her own insights and annotations, presenting a neatly packaged and quite informative account of a flamboyant robbery that I personally cannot remember ever hearing about (my Texas history classes were a long time ago).

Tui Snider's story offers several interesting tidbits from this volatile time in Texas history. For example, in Texas in the 1920s, ordinary citizens were offered $5,000 for a dead bank robber, and you can imagine what ensued. Many people were shot whether they were actually robbing a bank or not. But on December 23, 1927, a real bank heist took place in Cisco, Texas. Four men approached the First National Bank with the intent to get clean away with a sack of loot, led by Santa Claus himself.

"What could possibly go wrong?"

Tui Snider's well-researched, non-fictional account of this daring holdup and its aftermath is entertaining and is as much of a quick view into the true events as it is a view into Tui's tenacity as a curious writer and fact seeker, always on the prowl for an honest-to-goodness true story. Her other books, such as Paranormal Texas, are equally entertaining, so check them out!

Photographs are always a fun and necessary addition to any non-fiction, and Santa Claus Bank Robbery is no exception, but Tui adds several snapshots of news headlines published during the manhunt after the robbery that are compelling because they show the sentiment and even the lingo of the times. For example, one such headline reads, "Police Find Clews to Yeggs Sought in Texas." If you have ever read any book about Bonnie and Clyde, you will have heard the word yegg, but Tui handily interprets that term for you.

Throughout this account, Tui often refers to A.C. Greene's book and the author's use of fake names and the tendency to omit several important facts. What that tells me as a discerning reader is that even non-fiction can be manipulated at the author's whim, and Tui's commentary and opinions on Greene's book and her own findings prove the importance of increasing your scope of reading and research rather than narrowing it, thus gaining a more complete picture of the event. In the case of this incredible bank robbery, Tui has done a lot of that legwork for you yet still sparks the interest for more investigative discovery because rarely are all the facts corroborated in a true story. Tui readily admits that the existence of a blonde female accomplice during this 1927 robbery is still up for debate. After reading this fabulous account of such an infamous heist, maybe you can take a trip to Cisco, Texas; walk the alley behind the First National Bank (which is no longer a bank and has no public access); and solve that lingering mystery for yourself.

Thank you, Tui Snider, for taking the time (which was great fun, I have no doubt) to research such a colorful albeit violent event in Texas history.
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Reading Progress

December 5, 2019 – Started Reading
December 5, 2019 – Shelved
December 5, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
December 5, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle-book
December 5, 2019 – Shelved as: lone-star-book-blog-tours
December 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

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