Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Last Stage Robbery...

Somehow, I always figured that most stage coach robbing was in the past long before the last one reported. Shows how wrong I can be when not knowing all the facts.

Ben Kuhl

The last horse drawn stage robbery in the United States was on December 5, 1916, outside Jarbidge, Nevada. Fred Searcy, the driver of the first-class mail stage, was found shot in the back of the head with the culprits fleeing with $4,000 in gold coins.

Police later discovered, in the vicinity of the crime, a discarded black overcoat and a bloody envelope. The coat was recognized by townspeople to have belonged to Ben Kuhl, a troubled drifter with a lengthy rap sheet. Kuhl was tracked down and arrested along with three of his friends, one of whom would testify against him. In addition to countless testimony from several witnesses, the most damaging piece of evidence was the envelope containing the bloody palm print. For the first time in American history, palm prints were entered into court evidence, and this led to the Kuhl’s conviction and sentence of death.

After his death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment, Kuhl was released at the age of 61 in April 1943. He would die of tuberculosis only one year later.

Somehow I can't believe that the robbery happened as late as 1916. I'm pleased that forensics, such as they were back then, allowed the courts an additional tool to use in cases such as this.

Coffee back in the kitchen this morning. Fresh baked bread with real butter and honey is ready...OK?


linda m said...

I feel that back in 1916 Nevada was still remote enough to probably still use a stagecoach for transportation. Doesn't seem possible, but after having driven around in Nevada it is pretty remote with few roads. Since it snowed like a "banshee" here yesterday and now is bitter cold coffee in the kitchen sounds delightful. And thank you for the fresh bread bread, butter and honey.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
I reckon that's right. Somehow, I always figured cars would rule the roads by then.
Thanks for stopping by today!

JO said...

Like you I didn't believe in that late time a stagecoach was still used. But like Linda says it was still raw country until the mob's moved in.

Fresh baked bead and real butter yum.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Wow, that posting makes me feel old since that bandit and I were both alive at the same time. . . if only for a very short time.