HELLCATRAZ The Rock of Despair

Author: Gardner (Roy)
Year: 1939
Publisher: Self-Published
Edition Details: 1st Edn.
Book Condition: NrVg.
Price: 295.00
Softcover. SIGNED. Roy G. Gardner was once America's most infamous prison escapee and the most celebrated outlaw and escaped convict during the Roaring Twenties. He was known as the last Great American Train Robber. During his criminal career, he stole over $350,000 in cash and securities. He also had a $5,000 reward for his head three times in less than a year during his sensational career. He was the most dangerous inmate in the history of Atlanta Prison and he was dubbed by the newspapers across the West Coast as the "Smiling Bandit", the "Mail Train Bandit", and the "King of the Escape Artists". He was one of the most notorious offenders of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, one of the most notorious inmates at Alcatraz, and one of the most ruthless criminals in American history. He is now largely forgotten for his daring acts. No longer the household name that he was in 1921, he never lived as an outlaw on the Western frontier, was never a Depression Era gangster, and was never in a gang, all things that may contribute to him being largely forgotten in modern times. He was a lone bandit and his reputation and notoriety made him a touchstone of his time. Gardner spent 2yrs of an 18yr sentence in Alcatraz (as well as Atlanta, Leavenworth and McNeil Island). Written in 1938 inside his Alcatraz cell, 'Hellcatraz' describes the tough conditions of the prison in the 1930's. He described Alcatraz as "the toughest, hardest place in the world." While at Alcatraz, his wife divorced him and severed all ties. He worked and supervised at the Mat Shop with Ralph Roe and it was rumoured they planned an escape (which Roe achieved with Ted Cole in December of 1937, but disappeared into the turbulent waters of the San Francisco Bay and presumed drowned). Gardner was released on June 17, 1938 after his appeal for clemency was approved. On January 10, 1940, police found the one-time "Most Wanted" gangster and Western outlaw, dead at age fifty-six by suicide from cyanide fumes and tear gas at the Hotel Governor in San Francisco. Illus. with b/w 'photos. 109pp. softcover paper wraps/staple binding. SIGNED BY ROY GARDNER. With small newspaper cutting tipped-in to inside fr. cover. Repaired closed tear to fr. cover, crease to lower corner of fr. cover, general shelf wear, but still a Nr. Vg. copy of an extremely scarce title.

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