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Black Bart.

Black Bart George Hoeper Word Dancer Press 950 N. Van Ness, PO Box 4638, Fresno, CA 93744-4638 9781884995057, $9.95

Written by former reporter George Hoeper, Black Bart: Boulevardier Bandit is an amazing biography of one of California's most colorful historical figures. For over eight years, the indubitably polite and genteel criminal Charles Boles (alias Black Bart) preyed upon Wells Fargo & Co., enacting at least 28 stagecoach robberies--always on foot with an unloaded shotgun, and never demanding money from stagecoach passengers or drivers. Folk legends sprung up about Black Bart, who lived the life of a boulevardier in San Francisco, hobnobbing with the city's upper crust and writing poetry. In 1888, Black Bart disappeared from the Palace Hotel in Visalia, never to be seen again; Black Bart: Boulevardier Bandit offers information to suggest that Black Bart's final fate was not to settle in some distant land, but rather to lose his life in the dry Nevada wasteland and rest in an unmarked grave. "Black Bart may have been remorseful about not returning to his family, but if he was remorseful about turning to a life of crime, he never expressed it ... It seemed, when questioned by reporters on the possibility of returning to his old ways, that his decision to abandon crime was based more on the fear of being caught again than on his rehabilitation and sorrow for his sins of the past." An extensively researched biography, enthusiastically recommended for anyone curious about one of California's most famous career criminals.
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Publication:Small Press Bookwatch
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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