Gangster Tour of Texas (Paperback)
Texas A&M University Press, 9781603442589, 352pp.
Publication Date: August 31, 2011
Veteran historian T. Lindsay Baker brings his considerable sleuthing skills to the dark side, leading readers on a fascinating tour of the most interesting and best preserved crime scenes in the Lone Star State. Gangster Tour of Texas traces a trail of crime that had its beginnings in 1918, when the Texas legislature outlawed alcohol, and persisted until 1957, when Texas Rangers closed down the infamous casinos of Galveston.
Baker presents detailed maps, photographs of criminals, victims, and law officers, and pictures of the crime scenes as they appear today. Steeped in solid historical research, including personal visits by the author to every site described in the book, this volume offers entertaining and informative insights into a particularly lawless period in our nation’s history. Readers interested in true crime, regional history, or this unique aspect of heritage tourism will derive hours of enjoyment as they follow--on the road or from their armchairs--the trail of both cops and robbers in Gangster Tour of Texas.
“Baker knows how to spin a yarn that keeps his readers engrossed; knows that it does history no harm to write it so folks will enjoy many illustrations, maps, and pictures of outlaws, lawmen, victims, witnesses, and crime scenes that accompany each story. Plus, his picture captions are as informative as his story narratives."--Bill Neal, author, Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier
About the Author
T. LINDSAY BAKER, who holds the W. K. Gordon Endowed Chair in Texas History at Tarleton State University, has produced numerous books on Texas and southwestern history, including Adobe Walls (Texas A&M University Press, 1986; with Billy R. Harrison) and The Birth of a Texas Ghost Town (Texas A&M University Press, 2008).
Praise For Gangster Tour of Texas…
— Bill O'Neal
"T. Lindsay Baker tells sixteen true crime tales that happened during what he calls the 'gangster era' of Texas beginning in 1918, when Prohibition began enriching a host of bootleggers and lasting until 1957, when the Texas Rangers finally shut down the high-rolling casinos in Galveston. Several of his stories are familiar: the escapades of Bonnie and Clyde, the Newton brothers, Machine Gun Kelly, and the Santa Claus bank robbers. Others, such as 'Becky Rogers, the Flapper Bandit,' are not so familiar. (Becky, who looked for all the world like a petite, teenage cherub, decided to finance her graduate studies at the University of Texas by robbing banks. Fortunately for Becky her young husband graduated from law school just in time to defend his bride in court and thus keep her out of prison.) Baker, a distinguished southwestern historian, knows how to spin a yarn that keeps his readers engrossed; knows that it does history no harm to write it so folks will enjoy many illustrations, maps, and pictures of outlaws, lawmen, victims, witnesses, and crime scenes that accompany each story. Plus, his picture captions are as informative as his story narratives; he even gives the reader specific directions on how to locate each crime scene. Dr. Baker has devoted more than a decade to traveling the highways and byways of Texas and other states diligently following, photographing, and documenting outlaw trails. Let others hone their skills as cold case detectives; Dr. Baker has perfected his expertise as a cold trail detective. He calls his book, 'A Gangster Tour of Texas.' Hear! Hear! No better tour guide than T. Lindsay Baker."--Bill Neal, author, Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier
— Bill Neal
— Marie Beth Jones
"Noted Texas historian T. Lindsay Baker takes readers on a fascinating ride in his Gangster Tour of Texas covering the escapades of Bonnie and Clyde, the Newton Boys, Machine Gun Kelly, the Santa Clause bank robbery, and Becky Rogers, "the flapper bandit."--San Angelo Standard Times
— Glenn Dromgoole
"...T. Lindsay Baker has sparked new interest in his great new book, Gangster Tour of Texas published by Texas A&M University Press. Baker tells intriguing stories of selected wrong doers and shows us how to find where the evil took place. Baker gives new wrinkles to their adventures when he introduces people not usually taked about such as Sheriff "Smoot" Schmidt The Band C account is among the most interesting and with pictures, maps, and directions of how to find where the crimes took place, the story seems complete. If you want to learn more about gangsters in Texas and even visit where they did their dirty work, get a copy of Gangster Tour of Texas."--Jerry Turner, The Mexia News
— Jerry Turner
"For this book, T. Lindsay Baker, a professor of Texas history at Tarleton State University, traveled across the Lone Star State visiting crime scenes dating from 1918 to 1957. He traces the footprints of Bonnie and Clyde, the Newton Boys, Becky Rogers ("The Flapper Bandit"), Machine Gun Kelly, the Santa Claus Bank Robber and other notorious individuals. Tarrant County residents will not want to miss th e chapter on the Texas and Pacific Mail Robbery in Fort Worth. Lots of maps and photos (many from the Star-Telegram archives at thte University of Texas at Arlington) add much to the already compelling stories."--Catherine Mallette, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
— Catherine Mallette
— Dan K. Utley
— Josiah M. Daniel, III
— William R. Hunt