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Episode 96: A Long Run in the Shadows

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

In 1923 rural Oregon, a brazen daytime train robbery ended after a strong-arm takeover and a massive dynamite blast, deployed to open a safe containing an alleged fortune, destroyed the train's mail car, setting it ablaze. As it charred to ruin, one person was consumed in the fire and three others were brutally cut down by gunfire. These crimes resulted in a years-long manhunt for the three-man team who had fled far and wide from their epicenter. This is the story of The DeAutremont Brothers, their folly in taking after the Old West outlaws they had grown up worshiping, and the railcar they stopped one cloudless October afternoon: Train Number 13, The Gold Special.

Photo from Criminal Encyclopedia

Actual detonator found after explosion (photos courtesy of Postal Museum)

Train 13, The Gold Special (photo courtesy of the Postal Museum)


Margaret LaPlante - The DeAutremont Brothers: America's Last Great Train Robbery | Scott Mangold - Tragedy at Southern Oregon Tunnel 13: Deautremonts Hold Up the Southern Pacific | DeAutremont Brothers Train Robbery - National Postal Museum | Smithsonian Magazine - How the Reno Gang Launched the Era of American Train Robberies | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine | Wikipedia - Industrial Workers of the World | Wikipedia - Centralia Massacre | NY Times - LA Train Tracks Cargo Thieves | Tunnel13 - The Great Train Robbery | Jefferson Public Radio - Tunnel 13: How Forensic Science Helped Solve America's Last Great Train Robbery | Jesse James - Death, Wife & Brother - Biography | Oregon's Trails: The "great train robbery" that wasn't - | Albany Democrat Herald - 06.20.1927 Weeping and Oratory | Findagrave - Marvin Benjamin Seng | The Dunsmuir News - 12.14.1923 - Card of Thanks | Siskiyou Daily News - 10.18.1923 Obituary for Sidney Bates | Medford Mail Tribune - 10.13.1923 Cool Johnson Death | The Alturas New Era - 10.24.1923 Obituary for Elwyn E Dougherty | The News Review - 06.23.1927 Hugh De Autremont Makes Murder Confession

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