Great Train Robberies of the Old West


Book Description

During the 1800s trains carried the nation's wealth throughout the east, but no one thought to rob a speeding train until 1866. In 1870 the first western train was robbed in Nevada and within hours a second train was robbed. Railroads made every alteration to their cars and changed every procedure they could imagine to thwart the robbers, but to no avail. Robbing trains became epidemic over the next five decades, even when the legislatures made train robbery a capital crime. A few of the hundreds of train robberies stand out as thrilling and dangerous affairs, and the greatest of these (15-20) are included in this book.

About Wilson, R. Michael

R. Michael Wilson has been researching the Old West for fifteen years, following a quarter century as a law enforcement officer. His particular interest is crime, and none are more thrilling than stagecoach robberies. He has published one book on the subject in Arizona, and four more on other aspects of crime on the frontier. His research philosophy is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Previous self-published titles:
Drenched in Blood, Rigid in Death; the true story of the Wickenburg massacre, 132 pages, PB, illustrated, notes, bibliography, index; 2000. A detailed criminal investigation of this controversial "massacre." This event was featured in a vignette during the 2004 season of "Wild West Tech" on the History Channel and in a vignette on the Unsolved Mysteries series [poor historical accuracy]. Author has sold over 600 books.

Tragic Jack; the true story of Arizona pioneer John William Swilling, 82 pages, PB, illustrated, bibliography, index; 2001. Details the life of the man who named Phoenix, Arizona and captured Indian chief Mangas Colorados; falsely accused of a stagecoach robbery Swilling died in the Yuma jail only weeks before the guilty party was arrested. Sold over 250 copies. Book is being reissued by Globe Fall 2006.

Encyclopedia of Stagecoach Robbery in Arizona, 230 pages, HB, illustrated, bibliography, index; 2003. This work details every stagecoach robbery in Arizona; Sold over 200 copies.

Crime & Punishment in Early Arizona, 266 pages, PB, bibliography, index; 2004. This work details every recorded lynching and every legal hanging in Arizona, a history of two prisons and an alphabetical listing of prisoners at each. The prisoner lists provide the names, dates of commitment, crimes, sentences, and counties; 135 copies sold.