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WANTED: GENTLEMAN BANK ROBBER


By Dane Batty

Nish Publishing Company, June 30, 2010 ($15.95)
ISBN-10: 0615268455
ISBN-13: 978-0615268453

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

The actual, full title of this book is Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI's Most Elusive Criminals but we'll just go by a shortened version, WANTED: GENTLEMAN BANK ROBBER. The full title is a bit unruly and frankly, gives the book a rather amateurish feel.

WANTED: GENTLEMAN BANK ROBBER chronicles the exploits of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, nicknamed "The Gentleman Bandit," a man responsible for nearly thirty bank robberies over a twenty-year span. He escaped from the authorities three times and landed on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List at number seven. He eluded the authorities for 10 years before surrendering. He traveled widely and enjoyed life with his wife.

The author, Dane Batty, is Rogge's nephew. Much of the source material is from Rogge himself, via letters written to his sister (Batty's mother) of his exploits.

As crime goes, it's refreshing to read the adventures and exploits of a criminal that plied his trade without resorting to violence. Of course it wasn't all fun and games. He is confined to prison now. He's nearly 70 years old, serving a 65-year sentence. And although I am on the side of law and justice, I would love to see this crafty gentleman escape again!

WANTED: GENTLEMAN BANK ROBBER will not only appeal to true crime fans but to anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned tale of adventure. It is a quick, entertaining read. Perfect for light summer reading, although once the reader begins, it will be difficult to put the book aside until the final page has been read.

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