The DeAutremont Brothers: Americas Last Great Train Robbery

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The second man to die was brakeman Coyle Johnson, who had walked through the thick smoke in the tunnel, startling the brothers. Ray, carrying a shotgun, and Hugh, armed with a. Perhaps angry over not finding any money or gold, perhaps afraid of leaving witnesses, the brothers then shot to death railroad fireman Marvin Seng and engineer Bates.

They fled into the woods, prompting a massive manhunt that included the federal government, Oregon National Guard troops, local posses and angry railroad workers. But the brothers laid low, then slipped through the dragnet. It wouldn't be until that Hugh was caught while serving in the Far East in the military. An Army buddy recognized his face on a wanted poster and turned him in for the reward.

The twins were arrested a short time later in Ohio. One of the prosecutors assigned to the trial held in the old Jackson County Courthouse, now the Jacksonville Museum, was Medford's George Roberts. He had served as Jackson County district attorney from through Although the brothers had botched the robbery and killed in cold blood, they were media celebrities by the time they were caught.

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The trial in Jacksonville drew national attention. Concerned about potential harm to his family, Roberts sent his wife and their two daughters by train to visit the children's grandparents in Cincinnati. She represented Hugh A'Autremont when he applied for parole in She later represented Ray for a short time.


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As she understood the story from her discussions with Hugh and Ray, they never intended to harm anyone. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

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He further explained his findings were based on specific evidence gathered by his investigation of the overalls, which included strands of hair and the presence of Douglas fir needles and fresh pitch from pine trees. The overalls were worn only on the right side, suggesting the same position a southpaw would take as if he were to lean against a tree while swinging an ax.

The suspect's height and weight were estimated from the size of the overalls, and the "fastidious habits" were evidenced by some neatly-cut fingernail clippings found in the pocket. Investigators then questioned Paul d'Autremont, who confirmed that all three sons were lumberjacks and that Roy was left-handed.

Although there was enough evidence to identify the DeAutremont brothers as the most likely suspects, apprehending them was another matter, as all three had disappeared since the incident. News of the Siskiyou massacre had attracted national attention by this time, and investigators received reports of numerous sightings, following every one of these new leads, but none of these panned out.

After several months with no new leads, investigators were on the verge of giving up. He had only recently been stationed on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California when he recognized DeAutremont from a wanted poster and reported this to his superior officers. Hugh DeAutremont was arrested within six hours, and while admitting his true identity in custody, he was able to stall his extradition to the United States until March Hugh DeAutremont denied knowledge of his brothers' whereabouts, but his capture encouraged federal authorities to redistribute new wanted posters.

Manual The DeAutremont Brothers: Americas Last Great Train Robbery

Within two months, a report was received that Ray and Roy DeAutremont had been seen in Portsmouth, Ohio and were discovered to living in nearby Steubenville under the assumed names of Clarence and Elmer Goodwin. They were arrested by FBI agents on June 8, , and offered no resistance. The twin brothers later claimed they had fled to Detroit after the robbery.

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Ray had married while in Detroit and moved to Hanging Rock , with his brother following him several months later. They kept on the move, living in both Portsmouth and Steubenville, before they were recognized when the new wanted posters were issued.


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Ray had previously bleached his hair but this failed to disguise him. The two were quickly extradited to Jackson County, Oregon where they stood trial for their role in the Siskiyou massacre. Their arrival coincided with Hugh's murder trial, although this fact was withheld from the defendant. Hugh was convicted of first degree murder, even though jurors recommended leniency and Roy and Ray DeAutremont both pleaded guilty to the same charges. All three were sentenced to life imprisonment at the Oregon state prison in Salem, Oregon. Then, approximately 7, years ago, Mount Mazama erupted with such force that View Product.

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