THE SANTA CLAUS GANG
'Twas the day before Christmas
Eve, 1929, when Santa walked into the National Bank in Cisco, Texas.
Bank workers were amused, until Santa pulled a gun and demanded that the
vault be opened. Suddenly, Santa had three nasty looking elves at his side.
At that moment, a woman entered the bank with her six year old daughter,
who cried out "They're gonna shoot Santa Claus!" The woman turned around
and escaped in time to sound the alarm. Every able bodied man in town rushed
the bank, gun in hand (this was Texas, after all). Townspeople chased
the gang down the street, firing all the way, forcing them to abandon the
loot. In the resulting hail of bullets, two police officers and one
of the bandits were killed. When apprehended, "Santa" turned out
to be a small time crook named Marshall Ratliff. He was tried and sentenced
to death. After wounding a guard in an abortive escape attempt, he was
dragged out by a lynch mob. The first time they hung him, the rope broke.
The second time, it held.