Pat Crowe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pat Crowe
Patrick T Crowe.jpg
Crowe's arrest photo in Butte, Montana
Born Pat Crowe
1864
Iowa, United States
Died 1938 (aged 73–74)
Harlem, New York City, United States
Cause of death
Heart attack
Nationality American
Other names Frank Roberts
Occupation Criminal, author, speaker
Criminal charge
Bank robbery, train robbery, kidnapping
Criminal penalty
6 years prison
Criminal status
Served
Spouse(s) None
Children None
Conviction(s) Larceny

Pat Crowe (1864–1938), aka Frank Roberts,[1] was a criminal turned author and lecturer who was implicated in the 1900 kidnapping of Edward Cudahy, Jr. in Omaha. Crowe's criminal notoriety as a bank and train robber and as a kidnapper gained him fame across the United States when he began writing and speaking about his exploits in the early 20th century. According to Time magazine, Crowe's "misdemeanors began with robbing Omaha streetcars in 1890 and included a diamond theft, homicidal attempts, a visit to and escape from Joliet prison, hold-ups and pilfering on railroads."[2]

Today, his written personal narratives of the Cudahy story are studied for their authenticity.[3] After his last acquittal in the Cudahy trial, the Omaha Daily News described him as "one of the few really spectacular and truly named desperadoes" of the day,[4][5] while an obituary called him, "one of the most colorful figures in American criminal history."[6]

Biography[edit]

Crowe was born on a farm outside Davenport, Iowa, and had 11 siblings. Soon after he turned 17 his mother died, and Crowe moved to South Omaha, Nebraska, a new town centered on a growing meatpacking industry. Along with a partner named Pat Cavanaugh, Crowe opened a butcher shop in the area. Soon after his shop was closed by the large operation owned by Edward Cudahy. He was hired by the Cudahy Meatpacking Plant shortly thereafter. Cudahy fired Crowe after he was caught stealing money from the operation.[7]

Crowe held a variety of jobs and committed small crimes until the early 1890s. Using the alias Frank Roberts, Crowe perpetrated a variety of crimes. After an attempted robbery in Joliet, Illinois, Crowe got in a gunfight with police in Chicago. He was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison. In 1897, Crowe, again as Roberts, was sent to trial in Denver, Colorado, for burglary and larceny of a jewelry store. However, he jumped bond and was never tried.[8]

Crowe resurfaced in South Omaha around 1900 with his old comrade Pat Cavanaugh. That winter they kidnapped Edward Cudahy, Jr. After scoring the first successful ransom for a kidnapping in the United States, Crowe disappeared, resurfacing a number of times[9] until 1905.[10] That year he walked down the streets of Butte, Montana, asking to be arrested for the kidnapping. In February 1906, despite the prosecution's 40 witnesses, a firsthand account of a confession to a priest, and no testimony by his defense, Crowe was acquitted by a jury.

After the kidnapping[edit]

After his acquittal Crowe was not implicated in any more crimes. He wrote two autobiographies, in both of which he admitted his responsibility for Cudahy, Jr.'s kidnapping. In 1927 a biographer wrote Crowe's life story, portraying him as "a modern-day Robin Hood."[11] After scoring the first successful ransom for a kidnapping in the United States, Crowe disappeared, resurfacing a number of times[12] until 1905.[13]

Crowe died of heart disease in poverty in Harlem, New York City in 1938.[14]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Last Outlaw: The Life of Pat Crowe. John Koblas. North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. (2006).
  • Spreading Evil: Pat Crowe's Autobiography. Thomas Regan. Branwell Company. (1927).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pat Crowe: 1921". Shorpy.com. Retrieved 10/20/10.
  2. ^ "Miscellany", Time. February 1, 1926. Retrieved 10/20/10.
  3. ^ "All things made new." University of Virginia. Retrieved 9/25/07.
  4. ^ "1906 Kidnapping", NebraskaStudies.org. State of Nebraska. Retrieved 10/20/10.
  5. ^ "Cudahy kidnapping", Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 10/20/10.
  6. ^ Daily Mail, Hagerstown, Maryland. October 31, 1938.
  7. ^ Galluzzo, J. (2005) When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from the Massachusetts Shore. The History Press. p. 92.
  8. ^ The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review, Volume 34. May 19, 1897. p 16.
  9. ^ (December 12, 1904) "Elusive suspect escapes from federal detectives," St. Paul Globe.
  10. ^ Galluzzo, J. (2005) When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from the Massachusetts Shore. The History Press. p. 97.
  11. ^ Galluzzo, J. (2005) When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from the Massachusetts Shore. The History Press. p. 98.
  12. ^ (December 12, 1904) "Elusive suspect escapes from federal detectives," St. Paul Globe.
  13. ^ Galluzzo, J. (2005) When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from the Massachusetts Shore. The History Press. p. 97.
  14. ^ (Nov. 7, 1938) "Milestones", Time. Retrieved 10/20/10.

External links[edit]