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‘RUN THECAT ‘ROADS Bank robbers made big news American Midwest in the ninetee: ties, and one of the biggest stories was t 1933 Memorial Day prison break, w Harvey Bailey, king of the bank robbers, went over the wall of the Kansas S Penitentiary with ten other convicts. They pulled it off by taking the warden hostage on the next-to-the-last day of his term. They fled by driving the “cat roads,” the back roads that had been their escape routes after bank robberies and car thefts. It was the time of the Great Depression, and the banks that had weathered the Crash were being robbed at the rate of two a day. Rumor had it that sometimes robbers burned mortgages in the vault before making their getaway. Millions of Americans, caught in the drab round of idleness and poverty, responded to the derring-do with acceptance and ad- miration. Soon after, an underworld attempt to free another bank robber resulted in a shocking mass murder in nearby Kansas City. And later that summer, bank rob- CONTINUED ON BACK FLAP a oa *RONT FLA! wait oe be tarng indfipers fod he onthe é Fa ranvom hundred thousand dollars. This is the true story of those events and the links between them. Aud it is the story of Depression times, when criminals had become folk heroes, and when men of the law were trying desperately to regain the respect of the community. An irate mother summed it all up after her son was arrested for robbing the only bank in Edna, Kansas. “Hell, Sheriff, bank robbin’ ain’t hardly no crime at all.” RUN THE CAT ROADS is the product of years of work and travel in a dozen states, of research into official records and personal files, of hundreds of hours of per- sonal interviews. This story is not what you will find in the official reports or what was carried in the newspapers. RUN THE CAT ROADS tells, for the first time, what really happened. L. L. Edge is a TV talk-show host, radio personality, and newspaper columnist. He also has written hundreds of articles in national publications. He lives in Kansas City but his work takes him all over the world. Jacket design by Hermann Strohbach