The Fleagle Gang

Betrayed by a fingerprint

by N. T. Betz



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 04/03/2005

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 448
ISBN : 9781420817614

About the Book

True crime from the roaring 20s based on the murder of four men involved in a brazen daylight bank robbery in Colorado.

The case hinges on a single fingerprint found on a murdered Kansas doctor’s car, and the fledgling Federal Bureau of Identification and the new boss J. Edgar Hoover play a crucial role in turning the fingerprint into solid evidence used to find, arrest and convict members of the Fleagle Gang.

The Fleagle Gang robbed banks and trains in Kansas, Colorado, Oregon and California of over $1 million in the 10 years they operated.

Three gang members were hung at the Colorado Penitentiary a little over two years after committing the Colorado bank robbery. The fourth was trapped and shot on a train in Branson, Mo. by postal inspectors and detectives from several states.

Cartoonist Al Capp used one of the gang to create his character Evil Eye Fleegle in the Lil Abner cartoon strip and Broadway show.

Cartoonist Carl Barks used the Fleagle Gang as the inspiration for The Beagle Boys who have tormented Donald Duck since 1951.

About the Author

N.T. (Tom) Betz has spent a lifetime in journalism and on the Great Plains. A U.S. Navy journalist and a graduate of the University of Colorado, Betz started his career delivering papers for his family’s newspaper in Lamar, Colo., winning his first of numerous journalism awards as a teenager.


He grew up on stories of the First National Bank robbery, and the Fleagle gang, originally reported on by his grandfather, Fred Betz, Sr.


Past president of the Colorado Press Association, Betz has retired as editor of the Goodland (Kan.) Star-News closing out his more than 50-year journalism career. He continues to explore the history and working on more books about the High Plains states.