|<Rick J. Gunter>|
I am in the early stages of researching a little known outlaw gang of the gangster era known as the Lando Gunter gang. Lando was born and raised in Ozark County Missouri and was my grandpa, John Israel Gunter's first cousin. Lando started out with a few local crime jobs, like robbing the Birdtown store and the Bank of Dora, MO. Then, when the local sheriff figured out who was behind the local crime spree, Lando decided to move to Oklahoma. At first he tried honest work. He worked as oilfield hand for a while, but I guess he just couldn't resist the temptation of the rich banks out there. I have been told that he robbed five banks in Oklahoma, and possibly one or more in Texas also. At the last bank he robbed, in late 1934 or early 1935, he took a woman hostage. In all of the previous bank robberies, it had required little effort for him to get away. I guess he was not well known to the authorities and once he had gotten away, they had no idea who they were looking for. But since he had taken a hostage, it was a different matter. He instantly became "known". There was a multi-state manhunt for what had become known as the search for the "Ozark Bandit." Lando and his gang let the woman go soon after the robbery and they fled back to Missouri to hide out in the Ozark hills. Within a matter of weeks, the law had tracked the gang to Lando's house near Dora, MO. Two of the gang members where caught sleeping in a car in the yard and were taken without a fight. Then a short gun battle erupted and Lando's brother Clarence was wounded. At that point Lando gave himself up. He was convicted of bank robbery and kidnapping and sentenced to 25 years.
The reason for this project is to include the information in a book that I am writing on my family history. In addition, I may also submit an article to a historical journal on this subject. I have interviewed several older member of my family and have recorded some info about this. Much of what I have is somewhat sketchy and I really need to find some other evidence now to collaborate and fill in between the lines of what I already have. One of my problems is that I have no idea the names of the banks or the dates of the robberies that were committed in Oklahoma. Does anyone know of any databases or archives that could be searched for the answer? Any advise on how I could find more information on these bank robberies?
Rick J. Gunter
I recently obtained a newspaper article with details of Lando Gunter's capture at his mother's home near Dora Missouri. It listed a few of the crimes he was suspected of and most of them were in Missouri. There was mention of a bank robbery at Fairland, Oklahoma, but no date was given.
I have access to Ancestory.com's historic newspaper database, but it has proven to be rather worthless for researching Oklahoma history. They only have one newspaper online for OK. It is for the city of Ada, OK and the range of years is very limited. If anyone has access to another newspaper database, or might have info on it from somewhere else, I would certainly appreciate a lookup on this.
The robbery probably took place in 1934, as that was the year of his crime spree. He was captured in early 1935. He probably chose Fairland because it is so close the Missouri border. It's only about 20 miles away.
Rick. I have Lando and pals robbing the Fairland State Bank in Fairland, Oklahoma on Nov 28, 1934 and on Feb 12, 1935. Also the Bank of Wyandotte, Oklahoma on Jan 29, 1935. He was arrested with Dick Johnson, Jack White, and Rena Kimes. Gunter, Johnson, and White were sentenced to prison on May 15, 1935. I don't have anything on a bank robbery in Dora, Missouri.
Wow! This is great"”thanks for the info. What is your source for this? Among the other crimes that Lando Gunter was accused of, according to the article, was robbing a bank in Richmond, Missouri, a highway robbery near Lebanon, Missouri (I thought that went out with the days of the stage coaches!), a postal robbery in Ozark County, MO, and a jail break at Waynesville, MO. According to another article from a Butte, Montana newspaper, his gang robbed a gas station in Scott's Bluff, Nebraska and took a man and woman gas station attendant hostage. This could have been the incident that my great- Uncle told me about in the interview and he had it mixed up with a bank robbery. Anyway, my great-uncle quoted Lando as saying that, "Women will get ya into a lot more trouble than money." Supposedly, he said this because had robbed several banks and had gotten away without any trouble, but as soon as he kidnapped that woman the law did not waste any time tracking him down.
Rick J. Gunter
I am interested in your research into the Lando Gunter gang. I am a freelance writer living and working in the Missouri Ozarks and I would like to write an article about Lando. If you are interested in working with me on this project, please contact me at email@example.com. Thanks.
There are lotsof ideas here!!!!!!!!!
but people seem to be very casual with this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Any body interested in a joint venture ?
I got some stuff to share
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