On this day, July 23, in 1878, California's gentleman stage coach bandit, Black Bart, committed his final successful heist, leaving behind his trademark poem.
His real name was Charles Bolton, and he robbed his victims politely, always saying "please" and "thank you."
He was afraid of horses, so he held his heists on foot. In is first robbery, as the driver handed over the loot, Black Bart shouted over his shoulder, "If he dares shoot, give him a solid volley, boys!"
When Black Bart fled, the driver realized that the gunmen in the bushes were actually carefully rigged sticks.
The romantic outlaw was eventually captured after leaving behind a handkerchief at his next robbery.
Bart served a short sentenced, was released early, then disappeared without a trace.
- Scott McCabe