The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber

by tuisnider

Around noon on December 23, 1927 Santa Claus strolled through the town of Cisco, Texas, patting children’s heads, and chatting with locals. He did not come bearing candy or gifts, however, nor did he care who was naughty or nice. No, this particular Santa and his helpers were there to rob a bank. At first, Marshall Ratliff’s white beard and red coat seemed the perfect disguise. A few minutes into the heist, things began to unravel. After a shootout riddling the bank with no less than 200 bullet holes, a car chase, and the abduction of two little girls, this particular Santa Claus became the focus of one of the largest manhunts in Texas state history. But the story does not end there. Tui Snider’s extensive research includes quotes from eyewitnesses, photos, and a myriad of quirky facts to round out this strange-but-true crime story. Along the way, Tui Snider discovered some intriguing loose ends, clues pointing to a mysterious blonde woman. Did the notorious Santa and his crew have a female helper, and did she get away with murder?


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