"A multitude of texts have been written about the excitement, the daring and, in some cases, even the glory of this country's railroad holdup men. Legens have been created around such men as Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid. But few stories have come down to us written with the aid of a first person point of view. Many of the stories surrounding America's traditional bad men have been spun by story tellers, thrill entrepreneurs and fiction writers who have so woven fact and fiction that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish between truth and rumor. Yet, All For Nothing, The Last Great American Train Robbery, manages to preserve all the excitement, humor, emotion, tragedy and fast action which surrounded the Last Great American Train Robbery without straying into the realm of fiction. In the fall of 1923, the United States was adjusting to a new President, "Silent Cal" Coolidge, after the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. The Ku Klux Klan was nearing the pinnacle of its power; Al Capone was preparing for an all-out war to control Chicago's multi-million dollar bootlegging operation; and a New York outfielder by the name of Casey Stengal was thumbing his nose at the mighty Yankees. As the nation was gearing up for the Roaring Twenties, on October 11, 1924, Southern Pacific's Number 13, known as the Gold Special, had just left the small Oregon community of Ashland on its way south to San Francisco. It was an Indian Summer day as the train chugged its way through the vast timberland that covered the Siskiyou Mountain range which straddles the Oregon-California border. Three men waited for Number 13. They were the DeAutremont brothers, Ray and Roy, identical twins, and their younger brother Hugh. What followed was the last great American Train Robbery, but they so badly bungled the job that their story might have been one of the most humorous and inept attempts in the annals of crime except that in their attempt they cold-bloodedly gunned down three unarmed men and blew another to pieces, leaving his body "burned to a crisp" as newspaper accounts would later describe the remains of the mail car clerk. The explosion touched off perhaps the greatest manhunts in the history of the United States. When the DeAutremonts were finally captured four years later, the U.S. Postal Service had extended the hunt to five continents and expended more than a half million dollars on three men whose efforts ironically were All For Nothing. They never found a dime aboard the Gold Special.
Larry Sturholm has interwoven historical events of the Roaring Twenties with the vast amount of research material provided by John Howard into an exciting, spellbinding reconstruction of one of the most amazing sagas of American history. The story is punctuated by the personal remembrance of Ray DeAutremont, who after more than half a century still recalls those few minutes at Tunnel 13 which turned a comic opera into a tragedy. All For Nothing, The Last Great American Train Robbery, is a dynamic book which reads like a novel, but is an accurate, factual recounting of the last Great American Train Robbery." - Governor Tom McCall
Larry Sturholm - An eight year veteran news reporter, Sturholm is the feature reporter for the ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon. He has written for major newspapers up and down the West Coast.
John Howard - A veteran policeman in Portland, Oregon, Howard spent 17 years assembling research data that made up the background for All For Nothing. It was his long time friendship with Ray DeAutremont that brought the story to light.
Ray DeAutremont was the last of the brothers to pass away. He passed away December 20th, 1984 at the age of 84 in a nursing home.
This book is in terrific condition given it's age. It was published in 1976. The dust jacket has some light wear, the book itself is perfectly bound, none of the pages are folded or stained. It's inscribed "To Tom Heebard Thanks For All Your Help" and then is signed by the author "Johnny Howard" and below is signed by Ray DeAutremont himself! If you would like any more pictures or specifics, please feel free to email us!