DeAutremont brothers

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Wanted posters announced the $15,900 bounty on the brothers. Posters were distributed across the U.S. The three DeAutremont brothers destroyed a mail car and killed four men, including a Railway Post Office clerk, when they tried to rob a Southern Pacific train on October 11, 1923. After botching the robbery, the three fled the scene of the crime in a panic, leaving some items, including a pair of overalls, behind. The items left behind helped authorities learn the identities of the murderers.

The bottom portion of this wanted poster continues information on identifying each brother. Postal inspectors asked chemist Edward Heinrich to inspect the clues left behind by the robbers to see if he could tell them anything about the fugitives. Given a pair of overalls found at the crime scene, Heinrich developed a profile of a likely suspect.

Crime Does Not Always Pay

The D’Autremont Train Robbery

Most people think of train robberies as 19th century crimes, complete with Butch and Sundance blowing up a train car, or Jesse James and his gang taking on the evil railroad companies. However, one of the most violent and tragic train robbery attempts was in 1923. On October 11 of that year, three men, twins Roy and Ray DeAutremont and their younger brother Hugh ambushed Southern Pacific train #13 in southern Oregon, just as the train was emerging from a tunnel.

The young DeAutremont brothers and especially Ray felt they were born into a family that had been victimized by a corrupt society. It seemed only fair they follow a course of crime rather than work for a living. Twins Ray and Roy were just twenty three when they attempted one of the most daring robberies in America. Their brother Hugh, who accompanied them, was a mere nineteen. The crime they committed in 1923 would have been laughable in its ineptitude had they not happened to kill four men during the debacle.

But what of their earlier criminal career? This too proves without doubt that the DeAutremont brothers should have stuck to a more legitimate career – it seems that they just weren’t cut out to be criminal masterminds.

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