George Leonidas Leslie began life as one of many privileged lessons. But he has liquidated a felony recognized to the New York Police Division as “King of the Financial institution Robbers.”
Leslie was born in Cincinnati in 1840. His father owned a brewery and Leslie began out as an educational, graduating with honors from the College of Cincinnati and a level in structure. After each his mother and father died, Leslie bought his father’s brewery, gave up his architectural profession, and moved to New York Metropolis. There he fell in with a nasty crowd and determined to make profession in robbing banks. It’s estimated that through the ten-year interval from 1874-1884, Leslie was chargeable for 80% of all financial institution robberies in the US, raking in an estimated $7–12 million in money.
In New York Metropolis, Leslie pretended to be a person with appreciable assets within the metropolis. He belonged to essentially the most unique golf equipment and was an everyday theatergoer and patron of the humanities. He used his guise to entry numerous bits of data that made his life as a financial institution robber as worthwhile as potential. Leslie typically spent as much as three years planning a job on the financial institution. When he discovered a sofa to his liking, Leslie tried to get the blueprints of the sofa’s inside. When that was not potential, he visited the financial institution posing as a depositor and, utilizing his expertise in structure, made tough plans on the within of the financial institution himself. Generally Leslie would have certainly one of his gang members get a job on the financial institution as an evening watchman or doorman so Leslie may get the precise specs and make and mannequin of the financial institution vault.
After acquiring this beneficial data, Leslie would purchase a replica of the financial institution vault. He spent days and generally weeks perfecting the artwork of opening the secure. He shunned utilizing dynamite to crack the secure, deciding that might make an excessive amount of noise and result in detection. Leslie’s methodology of opening safes concerned drilling a gap below the dial after which utilizing a skinny piece of metal to control the tumblers into place. To cowl nearly each contingency concerned in robbing a financial institution, Leslie had a set of housebreaking instruments specifically made for him that price the staggering sum of $3,000, which was greater than most individuals made in years.
To excellent the work he supposed, Leslie generally embellished a room, in a loft he rented downtown, to resemble the within of the financial institution he supposed to rob. There Leslie, and the lads he selected for that exact financial institution job, spent lots of time rehearsing precisely how the financial institution theft would play out. Leslie would dim the lights and watch his males carry out their maneuvers within the darkness, then criticize their work. His cohorts included a number of well-known criminals akin to Jimmy Hope, Jimmy Brady, Abe Coakley, Shang Draper, Crimson Leary, Johnny Dobbs, Worcester Sam Perris, Invoice Kelly, and Banjo Pete Emerson.
In Might 1875, Leslie determined to rob the Manhattan Financial savings Establishment at 644 Broadway. Leslie found the make and mannequin of the lock on the financial institution’s vault by way of his “inside man” on the financial institution, Patrick Shelvin. He purchased a precise mannequin from the producer, Valentine & Bulter, and spent six months perfecting the opening of the lock. On October 27, 1875, Shelvin let Leslie and his crew into the financial institution at evening. When their work was executed, they’d stolen $3.5 million in money and securities, practically $50 million in right this moment’s cash. Nobody was arrested till Might 1879, and in consequence, Jimmy Hope and Invoice Kelly had been convicted and despatched to jail. Abe Coakley and Banjo Pete Emerson had been additionally arrested, however had been acquitted at trial. Leslie was by no means arrested and his involvement within the theft was not recognized till after his loss of life.
Leslie’s repute grew to such gigantic proportions that he was typically known as in as a “advisor” by different financial institution theft gangs. It was believed he acquired greater than $20,000 to journey to San Francisco to assessment plans for a neighborhood financial institution theft.
But when Leslie had one weak point, it was the love of ladies. He began an affair with the girlfriends of certainly one of his cohorts, Shang Draper. On June 4, 1884, Leslie’s decomposed physique was discovered on the base of Tramps Rock, close to the border between Westchester and the Bronx. He was shot twice within the head. Police speculated that Leslie was killed by the jealous Draper at a home at 101 Lynch Road in Brooklyn, after which his physique was taken away to Tramps Rock by three of his associates, who had been seen close to Yonkers on the time the physique was discovered. discovers. However there was little proof of the crime and nobody was ever arrested.