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Desperados Of The Ozarks Summary

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Being born and raised in an area that was homesteaded by my ancestors has always piqued my curiosity about local legends. This can often leave one biased because we tend to accept things our parents and grandparents tell us as whole truths. Often this is not the case. Sometimes being passed down by word of mouth a few facts get misconstrued. I find this book very interesting because some of my family lived near these places during the time these events happened. I travel the same streets and visit the towns where this took place. Desperados of the Ozarks by Larry Wood takes a stab at presenting the facts in an unbiased manner, if that truly is possible. Most of the facts presented occurred in the later part of the 1800’s going through the 1930’s with the Bonnie and Clyde era. It is hard to imagine that such criminal acts occurred by people on horseback or hopping trains, but they did. Eventually the automobile plays a big part, as we saw with Bonnie and Clyde. Douglas County has always had a reputation for lawlessness and violence. This was clearly seen during the 1870’s…show more content…
I would not have finished reading his book had it not been about places that I have traveled to and names of people I am familiar with. It is confusing and choppy. Sometimes it had to be read more than once to make sure I was following his thoughts correctly. This does bring to light the story of Wilber Underhill, “The Tri-State Terror”. He started out with small crimes in Joplin Missouri, but later became involved in numerous robberies and killings in a three state area. He was greatly feared by people in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. His criminal career ended in a gun battle with the FBI in Shawnee Oklahoma. Wilber Underhill was the first criminal ever killed by the newly formed federal agency. By 1933, at the age of 32, he was at the top of America’s most wanted list. Very little was known about him until reading this
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