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Episode 132 The Flapper Bandit

On December 11, 1926 a small town bank near Austin, Texas was robbed at gunpoint by a 21 year old college student named Rebecca Bradley. She wasn’t the typical bank robber of the 1920s….she politely apologized to bank employees for locking them in the vault before she fled the scene of the crime.

Rebecca was arrested soon after she robbed the bank and suddenly the woman known as the nice girl to her friends and colleagues…was pictured in papers nationwide and labeled the flapper bandit of texas

None of this made sense to the people who thought they knew Rebecca. She had been named Miss Modesty in High School. She was working on her masters in history at the University of Texas in Austin.

What secrets drove the girl next door to armed robbery and arson?

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Episode Sources

“Drop Co-Ed Bandit Charge as Rebecca Becomes Mother”, El Paso Herald-Post, October 25, 1933. (Viewed on August 23, 2023). <https://www.newspapers.com/image/796631421/?clipping_id=131550098&gt;

“The End of an Unusual Case”, Wichita Falls Times, October 27, 1933. (Viewed on August 23, 2023). <https://www.newspapers.com/article/wichita-falls-times/131148529&gt;

“Amarillo Attorney Tells of Marriage to Bandit Suspect”, Ft. Worth Telegram Star, December 14, 1926. (Viewed on August 28, 2023). <https://www.newspapers.com/image/634535367/?terms=rebecca%20bradley&gt;

“Rebecca Bradley Girl Bandit”, ScandalsandSweets.com.(Viewed on August 21, 2023). <https://scandalsandsweets.com/rebecca-bradley-girl-bandit&gt;

“Texas Girl Bandit Accused of Arson”,The New York Times, December 12, 1026.(Viewed on August 20, 2023). <https://www.nytimes.com/1926/12/16/archives/texas-girl-bandit-accused-of-arson-buda-bank-robber-is-arrested-for.html&gt;

Episode Music

Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use. Dixie Outlandish and Castleshire by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons.