Henry Starr, born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, on December 2, 1873, had largely Cherokee blood running in his veins as well as a family history of banditry. However he expired robbing a bank, using the differentiation of having robbed more banks and netted more cash than all another Old West gangs joined.
Henry Starr was born having a criminal pedigree that will have already been difficult for anybody to resist. Known as the “Land of the Six Gun” and occasionally called “Robbers’ Roost,” the rocky land was rife with natural hideouts for those on the lam in the law. Hop’s brother was the ill-famed Sam Starr, whose wife Belle Starr was known as the “Outlaw Queen.” But a change came to the family makeup when Henry was 13—his dad died, and Mary, now a single mother of three, just remarried. Whether it was because Henry considered his stepfather, C.N. Walker, junior-grade because he was in no part Indian, or because Walker was violent, Starr left home soon after the remarriage.
Starr’s first conviction was at 16, when deputy marshals detained him for bringing whiskey into Indian Territory in a wagon in the ranch he was taking care of. He insisted he did not understand the whiskey was there, but pled guilty anyhow. Another arrest arrived within five years, for stealing a horse. Although Starr insisted on his innocence, he skipped bond and determined that being a career offender was in his stars.
Starr enthusiastically took up robbery in the summer of 1892, hooking up with a few associates and reaching shops and train stations in Indian Territory. Deputy marshals were in hot pursuit—Floyd Wilson opened fire on Starr and a weird duel ensued, with Starr predominating with a shot through Wilson’s heart. Then he rode away to continue his spree of robbing shops and train stations in the Territory. His first bank robbery was in March 1893. Starr and his accomplice upped their take from a couple hundred on their normal successes to almost $5,000 from the Kansas bank.
More hits and higher takes brought notoriety. Starr’s distinguishing straight black hair, black eyes and high Cherokee cheekbones became immediately identifiable, which got him captured in Colorado. He was sentenced to hang for Floyd Wilson’s homicide, but the conviction was overturned twice. From the time the third trial was over, Starr’s sentence were reduced to manslaughter. Released from prison on January 16, 1903, Starr got a shout out in a Washington Post characteristic two years afterwards as a “Western outlaw” bad guy turned good. By then he’d married and had a son, named Theodore Roosevelt Starr.
Got in Colorado again that November, this stint in prison gave him an opportunity to study law and compose his autobiography, Thrilling Occasions: Life of Henry Starr. In 1913, having a guarantee to the governor he would not leave the state, Starr was set free. What followed was a spectacular run of 14 bank robberies having an entire take of more than $25,000. That brought in Starr “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster standing as well as a $1,000 bounty on his head.
He was captured after robbing two banks on the exact same day and sentenced to Oklahoma’s state penitentiary for 25 years, but astoundingly was paroled less than four years later after giving addresses on the evils of offense and encouraging young individuals to bring in their cash legitimately.
Ever entrepreneurial, Starr attempted selling property and performing a stagecoach-robbing action for a Wild West show. He even produced a silent movie, A Debtor to the Law, starring himself; it told the story of his Oklahoma bank robbery as well as the offense’s ignoble consequences. A star move in a couple more movies earned him a Hollywood offer, however he turned it down for anxiety about being prosecuted for a preceding California heist.
His experience-junkie nature subsequently led him and several accomplices to hold up a financial institution in Arkansas for $6,000. This time he’d a Nash motorcar as an alternative to a horse to get away, however he was shot in the rear while filling his pockets with cash.
Starr was killed by William Myers, the previous president of the past bank he robbed, who’d set up a bandit trick: an armed shotgun in the vault. And although physicians removed the bullet from Starr’s back in jail, he died of his wound on February 22, 1921, along with his own wife, his mom and his 17-year old son by his side. Starr has the unusual double standing of being both the most successful reformed outlaw, with pictures, addresses as well as a heroic autobiography to his credit.