~Read Book ♏ Norco 80 ♀ In The Spirit Of Killers Of The Flower Moon And The Onion Field, Norco Is A Gripping True Crime Account Of One Of The Most Violent Bank Heists In US History Norco Tells The Story Of How Five Heavily Armed Young Men Led By An Apocalyptic Born Again Christian Attempted A Bank Robbery That Turned Into One Of The Most Violent Criminal Events In US History, Forever Changing The Face Of American Law Enforcement Part Action Thriller And Part Courtroom Drama, Norco Transports The Reader Back To The Southern California Of The S, An Era Of Predatory Evangelical Gurus, Doomsday Predictions, Megachurches, And Soaring Crime Rates, With The Threat Of Nuclear Obliteration Looming Over It All A Group Of Landscapers Transforms Into A Murderous Gang Of Bank Robbers Armed To The Teeth With Military Grade Weapons Their Desperate Getaway Turned The Surrounding Towns Into War Zones When It Was Over, Three Were Dead And Close To Twenty Wounded A Police Helicopter Was Forced Down From The Sky, And Thirty Two Police Vehicles Were Destroyed By Thousands Of Rounds Of Ammo The Resulting Trials Shook The Community To The Core, Raising Many Issues That Continue To Plague Society Today From Racism And The Epidemic Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Within Law Enforcement To Religious Extremism And The Militarization Of Local Police Forces
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway This story provides further proof that truth is stranger than fiction From the beginning, it engages the reader and doesn t let go narrative writing at its finest I lived in the midwest and was in my teens during the time of this crime and trial and I don t remember hearing anything about it, so I was fascinated by the entire tale It was especially enlightening reading about how this one crime impacted law enforcement, particularly the militarization of it, nationwide.There were several times where I felt completely lost and couldn t keep the moving pieces straight and I am a careful reader , but that just shows how convoluted the entire episode was from the planning of the crime through the outcome of the trial that the author could make sense of any of it, and manage to make it into a coherent story, speaks volumes I can t even imagine what Mr Houlahan s white board bulletin board post it note tree, or whatever he used to connect the dots, looked like I highly recommend this book Oh, this book was all kinds of amazing Even though I m from Southern California, I d never heard of the Norco bank robbery I figured it was before my time, but my parents hadn t heard of it either Reading, this, I don t know how we missed it.This is one exciting read While the author takes some liberties here and there with the feelings of some of our participants like one dying young man was thinking feeling , those liberties are logical.The book is well researched, but honestly reads like a movie I could see people getting shot, feel the whiz of bullets as they narrowly missed other characters, and my heart was pounding like crazy.A fabulous book that inspired me to learn even about what happened and about a serial killer and a cult I d never heard of before.Excellent Evidence Never LiesGiven the evidence available to you, I appreciate you being an impartial writerWELL DONE.From one who lived it,Debbie RoseInvestigator Asst to Jeanne Painter This is one of the best books of its sort I have ever read Well done, Peter Houlahan What a heartbreak I lived a very unexciting life within ten miles of where all this went down, and I was completely unaware of all of it until now. The jaw dropping account of how 5 bank robbers armed to the teeth with military grade weapons automatic weapons, homemade bombs, Molotov cocktails, and a samurai sword robbed a bank in the rural town of Norco Riverside County California in 1980 and subsequently led police on a wild pursuit Thousands of rounds were fired during the chase, putting police and civilians in harm s way along the rural roads of Riverside, on the freeway and up into the nearby mountains 30 police vehicles were shot up, a helicopter shot out of the sky, and tragically, a police officer killed in the shoot out Houlhan s research meticulously takes us from the reasons for the hold up the robbers belief that the rapture was coming and they needed to get the hell out of California , to the pursuit of the robbers up to the San Bernardino mountains The second half of the book is equally gripping as the author explains how the criminal trial became a circus as the defense lawyers used questionable tactics, made ridiculous claims, and engaged in outright lies to try and get their clients off the hook if not out of the gas chamber A must read for any one who is interested in true crime narratives, police procedure, or true life cops and robbers stories or questions why police departments today use military grade equipment in their line of work. Norco 80 is one hell raising ride through 1970 s Southern California with an apocalyptic prophet and the prosecutors bent on turning the tables on the policemen involved in the most violent bank heist ever committed on American soil From the minute you meet the charismatic George Smith and his flunky friend Christopher Harven, you ll be hanging on for dear life, waiting for the next catastrophe to take your breath away with each heart breaking turn of the page It s part law and part order and it s outstanding Summary A well written account of a dramatic true crime.This is the story of a 1980 bank robbery in Norco, California Committed by five men almost on a whim, this poorly planned robbery led to a terrifying car chase and fire fight The chase was made particularly dangerous by the superior weapons possessed by the robbers The subsequent trial was a huge spectacle In several ways, it was less of a foregone conclusion than you might think The relationship between attorneys was also incredibly contentious, with insults and even pencils thrown by both sides as the trial dragged on.This book did pretty much everything right The story was certainly chosen well The pursuit of the bank robbers and the following trial were both dramatic events The writing made the story personal by giving us background on the police, robbers, and civilians involved I occasionally found it a little difficult to keep track of the many cops involved and would have appreciated a cast list This wasn t bad though The author gave enough background on each person to be interesting, without being overwhelming He also did a good job focusing on the key players The descriptions of the fighting, the car chase, and the court case were all equally well done The author made it easy to visualize the action He then highlighted some entertaining moments of the very long trial.I do have two small complaints First, I thought we lingered a little too much on people being shot It felt like the author was gratuitously working hard to add drama when the events were dramatic enough already And second, although the author s note initially impressed me with a stated commitment to accuracy, it eventually becomes clear that the author is sharing the thoughts of people who were never available for interviews These bits are unnecessary embellishments of an account that otherwise seems well researched I would have appreciated it if the author had called them out.With those two tiny caveats, I found this an enjoyable read I think any fan of true crime will find what they re looking for here.This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey The blame begins with the huge eruption of Mount St Helens George Wayne Smith age 29 and Chris Haven age 27 were convinced that the eruption announced the coming rapture as predicted in the Book of Revelations Their apostolic faith convinced them that the end was near and that they needed to move to the mountains in order to survive the coming chaos Both of them were ex military and stockpiled a huge supply of weapons, homemade grenades and ammunition to prepare for the coming apocalypse One thing they lacked money for the move.So these two guys convinced their friends, Belisaro and Manuel Delgado, and Chris brother, Russell, to join them in robbing the Security Pacific Bank Unfortunately, an employee from the bank across the street saw the masked men entering the bank and quickly called police What ensues is Fargo esque as events flew out of control Total chaos ensued with the five robbers spraying hundreds of rounds of ammunition at the responding police in an area full of civilians The miracle is that there were not deaths and casualties But there were still plenty two of the perpetrators and one Sheriff s deputy were killed, another 9 wounded, over 30 police cars were damaged, and even one helicopter was downed.The bank robbers were forced to steal a second truck when their first one was damaged They were able to escape Riverside County and entered San Bernardino County with multiple police officers from multiple jurisdictions in hot pursuit Eventually they reached the mountains and proceeded on foot They were caught the next day.The second part of the book focuses on the trial for the three remaining robbers It was not your usual criminal trial The Defense Attorneys presented numerous audacious theories and verbally fought with the presiding judge And then there was the case of the Defenses investigator falling in love with George Wayne Smith I m sure that will turn out well Not Recommend this true crime tale that defies believability. Birthed in a distinctively curious milieu of poverty, survivalism, sign gifts, and eschatology, the story told here is all kinds of fascinating The planning, the robbery, the pursuit, the capture, and the trial are all given full treatment Along the way, Houlahan not only holds our interest but builds it The characters described become old friends and foes to us It is the kind of book where you cannot help but keep saying, Wow to yourself as you hike along the trail listening to it Where has this story been hiding all these years Hats off to Mr Houlahan Great work.