tv Legends Lies The Real West FOX News May 30, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
she's got quite a show for you. stay safe. i'll see you here next weekend, same place, same channel. fox news channel. bill o'reilly lies, now. news is the first draft of history. it is immediate and takes place in real time. legends take longer to develop and are sometimes based on myth. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legends.
on the north american plains, opportunity calls men of courage to chase the sun west into a new frontier. they would shape the nation, lay hold of their debt, and form a new mythology, but with the passing of time, every myth has its reckoning. black bart. the name conjured images of a surly stage koej robber, and a violent outlaw ready to kill, but behind every band stands a
man, and behind every legend lies the truth. >> also known as black bart, is the most eccentric stagecoach bandit in the midwest, and yet his story is unfamiliar to us. unlike the brazen outlaw killers of today, he never fires a single shot. he is a man driven by revenge who masked his identity. instead of leaving trails of blood, he leaves behind versus of poetry. >> take care. i'll send it in. >> in 1848, gold was discovered in the foothills of the sierra madres. by 1849, tens of thousands of men known as the 49ers are swarming into northern california. one of those 49ers is an ambitious young man named charles who convinces his
brother to join him on the gold rush. >> i think there's probably more up this way. >> charles and his brother, they had been barn razors in new york, and none of them liked farming life, and they couldn't wait to get to the gold fields in california. >> can i get some help? help, anybody. >> for many like the brothers, the hope of striking it rich moves them to endure incredible hardship and sacrifice. they camp along the riverbread. scall udconditions, giving rine to waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid, which often results in death. >> take a gander at this. >> are you kidding me? >> we got it. >> some strike it rich. but charles is not as lucky.
after months of mining, he not only fails to find gold. he loses both of his brothers to illness they contracted at camp. >> charles was devastated. he had been the one to really want to come out to california. and he felt guilty. he was a restless soul. that played very heavily into the choices he made later on. >> he heads back east a broken man. eventually stopping in illinois, where he takes a job on a farm and soon marries. >> on the one hand, you have the adventure searching for gold. and perhaps making a fortune. versus working on a farm, the tedium of tilling and harvesting and seeding that to him was not quite as attractive.
>> frustrated with his farming life, he's haunted by his failure as a miner and dreams of striking it rich. >> when word of the montana gold rush reaches charles, his gold fever returns. he leaves his family and sets out for montana on foot. >> there's an interesting aspect to his life, he had an aversion to horses. when we enlisted in the military, he volunteered for the infant
infantry, presumearily so he wouldn't have to ride a horse. >> it's likely his fear is triggered by a fall. still, he doesn't let his fear hamper his service to the union. >> what you might not expect that charles is a respected civil war soldier. wounded by fighting for the federal army, he leareturns to battle and is even with general sherman with his march to the state. >> to march with sherman's army, you certainly are fit. very demanding of his soldiers. and being able to understand what trails will get you where, what trails could be easily ambushed and therefore used as defense in proper places, that would be of value to someone who later becomes known as black bart. >> after two years of panning
for other mines, he's able to stake his own claim to a riverside plot he's sure will make his life's work. but as word spreads, the competition for claims increases. >> good day to you, sir. the usual, please. and this. >> that will be 3 cents, or 10 cents for express service. >> what's that? >> he just bought me out. >> large companies rushed to capitalize on local strife and eliminate competition. buying up businesses and all the land surrounding the plains. >> there was mining going on in various sections of mauontmonta. he did have a claim where he was
uncompetition with other people also setting up claims. there was a lot of violence occurring around him. >> mr. bowles. >> welcome. what can i do for you? >> we'd like to make you an offer. we want to buy your claim. >> no thank you. no thank you. good day. >> doesn't look like much is coming. >> there will be plenty as soon as the walter coming up. good day. >> it would be a shame if it didn't. >> wells fargo is already consolidating its stage line for a new mining town in idaho, utah, and montana. now, rumors the company has plans to go into the mining business makes bowles' suspicious.
just days after he receives an offer for his claim, the water supply dries up. bowles is convinced it's no coincidence. >> what wells fargo did is divert the stream from which bowles was panning the gold where he was forced to abandon his gold mine. >> for charles bowles, montana claim is likely his best chance for success. but when the water slows, his claim becomes worthless. many historians believe this is the moment he set his sights on wells fargo, making the company out to be responsible for his misfortune. >> the hard working miner and former union soldier with dreams of striking it rich has just
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frustrated miner charles bolton determined to exact revenge on the company that pushed him off his claim. he sets out on foot to scout wells fargo's stage routes. >> all over northern california, they were shipping lots of gold from one place to another. they had over 3,000 miles of stagecoach road. it was a big target for thieves. >> consumed by revenge, bolton breaks ties with his family, cuts himself off from the past and completely reinvents himself. he moved to san francisco, all the while nursing this anger, this hatred toward wells fargo. >> his time in the military has conditioned him physically and trained him strategically, but experiencing war has also given him an aversion to violence. >> i watched the stages in my home town.
the exact time they pass. i found them to be at the same spot every morning at 7:00 a.m. >> he comes up with a clever way to pull off a nonviolent highway robbery. it's called the breaker canon trick used in the revolutionary and civil wars that is named for the quakers who opposed violence. the trick uses strategically placed sticks made to look like guns to fool the enemy into believing they're facing a force much larger than they actually are. >> charles, once a law-abiding citizen with dreams of making an honest fortune, is about to become the west's most notorious bandit. losing out each month to highway robbers, wells fargo hires james hume, a detective with a reputation for solving difficult crimes. >> james hume chose to become a
kind of person who would never quit. he has an obsessive compulsive kind of desire to make things right. >> this is the beginning of the detective period when there's a robbery, they don't just get out there and look for horse tracks. it gets much more sophisticated. >> this is a bullet i pulled from his body. you see the markings on it? >> technology is starting to change as to how to track these guys down. this is what hume is really adept at. >> welcome to school, boys. welcome to school. >> because of men like hume, bowles is cautious. he uses a burlap sack to cover his face. he travels on foot, wrapping his feet in cloth to avoid leaving tracks. and to avoid violence, he never owned a gun.
>> a solid folly, boys. throw down the box. in that respect, i honor only the good office of wells fargo. i know what you're reaching for, friend. >> charles pokes sticks through the bushes so it appears there could be other guns around. >> just give him what he wants. >> he has his mask on, a duster on. he's got his gun pointing. he was an enigma, a very hard man to figure out. >> good day to you. thank you kindly.
>> bowles was thrilled. his plan for retribution against wells fargo was being carried out the way he intended. there was probably a level of bravado here such that he often looks forward to his next attempt. bowles makes his getaway over 120 miles through rugged terrain over the mountains, back to san francisco. where a transformation begins. >> charles bowles is a truly audacious criminal. after committed highway robbery, he returned to high society to hide in plain sight. he has the ingenuity to avoid capture by developing an alter ego and living within blocks of the target of his crimes. bowles' plan is a brilliant piece of criminal strategy. but it's also a risky one.
>> he now calls himself charles bolton and lives in san francisco posing as a successful gold prospector. >> charles bowles went by charles bolton because it sounds very sophisticated. it has a certain dignity associated with it. he is as comfortable living in the wilderness as in the city. >> yes, more sugar. >> circumstances compelled him. i yielded to the temptation of crime only after enduring years struggling of which i had no control. >> detective hume also lives in san francisco, and this recent string of robberies is testing his patience. >> gentlemen, our efforts up to this point have been unacceptable. >> making a mockery of us, and i will not stand for that.
>> hume begins to put together that this man is quite capable of covering long distances in between the robberies. he knows it's not multiple person jobs. this is a lone man. >> bowles is curious with diver interests. he takes odd jobs that pull him away from incity and give him access to new targets. >> he was trying just a little bit of everything. he tries teaching for a while, he was intelligent. he was sharp. >> a teacher. >> the preacher was serving. and the screecher is awfully strong. now let us turn to the case of summerfield and that glorious bandit black bart. >> incredibly well read. in addition to shakespeare and that kind of thing, he also reads the skraelt union, and in
the union paper is a story written by an attorney who has made up a character called barthol mew graham, or black bart. >> to get what he believes is owed to him, charles bowles transforms into black bart. his robberies are not only bold. they're executed with style and flair. >> that was the behavior, the demeanor. did he threaten you or take any of your personal belongings? >> no. left what's left of the cash box over there. >> bowles enjoys the challenge of the heist, and he's good at it. becoming confident in his skill and elusiveness, he leaves playful messages for wells fargo's detectives. >> labored long and hard for bread, for honor. but on my corner too long --
black bart. >> in this instance, bowles is able to taunt the authorities through the black bart poetry. yeah, i'm the guy who did it. catch me if you can. >> bowles now as the notorious black bart, continues to taunt the helpless wells fargo detectives. >> the condition can't be worse, and if there's money in the box, there's money in my purse. black bart. >> he's mocking me. he's mocking me. >> black bart's brash robberies and taunting poetry has gotten the attention of wells fargo's lead detective. a man as cunning and relentless as the bandit himself.
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are ridiculing james hume and wells fargo. they're becoming a joke. and so they're determined now to try and figure this out. and lots of pressure is coming from lots of different directions. >> i refuse to buy a romanticized image of black bart as fabricated by the press. he is a fraud who is robbing and hoodwinking a gullible public. >> what is it? >> we got him, sir. he's in your offer? >> who, bart? >> yes, sir. >> show me. show me! >> excuse me, sir. >> from 1875 to 1882, black bart holds up at least 20 wells fargo stagecoaches. >> that's him, chief. >> the giant transportation company is depending on detective hume to catch the
bandit and save its image. and now hume thinks he has his man. >> i'll be. the infamous black bart. >> ain't me. i was released from san quentin just yesterday. >> got release papers. >> hume is described as a combination pit bull and bloodhound, a relentless tracker determined to get his man, bt he's overworked. >> sir, it appears to be true. he was locked up during the robberies. >> in a rush to judgment, hume has gotten the wrong man. >> hume catches other guys, but he can't catch black bart. he's just too smart. and all this makes hume more determined. i'm going to catch this guy.
>> that ain't him. >> sir. sir, we got him, sir. >> who, bart? >> yes, sir. >> show me. show me! >> charles boles, aka black bart, is proving to be anlusive. and james hume is taking it personally. returning to his gentlemanly ways and scouting his next strike, boles is talking. >> no, no, i insist. you hit your mother lode of g d gold. >> boles began to expand his exploits beyond things related to wells fargo. he enjoyed the lifestyle, but that lifestyle is a high maintenance lifestyle financially and he had to have money to do it, so he continued to rob. >> driven by a growing taste of the good life, boles treks on
foot for four days, following the stagecoach routes through the wilderness, looking for a place to strike. now a seasoned outlaw, he knows how to keep himself strategically hidden, willing to endure a little hardship for a big payday. >> easy, boy. easy does it. keep those hands where i can see them. would you be so kind as to throw down that box? >> i'll get it right now for you, sir. >> easy boy. >> grazed by buckshot, black bart barely escapes a close call. but even a brush with death
isn't enough to stop him. >> i beg your pardon. i believe you have something coming. something in your hairline. >> oh, no. it's perfectly fine. would you please excuse me? >> mr. bolton. >> living a double life is difficult. >> mr. bolton. >> and it's only a matter of time. >> mr. bolton. hold it right there. >> before his secret is uncovered. no, like you haven't seen a bed in weeks! zzzquil. the non habit forming sleep-aid that helps you sleep easily and wake refreshed. because sleep is a beautiful thing. know how to pack uber flavor into ultra thin. sargento ultra thin slices, the same taste, just thinner and 45 calories a slice. that's 45 reasons to layer, fold,
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>> mr. bolton. mr. bolton. mr. bolton, hold it right there. >> what can i do for you, officer? >> we caught something making off with your coat. >> excellent work. excellent work. thank you very much, officer. >> i was never really afraid of the police. i knew them, they knew me and associated with good people. i never dreamed i was in the business of robbing stages. >> hume is making little progress. so wells fargo sends him re-enforcements. but even the toughest and smartest detectives struggle to keep pace with black bart. >> bart was armed, but he didn't
he robs five more coaches in a year, further embarrassing detective james hume and wells fargo in the process. >> as black bart continues his obsessive crime spree, public humiliation forces the wells fargo detectives to increase their efforts. bolting the strong box to the floor of the coaches. after a reward issued for his capture, black bart has every reason to disappear, but the lure of just one more robbery, too much. >> boles returns to a reliable spot for what should be an easy score. >> why do criminals return to the scene of the crime? there's a sense of super yoiori we're attracted back to the areas that also could cause problems for us. >> nothing could prepare boles for 19-year-old jimmy, a friend of the coach driver. who's hitched a ride into the
wilderness to hunt small game. he jumps off the stage and is armed with a .44 rifle just off the trail. >> slow down there. >> i can't. >> please. >> bolted to the floor. >> lucky for you i brought my tools. easy does it. we wouldn't want to spook the horses. now come down off that stage right now. start walking.
with guns blazing behind him, black bart beats a hasty retreat. leaving his dirty laundry behind for hume, who is more than happy to pick it up. >> what you got, hume? sunday dinners at my house... it's a full day for me, and i love it. but when i started having back pain, my sister had to come help. i don't like asking for help.
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mark fxo-7 and knows this was laundry marked. >> for boles, revenge has long been satisfied. now, his greed is turning to arrogance. >> after the last robbery, i walked over 100 miles to sacramento, got a new set of clothes and came back to the city. returning to my accustomed ways. >> black bart has become kind of a folk hero because of his modus apperandi. why can't you get this guy? you're the great james hume. >> all told, bart has lifted the modern equivalent of $1 million from the wells fargo coaches. but what black bart doesn't realize is he left behind something even more valuable,
his handkerchief. laundry companies mark clothes with a code that keeps the goods straight. that code is assigned to a customer, name, address, and occupation. >> this man must be found. >> hume decides we're going to have to track this laundry mark. >> take your men and leave no stone unturned. >> so they go to 93 different laundries in the san francisco area. >> can i help you? >> yes. >> that your mark? >> yes, that's our mark. from one of our customers. c.e. bolton, a local gold prospe prospector. >> hume and his detectives come up with a plan. >> the gentleman that knows the laundry mark belongs to bolton leads them to bolton's home. hume's detective convinces
bolton he is interested in mining for gold. >> how do you do? >> he said, hey, i got this other friend i would like to introduce you to. he brought him right into he said i have another person i am interested in. we have the out raws and he should have looked at that sign saying i'm going in there, no way. >> tempted by the prospect of a meeting, he allows his ego and greed to cloud his judgment. >> the word on the street is you are quite the successful gold prospector. tell me where are your mines located. >> i learned not to disclose too much information to a perfect stranger.
>> i would like you to meet detective james hume. >> after eight years of cat and mouse, the bandit and his tracker meet face-to-face for the first time. pecans and other delicious nuts specially mixed for people with hearts. i said people with hearts. because hearts health is important. that's why i've researched, optimized and packaged this mix just for you. not you. so if you have a heart, start optimizing your nutrition with my nutrition. planters. nutrition starts with nut. i would not say i'm into it. but let's see where this goes. [ buzzer ] do you like to travel? i'm all about "free" travel, babe. that's what i do. [ buzzer ] balance transfers -- you up for that? well -- unh. too soon? [ female announcer ] fortunately, there's an easier way, with creditcards.com.
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wells fargo detective james hume. the man he managed to elude for almost a decade. >> charles was taken back, but by this time he saw himself as bright and as witty as he could be and would be able to win them over. >> i would like you to meet detective james hume. mr. hume? >> how do you do? >> also known as black bart. from his highwayman and poet.
>> i had a premonition that this would happen today. >> he wanted them to know that it was him and to be able to tease and play with the people that have been chasing him and trying to get at this, it gave him pleasure. you do want somebody to know. >> on november 17th, 1883, the west's most notorious stagecoach bandit is sentenced to six years in san quentin prison. he signs in under yet another alias. tc spalding. after serving four years he is out on good behavior. reporters wait for his release.
>> you are going back to your life of robbing stagecoaches? >> no. i'm giving up my life of crime. >> you going back to writing poetry? did you hear me, son? i said i'm done committing crimes. >> charles e bowles, bolton, black bart, ez spalding. whatever the name, his nature and charismatic ways endear him to those in the west. one man rejects him to the gentlemen bandit and highway poet. >> aside from obtaining a livelihood, his career has been entirely and completely despicab despicable. >> when bowles is released, he returns to san francisco where
hume has him tailed. >> bowles was a smart guy. it is likely he knew that hume was following him. hume perhaps had a hunch that maybe bowles might return to his nepharious ways. >> black bart may be a notorious criminal, but far from the typical violent men of his time. his polite manner and witty poetry set him apart as a gentlemen bandit. in the streak of 28 stagecoach robberies, he never harms one person. >> awe yes. couldn't stay away, huh? the mask you are wearing now. >> despite his plane to be avenging a wrong unto his family, charles bowles never sends one dime home. revealing the truth about the
real man. in february, 1888, bowles and his alter ego black bart disappear for the last time, leaving behind a legacy of crime and a true legend of the real west. hello and welcome to justice. i'm judge janine. why are we fighting in iraq and afghanistan when even they don't have the will to fight? >> the iraqi forces showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered. they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight. >>a air strikes are effective, but neither they nor anything we do can substitute for