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tv   Legends Lies The Real West  FOX News  May 17, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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the surface of his charismatic charm, he's a desperate young man who survives long enough to become a legend of the real west. egends and lies, now. >> news is the first draft of history. it is peed yacht and takes place in real time. legends take longer to develop that are sometimes based on men. this fox news series looks at the truth behind the legend.
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>> easy, boys. easy does it. oo we wouldn't want to spook the horses. >> take that off your hands and be on your merry way.
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[music] >> thank you, sir. business must be good. >> it is, william. it is. ♪
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>> on the north american plains, opportunity calls men of courage to chase the sun west to a new frontier. they would shape a nation, lay hold of their destiny and birth a new technology. with the passing time every man has its reckoning. black bart, the name conjures images of a surlly stage coach robber and notorious bandit. a violent outlaw ready to kill. but behind every bandit stands a
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man, and behind every legend lies the truth. >> black brt is the most eccentric stage coach bandit in the history of the west. his story is unfamiliar with most of us. this gentlemen bandit never fires a single shot. he is a man driven by revenge that masks his identity. instead of leaving behind trails of blood he leaves behind verses of poetry. >> in 1848 gold is discovered in the foothills of the sierra madres. by 1849 tens of thousands of men known as the 4ers are swarming into northern california. one of those 49ers is an ambitious young man named
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charles bowles who convinces his brothers to join him on the gold rush. >> tlooings probably more up this way. >> charles and his brothers, they had been barn razors in new york, and none of them liked farming life. they couldn't wait to get out to the gold fields in california. >> can i get some help? is help, anybody. >> for many fortune seekers like the bowles brothers the hope of getting rich brings him to sacrifices. they camp in the river bed in squaller positions giving rise to cholera and typhoid which often resulted in death. >> johnny boy, come take a gander. >> are you kidding me? >> we got it. we got it. >> some strike it rich. but charles bowles is not as
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lucky. >> after months of mining, he not only fails to find gold, he loses both of his brothers to illness they contracted in camps. >> charles was devastated. he had been the one to truly want to come out to california. he felt guilty. he was a wrestless -- restless soul. that played heavily into the choices he made later in life. >> bowles heads back east wita a broken man eventually stopping in illinois where he takes a job on a farm and soon marries. on t >> on the one hand you have the adventure of searching for gold and perhaps making a fortune verses working on a farm that is harvesting and seeding that to him was not quite as attractive.
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>> frustrated with his farming lifestyle, bowles is haunted by the 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 bowles' life. he said he had an aversion to horses. when he enlisted in the military he volunteered for the infantry presumably so he wouldn't have
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to ride on a horse. >> his fear of horses is triggered by a fall, but still he doesn't let his fear hamper his service to the union. >> what you might not expect is that charles bowles is a several war soldier wounded while fighting he returns to battle and it is even with general sherman on his brutal march to the sea. >> to march with sherman's army you certainly are fit. >> he was very demanding of his soldiers. and being able to understand what trails will get you where, what trails could be easily ambushed and therefore you set up defenses for them at the proper places, that would be a value to someone who later becomes known as black bart. >> after two years of panning for other miners bowles is
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finally able to stake his own clap to a riverside plot essure will make his sacrifice worth it. as word spreads the competition for claims increases. >> good day to you, sir. the usual, please. >> better be three things. >> mr. wells and mr. far go, he just bought me out. >> seems like they aim to buy the whole territory. >> large companies rush to capitalize on local strikes and eliminate the competition buying up businesses and all of the land surrounding successful plains. >> there was mining going on in successful areas. he in claims where he was in competition with other people
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also setting up claims and there was a lot of violence occurring around him. >> mr. bowles. >> welcome, gentlemen. what can i do for you? >> we would 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 just as soon as the water comes up. good day. >> it would be a shame if it didn't. >> wells far go fargo is alread has a new mining town in idaho, utah and montana. rumors they plan to go into the mining business makes bowles suspicious. just days after he receives an
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offer for his claim, the water supply dries up. bowles is convinced it is no coincidence. >> what wells far go did is divert the stream from which bowles from which he was panning the gold he was forced to abandon his gold mine. >> for charles bowles the montana claim is likely his best chance for success. but when the water slows his claim becomes worthless. many historians believe that this is the moment he sets his sight on wells fargo making the company out to be responsible for his miss fortune. >> the hard-working miner and former youth soldier with dreams of striking it rich has just made a bold decision to exact
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>> narrator: in the summer of 1818, charles boles 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. >> narrator: consumed by revenge, boles breaks ties with his family, cuts himself off from his past, and completely reinvents himself. >> he moved to san francisco, all the while, nursing this anger, this hatred toward wells fargo. >> narrator: boles's time in the military conditioned him and trained him strategically, but experiencing war has also given him an aversion to violence. >> i've watched the stages from the second cabinet far from my
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home camp to ascertain the exact time they pass. i found them to be at the same spot every morning at 7:00 a.m. >> boles comes up with a clever way to pull off a non-violent highway robbery. it's called a breaker cannon trick. used in the revolution and civil wars, that is name for the quakers. who like boles oppose violence. the trick uses strategically from my home camp and ascertained the exact time they passed. >> the trick uses sticks made to look like guns to fool the enemy into believingad they aree facia force much larger than they actually are. >> charles bowles once a law abiding citizen with dreams of making an honest fortune is about to become the west's most notorious bandit. >> losing thousands each month the highway robbers, we wells fargo hires james hume a detective who solves crimes.
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>> he choose to become the 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 detectty period when there's a robbery you don't get out there using horse tracks it gets much more sophisticated. >> this is what hume is really adept at. >> welcome to school, boys. >> because of men like hume he is cautious. he uses a burlap bag to cover his face. he covers his feet to avoid leaving tracks and to avoid violence, he never loads his
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gun. >> if he dare shoot, give him a solid volley, boys. >> take down the box. >> i have no desire of your money. >> in that respect i honor only the good office of wells far go. throw down the box. >> he has guns poked through the bushes to make it look like there are others around. he had a gun pointed. he was an enigma. he was a hard man to figure out. >> thank you, kindly.
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>> bowles was thrilled. his plan for retribution against wells far go was being carried out the way he intended. there was probably a level of brav have aed bravado here than used for his next attempt. >> he makes a get away 120 miles through rugged terrain back to san francisco where a transformation begins. >> charles bowles is a truly awed dash sho audacious crimina. after committing highway robbery he returns to high society to hide in plain sight. he has the ingenuity to avoid capture by making a altar ego living within blocks of his crimes. it is a brilliant piece of
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criminal strategy but it is also a risky one. >> he now calls himself charles bolton and lives in san francisco posing as a successful gold prospect tore and socialite. >> charles boles went by charles bolton because it sounds sophisticated. it has a certain dignity associated with it. he is as comfortable living in the wilderness as he is in the city. >> yes, sir. >> circumstances compel me. i yielded to the temptation of crime only after enduring severe struggles from 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. he is making a mockery of us.
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i won't stand for that. >> hume puts together this man is quite capable of covering long distances in between the robberies. he knows it is not a multiple person job that this is a lone man. >> bowles is curious with diverse interests. he takes odd jobs that pull him away from the city and give him access to targets. >> he was trying just a bit of everything. he tried school teaching for a while which would have been a natural for him. he was intelligent. he was sharp. >> the teacher taught, the preacher... now it has turned into a case of summerfield and the notorious bandit black bart. >> he is incredibly well read. in addition to shakespeare and that kind of thing he read the
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union paper, it's a story written by an attorney who does make up his character named bartholomew grant or black bart. oo to get what he agrees is owed him he transforms himself into black bart. his robberies are not only bold, they are executed with style and flair. >> his behavior and demeanor, did he threaten you or take any personal belongings? >> no, sir, he was polite. that's what is left of the cash box over there. >> bowles enjoys the challenge of the heist and he's good at it. becoming confident in his school and elusiveness he leaves playful messages for wells far -- wells fargo detectives. >> i worked hard for uses but in my corn too long you've tried
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sons of bitches. >> black bart. >> he was able to taunt the authorities through the black bart poetry. i am the guy who did it, catch me if you can. >> bowles known as the notorious black bart continues to taunt the wells fwells fargo detectives. >> if there's money in that box there's money in my purse. black bart. >> he is mocking me. he is mocking me! >> black bart's robberies and taunting poetry has gotten the attention of wells fargo's lead detective a man as cunning as the bandit himself.
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just stay calm and move asno sudden movements.. google search: bodega beach house. >> narrator: in the new west, mining towns like san francisco morphed into financial >> business is booming for most. wells fargo and company is suffering a failing reputation. >> wells fargo is putting more and more pressure on hume. newspapers are having a field day. there were lots and lots of articles about who is this black bart and people are ridiculing
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both james hume and wells fargo. they are becoming a joke and so they are determined now to try to figure this out. lots of pressure is coming from lots of different directions. >> i refuse to buy a romanticized image of black bart by the press. he is a fraud who is robbing a gullible bub -- public. >> we got him, sir, he's in your office. >> who, bart? >> yes, sir. >> show me. show me. >> excuse me, sir. >> from 1875 to 1882 black bart holds up at least 20 wells fargo stage coaches. >> that's him, chief. >> the giant transportation company is depending on detective hume to catch the bandit and save his image.
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now hume thinks he has his man. >> bob baker the infamous black bart. >> ain't me. i was released from san quinton just yesterday. >> hume is described as a combination pit bull and blood houped. he is a relentless tracker determined to get his man. but he's over worked. >> sir, it appears to be true. he was locked up during the robberies. >> in a rush for judgment hume has gotten the wrong man. >> hume catches other guys but he can't catch black bart. he is just too smart. this makes humor determined, i am going to catch this guy.
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>> sir, sir, we got him, sir. >> who? >> black bart. >> he is proving to be an bandi. and james hume is taking it personally. returning to his gentlemanly ways and scouting his next strike, bowles over hears talk of a coach that will be carrying 23,000 dollars. >> oh, no, no, no. i insist. when you hit your mother load of gold you pick up the check my friends. >> bowles began to expand exploits beyond those related to wells fargo. he enjoyed his lifestyle. but the lifestyle is a high maintenance lifestyle financially and he had to have money to do it. he continued to rob. >> driven by a growing taste for the good life bolwles tracks on
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foot for four-days following the stage coach 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 boys. easy does it. keep those hands where i can see them. would you be so kind as to throw down that box. >> i will get it right down for you, sir. >> easy boys. >> grazed by a buck shot he barely escaped the close call but even a brush with death
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isn't enough to stop him. >> i beg your pardon. i believe you have something coming from beneath your hairline. >> oh, no, no, no. it is perfectly fine. would you please excuse me. >> mr. bolton. >> living a double life is difficult. >> mr. bolton. >> it is only a matter of time. >> mr. bolton. hold it right there. >> before his secret is uncovered. ...this isn't that car. the first and only car with direct adaptive steering. ♪ the 328 horsepower q50,
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medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. in a take time for sunday.d... just know that your truck... has a little thing for monday. >> narrator: in san francisco, a miner takes revenge on a company he believes stole his claim, wells fargo. living under the nose of local police, charles boles engages in a dangerous game of dual identity. notorious stagecoach bandit by day -- >> would you please excuse me. >> narrator: high high society gentlemen by night. >> mr. bolton. mr. bolton.
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mr. bolton. hold it right there. >> what can i do for you, officer? >> they caught someone making off with your coat. >> excellent work. excellent work. thank you very much, officer. >> i was never really afraid of the police officers. i knew many of them and they knew me to be the man associated with good people. i nev they never dreamed i was in the business of robbing the stake coach -- stage coaches. >> hume is making a little progress so wells fargo brings in reinforcements. >> even the best detectives struggle to keep pace with bart.
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>> bart was armed but he didn't shoot back. >> nope. not his style. >> no horse back. >> he goes on fo-- he escaped o foot. >> well, he can't walk forever. >> don't suppose so. ♪ >> charles bowles lives in the privilege life of c.e. bolton feeding his appetite for extravagance and excitement.
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he robs five more coaches in a year further embarrassing detective james hume and wells fargo in the process. >> as he continues his crime spree public humiliation forces the wells fargo detectives to increase efforts bolting the boxes to the floor of the coaches. after a reward is issued for his capture black bart has every reason to disappear. but the lure of just one more robbery is too much for bart to resist. >> boles returns to a reliable spot punk hill for what should be an easy score. >> why does a criminal return to the scene of the crime? familiarity and the flame analogy we are tracking back to the areas that also could cause some problems for us. >> but nothing could prepare bowles for 19-year-old jimmy rolary a friend of the krooidrio
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hitched a ride in the wilderness to hunt fair game. he jumped off the stage is and is armed with a rifle just off the trail. >> throw down that box. >> i can't. >> please. >> it is bolted to the floor. >> it's lucky for you i brought my tools. >> easy does it. you wouldn't want to spook the horses. now come down off that stage, friend, and start walking.
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>> the last time bowles was shot it stopped him from if graing the gold so they didn't give chase. now with 5,000 dollars of wells fargo's money he knows he is a dead man if they catch up to him.
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>> with guns blazing behind him he beats the hasty retreat. leaving his dirty laundry behind for hume who is more than happy to pick it up. >> what you got, hume? >> (mom) when our little girl was born, we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever.
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>> after 28 robberies and two bullets, charles bowles is on the run again. for years he dodged james hume under the alias black bart. >> what you got, hume? >> fresh signs. >> when james discovered the handkerchief he was delighted. as he examines it, he sees the
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mark fxo 7, and knows this was in fact lawn droe martz. >> bowles revenge has long been satisfied. now his greed is turning to error. >> after the last problem rei walked over 100 miles to somebodying krement toe got a new suit of clothes and came back to the city returning to my accustomed ways. >> black bart had become kind of a folk hero because of his modus operandi. hume feeling pressure why can't you get this guy. you are the great james hume. >> bolt has lifted the modern equivalent of $1 million from the wells far go coaches. what black bart doesn't realize he left something behind even more valuable, his hander chief.
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>> laundry companies mark clothes with the code to keep the goods straight. that code is assigned to a customer, name, address and occupation. >> this man must be found. >> we are going to have to track this laundry mart. >> take your man and leave no stone unturned. >> they go to 93 different laundries in the san francisco . can i help you? >> yes. >> is that your mark? >> yes, that's our mark from one of our customers. >> ce bolton. he's a local gold prospect tore. >> hume and his detective come up with a plan. >> the ygentlemen that knows th laundry mart leads them to bolton's home. hume convinces bolton that he is
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interested in mining for gold. >> how do you do? >> he said say i got this other friend i would like to introduce you to. he walked him right into the wells fargo office. we talk about the outlaws who make one bad mistake. he should have looked at the wells fargo sign and said, i ain't going in there, no way. >> tempted by the pros security of a me-- prospect that could b him more wealth he let's his ego and greed cloud his judgment. >> the word is you are quite a sus successful gold pros security. >> where are your mines, sir? >> it is one thing i have learned not to disclose too much information to a perfect
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stranger. >> mr. bolted ton, i would like you -- mr. bolton i would like you to meet detective james hume. >> the bandit and his tenacious tracker meet face to face for the first time. >> stay calm and move as quietly as possible. bodega beach house. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these occasional digestive issues... with 3 types of good bacteria. live the regular life. phillips'
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>> november 18, '83 the most successful stage coat bandit in history black bart is faced with
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wel wells fargo detective james hume. the man he has been able to elude for almost a decade. >> charles is taken back. but i think at this time he saw himself as bright and as witty as he could be, and would be able to win them over. >> mr. bolton. i would like you to meet detective james hume. mr. hume? c.e. bolton gold contractor. >> how do you do? >> also known as black bart. the infamous highway man and poet.
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>> i had premonition that this would happen today. aren't you the lucky one. >> charles bolton wanted them to know that it was him, and to be able to tease and to play with the people that had 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 stage coach bandit is sentenced to 16 years in san quinton. he signs in as yet another alias tc spaulding. after serving four years without incident he is out on good behavior. reporters wait for his release.
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>> black bart, are you going back to your life of robbing stage coaches? >> no. i have given up my life of crime. >> are you going to go back to writing poetry? >> did you hear me, son? i said i am done committing crimes. >> charles e. bowls, bolton, black bart, tc spaulding, whatever the name, his polite nature and charismatic ways endear him to many in the west. one man rejects the romantic notion of a gentlemen bandit or highway poet. >> aside from the criminal manner of attending a livelihood his roy rear has been entirely and completely despicable. >> when boles is released he returns to san francisco where hume has him tailed. >> bolt was a pretty sma-- bowl
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was a smart guy. it was likely he knew that hume waudz following him. hume perhaps had a lunhunch tha maybe bolwles might return to hs nefarious ways. >> black bart may be a notorious criminal but far from the men of his time. his polite manner and witty poetry set him apart from a gentlemen bandit. in his 28 stage coach robbies he never harms one person. >> couldn't stay away. >> despite his claim to be avenging a wrong unto his family by wells fargo, charles bolwles never sends one dime home revealing the truth about the real man. in february 18, '
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in, february 18, '88 he leaves behind legends of his crime and the true west. >> this young man stopped the tanks in tiananmen square. >> some americans have done similar things. >> reached abuse so you would not have to do this. >> this year in baltimore just who was being abused. >> you are you watching this? >> if you hate what authorities are doing what should you do? did he do the right thing? is my brother doing the right thing? >> people cheese for money. >> is this raise enfarmer doing the right thing? >> then wanted to take my raisins. i said no. >>


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