Tag Archives: Santa Claus Bank Robbery

The Santa Claus Bandits


Site of Ratliff’s Lynching

This post originally appeared at both the now defunct Home of Heroics site and Adventures Fantastic in December 2011. I’ve updated it a bit and reprinted it. I feel it’s a better fit here than either of the other two venues. As I mention later, this story was adapted for radio in the 1950s. I recently heard it broadcast again, so I thought I would dust this post off and reprint it.

Four men robbed the First National Bank in Cisco, Texas on Friday, December 23, 1927. The men were Marshall Ratliff, Henry Helms, Robert Hill, and Helm’s brother-in-law, Louis E. Davis. The men started from Wichita Falls, in Northwest Texas. They chose the bank in Cisco because Ratliff’s mother once ran a cafe there, and he knew the city. To keep from being recognized, Ratliff wore a Santa suit into the bank.   Continue reading