9/17/1930 - Two master criminals prove their prowess by taking down the Lincoln National Bank and Trust Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. Planned down to the second for weeks by bank robbers Harvey Bailey and Eddie Bentz, at 10:00 in the morning a large blue Buick containing six heavily armed men pulls up in front of the Barkley Building.
One man staying with the car and keeping its engine running, one man covering the outside activities of the locals by standing on the corner with a machine gun, with guns drawn four members of the robber team enter the bank and quickly scoop up cash and securities in the neighborhood of $2,700,000 ... the largest robbery in the history of the country up to that time. Pros! The robbery is planned so well that even though a teller flees out a side door and immediately calls the police, and a passing motorcycle officer is convinced to move on after having a machine gun pointed at his head (moving on directly to the nearby police station), by the time two patrol cars full of cops arrive they are all too late ... the gang is gone in less than ten minutes; helped to speed away from the scene of the crime by having their getaway car enhanced by a siren that causes the local traffic to move out of the way as the outlaws make their way out of the city.
In the aftermath of the robbery the local police chief loses his job, two shift new police cars are purchased by the city, outlaws Tommy O'Connor and "Pop" Lee are eventually arrested and sentenced to long prison terms, and Jack Britt is tried twice and eventually let go for lack of evidence. But it is robber Gus Winkler who pays the biggest price. Free lancing from being a hitman for Al Capone (he is believed to be one of the killers that participates in the St. Valentines Day Massacre), with the heat on Winkler makes arrangements to escape prosecution by returning $575,000 in securities ... a decision that draws the wrath of Capone, who kept from his cut of the proceeds, has Winkler put into Lake Michigan leaking from 109 pieces of buckshot in his body.
Never given up by members of their gang, only Bailey and Bentz avoid any repercussions for the huge payday!