Buried treasure exists. You only have to watch those Discovery Channel programs to know it’s true. Whether it is gold from a sunken Spanish galleon or gold stolen by robbers in a bank heist, it’s out there.
Stories of hidden gold exist in Oklahoma, too! Whether it’s gold left by Spanish explorers, gold left by bank robbers in the wild and woolly pre-Statehood days, or… gold buried and forgotten by Depression-era robbers like Pretty Boy Floyd.
And speaking of Pretty Boy Floyd… This notorious bank robber focused his attention on small banks in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. He had hideouts throughout the northcentral and northeastern parts of this state. And I’ve taken the liberty of placing one of those hideouts in Osage County, at Osage Hills State Park, the setting of my newest mystery, Beehives.
Many of the Depression-era gangsters began their lives of crime as ‘moonshiners,’ making illegal whiskey during the years of Prohibition. When the authorities cracked down on the making and selling of moonshine, these people turned to robbing banks, using an automatic weapon known as a Tommie gun.
Floyd was a member of the Cookson Hills Gang. He had a cult following, particularly around the area of Sallisaw, OK, where he once lived. (He lived for a brief time in Tulsa, too.) Besides his nickname of Pretty Boy, he was known as the Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills because he often gave money and food to those in need (after he robbed a bank or armored car.)
Although badly injured in a gun battle with the authorities in 1932 in Bixby, his life of crime continued until he was killed in a shoot-out with the FBI in Ohio in 1934.
But, Floyd could have had a hideout in the Osage Hills. And he could have hidden money there, right?
All will be revealed in my next mystery, Beehives, available SOON!!