|Eugene Bunch, Gentleman Train Robber|
|Eugene Bunch (AKA Capt. J. F. Gerard)
Born in Mississippi, Eugene Bunch was a well educated teacher and editor, who turned to train robbery to make his fortune. Bunch was a mild-mannered man, standing 6 feet, with clear blue eyes. He earned his living as a teacher in Louisiana and later moved to Gainesville, Texas, where he edited the local newspaper. He and a few other bandits robbed trains in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas in 1888, at the time the more celebrated Burrow gang was robbing trains almost every month. Introducing himself as Captain J. F. Gerard to train passengers, Bunch politely tipped his hat to ladies, while refusing to take their purses, and he was just as gentlemanly when taking the wallets of male train passengers. When standing inside Express Cars, he spoke quietly to the messengers, telling them in a soft, mellifluous voice that if they did not open the safes in their custody, they would have their "brains blown out." Bunch reportedly stole more than $30,000 from six trains he robbed in 1888-1892.
In November, 1888, Bunch robbed a New Orleans and Northwestern train of $10,000. His biggest haul was in 1892, when he stopped a train near New Orleans and took $20,000.
Shortly after this robbery, Pinkerton detectives tracked Bunch to a swamp near Franklin, Louisiana and, on August 21, 1892, shot and killed him and his cohorts.
Lawmen and Outlaws by Jay Robert Nash