Hear the story of the Kimes brothers, the nation’s first celebrity bank robbers during the 1920s and 1930s, from local resident Greg Shepard. He will be sharing their tale at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the Allen Public Library.
Greg first heard of Matt and George Kimes in 1985 while talking about family history with his grandfather. After the passing of his mother in 2011, Greg renewed his efforts to write his family history and rediscovered the Kimes brothers and their incredible story. The resulting historical novel, Earthstains, was published in 2015.
In recounting the tale of these Oklahoma criminals and relatives from his father’s side of the family, Greg notes, “I did my very best to keep it as historically accurate as possible. I didn’t try to make excuses for their bad behavior.
Sociological trends were altered after World War I. Children were no longer necessarily assuming the occupations of their parents and their values. The Kimes Brothers, Bonnie and Clyde, and Dillinger Gang were representative of sociopaths who had an uncanny ability to commit crimes, avoid apprehension by the law, and escape jails.
After successful bank heists, George and Matt Kimes were captured by a posse of local men a few miles southwest of Rudy, Arkansas, and were brought back to Sallisaw, Oklahoma, to face trial. George received 25 years imprisonment and Matt was given 35 years. The latter appealed the decision and, upon a retrial, received a life sentence. Neither would serve their full sentence though. Learn the rest of their exciting story at the Allen Public Library.
Greg Shepard lives in Allen, TX, with his wife of 45 years and the couple has six children and 15 grandchildren. In addition to being a passionate Allen Eagles football fan, Greg is student of American history and enjoys researching stories that have been lost in the annals of time.
Sponsored by the library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214.509.4911 for more information.