John Harvey Bailey (John Harvey Bailey)

John Harvey Bailey

Bank Robber. Harvey started his criminal career as a bootlegger. Then graduated to robbing banks, In 1929, small-time crook Tony Serpa was the only man convicted in the Rochester robbery. He served 11 years. Many believe the heist was masterminded by Harvey Bailey. Harvey, called the “dean of American bank robbers,” was a staple of a loose affiliation of bandits and burglars—sometimes known as the “Holden-Keating gang”—who made the Midwest bank-robbing rounds throughout the 1920s. Harvey used St. Paul as a home base for money laundering. Harvey was suspected in the Great Denver Mint Robbery of 1922, in which five men, with sawed-off shotguns blazing, snatched $200,000 in new five-dollar bills in a “daring daylight raid.” Bailey’s gang robbed a pair of Minnesota banks—the Bank of Sturgis in 1928, the Bank of Willmar in 1930—and a half dozen more in Iowa and Indiana. In 1930, bandits (by all accounts Bailey) stole $2.7 million from the Lincoln National Bank and Trust in Nebraska, the largest bank robbery at the time. Harvey was said to have robbed at least two banks a year, in his 12 year spree. In 1933 Harvey was sent to Leavenworth, he was transferred to Alcatraz on September 1, 1934. He was returned to Leavenworth in 1946 and transferred in 1960 to Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, where he remained until he was released on March 30, 1964. In 1966 he married and retired as a cabinet making a trade he picked up as a boy, and resumed while in prison. Harvey was 91 years old when he died. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Spouse:  Esther Mary Bailey (1888 – 1979)* *Calculated relationship


  • August, 23, 1887
  • USA


  • March, 03, 1979
  • USA


  • Forest Park Cemetery
  • Missouri
  • USA

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