The Notorious Perkins Gang: Part 2

Larry Wood

Larry Wood

By: 
LARRY WOOD ◆ OZARKS HISTORY

(Editor’s note: Part one of this column was published in the Feb. 28 edition of the Daily Record.)
 
The arrest of Remus Perkins in the spring of 1934 for robbing the Bank of Grandin in February did not halt the Perkins gang or slow the outbreak of bank heists that had plagued south-central Missouri since early in the year.
 
On May 3, a single bandit went into the Bank of Raymondville in Texas County and took about $150. He fled in a waiting automobile, driven by a tall getaway man.
 
Then on May 10, the Bank of Mill Springs in the southwest corner of Wayne County was held up. The three men who pulled off the job forced the cashier to accompany them in a Ford sedan before releasing him about a mile outside town.
 
On June 21, an automobile accident involving the Perkins gang occurred near Columbia, Illinois. Gang leader Olin “Bish” Perkins received serious injuries in the accident, and new recruit John Biggs was killed. Perkins was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis and guarded as a suspect in the Mill Springs robbery, because a set of stolen Missouri license plates found in the wrecked vehicle had been used in the Mill Springs job. A third passenger, Claude Dickerson, was only slightly injured in the wreck, and he was held as Olin Perkins’s suspected partner in the Mill Springs and Raymondville capers. Another suspected accomplice of Olin Perkins on the Missouri bank jobs, Eugene Goodman, was not in the wreck.
 
Texas County officials brought Dickerson back to Houston to answer for the Raymondville robbery and lodged him in the county jail.
 
Interviewed in the hospital while he was recuperating, Olin Perkins gave his home as Newburg, Missouri, even though he’d never actually lived there. He had relatives there and occasionally visited Newburg, but he lived the first few years of his life in the nearby Dixon area. When he was about eight, the family moved to Eminence, where Olin went to high school.
 
On the Fourth of July, Eugene Goodman, who’d grown up in the Eminence area with Olin Perkins, broke Claude Dickerson out of the Texas County jail by getting the drop on a deputy sheriff and forcing him to hand over the keys to Dickerson’s cell. The pair then escaped in a vehicle Goodman had driven to the scene.
 
 
For the complete article, see the Tuesday print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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