The Union Pacific Mail Train Robbery Part 3 - The Manhunt and Capture

After the robbery, the eight men and Edna Nagley split up. Each had their own way of avoiding capture and suspicion from detectives. For over two months, postal inspectors conducted a manhunt for the elusive culprits of the Union Pacific No. 4 Mail Train Robbery.

The Manhunt

On August 23, five of the bandits made it to Salt lake City to discuss dividing up the foot, which had been buried by Bradford. Unknown to the bandits, Kearns had been arrested three days prior and confessed to his crimes. However, he claimed to not know of the other' whereabouts.

By August 21, Theodore had become increasingly worried about Edna Nagley's stress-induced drinking after the crime. She was sent to Salt Lake City to meet with the others. Upon her arrival, she asked for assistance with her bags from a man who happened to be Railway Special Agent John Gale. Edna was arrested on August 22. She led inspectors to Bradford and verified Madigan's involvement.

Madigan was taken into custody on August 24 by Inspectors Dutton, J.B. Robertson, and R.H. Robertson. After being confronted with irrefutable evidence. Madigan confessed to his involvement and helped lead inspectors to the locations of Barnett and Bradford.

The Manhunt Cont.

Bradford was arrested for August 28. He waited two days to confess. But once he did, he listed the names of those involved. On August 31, Theodore was arrested. The weapons, flashlights, and masks worn during the robbery were found in his possession.

On September 10, Barnett was discovered after his roommate (and fellow criminal) Mickey Watson reported his location in exchange for reward. A tip from a fellow criminal also led to Kamariotis' discovery. He was taken into custody on September 15, leaving on fugitive at large -- Raymond "Kid" Ellis. Ellis remained on the run until October 16, when a bank in Marysville, Kansas, was robbed. The assailant fit Ellis' description. He was arrested the same day and confessed to the train and bank robberies.

After two months, the manhunt for nine culprits ended.

Capture and Punishment

By October 1926, all culprits were arrested. All but $100 of the $245,000 stolen had been recovered.

The trial began on December 13, 1926. Bradford and Ellis pleaded guilty and testified for the government. Barnett, Kamariotis, Kearns, and Madigan retracted their original confessions. The jury began deliberation on December 22, 1926. After only an hour, the jury returned with a guilty verdict for all nine of the convicted. Sentences were given on December 29, 1926:
- Kearns and Kamariotis received 27 years.
- Barnett received 25 years.
- Bradford received 12 years.
- Sourlukos received 11 years and 6 months.
- Theodore received 11 years.
- Ellis received 8 years.
- Edna Nagley received one year in county jail.


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