Her daddy was a bankrobber but he never hurt nobody.
Today let’s talk about Willy Sutton, It’s the kind of thing I think a body should know about. When asked why he robbed banks he replied “because that’s where the money is”. Thats the title of his autobiography, though I doubt he actually penned it himself. You never know who you’re talking to- get it? Well, you know me. Once you start lying about your name it’s all fair game.
Willy Sutton was born William Francis Sutton, Jr. on June 30, 1901. He turned to crime at an early age, though throughout his professional criminal career, he did not kill anyone. Born in the neighborhood of Irishtown, Brooklyn, currently called Vinegar Hill which even though I have lived in Brooklyn for going on 25 years now i have never heard of. This borough is vast. He lived until 1980 which means I could have met him! I never did but maybe I’ll make up that story later. During his forty-year criminal career he stole an estimated $2 million, and eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison though he escaped three times! The first two using spoons and his finger nails to dig tunnels, some reaching more than half a mile! The third time he dressed up in a prison guard uniform, started climbing the wall yelling “It’s ok! I got him!” took off, got away, then started robbing banks again.
He was always a gentleman, witty and non-violent. He made Jesse James and John Dillinger look like amateurs claimed Albert Anastasia a name which might mean something to some of you. In February 1952, Sutton escaped from the Philadelphia County Prison but was captured by police after having been recognized on a subway platform and followed by Arnold Schuster, a 24-year-old Brooklyn clothing salesman and amateur detective. Schuster later appeared on television and boasted how he had assisted in Willy’s apprehension. Schuster was later found shot dead outside his home on March 9, 1952 with the word “squealer” carved into his forehead.
Sutton, in the slammer at the time of Schuster’s unfortunate accident, was again convicted and sentenced to 30 to 120 years in Attica State Prison. He was released in 1969 for good behavior and health concerns. Oddly enough he went on to have an endorsement deal with The New Britain Bank and Trust Company of Connecticut. In television and radio spots he would walk into the financial office ask “Do you know who I am?” and then flash a credit card with a smile.
Sutton died in 1980 at the age of 79; spending his last years living with his sister in Spring Hill, Florida.
His purported last words were:
“Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I’d be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that’s all.”
He just loved to live that way and he loved to steal your money.
running up to it and kissing it on the mouth,
The World/Inferno Friendship Society
October 25, 2016
We study play because life is crap. Life is crap, and it’s full of pain and suffering, and the only thing that makes it worth living — the only thing that makes it possible to get up in the morning and go on living — is play. Art and play.