“Wooden” You Know It?

Orville wasn’t exactly the spitting image of a 1920’s gangster. He didn’t own a gun, he didn’t tote around a violin case, and he didn’t wear a pinstriped double-breasted suit. He rarely left his house except to put in his eight hours at work, five days a week. He was happily married and had two children.

What he did have was a limp. A hunting accident when he was young cost him his leg. Ever since he was thirteen he had worn a wooden leg.

He made $4.00 a day along with a $20.00 monthly bonus. Although he had an engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines, he was a longtime valued and trusted employee at the Denver Mint.

coin collecting Dayton, oH

Denver Mint 1920’s

Over a five-month period he managed to steal fifty-three gold bars. He carried them out of the Mint in his hollowed out wooden leg. Adjusted for inflation that would be equivalent to more than $828 million.

He was stopped at the end of his shift one night and confronted about the missing gold. Orville admitted his guilt, saying that he buried the bars in his backyard garden. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. And so the first great Denver Mint robbery was solved.

When Orville’s house was torn down thirty years later so a new highway could be built, many people did a whole lot of metal detecting in his backyard, hoping to find a missed golden bar. None were found!

Friday, February 24th, 2017 Uncategorized