Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI's Most Elusive Criminals
Dane Batty. Nish Publishing (www.nishpublishing.com), $15.95 trade paper (211p) ISBN 978-0-615-26845-3
Will readers will share in the author's enthusiasm for his career criminal relative, who robbed almost 30 banks from the 1970s to the 1990s across the United States, as well as escaping from jail? Batty's account of his uncle, Leslie Ibsen Rogge, is cobbled together from interviews and letters written by Rogge. And while some anecdotes about him may have garnered laughs at family get-togethers, they are likely to leave readers cold. Batty minimizes the harm Rogge caused. Not only did his victims suffer substantial financial loss, but those he threatened to kill felt real terror, even if Rogge never actually resorted to violence. Rather than presenting a balanced account of his uncle's life, the author simply repeats what a nice guy Rogge is and how his friends stood by him even when they learned of his crimes. While some lack of balance is to be expected, Batty goes too far—even criticizing the FBI for interviewing people after those people had spoken to the fugitive.
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011
Release date: 06/01/2010