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Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI's Most Elusive Criminals Paperback – June 30, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leslie Rogge is an island in the stream of spell binding ultimates, a place where wild men playfully challenge the system, a place where desperado winds swirl a thousand lifetimes into a breeze." --George Jung, subject of book and movie “Blow” and author of “Grazing in the Grass until the Snow Came”

"Wanted" is, simply, a blast: funny, self-aware, amazingly informative about bank robbery, boats, cars, planes and -- far from least -- human nature.
Jesse Kornbluth 9-20-10 Head Butler

From the Author

Reader Views Literary Award Finalist for 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Nish Publishing Company; 1st edition (June 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615268455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615268453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the kind of true crime story that you seldom get to read since it is essentially written by the perp himself, and perps usually don't bother putting their tale to print because convicted felons by law can't benefit financially from their stories.

I say "essentially" since onetime top ten most wanted criminal, "gentleman" bank robber Leslie Ibsen Rogge's writings have been organized, edited and annotated by his--let's face it--adoring nephew Dane Batty. Batty writes an intro, and comes on page from time to time to give some information or to set a scene amidst the fascinating narrative written by Rogge. I read the book in two settings. More devoted true crime readers will stay up until two in the morning and do it in one setting!

So here we have a guy who has several gifts. Obviously he has the gift of gab and is really a first class con artist as he proves again and again by talking people into doing things they normally would never do. Rogge is especially good at negotiating "deals" with cars, boats, house trailers--anything that can be traded or resold. He talks one idiot into helping him escape for a promise of $50,000 that Rogge says he has buried in California and will send to him (right). He talks his way across borders and out of scrapes and into the hearts of strangers. But he saves his best spiel for bank managers--always female, by the way, since Rogge realized (correctly) that they are less likely to feel the urge to play hero and try to stop the robbery in progress. His MO was to call ahead and arrange a meeting with the bank manager. He would arrive in a nice neat suit and tie with a fancy briefcase, sit down, take out a robbery note and hand it to the manager.
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Format: Paperback
In two days, a breath of fresh air is hitting the true crime book shelves in the form of debut author Dane Batty's Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI's Most Elusive Criminals.

Batty has spent a great deal of time promoting his book and I'd been keeping a watch on other's reviews, thinking it was a story I was interested in. So when Batty offered to send me an advanced reader's copy for review, I willingly accepted.

But you never know what you're going to get with first time authors. Often they have an excellent story to tell, just not much of a knack for telling it.

That is NOT the case here.

Batty doesn't actually tell Leslie Rogge's story; he has an inside scoop since Rogge is his maternal uncle.

Rogge tells his own story with a few commentaries from Batty thrown in for a relative's point-of-view.

And, let me tell you, Rogge may be a guy who stole an estimated $2 million in his career as a bank robber, but the guy sure knows how to tell a story.

Rogge skips all the childhood memories and delves right into his days of ripping off banks in a very gentlemanly fashion.

He never used violence to get the cash. His crimes involved no high speed chases.

No, they were about as lax as you're going to see with this serious of a crime.

When Rogge wasn't "sticking it to the man," he was sailing the world with his wife, Judy - who at first was oblivious to Rogge's source of income.
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Format: Paperback
"Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber" carries a subtitle so long it almost announces that the book is self-published: "The True Story of Leslie Ibsen Rogge, One of the FBI's Most Elusive Criminals."

And while most of it is written by the bank robber himself, the nominal author is not a professional writer --- he's Dane Batty, Rogge's much younger, totally adoring nephew.

The book had, in short, all the ingredients for a self-serving adventure story that just happened to fudge the morality of a life story that has the protagonist robbing around 30 banks for a score of about $2 million.

Wrong. "Wanted" is, simply, a blast: funny, self-aware, amazingly informative about bank robbery, boats, cars, planes and --- far from least --- human nature.

Best of all, there's not an apologetic line in it. Oh, sure, Leslie Rogge might have taken his considerable talents and put them to a use that was of benefit to Society --- but the thing is, he was pretty much born for the life of crime.

"A job?" Hunter Thompson wrote. "But how would I make any money?"

That could have been Leslie Rogge's motto.

Want a deep psychological dive into his childhood? Forget it. Rogge stole his first car at 13. In high school, he swiped his father's credit cards and an under-aged girl. The judge said, "I'll give you four choices --- now pick a service." He chose the Navy. "For the boats."

Remember the '67 Cadillac Eldorado? Guys wanted them so badly they were willing to pay a premium. Rugge managed to find several. Soon, he says, he was making $30-35,000 a week. Okay, so he did some time for transporting stolen vehicles and his wife fled with the kids --- his second wife would have a better sense of humor.
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