12. A Terrible End For a Terrible Gang
A vigilante group formed to hunt down the Reno Gang, so they fled to Iowa in early 1868. There, they attacked and robbed two county treasuries on successive days. They were arrested, but broke out of jail and escaped to Indiana. There, they resumed train robberies, one of which netted them $96,000, a princely sum that gained the Reno Gang worldwide fame. Pinkerton Agency detectives learned of Frank Reno’s plans to rob another train, so they staged an ambush. Soon as the gang boarded the train on July 9th, 1868, the Pinkertons opened fire. Most of the gang escaped, but a captured member identified two others, who were arrested the following day. All three met a terrible fate.
The train taking them to jail in Seymour, Indiana, was stopped by masked vigilantes, who lynched the three prisoners. Three more gang members were captured soon thereafter. The train taking them to the Seymour jail was again stopped by masked vigilantes, who hung the prisoners from the same tree. Frank fled to Canada, but was captured in Ontario and extradited to the US. He was held with three other Reno Gang members in the Floyd County jail in New Albany, Indiana. On the night of December 11th, 1868, scores of masked vigilantes marched on the jail and forced the jailer to surrender the keys. Frank Reno was dragged from his cell and lynched, followed soon thereafter by the remaining gang members.