Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History

Counterpoint. Jun. 2019. 408p. notes. ISBN 9781640092129. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781640092136. CRIME
This is the wild story of a group of heavily armed religious zealots who rob a small town California bank and wind up in a massive shootout and chase with local law enforcement. Unlike typical bank robbers, this band of criminals had an unusual fixation with preparing for the end of days, spurred on by their charismatic born-again Christian leader. Their fanatical beliefs, combined with an array of weapons and artillery they’d acquired, made their run-in with police and subsequent chase one of the most violent incidents of the 1970s, with repercussions felt throughout law enforcement agencies around the country. The book’s style is a little raw—the liberal use of expletives in the narrative may be jarring for some—but the author skillfully lays out the facts, and his vivid descriptions bring the shootout and courtroom drama to life.
VERDICT This will be right at home in the true crime section of any public library.

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