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‘Bank Bandit’ Hangs Self In Prison

Sun., July 14, 1996

A member of a Midwest bank robbery gang hanged himself in his cell Friday, nine days after he pleaded guilty to 19 holdups in seven states.

Richard Guthrie, 38, was awaiting sentencing for holdups during which he and members of the “MidWestern Bank Bandits” wore FBI logos and taunted the agency in letters to newspapers.

Prosecutors agreed to recommend Guthrie serve no more than 30 years in prison for the 1994 and 1995 robberies if he testified against three other men awaiting trial.

Guthrie, who pleaded guilty July 3, hanged himself with a bedsheet and left two notes, one to his public defender and the other to his brother, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The gang to which Guthrie belonged is accused of robbing more than $200,000 from banks in Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Kentucky.

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