Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> 1929 Saugus Train Robbery
Thomas Vernon Mugshots
1929 Saugus Train Robbery

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Set of mugshots of Thomas Vernon, who overturned the SP's West Coast Limited behind the Baker Ranch Rodeo (later Saugus Speedway) and robbed its passengers on the night of November 10, 1929.

Vernon was captured December 3, 1929; the back of this approx. 5¾x4½-inch print is date-stamped December 28, 1929, N.E.A. (Newspaper Enterprise Association). So, these are probably post-capture mughots rather than earlier BOLO photos (Be On the LookOut for).

Handwriting on the back reads, "Tom (Buffalo) Vernon," suggesting that someone on the news desk bought into the fiction that Tom Vernon was "Buffalo" Vernon, a onetime rodeo star. Vernon used many aliases and made up many stories about himself, none of which were true. He was simply a con man and horse thief — and not a very good one. He spent at least half of his life behind bars and ended up living in a Sacramento flop house. He attempted to sell his make-believe autobiographical story to a magazine until the bitter end, which came in 1967.

Vernon served more than 20 years in Folsom Prison for a train robbery that netted him about $300.



Click image to enlarge | Download archival scan


LW3478: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased circa 2017 by Leon Worden.
1929 SAUGUS TRAIN ROBBERY

THE ROBBERY

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Passengers / Earliest Known 11-10-1929

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Daybreak 11-11-1929

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Newsreel Footage

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Loren Ayers x5

THE MANHUNT

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Boynton Story

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Pollack Story

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LAT 11-11-1929

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Vernon Captured

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Mugshots 12/1929

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Extradition 12-12-1929

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AP 12-19-1929

THE FAKERY

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REAL: Tom Vernon Prison Records

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REAL: Horse Theft 1920

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BOGUS: Tom Vernon Letters 1929-1963

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BOGUS: Tom Vernon's Fake Photo ID 1962

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BOGUS: Vernon's Own Story in 3 Parts

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BOGUS: Cattle Kate Story 12-7-1929

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BOGUS: Vernon Retells Story in 1953

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BOGUS: Sweetwater Incident 1967

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BOGUS Sideshow: Lester F. Mead
'Confessor' 11-1929

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REAL: Buffalo Vernon 1884-1939

THE AFTERMATH

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1957-1958 x3

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Pardon 1964

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Death Cert. 1967

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After the Wreck
No. 5042 x3

• A New Ending (Now Obsolete)


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