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.
LW3478: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased circa 2017 by Leon Worden.