Santa Claus Bank Robbery

Looking for something different? Are you a true-crime or non-fiction fan? Well, look no further, because Tui Snider’s tale of the Santa Claus Bank Robbery is a fascinating, conversational dive into a West Texas bank robbery in 1927. Read on to learn more and enter our giveaway.


A True-Crime Saga in Texas

 Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: December 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos

Scroll down for Giveaway of Santa Claus Bank Robbery!

cover of santa claus bank robbery

When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running – with loaded guns in hand! 

But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress. 

This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning! 

Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion. 

Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?



The Santa Claus Bank Robbery is a quick and easy read – a delightful take on what is really a true crime work of non-fiction. In the book, author Tui Snider takes an in-depth look at a bank robbery in Cisco, Texas in 1927. Her research is clearly detailed – the book abounds with images of newspaper reports and photographs that set the stage for the period as well as the event.

But what really makes this intriguing is Snider’s voice. This is not a somber, dry look at the events of this robbery. Her enthusiasm, excitement, and curiosity are quite evident in her writing, which is very conversational. (It’s quite clear that Tui is someone who abounds with energy.) What adds to this feeling is the fact that some of the research she carried out was in-person legwork, through conversations with locals (some welcomed, some not, interestingly enough.)

Some of the book is spent debunking another account of the Santa Claus Bank Robbery. The 1972 writing changed names of some of the players (of which, I confess, there were so many it became difficult to keep track) and which, as Snider curiously points out, also leaves out relationships between a few the parties involved. She also searches for more clues related to a mysterious blond woman that some accounts referred to but whose existence was neither previously proven or related in the first book.

As someone new(ish) to Texas, I would have guessed that bank robberies were more prevalent in a “wild west” era – an error Snider is quick to correct. The book provides an interesting glimpse into Texas history at the time, with a few details that were surprising. Did you know that banks offered a $5,000 reward for a DEAD bank robber? If you can imagine the ways this could end badly, you’d likely be right.

The Santa Claus Bank Robbery left me entertained and educated on a bit of history that I had not learned in school.

Tui Snider, author of Santa Claus Bank Robbery

Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TVCoast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman WakingShades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.



Signed Paperback +$10 Amazon Gift Card
+ Thank You Post Card
2ND PRIZE (US only)Signed Copy + Thank You Post Card
3RD PRIZE (International)Kindle eBook
December 12-22, 2019

Santa Claus Bank Robbery giveaway
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  1. Kristine Hall says

    Entertained and educated — that’s it in a nutshell! Thanks for the review!

  2. The book was so interesting and fun to read and so have all the reviews. This one is no exception. Thanks for providing yet another aspect of the book, Jenn.

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