Boyd Ruse

Edwin Alonzo Boyd, the son of a police constable, became the leader of the notorious Boyd Gang which terrorized southern Ontario in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Boyd's decision to specialize in robbing banks was no accident; he was inspired by a newspaper story about a mentally challenged boy who had nearly made off with $69,000. Nor did his enterprising nature desert him in prison.

One day during his first penitentiary term (in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan), the warden received an anonymous letter warning him that Boyd was plotting a breakout. Boyd was duly kept indoors -- and thus avoided having to join the other inmates working on the prison farm in the winter. The letter's author? Boyd, of course.

[Following their escape from a Toronto jail in 1952, several members of the Boyd gang became the objects of the largest manhunt in Canadian history.]

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