These articles, from The San Francisco Examiner, described a James Gang style holdup of a California Street Cable Railroad car at California and Jones Streets. Two officials of the California Street company handed over a bag containing $4,100.
From the San Francisco Examiner / Wednesday, January 4, 1922. Page 1.
SAN JOSE, Jan. 13. -- Sentimental belief that "women are the nearest things to angels that we shall ever see here" last week prevented Rex Hascall, former Baptist preacher of Oregon from participating with his "underworld pals" in the holding up of a cable car in California street, San Francisco. Hascall glibly admits he is an arch-criminal with a philosophic bias.
A predominating respect for women and children born into his soul, Hascall says, by virtue of the love and purity of his own mother and a dead wife, coupled with an aversion to bloodshed, if not to grand larceny, caused him to leave the bandit gang that carried out the San Francisco holdup, in which $4,100 was secured.
Sheriff George W. Lyle, investigating the remarkable story of this curious prisoner, wrung from Hascall today the description, some names and places of abode of the men, who, the ex-preacher says, carried out the California-street robbery.
This information has been given the San Francisco police authorities for investigation and according to a report from there tonight has been partially confirmed.
"Rev." Hascall's story of how his boasted admiration for all womanhood led him to shun the holdup revealed today some of the philosopher-thief's submerged ideals, so pecuiarly warped by his criminal instincts.
Hascall's views on women were outlined to "The Examiner" in his cell today, the man's blue-gray eyes beaming their constant glow as his lips twitched into a deeply sympathetic smile.
"Women?" he said. "Yes, I have had a great deal to do with them in my lifetime. I have been amongst them long enough to know that I do not know them. They are the nearest to the angels of anything we ever will find in this world, and my respect for them is undying." He smiled over his sentimentality.
"Do not feel that the attraction womanhood holds for me is physical. I have lived my life clean in that respect, holding women always in deepest reverence. Woman is more delicate and more tender, living life truer to God, than does man. Then too, we know that woman passes further into that vale that is he shadow of death than does man, bearing without a protest the burden of pain and hurt bringing him into the world.
"Just such a woman was my mother, and just such a woman was my little wife whom I buried with our babe in Denver. My wife was more to me than I am to myself. That is a strange way of putting it, perhaps, but nevertheless true.
"These things have coupled together to burn into my heart an ever lasting honor for womanhood and that is why I left Miller and the other boys of the can that robbed the California street car in San Francisco. I knew that there would be women and children on that car and I refused to participate in crime that might lead to injury to them.
"In my life time I have found that women are unfathomable. Don't believe that you can fool them. Don't believe you can fool your wife about little things, for sooner or later she will find you out. I have learned that much from life. Woman is possessed of a God given sense of intuition that is her greatest power. If she be clean, wholesome and healthy a woman in invariably superior in soul to man."
Hascall, arrested on three burglary charges here, and who admits crimes the world over, reiterated today his "contentedness at being in jail.
Indictments were voted last night by the grand jury against four men charged with having robbed officials of the California Street Cable Railway Company of $4,000 on a cable car at Jones and California streets two weeks ago. Those named were Frank E. Grider, in custody, having been arrested at Salt Lake City; Roy Hale, at large, and two "John Does."
Unable to reach an agreement after several hours' deliberation, the jury trying Frank Grider on a robbery charge in Superior Judge Louis H. Ward's court was discharged last night. Grider's new trial will be set later.
Grider was accused of being one of the four bandits who held up a California street cable car at Jones street on January 3 and robbed William Bayer and George A. Hail, paymasters for the cable car company, of $3,489. He was apprehended in Salt Lake City.
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