Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History

Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History Review

In the spirit of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Onion Field, Norco ’80 is a gripping true crime account of one of the most violent bank heists in US history.

Norco ’80 tells the story of how five heavily-armed young men—led by an apocalyptic born-again Christian—attempted a bank robbery that turned into one of the most violent criminal events in U.S. history, forever changing the face of American law enforcement. Part action thriller and part courtroom drama, Norco ’80 transports the reader back to the Southern California of the 1970s, an era of predatory evangelical gurus, doomsday predictions, megachurches, and soaring crime rates, with the threat of nuclear obliteration looming over it all.

A group of landscapers transforms into a murderous gang of bank robbers armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons. Their desperate getaway turned the surrounding towns into war zones. When it was over, three were dead and close to twenty wounded; a police helicopter was forced down from the sky, and thirty-two police vehicles were destroyed by thousands of rounds of ammo. The resulting trials shook the community to the core, raising many issues that continue to plague society today: from racism and the epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder within law enforcement to religious extremism and the militarization of local police forces.

Title:Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History
Edition Language:English

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    Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History Reviews

  • Lori

    This is a remarkable book, the true story of a bank robbery in Norco, California, in Riverside County by five men, some of them religious Christians convinced the end times were coming. Two lived toge...

  • Scott

    "Riverside to all Norco units. 211 in progress at the Security Pacific Bank at Fourth and Hamner." -- the RCSO dispatcher, on page 73 (*211 is California penal and/or police radio code for armed robbe...

  • Judith E

    The true account of the ill-conceived bank robbery that resulted in a harrowing police chase and gun battle in 1980’s Norco, California. After the 5 perpetrators fled, they began their powerful and ...

  • Kathleen

    The blame begins with the huge eruption of Mount St. Helens. George Wayne Smith (age 29) and Chris Haven (age 27) were convinced that the eruption announced the coming rapture as predicted in the Book...

  • OutlawPoet

    Oh, this book was all kinds of amazing!Even though I'm from Southern California, I'd never heard of the Norco bank robbery. I figured it was before my time, but my parents hadn't heard of it either. R...

  • Michelle Hilbrands

    What a great ride this was. It was so exciting. I had moved away from Norco in the late 70’s, and I could picture this whole tale. I didn’t appreciate the slanted views on religion at the beginnin...

  • Amanda

    4.5 stars rounding up - what a wild story from the robbery all the way through the trial. I had never heard of it before. The writing makes you feel like you’re right there throughout the whole robb...

  • Debbie Rose

    Evidence Never LiesGiven the evidence available to you, I appreciate you being an impartial writer...WELL DONE.From one who lived it,Debbie RoseInvestigator Asst. to Jeanne Painter...

  • Kerri

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. This story provides further proof that truth is stranger than fiction. From the beginning, it engages the reader and doesn't let go; narrative writing at ...

  • Donna

    The jaw-dropping account of how 5 bank robbers armed to the teeth with military grade weapons - automatic weapons, homemade bombs, Molotov cocktails, and a samurai sword robbed a bank in the rural tow...