One September night in 1892 the Wild West went east. A masked man boarded the American Express Special train as it sped through New York State and single-handedly stole a fortune. His name was Oliver Curtis Perry, and he instantly became the country's most wanted man.
While detectives searched in vain, the public and press couldn't get enough of the handsome, charismatic young robber whose physical daring was matched by stories of a troubled childhood and romantic life. Women adored him, boys worshipped him: America was falling in love. Five months later he defied belief by robbing the same train again. This time, after one of the most extraordinary chases in history, he was caught and sentenced to forty-nine years hard labor.
But if the authorities believed they had beaten this celebrity criminal they were badly mistaken. Perry's prison life proved as remarkable as his robberies as he turned escape artist, protestor, hunger-striker, and finally poet in his determination to win his freedom. In Wanted Man, Tamsin Spargo brings this extraordinary portrait of a forgotten man to life in a story of adventure and tragedy.