The Tri-State Gang in Richmond: Murder and Robbery in the Great Depression

The Tri-City Gang in Richmond:  Murder and Robbery in the Great Depression, by Selden Richardson, The History Press, 2012. Tomorrow historian Selden Richardson will speak at the Library of Virginia on his new book, The Tri-State Gang in Richmond: Murder and Robbery in the Great Depression. Here is a brief description of the book from the publisher:

“The 1930s was a tough decade, one made even tougher by Prohibition. During this lawless time in American history, a group of criminals called the Tri-State Gang emerged from Philadelphia and spread their operations south, through Baltimore to Richmond, wreaking bloody havoc and brutally eliminating those who knew too much about their heists. Once termed the “Dillingers of the East,” Robert Mais and Walter Legenza led their men and molls on a violent journey of robberies, murders, and escapes up and down the East Coast.”

Richardson, a former archivist at the Library of Virginia, will recount the story of this whirlwind of crime and how it finally reached its climax in Richmond. The talk, part of the “Books on Broad” series, is free. Light refreshments (wine and cheese) will be served (5:30­–6:15 pm), followed by author talk (6:15­–7:15 pm), and book signing (7:15­–7:30 pm).  His book can be purchased through The Virginia Shop at the Library of Virginia.

Selden made extensive use of the records at the Library of Virginia. The gallery accompanying this post consists of some examples from our local, state, and newspaper collections.

Roger Christman, Senior State Records Archivist


  1. Kimberly Stanley said:
    7 August 2012 at 10:03 am

    Hello Roger, Great article! I seem to have 2 family members now that are in the out of the box stories. William A. Toot is my GG Grandfather. And Annie E. Kirby (Rhodes) is my GGG Grandmother. Interesting! I would love to find a way to contact Mr. Richardson, can you please help me. Thanks and I love both stories that have been written.
    Kimberly Stanley

    • Roger said:
      8 August 2012 at 11:58 am

      Thanks Kimberly. I will forward your message to Selden.

One Trackback

  1. By Wanted: the Tri-State Gang | bavatuesdays on 30 October 2013 at 4:14 pm

    [...] I started to wonder about this Robert Mais character. I did a quick Google search and discovered this post on the Virginia Memory site about the book “The Tri-State Gang in Richmond: Murder and Robbery in the Great [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *