Violin Strains Draw Banditry Tale From Girl

Eleanor Walling Confesses to Holdup as Bow Draws Over Strings

BAKERSFIELD, Cal., May 2.—Thoughts of home and mother and the fireside lessons that the wages of sin are death, brought to mind by a detective’s words that he was bringing the finest string orchestra he could find in Los Angeles to play the old songs of yesterday as a lie detector, are believed to have touched a responsive chord in the soul of Eleanor Walling, girl bandit, and caused her to confess yesterday that she was one of those who held up the State bank at Taft March 13.


Miss Walling was permitted to haver violin with her while undergoing a grilling in the hands of Detective J.N. Pyles and Deputy Sheriff Fickert, and, as she changed from a defiant, scheming and designing woman to a simple girl, with kindly eyes and softened thoughts, her bow ran across the strings of her cherished instrument and strains of those simple songs of home and mother filled the air. It was in one of these moods that Pyles fired the shot that brought from the lips of the girl the details of that morning at Taft.


Calmly, without fear of consequences, the girl bandit went over the events of that day. Without hesitation she told of going into the bank with face bandaged and dressed in khaki shirt, overalls and laced boots. Likewise she told of how she and accomplices scooped up $5650 in coin and currency, laving $30,000 in plain sight, and fled the scene.

With the same calmness she related how the money was divided and her share had been $2,832, and how she hid part of it under two railroad ties and part of it with two guns at the base of a telephone pole. Today she was permitted to roam the corridors of the County Jail with her violin, and there was a happy, contented look on her face.


“I am glad it is all over with,” she said, “and when the time comes I will take my medicine. No, I will not divulge the names of my accomplices, no matter what the consequences. They shot square with me and I am going to shoot square with them,” was all that she would say. William Crockett, accused on being a participant in the holdup, and his brother, Clarence Crockett, believed to know something of the crime, were grilled for several hours today by Detective Pyles and Deputy Sheriff Fickert, but both were steadfast in declaring innocence of the holdup.

The Walling woman, at her preliminary examination, was bound over to the Superior Court, the trial date being set at May 27, with bail at $10,000. During her confession yesterday she said she was ready to appear in court, change her plea from not guilty and would not ask for probation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 1924.

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