Note—Charged by officers with having been the leader of a bandit gang that held up and robbed the State bank, at Taft Cal., March 3 of $5000, after locking bank employees in a vault, 19-year-old Eleanor Walling, bob-haired and khaki-clad, appeared in court today to plead guilty. Miss Walling, an accomplished violinist, although confessing her part in the holdup and leading officer to the hiding place of the major portion of the loot, steadfastly refused to name her companions in the holdup. Just before entering her please, Miss Walling penned the following statement:)
By ELEANOR WALLING
Written Exclusively for International News Service
BAKERSFIELD, May 3.—I am pleading guilty today to protect an innocent girl friend.
I have a record. I won every case. I thought myself smart but my friends finally broke me.
I am not asking probation. I want to serve my time. It is the only way to lose my friends. I intend going straight. There is no chance to beat the other games. It’s 10 to 1 against you.
You ask if bobbed hair and men’s clothing tend to masculinize women. The hair and clothes make no difference. The difference is purely mental.
“I’ll Play Square”
I’m going to wipe the slate clean through a term in San Quentin. I’ll play square and recognize the law then as a higher power. I intend finishing music and taking a course in show card writing. I have a position offered me as soon as I am free.
Yes, I believe it will not be long before women will head criminal gangs. Women have more nerve and they are more artistic in their plans than men. Also they are able to view questions more clearly.
My statement was given to Deputy Sheriff Fickert and Detective Pyles. Pyles questioned me but it was Fickert’s cool judgement that won me over. I am standing pat, however, on my refusal to identify my accomplices.
The Bible says the treasures of wickedness profit nothing. It’s true. You can’t beat them.
Low wages turn girls to easy money. It is impossible to live on fifteen per. Give girls an equal chance with me and they will go higher.
I’m 19 years old and glad of chance to go straight.
Source: San Diego Evening Tribune, May 3, 1924.