Peter Houlahan: Norco 80

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 together in a house in Norco where they were digging trenches and fencing the perimeter of their property with barbed wire preparing for marauders to come for their caches of food weapons and supplies They were late on the mortgage owed child support so there may have been a mixed motive for the bank robbery Either way it turned into one of the largest crime scenes ever in the bank and then when they tried to et away spreading out over forty miles in two different counties Riverside and San Bernadino with police departments from both and sheriff s officers from both helicopters and a chase that ended up with them driving up a single file road in the San Gabriel mountains a national park with forty police cars from the four jurisdictions and California Highway Patrol lined up behind them and the four remaining perps firing away The officer in the lead car was killed The suspects fled into the chaparral and were tracked by helicopter dogs and SWAT teamsThey had assault rifles The alpha in the roup a Vietnam vet had altered them so they could shoot ammo faster They had pipe bombs other bombs and homemade renades They didn t need the internet because there was a book that Somato Respiratory Integration Workbook gave detailed instructions on how to make bombs andrenades They had timed out the bank robbery but messed up one Reine Mädchensache guarding a door wasn t and people came in a silent alarm set off by a teller went to the wrong city The bank didn t even have much money So many things went wrong it s incredible that only one person was killedThey messed upetting their Animal Babies getaway cars and ended up kidnapping atunpoint the owner of a bright yellow truck His legs were bound with duct tape and eventually because the police couldn t be sure he was a victim or a perp he had to roll his way through an intersection over to them This is when things Offenders and Detainees go really wrong and the crime sceneets very spread out There are officers at the bank where one perp lies dead at the wheel of their van And now they re traveling in suburban neighborhoods and on the highway in a bright yellow truck with two qasas-ul-quran guys standing up in the back shooting thousands of rounds of ammo indiscriminately and the others shooting from the windows They shot around twenty five police officers They hit a boy riding his bicycle with his friends clipped his finger the author says which I assume is an injury They hit airl whose dad was iving her a driving lesson They put thousands of bullets into thirty three police cars that were destroyed They shot at the helicopterThroughout the crime which is the first half of the book the police did their best in an utterly chaotic situation They had so many limitations but the biggest one was they did not have assault rifles They had small handguns This is the case that resulted in officers nationwide being armed with assault rifles The robbery happened the same year PTSD was added to the psychiatric DSM manual and this is the crime that brought to light how utterly uneuipped law enforcement entities nationwide were to deal with PTSD when it manifested in their officers That too would change as a result of the Norco robberyPeter Houlahan does an amazing job of bringing the reader into every part of the forty mile crime scene The book reads like a movie but a movie could never do it justice because it was so spread out and chaotic It s his first book but he s written articles and is an EMT in Newtown CT whose unit responded to the Sandy Hook school shooting although their services weren t needed when they arrived He has also studied PTSD You have to read the book to see how this crime unfolds it s so unreal but all too realThe second part deals with the trial and for a little while I was etting bored and wondering why but then it all came together The three captured two died were tried together with separate attorneys The trial lasted a year not counting the penalty phase and what Houlahan chooses to bring forth makes that section well worth it The author is so Dead-End Road Mysteries gifted the book unfolds as if it s written itself He is at all times master of the material Like the crime you veot to read what he tells us about the trial because the truth is so much stranger than fiction There are a few things so shocking that even though this happened I won t Hear the Wolves give them away here Mostly I was incredulous at how the defense attorneys treated the cops on the stand These men had been through a crime the likes of which has 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 andor police radio code for armed robberyAn absolutely outstanding and suspenseful true crime book meticulously chronicling the May 1980 bank robbery pursuit shoot out in Southern California not in Los Angeles but farther east in a desert and mountain area known as The Inland Empire that pitted five heavily and better armed thieves against a small and diverseroup of responding law enforcement personnel county sheriff s deputies city police officers and highway patrolmen from various agencies in a particularly violent and nightmarish encounter It reads like it s right out of a Hollywood script but it was the real dealThis is A 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 US history forever changing the face of American law enforcement Part action thriller and part courtroom drama Norco ’80 transports the reader back

Peter Houlahan Í 6 summary

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It page 61 plan on settling in for a while because the next 100 pages are packed with some of the most intense nonstop action you ll ever read It s an amazing tale of heroism and horror that should keep you riveted What a Valors Measure 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 appre AstoundingStaggeringMind blowing EyeopeningThese are just some of the reactions I experienced after reading Peter Houlahan s brilliant true crime book NORCO 80 Houlahan spent over four years researching documents and interviewing people who were involved with one of the most violent and insane bank robbery attempts in American history He amazingly pulled together accounts and testimonies from dozens and dozens of law enforcement personnel case lawyers and family members in his exhaustive uest to piece together this fascinating account that reads stranger than fiction George Wayne Smith was an honorably discharged soldier living in Riverside county in southern California He became obsessed with the religious prophecies of Revelation as well as apocalyptic visions of the doomsday scenario he perceived the world to be headed toward He had been working for a landscaping company when he met another young man named Chris Harven In many ways Harven was the opposite of Smith a stoner a slacker and a troublemaker who was actually dishonorably discharged after a brief stint in the military But the two men shared common survivalist religious and apocalyptic beliefs and became friends and roommates Living in a house in Mira Loma together both had failed marriages they even dug their own bomb shelter in the back yard Eventually they were out of work and low on money Still the pair soal was to be able to buy a mountain cabin in Utah or Colorado and fortify it for family members and themselves so all would be safely together and survive the impending Armageddon Smith and Harven also loved firearms and began buying all sorts of BFI Film Classics guns both pistols and high caliber assault rifles Apparently they used the last of their money to arm themselves and three other accomplices whom they convinced to help them rob a bank in the nearby town of Norco Chris s brother Russ and brothers Manny and Billy Delgado rounded out theang which would later be infamously known as the Norco 5 So on May 9th 1980 this crew of first time criminals made their way to Norco armed to the teeth with firepower than any law enforcement agency in the country possessed Their mission was to steal enough money on a big one time score so George Smith and Chris Harven would be able to establish their survivalist utopia somewhere in the mountains of the West Russ Manny and Billy would be Tni Tata Dunia Baru Sistem Pertahanan given their cuts of the take as well The events unfolded on a Friday afternoon and are so chaotic and crazy it s hard too into وصف الاستعباد في مملكة فاس - مذكرات أسير سويدي على عهد السلطان مولاي عبد الله great detail without spoilers and so on Suffice it to say that in the end over two dozen cop cars were shot to hell hundreds of rounds of ammunition were fired at law enforcement and three people were dead Some members of the Norco 5 were captured and it took 20 months before they would stand trial The trial itself would not conclude until over two and a half years from the initial crime date Procedures and events at the trial were like a 3 ring circus at times and read like something out of a Hollywood film Now in the 21st century where horrific mass public shootings have become all too tragically freuent the Norco bank robbery kind of stands out as a harbinger of the future as far as terrorist type acts are concerned Peter Houlahan has indeed pieced together an important part of history coupled with insight and fast paced story telling NORCO 80 is a completely true account as well as a flat out thrill ride In May of 1980 in Norco California a bunch of losers had decided to rob a bank They were armed to the teeth with all kinds of automatic weapons and they also had homemaderenadesWhat ensued after the robbery was a massive chase in which over thirty police cars were wrecked by the onslaught of automatic weapons from the bank robbers The chase ended high up in the canyons and mountains which are such a prominent feature of California On the canyon road the robbers finally had to disembark their pick up truck which they had hijacked and headed off into the wilderness Exhausted they were easily captured the next day by police and SWAT teams One police officer was killed several were injured and also many innocent civilians who were walking or driving on the roads during the chase view spoilerTwo of the robbers were also killed hide spoiler Oh this book was all kinds of amazingEven 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 Reading this I don t know how we missed itThis is one exciting read While the author takes some liberties here and there with the feelings of some of our participants like one dying young man was thinkingfeeling those liberties are logicalThe book is well researched but honestly reads like a movie I could see people etting shot feel the whiz of bullets as they narrowly missed other characters and my heart was pounding like crazyA fabulous book that inspired me to learn even about what happened and about a serial killer and a cult I d never heard of beforeExcellent. D 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 force.

Uthor Houlahan s first book and it is one hell of a strong debut Norco 80 is a confident well researched detailing of the personalities involved the suspects the police the lawyers on both sides the actual incident and the occasionally absurd trial aftermath Drawing on many interviews taped radio transmissions see above investigatory reports and court transcripts Houlahan weaves everything together into an absorbing narrative However I don t want to necessarily make it sound like a fun mindless action movie this was a retelling of a particularly dark day for the involved law enforcement and bystanders involving a tragic line of duty death and also countless injuries But out of said tragedy came a better understanding response for dealing with PTSD among other things The true account of the ill conceived bank robbery that resulted in a harrowing police chase and un battle in 1980 s Norco California After the 5 perpetrators fled they began their powerful and overwhelming fire power attack automatic and semi automatic Voice of Conscience gunsrenades pipe bombs thousands of rounds of ammunition on the police forces that pursued them Many officers were injured and one officer was dead This crime caused police departments across the country to incorporate military rade weapons in their arsenals The personalities of the perpetrators are exposed to reveal the circle of manipulation fear and bullying that caused these men to unite and commit such a horrible crime It s too bad no one recognized the need of a mental health intervention of George Smith when there were so many warning signs of paranoia randiose ideation and delusional thinking An in depth account of the trial follows and if you are not familiar with court proceedings it might be overwhelming but I found the courtroom histrionics fascinatingNot uite 5 stars because I found all the players perps victims lawyers police forcesunits family members jumbled and it would have behooved the author to reference their role than once Recommended 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 of Revelations Their apostolic faith convinced them that the end was near and that they needed to move to the mountains in order to survive the coming chaos Both of them were ex military and stockpiled a huge supply of weapons homemade The Pedlar and the Bandit King (Scarlet and the White Wolf, grenades and ammunition to prepare for the coming apocalypse One thing they lacked money for the moveSo these twouys convinced their friends Belisaro and Manuel Delgado and Chris brother Russell to join them in robbing the Security Pacific Bank Unfortunately an employee from the bank across the street saw the masked men entering the bank and uickly called police What ensues is Fargo esue as events flew out of control Total chaos ensued with the five robbers spraying hundreds of rounds of ammunition at the responding police in an area full of civilians The miracle is that there were not deaths and casualties But there were still plenty two of the perpetrators and one Sheriff s deputy were killed another 9 wounded over 30 police cars were damaged and even one helicopter was downedThe bank robbers were forced to steal a second truck when their first one was damaged They were able to escape Riverside County and entered San Bernardino County with multiple police officers from multiple jurisdictions in hot pursuit Eventually they reached the mountains and proceeded on foot They were caught the next dayThe second part of the book focuses on the trial for the three remaining robbers It was not your usual criminal trial The Defense Attorneys presented numerous audacious theories and verbally fought with the presiding judge And then there was the case of the Defenses investigator falling in love with George Wayne Smith I m sure that will turn out well NotRecommend this true crime tale that defies believability Earlier today whilst researching this very review I ran a Marvins Room google search for Heat movieunfight and was predictably met with several videos capturing the famous scene from Michael Mann s 1995 crime dram 3 Edward 50 the suspects are stranded their vehicle is disabled at Hamner and Fourth Roll help I need an ambulance I m bleeding badly I m not a big fan of true crime books stories are never tied up nice and neat like they are in fiction and sometimes the bad Roberto to the Dark Tower Came guys win But ever since seeing Dog Day Afternoon at a fairly young age I have been intrigued by tales of bank robberiesone horribly wrong And they don t Polyphemus get much wronger than the robbery that occurred in Southern California in 1980 when five young men who were armed to the teeth with semi automatic weapons plus homemade bombs andrenades attempted to raise the capital they felt they needed to see themselves through the coming apocalypse Pretty much everything that can Pink Ribbons, Inc. go wrong with a robbery went wrong that day From bad timing to stupid choices to personality clashes to bizarre coincidences it was a disaster that led to death and destruction and lives forever changed The book starts off with some exposition and the author flings a lot of names at the reader I wasoing a little crazy wondering which ones might be most important to the story but it turned out to not be a problem Once the introductions are over the story takes off Be warned once you O the Southern California of the 1970s an era of predatory evangelical Star Cookies Comfort gurus doomsday predictions megachurches and soaring crime rates with the threat of nuclear obliteration looming over it all Aroup of landscapers transforms into a murderous Mail Horror Bride (One Nation Under Zombies gang of bank robbers armed to the teeth with militaryrade weapons Their desperate etaway turned the surrounding towns into war zones When it was over three were dead an.

Peter Houlahan is a freelance writer contributing to a wide range of publications In his career as an emergency medical technician he has written a number of articles related to his profession He holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College A native Southern Californian Houlahan now lives in Fairfield County Connecticutsource