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Heinrich maneuvers solved 1923 train case

Since You Asked

I know you've written about the great train robbery of 1923. How many people were killed, how much money did the bandits get, and was the case really solved by a California detective?

' Larry M., Medford

The robbers killed a clerk in blowing up the mail car at Southern Pacific's Tunnel 13 on Oct. 11, 1923, Larry, then shot three railroad men.

The man who cracked the case was Edward Heinrich, a private eye who lectured at the University of California at Berkeley. Lawmen found greasy overalls and arrested a mechanic. Heinrich examined the pants and said the mechanic didn't do it.

The man you are looking for, he told the cops, is a left-handed lumberjack who's worked the logging camps of the Pacific Northwest. He's thin, has light brown hair, rolls his own cigarettes, is fussy about his appearance. He's 5-foot-10 and is in his early 20s.

Heinrich said he got this from the contents, stains and wear of the overalls plus a human hair. His prize clue was a paper wad jammed into a pocket and laundered several times. He it treated with iodine vapor and saw it was a registered letter receipt from Eugene.

It had gone to Roy D'Autremont when he sent his brother &

36;50. The D'Autremont brothers were captured, including left-handed Roy. They got life.

See All for Nothing, by Johnny Howard, who befriended Ray D'Autremont in 1960 and says he still prays for the victims.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to