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Mail Tribune 100, March 24, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

March 24, 1919


Elton Beeson of Talent, not only unknowingly aided Red Rupert, the Portland convict, to make sure his escape from the convict-camp at Gold Hill last Monday, but slept with Red, still ignorant of his identity that night.

Beeson was about to ship a load of cattle to Gazelle, Cal., Monday morning, when Rupert, following his escape, approached him and asked if he did not want help to care for the cattle enroute. Beeson did, and so Rupert was hired and got aboard with Beeson and the cattle. They slept together in the hotel at Gazelle that night, and next afternoon Rupert boarded a train to the south and to further liberty.

Beeson did not learn until his return home of Rupert’s escape and when he read his published description at once recognized the erstwhile cattle helper as Rupert, and so notified the authorities.

The following dispatch from Salem tells of Red Rupert’s escape, except the Medford part of it:

Clyde J. (Red) Rupert, who escaped from the convict camp at Gold Hill Sunday, took a south bound train at Gazelle at 4 o’clock Tuesday morning, evidently bent on reaching the Mexican border or a South American port before he can be recaptured and made to answer to the federal indictment which hangs over him as the result of his theft of a package of Liberty bonds while employed as watchman for the Northwestern National bank in Portland.

This is the information which has been obtained by Warden Stevens of the state penitentiary, who returned Thursday afternoon from the southern part of the state, where a man hunt for Rupert has been on.

Warden Stevens, William Bryon, government secret service agent, Chief Special Agent Catouri of the Southern Pacific and others who have been on Rupert’s trail, have obtained evidence which convinces them that an outside man was waiting for Rupert with an automobile, when Rupert made his get-away Sunday evening, and carried the fleeing convict toward the California boundary. Rupert stopped at Gazelle, 100 miles from Gold Hill and near the California line, where he was positively recognized, according to the information obtained by Warden Stevens.

At Gazelle he purchased a new suit, soft black hat, a pair of second-hand overalls from the railroad fireman and a gray flannel shirt, and took train No. 15 Tuesday morning, going south. As it will be necessary for Rupert to obtain a passport to get to Mexico or South American thru ordinary channels, all avenues along that line are being closely watched. It is though, however, he may endeavor to reach the Mexican border and then find a way to sneak into Mexico without a passport.

Warden Stevens is convinced that the motive behind Rupert’s escape is his desire to evade the federal charge hanging over him, as his minimum sentence under the state charge was up this month and he was eligible for parole. He made it known that he did not want the parole board to recommend a parole for him at this time as he wanted to have the federal charge dismissed or satisfied in some way before he was released from the state prison.

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