Way Back When: Fatal Shootout at the SB Post Office

Way Back When: Fatal Shootout at the SB Post Office title=
Way Back When: Fatal Shootout at the SB Post Office
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The lobby of the Santa Barbara Post Office was the scene of a violent confrontation this month. (Photo courtesy of the Santa Barbara Library’s Edson Smith collection)

By Betsy J. Green

This was definitely the biggest event of the year in our fair city. A fugitive who was wanted back East for murder and robbery had a letter waiting for him at the Santa Barbara Post Office. (That building is now the Santa Barbara Art Museum.) There was a $1,000 reward for him – dead or alive.

When he showed up and the police tried to arrest him, he ran out the door through the Christmas crowd, as the police fired several shots. The bystanders were not hurt, but the fugitive collapsed on the steps outside and died of his injuries several days later.

Upcoming events

  • I will be holding the first-ever tailgate book signing event in the parking lot near Chaucer’s Bookstore on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2-3:30.
  • I’ll be schmoozing with the famous La Arcada Christmas turtles - Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen - and signing books at the Santa Barbara Arts gift shop on Sunday, Dec. 15, noon - 2 p.m.

Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​

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