John Reno’s Biggest Mistake

john reno and frank sparks

Train robber John Reno made a big mistake when he got drunk in early 1867.

He and pal Frank Sparks were imbibing in a Seymour, Indiana saloon owned by Dick Winscott.  The bar owner asked to take a photo of the boys, and they agreed—assuming a formal pose, with mugs in hand and a dog at their feet.

Reno and Sparks didn’t know Winscott was working with Pinkerton detectives, who got a copy of the photo that finally identified the outlaws.  It eventually led to the arrest of both of them (Sparks would be lynched in 1868).

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