The Caribou Public Library will be hosting a book talk with Maine author, Ron Chase, on Friday, March 10 at 5:00 pm in the Piper Reading Room at the Caribou Public Library. Mr. Chase will be discussing his book The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery.

Caribou Public Library
Caribou Public Library

The book tells the true-crime biography of Bernard Patterson, chronicling his life from a decorated Vietnam War hero into a real-life version of Don Quixote, Butch Cassidy, or Robin Hood all rolled into one. On November 21, 1971, Patterson robbed the Northern National Bank in Mars Hill, Maine, escaping with $110,000, which was the largest bank robbery in the history of Maine at the time.

Patterson led an adventure filled and controversial life that brought him across the United States, then to Europe and North Africa before he was finally captured by Scotland Yard on the Isle of Jersey after he had spent most of the stolen money. Along the way, he lived a raucous life while hobnobbing in aristocratic hangouts and giving money to those he perceived to be in need. He motor-biked across Europe, hoodwinked border officials, brought a camel and got lost in the Sahara Desert. Returned to the United States for prosecution, he was convicted and imprisoned. Released several years later, he moved back to northern Maine, where he continued to lead a reckless life that including running a “pot farm,” until he died at age 56 in 2003

Chase’s thoroughly researched book explores the life, motives, and mystery surrounding both the historic robbery and the man behind it.  Books will be provided by the author for purchase during a reception and signing following the talk.  Please join in for an intriguing talk about the man behind the great Mars Hill bank robbery that shocked Maine 45 years ago!

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