“Most families have a black sheep. Mine is extra special.”
— Dane Batty, author of Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber
You may not remember Leslie Ibsen Rogge, but the FBI sure does.
Mr. Rogge was one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals. For many years he eluded the Bureau’s best efforts, leaving a trail of robbed banks and broken relationships behind him.
But Leslie Ibsen Rogge was not a violent person. Rather, according to Dane, he was a rather mischievous man whose moral compass was aligned slightly off true north.
Dane is his nephew. And Dane grew up hearing the stories of love and hate about a man who spent most of his life as a fugitive from the law.
Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of reading Dane’s book Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber. I got a new understanding into the planning that goes into robbing a bank. I read about the jail breaks and the island adventures. I felt the tear of emotions as Mr. Rogge stole cash and stole a heart.
So often in books about criminals, I feel like the author is glorifying or trying to explain away the brutality of the villain to make him more likable.
But I sensed that Dane did not have to cover anything up. I found myself rooting for the bad guy as though he were in some way, just a lovable guy who made some bad and damaging choices. As he eluded capture from Washington state to the Caribbean, I felt a thrill as Mr. Rogge escaped the law but left his family to deal with the constant FBI interrogations.
Ironically, this blog is about giving time and Mr. Rogge is sitting in a jail cell, doing time.
Tonight I had the honor of being asked by Dane to give him some feedback on his recent book reading event. He is looking to improve his speaking and he provided me the video. I felt it deserved a little something extra so I recorded my audio comments along with the video to provide “real-time” feedback. I hope it helps.