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In 1929, 4 men kidnapped the Idaho lieutenant governor during bank robbery attempt

On June 12, 1929, the men decided that Lt. Gov. William Kinne's car would work as a getaway vehicle but it soon blew a tire and crashed into a ditch.
Credit: Idaho State Penitentiary
Robert Livingston (left), Frank Lane a.k.a. Edward Fliss, Albert Reynolds, and Engorf Snortland.

BOISE, Idaho — For Idaho Lt. Gov. William Kinne, June 12, 1929, was like any other day when he was driving on Highway 12, heading to Orofino from Lewiston. That was until four men needed a ride for a bank robbery that they were planning.

About 15 miles into his drive, near the town of Arrow, four men walked into the road, with their guns drawn.

The men, 24-year-old Albert Reynolds of Missouri, 20-year-old Engolf Snortland of North Dakota, 18-year-old Robert Livingston of Alabama and 24-year-old Frank Lane of Wisconsin, had planned on robbing a bank in Pierce and thought Kinne's vehicle would make a good getaway car.

The men, with guns drawn, stopped Kinne in the middle of the highway and forced him into the back seat.

However, Kinne's car couldn't even get to the town after one of its tires blew and crashed into a ditch.

It didn't take long for another car to drive by, which the gang stole for their ride to the bank in Pierce. The group tied Kinne and two other victims to a tree and Frank Lane, who used the alias of Edward Fliss, stayed behind to guard them.

About four hours later, Snortland, Reynolds and Livingston all returned without robbing the bank. Instead, they took cash from Lt. Gov. Kinne and the other two victims.

Two days later, the four men were found sleeping along the Potlach River and were sent to the Idaho Penitentiary. 

A fifth man, 47-year-old George Norman of Wisconsin, was arrested and pleaded guilty to the charge of "axxessory after the fact of the crime of kidnapping." The misspelling of "accessory" is in the court record.

All five men were tried and convicted on June 12, 1929.

Lane was later pardoned on July 23, 1934, by Idaho Gov. C. Ben Ross after being sentenced to 11.5 to 25 years in prison. He was the only man to list Idaho as his state of residence.

For Kinne, he was only able to tell the tale of his kidnapping for about a year. In September of 1929, he began complaining to his doctor about experiencing stomach pains. His doctor allegedly brushed it off and by the time he realized that the lieutenant governor had appendicitis, it was too late.

Kinne died from a ruptured appendix in October 1929, after less than a year in office.

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