Meet Author Brian Stannard @West

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Join us for a talk with Brian Stannard, author of Alcatraz Ghost Story: Roy Gardner’s Amazing Train Robberies, Escapes, and Lifelong Love.

In his immersive debut, Stannard recounts the exploits of Alcatraz's “second-most-notorious inmate”. Before the 1920s found their roar, a charismatic gambling addict named Roy Gardner dominated news headlines with his daring train robberies and escapes from incarceration. Nicknamed "The Smiling Bandit," Gardner spilled no blood-except his own- as he cut a felonious path across the western United States. Drawing on contemporary newspaper accounts, Alcatraz Ghost Story explores the life of Roy Gardner in the context of his great love story and the larger backdrop of drug addiction, incarceration, and the racial and labor violence of the 1920s and 1930s.

"Stannard’s thorough research and swift pacing satisfy. Historical true crime fans should check this out." - Publisher's Weekly

Brian Stannard is a guide with Alcatraz Cellhouse Tours. Previously he delivered meals in San Francisco's Tenderloin with Project Open Hand. When experiencing writer's block he paints and his artwork is displayed in bars from the Mission District to Australia's Gold Coast. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.

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