Telling the Tale

By Brian Shetler

In December of 2011, I wrote a blog post about the Great Plymouth Mail Robbery for the Boston Local TV blog. At that time, the robbery was a newly discovered piece of history for me and something that was interesting to write about. A little bit of research and some digging in the Boston Public Library photo archives allowed me to learn more about the case. Enough, I thought, to write a short post for this blog. While it was certainly interesting to research, and fun to write, I didn’t think too much beyond the 600 or so words that were posted online.

About 5 months later, I was happy to hear that not only had someone actually read and liked the blog post, but that he was interested in learning more about the case. In fact, the blog post caught the attention of a trustee at the Plymouth Public Library. The library had recently published a book on contemporary Plymouth history and had made mention of the Mail Robbery in the publication. The excitement and mystery of the case was quite intriguing for people in the Plymouth area, and the library thought it would make for a nice addition to their regular Lecture Series. So, before I knew it, the little card that I had come across as part of the WHDH project had turned into a speaking opportunity at the Plymouth Public Library!

On October 1st, 2012, I drove down to Plymouth from Boston, passing right by the location of the robbery as I made my way to the library. The talk came on the heels of the library’s annual business meeting, so there was a good-sized audience ready to see the presentation.  In the end, about 80 people showed up to hear about the event. A great many of those in attendance had lived in Plymouth at the time of the robbery and recalled details of the crime during and after it unfolded.

During the hour-long talk, I reviewed the known facts, the long-assumed theories, and the crazy guesses surrounding the Great Plymouth Mail Robbery. The story behind the crime is filled with violence, corruption, mystery, and even humor and made for a great tale to tell. The audience was engaged and asked great questions after the talk was over. So many questions, in fact, that the library was closing by the time the last people left. A couple students from nearby Plymouth High School came to record the talk as part of a weekly school newscast. Overall, it was a fun and successful event…and one that I was very lucky to take part in.

While I could not have anticipated that a simple blog post would turn into something larger, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share the story of the Plymouth Mail Robbery with others. The talk also gave me a chance to learn more about this fascinating case. All thanks to a little card with a few words that piqued my interest!

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the Great Plymouth Mail Robbery, please take a look at the Prezi presentation that I created for the talk.