Invoice Miner is a legendary identify in some components of B.C. — significantly within the province’s Inside, the place the infamous prepare robber was apprehended by police greater than 115 years in the past.
His story impressed a number of books, an award-winning movie and even a couple of songs.
Often known as the Gray Fox and the Gentleman Bandit, Miner’s lifetime of crime started within the U.S. within the 1800s. He was recognized for robbing stagecoaches, which typically carried packages on lengthy journeys and was caught and ultimately sentenced to 25 years in a California jail in 1881.
When he emerged from jail in 1902, trains had largely changed stagecoaches. And so, he changed his typical goal with a brand new one.
In line with the federal authorities, Miner robbed CP Rail trains in B.C. in 1904 and 1906. Within the spring of 1906, he was captured close to Kamloops, B.C., tried, convicted and given a life sentence at a federal maximum-security jail in New Westminster.
However, on Aug. 8, 1907, Miner escaped. He went again to the U.S., the place he continued to rob trains.
Miner was ultimately caught and died in jail.
A feature-length movie in regards to the prepare robber’s exploits was launched in 1982, starring Richard Farnsworth in the lead function.
The Gray Fox gained seven Genie Awards, honouring the perfect in Canadian movie from 1980 to 2012.
Farnsworth was nominated for a Golden Globe for his function.
“When [director Phillip] Borsos considered the type of legendary landscapes of British Columbia and the Canadian West, this determine of Invoice Miner emerges … as a people hero,” mentioned movie critic Tom McSorley.
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He was thought-about one thing of a Robin Hood-type. It is type of that people hero mythology that I believe surrounds him as a result of it is like sticking it to the person.”
The movie explored how Miner’s swap from robbing stagecoaches to trains illustrated that individual time in technological historical past.
“As Invoice Miner himself says, ‘A skilled at all times specializes,'” McSorley mentioned.
Canadian people singer Paul Valdemar Horsdal, recognized professionally as Valdy, additionally took an curiosity within the legend of Invoice Miner. He partnered with songwriter Gary Fjellgaard, and inside simply two days of deciding to jot down a track honouring Miner, they’d one.
“Billy was undoubtedly certainly one of my heroes for positive,” Fjellgaard mentioned. “He simply represented freedom.”
The track appeared on a collaborative album by Valdy and Fjellgaard, Contenders Two: Nonetheless In The Operating.
In 2017, the Kamloops Music Collective commissioned composer Robert Buckley to jot down a track about Miner for eventual use in educating music college students about each music and native historical past.
The consequence was an orchestral quantity entitled The Legend of Billy Miner.
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