|Birth: ||Jun. 2, 1894|
|Death: ||Oct. 31, 1979|
Edward Wilhelm Bentz, the son of German immigrants, was born on June 2, 1894, in Pipestone, Minnesota. When he was about 9, his father, a house mover, was killed by a runaway horse. His mother Rose took Eddie and his eight siblings to Tacoma Washington, where she provided him with a respectable, middle-class upbringing in a large home on her husband's life insurance, and by operating a theater and a boarding house.
Little Eddie took to crime early, stealing his playmate's bicycles, cigarettes, and scrap metal. When he was about 16, he was shipped off to the State Training School in Chehalis on a burglary charge, and escaped. He spent his youth as a not-particularly-successful burglar. After a 1912 arrest for auto theft, he escaped from the Tacoma jail, but was caught again and ended up at the state penitentiary at Walla Walla.
According to one account, probably his own, he talked his way out of Walla Walla by declaring his intention to go to Victoria, B.C., and sign up to fight in World War I with the Canadian Army. In later years he claimed that various bits of shrapnel and old gunshot wounds were the result of his fight against the Kaiser.
While he was in jail, Eddie also learned a new burglary technique called "weeding." The idea was to break into a retail establishment and walk out with a few items at a time whose absence wouldn't be noted.
Records show he was paroled from Alcatraz in 1948, and sent to serve time in Massachusetts until 1954, then served time in Wisconsin until 1962. After a parole violation that same year, he was taken to a Federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota.
But by 1967, it appears he was a free man living back home in Tacoma. His death certificate says he died of heart failure at his home at 5411 South Thompson Street late on Halloween night of 1979, age 85. The death certificate, perhaps alluding to Eddie's brief stint as a legitimate businessman in Portland, Maine, lists Eddie's occupation as "salesman" and his "kind of business or industry" as "specialty advertising."
Created by: Darla Mays (Rodeogirl73)
Record added: Aug 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40802181