Library hosts “Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery” author

CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou Public Library will host a book talk with Maine author Ron Chase on Friday, March 10, at 5 p.m.

During the gathering, in the library’s Piper Reading Room, Chase will discuss his book “The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery.”

“Please join us for an intriguing talk about the man behind the great Mars Hill bank robbery that shocked Maine 45 years ago,” said Caribou Public Library Director Anastasia Weigle in a press release.

According to Weigle, the book tells the true-crime biography of Bernard Patterson, chronicling his life from a decorated Vietnam War hero into a real-life version of Don Quixote, Butch Cassidy and Robin Hood all rolled into one. On Nov. 21, 1971, Patterson robbed the Northern National Bank in Mars Hill, escaping with $110,000 — the largest bank robbery in the history of Maine at the time.

Patterson led an adventure-filled and controversial life that brought him across the United States, then to Europe and North Africa before he was finally captured by Scotland Yard on the Isle of Jersey after he had spent most of the stolen money. He was convicted and imprisoned, and on his release moved back to northern Maine. He died at age 56 in 2003.

Chase’s thoroughly researched book explores the life, motives, and mystery surrounding both the historic robbery and the man behind it, Weigle said.

The author will have books available for purchase during a reception and signing following the talk.

For more information, contact Weigle at 493-4214 or


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