Author tells true-crime story of Maine

Jul 07, 2017

Rockland — Rockland Public Library and Friends of Rockland Public Library present a book talk with Maine author Ron Chase Thursday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the library, 80 Union St. Chase will discuss his book “The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery.”

This true-crime biography chronicles the life of Bernard Patterson, a much-decorated Vietnam War hero turned real-life version of Don Quixote, Butch Cassidy and Robin Hood all rolled into one. On Nov. 12, 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. Chase’s well-researched book explores the life, motives and mystery surrounding both the historic robbery and the man behind it.

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. Along the way, he lived a raucous life while hobnobbing in aristocratic hangouts and giving money to those he perceived to be in need. Returned to the United States for prosecution, he was convicted and imprisoned. Released several years later, he moved back to northern Maine, where he continued to lead a reckless life that included running a pot farm until he died at age 56 in 2003. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the talk.

Chase is a freelance writer and operates a tax consulting business when not busy kayaking, canoeing, biking, mountain climbing and skiing. A Vietnam era Army veteran who served in Korea and Alaska, Chase is graduate of the University of Maine. Also author of “Mountains for Mortals – New England,” he previously wrote an outdoor column for the Lewiston Sun Journal and has contributed articles to several other newspapers and magazines. Ron and his wife, who live in Topsham, were Rockland residents from 1975 to 1985. During that time, he was Officer-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Office that was previously located in the Rockland Post Office building.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 594-0310.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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