Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Prison Break

The story involving Jesus Anaya and Louis Basso took a sensational turn when Louis escaped Maricopa County Jail along with seven other federal prisoners on 8 June 1916. The wife of one of the prisoners helped the men escape by smuggling a hacksaw into the prison when she was visiting her husband.
Newspapers.com, Arizona Republic, 8 Jun 1916.
Arizona Republic, 11 June 1916
After making their escape from Phoenix, several of the men held up a freight train, pretending to be stranded miners dying of thirst. This was the English speaking contingent of the escapees. Basso was part of the Spanish speaking group who made a straight run for the border. The English speaking inmates, led by J. C. Trout, were all captured by 13 June 1916. The story of Trout and the others is pretty crazy, but my focus is on Basso.
Arizona Daily Star, 1 Feb 1917.
As of 1 February 1917, Basso and Molecio Casso had not been captured.

A bit of background. Louis Basso was born in Naples, Italy about 1889. In the 1910 US Census, Basso was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant in Riverside, California. The census record indicates he arrived in the US about 1906. It is unclear when he may have gone to Mexico, but he appeared in the US border crossing records at Naco, Arizona on 30 March 1915, as a cook going to Bisbee, Arizona.

Basso met Jesus Anaya, probably in 1914 or early 1915, perhaps in a restaurant in Tucson. They certainly struck up a connection. Unfortunately for Jesus, she went to federal prison in Colorado. From the available articles, it looks like Basso was never captured after he escaped from prison. So where did he go? I will pick this up in the next post.

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