Episode 7 Transcript: Chapter 7: George Smith
Last week on Norco 80:
DJ McCarty: I’ve heard people talking...about hey he had no business being up there with a gun he didn’t know how to handle and uh...did he shoot Evans
Kevin Ruddy: You could really see that the defense really had nothing to say. In terms of minimizing the conduct of the other defendants...they couldn’t do it!
Debbie: All I kept hearing and it starting ringing in my ears was
ASC: All right. Can you hear me?
George: Yes I can.
ASC: Ok good. We are recording right now.
George: I would like to make a statement before we begin first is that okay?
ASC: OK, yes, of course.
George: All right. OK. I want the listeners to know that I'm deeply ashamed and embarrassed for my role in this crime. First of all, and I kept my silence because I was thinking this thing would just go away. But obviously it hasn't. And there are things that should be said to the Delgado and Evans family for this ultimate tragedy for them. And I wish the situation were not so. And and I ask their forgiveness and I'm glad for the opportunity and for
that thank you Antonia for this forum to be able to say this. I'm ready.
I’M ANTONIA CEREIJIDO AND FROM LAIST STUDIOS AND FUTURO STUDIOS THIS IS NORCO80, A SERIES ABOUT GOD, GUNS, SURVIVALISM AND THE BANK ROBBERY THAT CHANGED POLICING FOREVER.
CHAPTER 7: GEORGE SMITH
George: I knew eventually that we would fight the Soviet Union. I was convinced of that.
THEME MUSIC OUT
OF THE FIVE MEN WHO ROBBED A BANK IN NORCO IN 1980, ONLY 2 ARE ALIVE TODAY. MANNY AND BILLY DELGADO DIED ON THE SCENE. AND THE OTHER 3 WOULD BE SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE.
RUSS HARVEN - DIED IN DECEMBER OF 2019 OF HEART FAILURE WHILE IN PRISON. HIS OLDER BROTHER CHRIS HARVEN IS 70 YEARS OLD AND IS CURRENTLY AT A PRISON IN VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA. HE DENIED OUR REQUEST FOR AN INTERVIEW.
THAT LEAVES GEORGE SMITH. IN THE 40 YEARS HE’S BEEN IN PRISON, SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE, HE’S NEVER AGREED TO A BROADCAST INTERVIEW.
AFTER HEARING SO MUCH ABOUT GEORGE AND HIS INTENTIONS, WE WANTED TO ASK HIM DIRECTLY WHY HE ROBBED NORCO’S SECURITY PACIFIC BANK.
AND HOW HE RATIONALIZED HIS ANXIETIES OF THE TIMES INTO A PLAN THAT WOULD GO SO TERRIBLY WRONG.
GEORGE NEVER SPEAKS TO THE PRESS - HE SENDS ALL MEDIA REQUESTS TO HIS DAUGHTER, MONICA, AND THEY USUALLY END THERE. SO WHEN WE REACHED OUT TO HER DIRECTLY, WE HAD LITTLE HOPE THAT WE’D HEAR BACK. FOR 2 WEEKS WE WAITED. AND THEN, SHE LEFT US A VOICEMAIL.
[Voicemail] Monica: My name is Monica Miller. I’m calling in regards to an email that you sent me
GEORGE CONSIDERED OUR REQUEST, AND WHILE HE DID, MONICA AGREED TO BE INTERVIEWED.
ASC: S o, Monica, if you could just see your your name and how much you want to tell us about your daily life now? [00:01:49][8.7]
Monica: My name is Monica Miller. I am. Gosh. Forty three going on. Forty four. I am a mom of two. And I have lived in the Maryland area now for the last four years.
ASC: S o what are some early memories you have of your father?
Monica: Unfortunately, most of my my vivid memories are from after he was arrested.
MONICA WAS ONLY ABOUT THREE AND A HALF YEARS OLD WHEN GEORGE WAS ARRESTED. AND SHE ONLY REMEMBERS A COUPLE OF FLEETING MOMENTS OF THE TIME BEFORE THE ROBBERY. EVEN THOUGH HER PARENTS SPLIT UP, HER MOM, HANNE PALMER, WOULD BRING MONICA TO VISIT HER DAD.
Monica: I was very, very close to my father. My mother is an extreme, a health food addict. She is to this day and would never let me have sugar or things like that. And I would go to visit my dad. And those are some of the memories I have. He would sneak me.
Monica: He would let me eat junior mints. I would sit on his couch and he would massage my feet. I loved him to like like he did like the acupuncture, like painful massages. And even at, like, three years old. That was like our routine. I would like hop up and he would give me chocolate. And he would massage my feet.
MONICA WAS STILL A YOUNG CHILD WHEN GEORGE WAS CONVICTED, AND SO FOR DECADES SHE HAD TO BUILD HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER FATHER THROUGH WEEKLY CALLS AND OCCASIONAL, SOMETIMES ONLY ANNUAL, VISITS TO PRISON.
ASC: what sorts of things would you talk about with your with your dad?
Monica: So my dad loves to talk and he has a limited what's the word I'm looking for? He has a limited audience overall where he's at.
As I've gotten older, you know, there's regular life stuff that we discuss.
Monica: he has very strong opinions still about the world. What's going on in the world about the religious aspects of it. So I it's kind of a joke, and I hope that's appropriate to say.
ASC: What do you mean?
Monica: I mean, I code when I go now, it's kind of like my mom was like, OK, did you get preached to for the last like eight hours or four hours or whatever it is. And it's like, yeah, I got preached to.
Monica: I hear a lot of. For lack of a better phrase, doomsday prepping and kind of advice, and I've had that my whole life.
A MONTH AND HALF AFTER OUR INTERVIEW WITH MONICA, WE FINALLY REACHED GEORGE ON A PHONE FROM A STATE PRISON IN CORCORAN CALIFORNIA.
Monica: Ok - are you ready?ASC: Yes.Monica: Ok everybody should be here.
THROUGH MONICA WE WERE ABLE TO SET UP A SERIES OF 15 MINUTE PHONE CALLS WITH HIM - THAT’S THE LONGEST YOU HAVE PER CALL BEFORE YOU GET CUT OFF. GEORGE WOULD CALL US BACK WHEN WE GOT DISCONNECTED.
This call and your telephone number will be monitored and recorded
EACH TIME HIS MOOD SEEMED SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.
[MASHUP OF GEORGE/ASC GREETINGS]
WE SPOKE TO HIM OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL DAYS WHEN HE WAS ABLE TO GET ACCESS TO THE COMMUNAL PHONES.
Asc: Can you hear me?George: Yes I can.ASC: S o my first question for you is just what your daily life is like?George: What is my daily life now or then? You talking about today?George: We are on quarantine because of the coronavirus and therefore we are confined to our bunks most of the day.
WE STARTED THE INTERVIEW BY GOING ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING.
ASC: W hen you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? What were your interests at school?George: PaleontologyASC: Really?
George: When I was really young, you know ASC: W hat sparked that interest?George: That I loved dinosaurs.
Nine years old, eight years old. And the whole formation of the universe and everything was interesting. And I used to love to watch plants grow or take things out of the bean bag and put it in the ground and watch them sprout up, which is the I guess the gift of faith was early for me. I didn't think it was a far reaching for me to see there had to be a creator in all this.
GEORGE BRINGS UP HIS FAITH IN OUR CONVERSATION PRETTY MUCH RIGHT AWAY. HE SAYS HE DIDN’T GROW UP IN A RELIGIOUS HOUSEHOLD, THOUGH HE DID ATTEND CHURCH WITH HIS GRANDPARENTS. HIS FATHER WORKED IN CONSTRUCTION, AND HIS MOTHER WOULD OCCASIONALLY WORK A NIGHT TIME SHIFT AT A FACTORY.
ASC: Hanne mentioned to us that. There may have been abuse with your parents in that, for instance, your mother put out cigarette butts on your hands, on your palms.
George: It doesn't matter, though, those those those are irrelevant to any discussion. Both my parents are dead. Both my parents in the end confessed to christ believe it or not before they died. That was one of my prayers. And one of my concerns. As far as all that other stuff goes: It's irrelevant.
GEORGE’S MOTHER WAS JAPANESE AMERICAN. HE SAYS HE’S ALSO PART NATIVE AMERICAN, PART IRISH AND PART ENGLISH. HE TOLD ME HE WAS WHAT YOU COULD CALL THE “ULTIMATE AMERICAN.”
George: I’m a conglomeration of what you call your “ultimate American” hows that?
ASC: you know, growing up, what role do you feel your identity being. being Japanese played in your upbringing?
George: Well, I'm sure it had a large factor into it, because we're talking about my parents marrying after World War Two, we experienced prejudice all the time. They weren't Japanese. They were Japs. Right? And killing them and hating them was, was put into the culture. And then after that, you know, it's going to it's going to carry on over it always does, especially when you’re young. Why wouldn't young people call a child a Jap? I mean, you know it's obviously it's easy to do. Right?
George: You could let it destroy you or you can sit there and go, OK, this is the way it is.
THEN - HE LAUNCHES INTO SOME JAPANESE, WHICH HE HAS BEEN LEARNING IN PRISON.
George: [speaks japanese] instead of being ashamed of it kind of embrace it a little right?
There's positive aspects of every culture. Got it? If you if you try to embrace the negative, then you're going to you could turn out to be a monster.
WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.
PART 2 - SURVIVALISM
WHEN GEORGE SMITH BEGAN PREPARING FOR THE APOCALYPSE HE FEARED WAS COMING - HE IMAGINED SURVIVING IN A REMOTE LOCATION, LIVING OFF THE GRID - HE WAS A SURVIVALIST.
AND IN MANY WAYS THE CONCEPT OF SURVIVALISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT THE HEART OF AMERICAN IDENTITY. THIS IDEA OF SELF RELIANCE DATES BACK TO PIONEER TIMES.
BUT SELF-RELIANCE TOOK ON A NEW AESTHETIC DURING THE COLD WAR—IT MEANT PREPARING FOR A POTENTIAL GLOBAL MELTDOWN
Archival: Make no mistake: nuclear attack would be a terrible catastrophe. But that is a threat that can be combated. Can with knowledge, preparation and courage be faced and conquered
WHEN GEORGE WAS GROWING UP - SURVIVING MEANT STOCKPILING CANS AND DRIED GOODS AND BUILDING UP A REFUGE IN CASE OF A NUCLEAR BOMB.
Archival: No home in America is safe without a fallout shelter. This is the nuclear age
[you have 60 seconds remaining.]
OK, I've got to go.
IN THE EARLY 60S, THE US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HAD DISTRIBUTED PAMPHLETS TEACHING AMERICAN FAMILIES HOW TO MAKE BUNKERS.
Archival: A fall-out shelter you can build yourself is open for public inspection in Thomasville Georgia. ...A civil defense pamphlet “the family fallout shelter” contains plans and construction details for this and other types of shelters.
BY 1965, WHEN THERE WERE AN ESTIMATED 200,000 BUNKERS ACROSS THE U.S., THE FEAR OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION WAS GROWING AND IT SOON REACHED GEORGE.
George: Well, you don't remember the era of duck got under your desk because a nuclear bomb was duck and cover.
[Archival: Duck and cover]
George: When I went to school, they had the civil ceremony. They sound the alarm and everybody would dive under their desk. Right. Getting ready for the Soviet Union to nuke us.
And then in’ 62 or thereabouts with the Cuban missile crisis, I’m watching it on TV,
[Archival: President John F. Kennedy broadcast a special message to the nation from his office in the whitehouse]
George: one second away from World War Three. [Archival:...an attack requiring a full retaliatory
response against the Soviet Union] MUSIQUITA
ASC: What made you sign up for the army?
George: Well the country was at war. And I'm an American, not an anarchist that was running around trying to destroy the world.
DURING HIS MILITARY SERVICE, IN THE EARLY 1970S, GEORGE WOULD BE STATIONED IN GERMANY. WHAT HE SAW DURING HIS SERVICE IMPACTED HIM EVEN AFTER HE RETURNED HOME.
George: I worked with nuclear weaponsAnd now I can only imagine what has progressed today since
I've been out of the military since the 70s.
George: People have no idea what's going to happen. We’ve used the atomic bomb but we haven’t used the hydrogen bomb yet but that seems just around the corner.
ASC: You talked about how you were a soldier, But this is a time also where there was a pretty big anti-war movement. But that never called to you.
George: Of course, no if I'm a soldier that makes me a basic conservative. Right? I'm also very religious. I’m also very religious. I was even religious then.
GEORGE WAS EXPLORING EVANGELICAL CHURCH SERVICES DURING THE 1970s, A MOMENT IN TIME WHEN THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT WAS GATHERING MOMENTUM, AND POLITICAL POWER. IN 1976 - JIMMY CARTER, A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN AND DEMOCRAT, WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT. BUT BY THE END OF THE DECADE, CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS HAD BECOME A FORCE IN THE REPUBLICAN P ARTY, PROPELLING RONALD REAGAN INTO OFFICE.
[Archival] Reagan: A chance to make our laws and government not only a model to mankind but a testament to the wisdom and mercy of God
AND CANDIDATE REAGAN WOULD STOKE THE SAME FEAR THAT GEORGE HAD - THAT HIS WAY OF LIFE COULD COME TO AN END, BECAUSE OF THE COLD WAR.
[Archival]Reagan: We must ask ourselves ”is America more secure? Are we more confident in peace in the world than we
were just four years ago?” You know the answer to those questions. And it is no.
Reagan: We must build peace upon strength. There is no other way.
ASC: yesterday, you said you are a young conservative man. And I find that to be a little bit antithetical to, you know, growing marijuana, so I'm curious how you thought about that then.
GEORGE: So that was the whole. That was where the money was at.Everything for the cause at that point. As far as being a conservative a conservative is a capitalist, isn’t he?
ASC: Where do you think you developed those those political views?
George: You know, like, good for me, I guess, and to me, it was inert in me. My dad was a Democrat (laugh), but I seen a different perspective, especially in the world, because the world, the world hates the United States, we got no friends. And if you want to find out who belongs to the world and see the poverty and despair out there and that this is the great experiment. You cannot go to Japan and become Japanese. OK, but you can come to Japan and be an American, go figure huh?
GEORGE’S NATIONALISM GOES HAND IN HAND WITH SURVIVALIST CULTURE. THE IDEA THAT ANYONE IN THE UNITED STATES CAN PULL THEMSELVES UP BY THEIR BOOTSTRAPS.
THE TERM “SURVIVALISM” WAS ACTUALLY FIRST USED IN PRINT IN 1976. IN A NEWSLETTER WRITTEN BY A MAN NAMED KURT SAXON. SAXON HAD ALREADY BEEN WRITING MANUALS ABOUT HOW TO LIVE OFF THE LAND, STORE FOOD, BUILD MUNITIONS AND STOCKPILE GUNS.
Archival: these are survivalist manuals...pamphlets magazines and paperbacks on everything from self defense and food storage to building a fortified bunker.
KURT SAXON ALSO HAD A SERIES OF BOOKS CALLED “THE POOR MAN’S JAMES BOND.''
[Archival] Saxon: All hell is going to break out in a couple years, maybe 5, so I would like all of you to become self-sufficient and well-armed as possible.
THIS WAS AT THE SAME TIME THAT THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK - A MANUAL ON HOW TO MAKE BOMBS AND EXPLOSIVES - BECAME POPULAR. A BOOK THAT GEORGE AND HIS FRIENDS USED IN PREPARATION FOR THE ROBBERY.
ASC: When did you start purchasing firearms?George: All of this, as soon as I got out of the military.
when I first got stockbroking firearms, it just that I could purchase firearms. I'm in the military. I was around weapons for years and got used to them.
HE SAYS HE NEEDED TO BUY GUNS FOR PROTECTION
It was never an intention when I first started arming myself,that it was to rob a bank and to grow marijuana. I was arming myself because I knew eventually that we would fight the Soviet Union. I was convinced of that.
AND WHEN GEORGE MET CHRIS HARVEN - HIS PARKS DEPARTMENT COWORKER - THEY TALKED ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD WITH URGENCY.
George: We’d talk a lot about the political structure, what's going on and what what we perceive what was going to happen. We both believe that the great tribulation was getting ready to start.
ASC: When did you and Chris decide to move in together?
George: When we decided that the tribulation was coming at any moment and it's time to button down the hatches, commit everything to the to the endeavor, to the cause.
ASC: So do you remember the house, what it looked like, how you chose it? What was, what was the thinking?
George: What house?ASC: That house that you moved in with Chris.
George: We chose it because of the back, because of having a third of an acre. And the main thing the main thing to make the money was the marijuana crop.
[You have 60 seconds remaining]
[laughs] Young lady you know you get me to gabbing and I can’t stop, I’m sorry.
IT’S AT CHRIS AND GEORGE’S HOUSE - WHERE THEY DUG THE BUNKER AND GREW THE WEED -THAT GEORGE PREACHED HIS IDEAS TO FRIENDS INCLUDING BILLY AND MANNY DELAGDO.
George: They were good young men. They were men of faith, they weren’t hoodlums gangsters or anything like that. They believed, they had good senses of humor. They were brothers to me, I would guess, because they became like my little brothers.
They would come visit just to isit. And Talk. Because they listened. And they perceived the same thing in the end, that's my influence on ‘em. Because I was so sure that this conflict was getting ready to happen.
THE CONFLICT GEORGE IS REFERRING TO IS THE END OF THE WORLD PROPHECY SOME CHRISTIANS INTERPRET IN THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS.
George: Well, there's a lot of different literature that looks like the Great Late planet Earth and stuff like that
that were out there at the time, like bestsellers. And so you would pick up on stuff like that and you would read it.
I got uh - I misled myself. ASC: What do you mean?
George: Well, I was I was convinced at that point that the tribulation was going to start at any time, I don’t know if you understand any christian theology but there's a time when the world is going to be so bad that it’'ll make World War Two and all of them look like child's play and me working with nuclear weapons and stuff like that...
George: If you really knew what it would look like, I think you’d have a little bit more concern.
But anyhow, I was convinced that it was going to. It was getting ready to start
THERE’S A PART OF THE BIBLE THAT SOME INTERPRET TO SAY THAT THE RAPTURE, THE RETURN OF CHRIST, WILL HAPPEN A GENERATION AFTER ISRAEL BECOMES A NATION. GEORGE ORIGINALLY UNDERSTOOD A GENERATION TO MEAN SO FIGURED THE END OF THE WORLD WAS COMING AROUND 1980.
I thought a generation was 40 years in the Bible, [quotes scripture] Well later on, I find out after studying that myself in prison. It's one hundred and twenty years. So you know way off, way off base, And I believe it will start at any time, but not in the timeframe they expected at that time.
GEORGE FRAMES HIS MISTAKE AS ONE OF MISCALCULATION, THAT HE GOT THE MATH WRONG. BUT HE STILL BELIEVES THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END, SOMEDAY.
WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.
ASC: The last series of questions I want to ask you, you know, we've been talking to a lot of people and people have said things about you, and I want to give you the opportunity to respond to very specific things that were said.
AS C: Whose idea was it to rob the bank?
George: [long pause] I’m not sure if it came up with me mentioning it or somebody else I don’t recall exactly who mentioned it, we just all eventually agreed on it.
ASC: Chris, in the interview with the police, he pretty directly says that it was your idea to come up with the robbery
George: It could have been. But, you know, I don't remember specifically saying this, rob a bank, but it could have been. I’m not going to say it wasn’t. But again I don't remember me actually bringing up robbing a bank, but it could have been.
GEORGE EVEN ADMITTED HIMSELF IN HIS INTERROGATION WITH THE POLICE THAT THE PLAN TO ROB THE BANK WAS HIS PLAN.
ASC: You told me on a previous call that before you went, the five of you vowed to not hurt or to not kill. Could you tell me a little bit about that?
George: To kill for money would be completely wrong for me. I can't speak for everybody, but we agreed that we were not going to kill. All of us are people of a skewed faith that was still faith and we knew it'd be wrong to kill for money, period. And then the. When the action started, that was what was happening and that's why they lost so many vehicles.
GEORGE IS REFERENCING THE OVER 30 PATROL CARS THAT WERE DAMAGED OVER THE COURSE OF THE ROBBERY, SHOOTOUT AND CHASE. HE IS CITING THAT AS EVIDENCE THEY NEVER MEANT TO SHOOT TOWARDS PEOPLE - THAT THEY WERE AIMING FOR VEHICLES.
ASC: Did you shoot towards the police? Were you shooting towards them when you were on Lytle Creek? Did you shoot toward the police?
George: I didn't fire a shot there.ASC: If you didn't have any intent to kill, why did you
bring such heavy firearms, such intense artillery?
George: Yeah, that was like it went against us, right, and we knew it was going against us, then you flee, and then you go into the mountains and you go in with what you got you got... If you're going to survive out there that you gotta have something to hunt with and things like that. Everything was to escape.
WHAT GEORGE IS TRYING TO SAY HERE IS THAT THEY HAD STOCKPILED WEAPONS AND THE SURVIVAL GEAR NOT FOR THE ROBBERY, BUT FOR AFTERWARDS - WHEN THEY WOULD FLEE INTO THE WILDERNESS.
George: You know, I did the robbery. I tried to do the robbery.Ok. I Did the robbery. I did fight back. Those things are fact, but as far as being Mad Dog Killer no.
A BIG POINT GEORGE WANTED TO BRING UP, WAS HOW MANNY HAD DIED. HE DIDN'T BELIEVE MANNY DIED BY HIS OWN HAND. GEORGE BELIEVES MANNY WAS EXECUTED BY THE POLICE.
George: Nobody commits suicide, the way with the angle that the bullets came down. He was on his knees and the guy stood over top of them and shot from a downward angle. And that's all in the autopsy report.
WE BROUGHT THIS UP IN A PREVIOUS EPISODE - THE AUTOPSY REPORT SAYS MANNY DIED FROM A CLOSE CONTACT WOUND TO THE CHEST. BUT CONTRARY TO WHAT GEORGE SAYS - THE REPORT STATES THAT THE ANGLE
OF THIS SHOT WAS “A STRAIGHT FRONTAL WOUND”. BUT THERE IS STILL SOME MYSTERY AROUND WHO SHOT THE FATAL ROUND BECAUSE THE BULLET THAT KILLED MANNY DELGADO WAS NEVER RECOVERED.
GEORGE: And like I said, I sent it to the Herald Examiner. I sent it to The Times. I couldn't get no traction anywhere from anybody, not even my attorney and then the district attorney drops the counts, so I can't bring it up in court. So they muzzled us real quick on that one, but I vowed then that I wouldn't forget it. And every time somebody would talk to me, I said “you remember Manuel Delgado was murdered.”
ASC: How did you find out that Emanuel had died?George: Well, I found out in the hospital. My dad came to
see me. And he told me that both my friends are dead. ASC: d o you remember how you felt?
George: Devastated. I condemn myself completely. Told the creator, father in heaven. I deserve to be sent to hell, the whole...with extreme prejudice upon myself.
THROUGHOUT OUR CONVERSATION I SOMETIMES FEEL A WAFFLING FROM GEORGE ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. HE AT TIMES ADMITS TO GOING AGAINST GOD’S WISHES, BUT HE ALSO POSITIONS HIMSELF AS SOMEONE UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S MESSAGES.
AND HE STILL BELIEVES SOMETHING BIG IS COMING AND THAT NO ONE ELSE REALLY GETS IT
George: I still gave lectures yesterday to different people about the information that I know people don't know or they don't perceive to know.
THIS PARTICULAR POINT IS THE ONE I FIND MOST FRUSTRATING ABOUT GEORGE. I FELT A SENSE OF CONDESCENSION AS WE SPOKE - THAT HE BELIEVED THAT HIS PERCEPTION OF REALITY WAS SOMEHOW GREATER THAN EVERYONE ELSE’S.
THE MOMENT I FELT IT THE STRONGEST IS WHEN HE DISMISSED PREVIOUS STATEMENTS FROM HIS EX WIVES.
ASC: OK, then we've spoken to both Rosie Miranda and Hanne and they mentioned that you got physically violent with them, kicking Rosie in particular.
George: Physically violent? ASC: Yeah, physically violent.
George: I got mad at Hanne one time and I kicked her ass, but that's as far as that went and I apologize immediately after. Far as Rosie goes, that was 15, 15 years old. And I'm really immature. And as far as violence, I don't know, I might have slapped her. But the bottom line is there was no what you call...hitting her with my fist or beating her to a pulp. I slapped her once, twice. At 15.
ASC: She said says you kicked her in the stomach. When you thought she was pregnant.
George: I kicked her in the stomach?
ASC: That's what she said yeah.
George: (Laughing) No, I... didn’t do that. And maybe that's how she remembers a kick in ass. But no. It wasn't because she was pregnant. It was because she was telling me she's leaving in me. And I sorry I laugh at that. That is.... I thought you said.... I got no ill will for none of them. I prayed for both of them. Both Rosalinda, her name is Rosalinda and Hannelore.
GEORGE LATER WANTED TO CLARIFY SOME OF WHAT HE SAID HERE. HE SENT A STATEMENT, PART OF WHICH READS “I CARRY NO ILL WILL TOWARDS ROSALINDA. THE THINGS SHE REMEMBERS ABOUT ME ARE NOT TRUE. I NEVER KICKED HER IN THE STOMACH BECAUSE SHE SAID SHE WAS PREGNANT. NOR WANTED US TO DIE TOGETHER OR WANTED TO KILL ANYONE.”
ASC: This is the last question, what do you hope people take away after hearing the story? What do you hope that people who hear about this learn?
George: I did this for Emmanuel Delgado, and the Evans Family. What is what they take away with it is...I don't believe in lying. OK? So I. It happened 40 years ago, I was young and dumb and stupid, fine, and I haven't... I didn't pursue this interview, obviously, that you can tell them that, right. In fact, I've denied access to me from many people who have tried over the years to talk to me. I'm doing this now because. My tour of duty in his body's about done, like, I don't know how much longer I’m gonna last, and it doesn't matter, everybody dies.
So what we do is we do the best we can and we stay to the faith. There's a whole bunch more that people can't see because I've committed myself to finding the truth, those truths. And I've been doing that for 40 years in prison.
WHILE GEORGE HAS SPENT YEARS SEARCHING FOR TRUTHS BEHIND BARS, HIS DAUGHTER MONICA HAS ALSO BEEN SEARCHING, FOR A WAY TO COME TO TERMS WITH WHAT HER FATHER DID.
ASC: how were you processing all of that?
Monica: that’s what has brought me here to talk to you.
MONICA HAS WORKED TO RECONCILE TWO VERY DIFFERENT IDEAS OF HIM: THE FATHER WHO RUBBED HER FEET, WITH THE ROBBER WHO WIELDED ASSAULT RIFLES AND BOMBS IN NORCO, CALIFORNIA.
Monica: As I look back at my life and those things that made me who I am today good and bad, it was really difficult and really confusing to figure out how to balance the fact that - sorry I’m gonna get a little choked up - I loved this person so much and that this person did something so horrible. And the incredible shame that came
with it was this really dark secret. Like I said my relationship with my father had been very different.
And so even once he was in jail. I always used to say, to myself growing up was I had the best dad in prison.
Monica: I had this person who on the one hand, like I said, I you know, I loved. And it was very confusing, really difficult to process.
AND - THE WAY THAT SHE’S BEEN ABLE TO COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF HER FATHER’S ACTIONS - FOR HERSELF AND FOR HER FAMILY - IS BY THINKING OF THEM, IN SOME WAY, AS PROTECTIVE.
Monica: I think he felt - I don't think I know he felt a need to try to get my mother back, to change that, to again, to save... to save us all. And in the way he could do that is by literally physically saving us all.
BY STEALING MONEY TO BUY A BUNKER IN A REMOTE LOCATION
Monica: Like I said, even to this day, there's still a part of him that feels like he is going to still get to be.
Monica: The one to rescue and save us all in a save me and save our family and his ideas on how that's going to happen or or or what it might look like are different as time goes on. But I think that whole idea to him is still really appealing.
George: I'll make sure Monica watches and see how you edit this thing, because I’m still leery. Right. Monica you there?
Monica: I'm here. Yes, I'm here. I was just on mute.
George: your dad loves you. Make sure you watch Antonia and them real close when they edit this thing and I'll talk to you later, OK?
NEXT TIME ON NORCO 80.‘THE BANK ROBBERY GOES FROM BEING AN EVENT TO POLICE LEGEND.
Archival: On May 9, 1980,. One of the most daring and spectacular bank robberies to occur in the United States took place here. Five heavily armed men would commit a robbery at this bank that would result in two of the suspects being killed...
IN OUR FINAL CHAPTER, HOW WE STILL FEEL THE IMPACT THE NORCO BANK ROBBERY TODAY.
This week’s episode of Norco 80 is written and produced by me, Antonia Cereijido and by Sophia Paliza Carre and Marialexa Kavanaugh.
The show is a production of LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios.
Leo G is the executive producer for LAist Studios. Marlon Bishop is the executive producer for Futuro Studios.
Audrey Quinn is our editor. Joaquin Cotler is our Associate Producer. Juan Diego Ramirez is our Production Assistant.
Fact checking by Amy Tardif.Engineering by Stephanie LebowOriginal music by Zach Robinson.This podcast is based on the book Norco '80 by Peter Houlahan
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