Friday, July 27, 2007
Recent Photo of Ponytail Bandit or Mild Manored School Teacher? Compare FBI Photos to Morgan Michelle Hoke Photo. Who is The Real Ponytail Bandit
Could this woman in black be the Pony Tail Bandit? The Ponytail Bandit always wore a cap during her bank robberies. (This woman is wearing a cap.) The Ponytail Bandit in red is estimated to be in her 20s. (This woman looks to be in her 20's.) The FBI thinks the woman in the red is responsible for at least three bank robberies in Austin, Texas and for similar robberies in Roseville, California, and Lynnwood, Washington. The Ponytail Bandit wears a baseball cap and has shoulder-length blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. (This lady typically wears her hair in a ponytail. The hair is darker, but in the age of hair dye, that could be a disguise.)
The female suspect typically slouches with her arms folded. (This woman is exhibiting similar posture and has her arms folded.) "In each of the robberies, a woman entered the bank, verbally demanded money, and then left the bank on foot," according to the FBI. (This woman is on foot.)
Looks like a possible match. But look what happened the last time the FBI jumped to conclusions in Boston? Well, Federal Judge Nancy Gertner ordered the government to pay a record judgment of $101.7 million because agents withheld evidence that would have kept four men from spending decades in prison for a murder they apparently did not commit. The case involved the 1965 murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan who was shot in an alley.
The Judge opined that Boston FBI agents knew mob hitman Joseph "The Animal" Barboza lied when he named Joseph Salvati, Peter Limone, Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco as Deegan's killers. Tameleo and Greco died while in prison. Salvati and Limone spent approximately 30 years incarcerated before they were exonerated in 2001. Salvati, Limone and the dependents of the deceased suspects sued the federal government for malicious prosecution.
"What I've been through - I hope it never happens to anyone else," said Limone who is now 73.
Judge Gertner said FBI agents Dennis Condon and H. Paul Rico not only withheld evidence of Barboza's lie, but allegedly told state prosecutors they had confirmed Barboza's story. The government argued that federal authorities had no duty to share information with state prosecutors. Judge Gertner disagreed and awarded $26 million to Limone, $29 million to Salvati, $13 million to Tameleo's estate and $28 million to Greco's estate.
So is this another photo of the Ponytail Bandit? No, but she probably could use the money!
Update 2-14-08: Morgan Michelle Hoke is pictured in the above photo taken in Thailand. She is alleged to be the real Ponytail Bandit. But doesn't the mild mannered teacher look like a closer fit to the FBI photos?
Update 6-19-08: Morgan Michell Hoke had good news recently. The so-called “Ponytail Bandit” had one of the cases against her dismissed in California last month. Morgan Hoke is accused of a string of bank robberies in the Austin area, California and Washington state. A judge in Los Angeles dismissed the case against her there. She is expected to be tried in federal court in Sacramento later this year.