Of course we never think that it could happen; the people of Comanche, Texas and most especially those working in the Comanche National Bank at 11:25 a.m. on December 12, 1968, didn’t think it could happen either. And yet, it was exactly at that time on that particular day that a lone gunman brandishing a double barrel sawed-off shotgun entered. The man would later be identified as Jerry Dean Cloud.
Today, the old bank building houses Star Beau’s Restaurant, and it was through the side entrance (facing Houston Street) that I have used at least a hundred times that the man entered the bank.
Standing for a moment, the robber then called out in a loud voice, demanding that the seven bank employees and four customers lie on the floor while he filled his striped canvas bag with something less than $19,000 from the drawers of three tellers.
Bank President, Jack Moore, exited his office only to be told at gun point to join the others on the floor. Sherry Decker (Power) was the first teller forced to empty her drawer of money for the gunman, actually taking the cash from two drawers. The man then took the contents of a third drawer and then exited the bank, using the parked car of resident, Jack Gore, to make his escape. Of course, no one locked his vehicle or took his keys out of it in the Comanche, Texas of 1968 so this was not a hard thing to do.
Other employees inside the bank at the time of the robbery were Donald Hall, Doris White, Myrt Jackson, Beth Martin, and Shirley Martin. Customers unfortunate enough to be inside the bank were a Mr. and Mrs. Wright and Mr. and Mrs. O.B. Brinson.
Gore’s vehicle was located very shortly after the robbery where it had been abandoned in the community of White Point, which is located southwest of the town of Comanche.
Of course, by 1968, bank accounts were insured so no one lost his money and, thankfully, no one inside the bank was harmed…just the wits scared out of all of them!
If you would like to see the gun used in this robbery, visit the Comanche County Historical Museum where it is on display.