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TOPIC: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box

The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 8 months ago #4160

  • Kanacki
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There is a story of lost box of money in Wasington state.

John Tornow was born on September 4, 1880. From the time he was just a small child, he preferred the unexplored wilderness near his home as his playground. As he grew, he spent more time with wild animals than he did with people. He would vanish into the woods for weeks at a time. Hunting only for food, he learned to track as well as any Indian and his shooting skills quickly became legendary and he become known as the wild man of Winoochee.

He would return to his home only for brief visits with his parents, usually bearing gifts of game. By the time he reached his teen years, almost any animal would approach him unafraid, and his family had begun to think he was just a little bit crazy.

In 1909 His brothers who owned a timber mill had John placed in a mental insitution. But John being a giant of a man escaped after about year. He shunned his brother after that but occasionally visited his sister and her family.

It was his undoing for some unknown reason in 1911 he shot his nephews dead. And the a possie was formed to hunt him down. A price of a $1000 was put on his head and many would be bounty hunters were after him.

But he eluded them all and his legend began to grow as his story was told from camp to camp. During his rampage he burgled a country store that doubled as a bank that had a strong box conating 15000 dollars and his bounty was put up to 2000 dollars.

Now men from all over the state was looking for him and the strong box. Several men and a sherief got close to capturng John but were killed and guttered with a knife. Making him an even bigger legend of a wildman outlaw.

Though the searches continued and Tornow was spied here and there, the mountain man continued to elude capture. A month later on April 16th 1912, Deputy Giles Quimby, along with two other men by the names of Louis Blair and Charlie Lathrop, came upon a small shack made of bark. Sure that the crude cabin belonged to Tornow, Quimby wanted to head back for a posse, but the other two balked at having to share the bounty.

So, with guns ready, they approached the shack when a shot rang out, hitting Blair who fell into the nearby bushes. Lathrop returned fire, but was immediately hit in the neck killing him instantly. Quimby, left alone with the marksman, desperately tried to negotiate with Tornow, telling him that all he wanted was the strongbox and promising to let the wanted man go free.

From his hiding place Tornow shouted, "It’s buried!”

Quimby continued to assert that he wanted nothing but the return of the money and would then leave John alone. Though Tornow was hesitant, not sure that Quimby would keep his word, the deputy assured him that he would let him go.

Finally, Tornow answered the deputy by stating, "It’s buried in Oxbow, by the boulder that look’s like a fish’s fin. Take it and leave me alone!”

Having retrieved the information from Tornow, Quimby didn’t keep his word, opening fire upon the foliage where John was hiding. Though no return shots were fired, Quimby wasn’t sure if he had hit the man or if Turnow might be just "playing dead.” Stealthily, Quimby scurried away through the woods.

When Quimby returned to Montesano, Sheriff Matthews gathered up another posse and the men began the trek back to the spot where Quimby had fired on Tornow. After cautiously approaching the trees, Tornow was found dead leaning against a tree. The men found $6.65 in silver coins on his body, identifying some of them as those taken from Jackson’s Grocery store.

Before Tornow's body was even returned to Montesano, word had already reached the town that the "wild man” had been killed and curious gawkers began lining the street in order to get a peek at the legendary mountain man.

Deputy Sheriff Giles Quimby told newspaper reporters that John Tornow had "the most horrible face I ever saw. The shaggy beard and long hair, out of which gleamed two shining, murderous eyes, haunts me now. I could only see his face as he uncovered himself to fire a shot, and all the hatred that could fire the soul of a human being was evident.”

There was much public interest in seeing the body of the wildman. And johns brothers tired of the fiasco seeing there late brothers body parts taken as souveniers had him quietly buried in Matlock cemetary Greys Harbour Washington.

Deputy Quimby later went looking for the boulder that looked like a fish’s fin and was delighted when he found it. However, his happiness was short lived, as search as he might, he never found the strongbox. Numerous other men followed in his footsteps, looking all over Oxbow, Washington , but the $15,000 treasure was never found.

The money is thought to be buried on the Wynooche River where it turns into a large, horseshoe-shaped creek. However, a dam has since been built upstream, which may have caused a change in the river’s flow. Tornow said that he buried the cache near a fin-like rock.

So perhaps this treasure connected to this legendary outlaw is still there hidden some where along the Wynooche River in the Olympic National Forest, awaiting discovery?

Kanacki
Last Edit: 8 years 8 months ago by Kanacki.
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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 8 months ago #4174

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Here is a post card of John Tornow.











Kanacki




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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 8 months ago #4182

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B) Kewel Story. I look forward to hearing more of them. The pacific northwest was a wild and ragged place and still is to this day. Very nicely done. :)
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 5 months ago #6289

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This shack was allegely at one time lived in by John Tornow



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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 5 months ago #6290

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And this is the inside of the alleged hideout.

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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 5 months ago #6297

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Yup... I'd say the cash is still hiden somewhere up in them thar mmountains! :cheer: From the looks of the pictures of his place, it's obvious that he didn't spend any of it on home improvement! :laugh:
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Re: The Wild man of Winoochee's lost cash box 8 years 5 months ago #6299

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:lol:

Don't think he would of gotten many vaccuum salesman visiting either, :laugh:

Kanacki
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