MINNESOTA: The Farmer's Friends

For Vernon Richter, the joy of farming had vanished; life on a 4OO-acre rented farm near Fergus Falls, Minn, had become a grim effort to survive. Through the freezing winter Richter, 31, cared for his six small children so that his wife could clerk in a Fergus Falls clothing store. When spring came he went into his fields at 4 a.m., stayed until midnight fighting the soil for a fuller yield. But the bills piled up.

Richter, never in trouble before, decided in his desperation to rob a bank. He stole a set of license tags, bought a shotgun and...

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