Nation: It Was Pennsylvania Gothic

Robbery, murder, lust and revenge in a bucolic setting

West of Philadelphia, Chester County is a rural paradise of well-tended farms, fox hunters galloping to hounds, and Amish families traveling by carriage to hamlets dating from colonial times. It is horse country—Thoroughbreds, trotters and steeplechasers—a quiet haven for the landed gentry. But in the back country along the Maryland and Delaware borders, Chester County is also home to a band of outlaws that has preyed for years on affluent neighbors.

The gang's members have pulled off hundreds of robberies, stealing cash from store safes, jewelry, antiques and cars...

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