November 23, 2004 by

Red Rountree


Categories: Criminals

J.L. Hunter ”Red” Rountree was in his 80s when he became a bank robber. At the time, he said, robbery sounded like a good way to make money — and get some revenge against the banking industry.
The Texas native was once a successful businessman. He made millions running the Rountree Machinery Co., but became financially strapped after a Corpus Christi bank called in a business loan and forced him into bankruptcy. Rountree’s first wife died in 1986; a year later he married a 31-year-old drug addict. After spending $500,000 putting her through rehab, they divorced in 1995.
Living off Social Security didn’t suit Rountree so he began robbing banks. He was 86 when he robbed the SouthTrust Bank in Biloxi, Miss., in 1998. Ten minutes after making his getaway, however, the police caught him. Rountree was sentenced to three years probation and a $260 fine, and ordered to leave Mississippi.
In 1999, Rountree was robbing a NationsBank in Pensacola, Fla., when two customers thwarted his efforts. He was convicted again and sentenced to three years in prison. Rountree was released in 2002, but a life of crime still appealed to him.
“You want to know why I rob banks? It’s fun. I feel good, awful good. I feel good for sometimes days, for sometimes hours,” Rountree once said in an interview with The Associated Press.
In 2003, Roundtree hit the First American Bank in Abilene, Texas. Although the robbery was successful — he got away with nearly $2,000 — Rountree was captured that same day and later sentenced to 12 years in prison. Considered the nation’s oldest known bank robber, Roundtree was transferred last January to the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo. He died on Oct. 12 at the age of 92. No family members came forward to claim Rountree’s body so he was buried in a cemetery near the prison.

3 Responses to Red Rountree


    My name is Robert B Rountree and i dont know if i would be related butt i would sure love to find out. If any body know please e-mail me and let me know.

  2. Cory Rountree

    Red was my grandfathers uncle. The body was claimed. I made sure of it. Most of our immediate family is ashamed. I am not. He made questionable choices later in life, but still deserves diginity in death.

  3. T.Jensen Lacey

    This is for Cory Rountree and/or other family members. I am writing about your relative for my book, AMAZING TEXAS and would like to know where “Red” was finally buried.
    Please email me back asap. Thanks
    T. Jensen Lacey

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