The Road to Six Mile is the first time Arthur Edward Williamson (aka Fast Eddie) has spoken on-the-record about his role in creating one of the most successful bank robbery gangs in southern history. For more, read the show notes or listen to the episode above.
The Faces of Fast Eddie Williamson
Fast Eddie Williamson has run into the cops many times since the 1970s. Here’s how he has looked over the course of the past four decades.
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Six Mile: The Brass is Angry
In 1976, Bub Skelton and Luke Cannon both pleaded guilty to assisting in planning the March 3, 1972 robbery of the Banker’s Trust branch in Six Mile, SC. Foster Sellers, Eddie Williamson, and Larry Hacker committed the robbery just after 8am that day. A month later, the top brass at the FBI wrote memos to the field agents suggesting their investigative efforts needed some refinement.
Dawson Gang Membership Roster
While the members of the bank robbery gang never called themselves the Dawson Gang nor established any membership policies, the people below have been associated with the Dawson Gang and its activities in the 1970s. In addition to the people featured in the photos, authorities also identified the following people as Dawson Gang associates: Forrest “Cotton” McGuire, Arnold McGuire, Tip Gibson, Phil Gibson, Billy Jenkins, Hoyt Powell, and Jobie David Dawson.
The Swampers & The Dawsons
Prior to becoming a professional bank robber, Fast Eddie Williamson spent time in Leighton, Alabama with the notorious DeWitt Dawson and his family of bootleggers. The Dawsons were to organized crime what The Swampers were to music in nearby Muscle Shoals.
Just two years before Fast Eddie showed up in Alabama, the Rolling Stones had been there to record, Wild Horses and Brown Sugar.
Over the next several years, the Northern Alabama music scene produced other iconic recordings including Kodachrome (Paul Simon), Night Moves (Bob Seger), and Street Survivors (Lynyrd Skynyrd).
Following Larry Hacker
After his time with the Dawson Gang, bank robber Larry Hacker, well known for his ability to escape prisons, fashioned a device that let him and a fellow inmate climb out of Brushy Mountain Prison in Tennessee. What they didn’t plan: another inmate followed them. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassin James Earl Ray climbed out, too, setting off a massive manhunt. In total, seven people escaped, but police captured them all within three days.
Years later, a nearby landowner created a brutal marathon course in the same treacherous terrain Ray ran through as he attempted to evade the cops.
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The Road to Six Mile lets listeners hear Fast Eddie Williamson for the first time.
In phone calls from federal prison, Williams explains about the early days of the Dawson Gang and how he and his cohorts first started robbing banks.
The episode then begins to explore the Dawson Gang’s connection to the Greenville, South Carolina drug underworld Lt. Frank Looper battled in the mid-70s.