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Rooster, Kathy and Linda

Rooster Bogle is the epicenter of the book. He was not the first of at least 60 criminals in the family-- that distinction goes to his parents and his older brothers--nor was he the most violent. Claiming that title, are one of his sons and a nephew. Each committed murders that earned them life sentences.

Kathy, Rooster, and Linda


If the Corleones had a godfather, Rooster’s mom, Elvie, was the godmother of the Bogle family. As some in the family said, Elvie was "the one who wore the pants," and made the key decisions that led the family into four generations of crime.

Elvie (right) and her mother, Frances. Paris, Texas 1919

Bobby and Tracey

Bobby (center) and Tracey (left). Oregon State Penitentiary

Bobby Bogle, one of Rooster's sons, has been locked behind bars for most of his life since he was 12. His brother, Tracey, dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and graduated instead to more serious crime. They were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms for jointly kidnapping, assaulting, and robbing a couple in a dispute over a car detailing business Bobby claimed to own.


Tony Bogle was Rooster's oldest son, and perhaps for this reason, the biggest target of his father's abuse. Tony did not have toys, because Rooster didn't like toys. Tony was not allowed to play sports because Rooster thought sports were silly. "Instead Rooster taught us to steal stuff, and that was the fun thing in our lives, stealing," Tony said.

Tammie and Ashley

Tammie with Tracey

It was a mystery to most of the Bogles how to break free of the family curse of crime, but a few did find a way out. Tammie Bogle’s mother was a devout Southern Baptist, and Tammie found that a deep religious faith in God could keep her from succumbing to the pitfalls of the kind that destroyed so many of her relatives. Ashley Bogle, a grand daughter of Rooster and his second wife, Linda, found a different path out, through education and being a good student.


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