Putting The Pen Back Into Penmanship: Unreadable Note Leads To Failed Bank Robbery

Alan Slattery, and the alleged note. (Sussex Police)As schools abandon penmanship across the country, Alan Slattery, 67, may be the ultimate example of the costs of bad penmanship. In this case, a sentence of four years in the pen. Slattery sought to rob a bank but his handwriting was so bad that the teller could not make it out. Eventually either his writing or a teller’s reading improved because (after failing a second time), he succeeded in making off with $3,300 before being arrested, according to the Sussex Police.

Slattery is retired and tried to rob the Nationwide Building Society on the morning of March 18 but the teller was stumped in reading his writing. He is not the first to encounter this problem. Another bank robber of note was foiled in “Take the Money and Run” by a note that seemed to say “gub” rather than “gun.”

Notably, after getting his handwriting right with a teller on the third try, Slattery took the $3,300 and boarded a bus. He was later identified by the photo on his pass. Not exactly John Dillinger.

It may be true, as Plato said, that “Handwriting is the shackle of the mind.” However, it is also true that the lack of handwriting can lead to actual shackles.

29 thoughts on “Putting The Pen Back Into Penmanship: Unreadable Note Leads To Failed Bank Robbery”

  1. Professor………a great story, the comedy of which is surpassed only by that of a would-be bank robber here in Austin, Tx, who tried to rob a local bank’s drive-thru window a few years ago.

      1. “D.J.T. is living rent-free in your head, and you can’t evict him…”

        Only in your mind, Ron.

  2. I believe every country in the world with a majority black population is a poor uneducated high-crime country (if I’m wrong, educate me). I wonder if us white people in America and our “systematic racism” are responsible for that too?

        1. Anonymous – if you post an article that’s behind a paywall, consider linking to an alternative, as you later did, or sum it up. We can find other stories on the same topic, but will have no idea if it had the same perspective as the article you desired us to read.

        2. Employers who mandate vaccinations are in reality requiring immunity. They should consider allowing students to present a titer with protective antibodies in lieu of vaccination.

          I oppose government mandates, and have made that clear.

          Employers have some rights to impose requirements on their employees. For instance, they may require that employees have no criminal history, which is especially important if they enter client’s homes, handle money or sensitive information.

          I can understand why elder care facilities and hospitals want their employees vaccinated. But it does seem wrong to force anyone to do it. I also know for a fact that hospitals also forced nurses to work while sick, including sick with Covid, because that happened to someone I know. They never have enough nurses, so they work sick during cold and flu season. When Covid hit, nurses who should have been home in bed were told they had to come in. This exposed patients and other staff to Covid. Now that they’re vaccinated, they still have to work while sick, If they have a breakthrough Delta infection, they will still expose patients and fellow staff to Covid.

          Does anyone know how they’ve gotten around the law against mandating Emergency Use Authorization vaccines?

          The vaccine is a weapon in our arsenal against this disease. But it’s not the only one. There is a growing voice in the epidemiology community calling for more focus on treatment. They’re saying that this virus will never be beaten, only slowed from time to time. It will continue to develop other strains, some of which will be resistant to vaccination. Treatment must be considered an essential weapon in our arsenal against Covid.

          China also needs to be held accountable. They were studying gain of function in bat coronaviruses in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Serious shortcomings in biosafety were pointed out to them. The theory that the virus escaped from the lab is gaining evidence.

          I don’t know if China followed through on its intent, published in internal papers, of weaponizing SARS. I don’t know if they were studying gain of function just to understand how to defeat pandemics, or for something darker.

          It is indisputable that China hid this outbreak, and punished Chinese citizens who warned the world. Were it not for this deception, we might have managed to contain SARS-CoV2 before it went global. Scientists from around the world would have converged to help China contain the virus.

          Instead, it was deliberately allowed to grow and go pandemic. Why? Did China not want to be the only one to suffer from this outbreak? Not want to lose face? Did it wish to weaken American and European economies?

    1. Jonathan also must have missed the 44-page court order denying the motion to dismiss the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit for defamation against Mike Lindell, Sydney Powell and Giuliani. The Order spells out all of the lies that were told in great detail and explains how there was absolutely no evidence to support any of the Big Lies these people told. Lindell was at a 72-hour rally to try to get momentum for the Big Lie, and left the stage, apparently because he was told about this court order. Lindell and the others have multiple millions of dollars at stake. I truly feel sorry for Lindell, who replaced one obsession (heroin addiction) with devotion to Trump. If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll probably end up losing his business.

        1. TODAY, 11:00


          ‘Lindell is the latest to be sued by Dominion Voting Systems for accusing the company of “stealing millions of votes” and rigging the 2020 presidential election.

          ‘The lawsuit, filed February 22, seeks $1.3billion for defamation, claims that Lindell “exploited another chance to boost sales” after hitting the jackpot with Trump’s endorsement for My Pillow.

          ‘It also insisted that his “big lie” has “increased My Pillow sales by 30-40% and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases.”’


  3. If the teller was younger than 30, the same issue would have occurred if Slattery had written in cursive. Very few (please notice that I did NOT say all) younger folks can read or write in cursive. Have to thank the nuns in the 50s and 60s for teaching good penmanship.

  4. Our 14 year old son filed out an employment application for a job to pump gas. Yes a place that ran out and pumped your gas for you. When I drove him around to deliver the filled out applications, the owner told us to wait while he read the application while he ran the register. He said after he read the app, that he would give our son a shot, since, according to his hand writing, it might be the only job he would ever get.
    HS Valedictorian, and top 5 of his Engineering class(Not top 5%) Looks can be deceiving.

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