Episode 331:

Hermetic Lifestyles

The Devastating Tri-State Tornado of 1925


The Buenos Aires Bank Heist of 2006


Episode 331: Hermetic Lifestyles

This week, Karen and Georgia cover the devastating Tri-State Tornado of 1925 and the Buenos Aires bank heist of 2006.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

The Devastating Tri-State Tornado of 1925

The Devastating Tri-State Tornado of 1925 Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash

Other Images:

Murphysboro, IL after the tornado (via Tornado Facts)

West Frankfort, IL after the tornado (via Madeweather)

A 1x5 inch board which was driven through a 2x6 inch post (Earth Magazine)

Bettye Moroni's former school in De Soto, IL (via Leopard Fan)


"Tri-State Tornado of 1925, also called Great Tri-State Tornado, tornado, the deadliest in U.S. history, that traveled from southeastern Missouri through southern Illinois and into southwestern Indiana on March 18, 1925. The storm completely destroyed a number of towns and caused 695 deaths.
The tornado materialized about 1:00 PM local time in Ellington, Missouri. It caught the town’s residents by surprise, as the weather forecast had been normal. (To prevent panic among the public, tornado forecasting was not practiced at the time, and even the word “tornado” had been banned from U.S. weather forecasts since the late 19th century.) The storm moved quickly to the northeast, speeding through the Missouri towns of Annapolis, Biehle, and Frohna and killing 11 people before crossing the Mississippi River into southern Illinois, where it virtually destroyed the towns of Gorham, De Soto, and Murphysboro, among others. Murphysboro was the hardest-hit area in the tornado’s path, with 234 fatalities. After killing more than 600 people in Illinois, the tornado crossed the Wabash River into Indiana, where it demolished the towns of Griffin, Owensville, and Princeton and devastated about 85 farms in between. Having taken 71 lives in Indiana, the storm dissipated about 4:30 PM approximately 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Petersburg..."

— Source: Britannica “Tri State Tornado of 1925” 

The Buenos Aires Bank Heist of 2006

The Buenos Aires Bank Heist of 2006 Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Other Images:

Sebastián García Bolster (via Infobae)

A policeman carries boxes of pizza ordered for hostages in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Getty/AFP/Stringer via Yahoo)

Everytown for Gun Safety @everytown


"BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 12 -- The hostage standoff was stretching into its seventh hour, with hundreds of police officers surrounding the bank. After negotiating a peculiar swap -- four hostages for some pizzas and sodas -- the captors inside seemed suspiciously quiet. So police stormed the building.

They found the 19 remaining hostages safe and sound, but the captors had vanished. A hole in the basement wall was covered with an iron lid that had been bolted shut from the other side. Later, police discovered that the hole led to a secret tunnel, which hooked into a municipal drainage system that emptied into the La Plata River. It was a clean getaway.

"Until now, in the history of Argentina there has never been a band of thieves that's had the audacity, the logistics, the preparation and the luck that this group of criminals had," a Buenos Aires provincial police investigator, Osvaldo Seisdedos, told reporters after the heist three weeks ago.

But those bandits have had some stiff competition. In the past six months, tunneling bank robbers in South America have broken world records of crime, snatching millions of dollars from banks and making their getaways through narrow passages beneath busy city streets.

The subterranean thieves in Argentina last month got away with cash and safe-deposit box contents worth an estimated $25 million to $70 million, according to police and lawyers representing bank customers. If those estimates are accurate, the robbery would be among the biggest bank heists in history -- a list currently topped by a $68 million job pulled off five months earlier in Fortaleza, Brazil. There, thieves dug a 260-foot tunnel from a house to the bank, equipping the passage with electric lights and wood-paneled walls.

News reports of the Argentine caper suggest almost everything went as the thieves had planned: The hostages were allowed to talk to relatives on cell phones, and the robbers even sang "Happy Birthday" to one of them. What the thieves really wanted, it seemed, was time to get more than 140 safe-deposit boxes loaded into the tunnel.

"Everyone I know is talking about it and saying the same thing -- that the people who did it are geniuses," said Salvador Peluso, 37, who works at a water-sports store across the street from the bank. "They robbed a bank without a single gunshot being fired and got away with everything. It's like a good movie."

Or a horror movie, to those who lost safe-deposit boxes. Many Argentines avoid bank accounts because of the financial sector's tumultuous recent history. Before the nation's economy collapsed in 2001, the value of the Argentine peso equaled the U.S. dollar's. Those who had deposited their dollars in savings accounts watched their fortunes largely disappear overnight -- the banks converted the money to pesos at the time of the collapse, and the pesos immediately lost most of their value. Throughout the country, many people vowed never to put another cent in a bank account.

In last month's crime, bank cash accounted for about $200,000 of the millions stolen, according to bank officials; the vast majority of the plunder came from the privately held boxes..."

— Source: Washington Post article by Monte Reel

Karen's Episode Sources

Britannica “Tri State Tornado of 1925”

Wikipedia “Tri State Tornado Outbreak”

National Weather Service “1925 Tornado”

Washington Post article by Kevin Ambrose “Deadliest Tornado In U.S. History Hit The Midwest Nearly A Century Ago”

TornadoFacts.net article “Tri-State Tornado Facts and Information”

The Great 1925 “The Tri-State Tornado”

KFVS12 article by Amber Ruch “Tri-State Tornado 97 Years Later”

State of Indiana website article “Tri-State Tornado”

KFVS12 article by Mary-Ann Moloney “‘Everybody in the Heartland has a Story: Bettye Moroni”

Meredith Funeral Home “Elizabeth ‘Bettye’ Moroni”

Associated Press article by Chris Hottensen “Exchange: Illinois Survivors Remember Tristate Tornado”

Storm Prediction Center website “The Online Tornado FAQ”

Tornado Project Online

National Weather Service, 1925 Tri-State Tornado Web Site - Tornado Track

MovieMagg YouTube Channel “The Great Tri State Tornado of 1925 - Damage!”