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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Everything Runs Like a Movie

The Strange but True Story of Bank Robber Hermann Beier

by (author) John Cooper

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2013
Post-Confederation (1867-), General, Criminology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price

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A true story of a bank robber and a chilling car chase worthy of an Elmore Leonard novel or a Brian De Palma movie.

Like many new arrivals to Canada, Hermann Beier came to this country with big dreams – visions of a wide-open country where hard work and entrepreneurial flair would make him rich. A charismatic handyman, martial arts teacher, and small business owner, he charmed women and earned the respect of men. He was loved in his community of Alliston, Ontario, and had a plan to make a million bucks. But when those dreams soured, Beier turned to crime to pay the bills.
Faced with bankruptcy in 1991, Beier hatched a plan to rob a string of banks in a single day. But it was all too much, too fast. After leading authorities from Guelph to Caledon on what was then the longest police chase in Canadian history, Beier was gunned down alongside a farmer’s fence, his body pierced by a hail of police bullets.
But he survived, and the end of his crime spree marked a new beginning. After spending almost a decade in various Ontario prisons, searching for a way to get his life back on track, Beier was finally paroled. He now lives a quiet life, dividing his time between Canada and Austria.


About the author

John Cooper has published a number of non-fiction books for young people, including Season of Rage: Hugh Burnett and the Struggle for Civil Rights (nominated for a Red Maple Award and a Stellar Book Award) and Rapid Ray: The Story of Ray Lewis. He has written for many publications, including Maclean’s and the Toronto Star. Cooper lives in Whitby, Ontario.

John Cooper's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Cooper has written a fast-paced, first-person account of a crime spree, its back story, the actual event in great detail, and the aftermath, prison, parole and now, private life. It’s an absorbing slice of real crime reporting, well worth tracking down.

This is a great book, especially if you're a fan of true crime. This is one you'll want to add to your reading list.

Crime and Punishment, CJOB

Other titles by John Cooper