Peter Houlahan – Norco ’80


In the spirit of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Onion Field, Norco ’80 is a gripping true crime account of one of the most violent bank heists in US history.

Norco ’80 tells the story of how five heavily armed young men – led by an apocalyptic born-again Christian – attempted a bank robbery that turned into one of the most violent criminal events in US history, forever changing the face of American law enforcement. Part action thriller and part courtroom drama, Norco ’80 transports the listener back to the Southern California of the 1970s, an era of predatory evangelical gurus, doomsday predictions, megachurches, and soaring crime rates, with the threat of nuclear obliteration looming over it all.

A group of landscapers transforms into a murderous gang of bank robbers armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons. Their desperate getaway turned the surrounding towns into war zones. When it was over, three were dead and close to 20 wounded; a police helicopter was forced down from the sky, and 32 police vehicles were destroyed by thousands of rounds of ammo. The resulting trial shook the community to the core, raising many issues that continue to face society today: from the epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder within law enforcement to religious extremism and the militarization of local police forces.

Author: Peter Houlahan
Narrator: Joe Barrett
Duration: 13 hours 25 minutes
Released: 19 Nov 2006
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Language: English

User Review:

differentiation overriding

i read a lot of narrative history and have fairly high standards. the work the author put into both his research and writing is obvious and makes for an enjoyable and informative read
you should read the whole book…but the prologue alone…with its scope of the social and religious tones of the 1970s in America is worth the price if the book