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Real Name: Frank Nash
Birth – Death: February 6th, 1887 – June 17th, 1933
Lore: Frank Nash got his nickname “Jelly” from the chemical jelly explosives he used to crack safes.
Reality: Supposedly the nickname was actually short for “Jellybean,” which Nash was called in his youth because it was a slang term for a sharp dresser. As ZZ Topp said “Every girl’s crazy ’bout a Jell-eee-beeeeeaan.”
Criminal Career: After serving in the U.S. Army from 1904 to 1907, Jelly Nash began applying some of the skills he picked up in the military to committing criminal acts. Tradition holds that Nash robbed close to 200 banks during his career.
Frank was so successful that his first conviction didn’t happen until 1913, and then only because he showed some uncharacteristic greed and treachery. He and “Humpy” Wortman stole around $1,000 from an Oklahoma store and while Wortman was digging a hole to hide the loot, Jelly shot him in the back and made off with all the money.
(Lore: Humpy Wortman got his nickname from his tendency to hump the legs of his fellow criminals. Reality: I just made that up.) Continue reading