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Former area resident produces documentary

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Independent filmmakers from southern and central Indiana have told the story of some of the least widely known but most successful 19th-century outlaws.

“The Legend of the Reno Brothers” is a new documentary about the Reno Gang of Jackson County. Former Johnson County resident Dave Distler is the executive producer of the film, which premieres Sept. 7 in Scottsburg.

Distler is a 1973 graduate of Whiteland Community High School and now lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

All of the docudrama’s independent filmmakers are originally from south-central Indiana and have a passion for the Reno story.

The Reno brothers were the first in American history to rob a moving train, stealing thousands of dollars. The heist took place in October 1866.

The event preceded the more publicized James and Younger gangs’ crime sprees in later years. The Reno Gang’s biggest robbery occurred in Scott County and netted the gang more than $96,000 in bonds and bank notes, well in excess of any of Jesse James’ heists, according to a release.

Distler’s involvement with the film began shortly after his book, “Anarchy in the Heartland — The Reno Gang Saga,” was published in 2008.

For more information on the Reno event, visit scottcountyheritagemuseum.org/event/reno-brothers-weekend/

For more information about the film, visit www.legendoftherenobrothers.com.

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