Sons Turn In Bank-Robbing Dad

Clay Ginglen, right, looks on during an interview in Lewiston, Ill., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005, as his brother, Garrett, left, talks about their father, William Alfred Ginglen, and why the 64-year-old grandfather, and ex-Marine who taught them right and wrong, started robbing small-town banks.
AP
The Ginglen brothers grew up knowing they should always do the right thing, even under tough circumstances. It's a lesson their ex-Marine father taught them.

So when they discovered that same father had been robbing small-town banks, the three sons put his tutelage to the test: They turned him in.

Now William Alfred "Al" Ginglen, a 64-year-old grandfather of seven, could spend the rest of his life in prison. He pleaded guilty in July to seven counts of armed bank robbery and two counts of carrying and using a firearm during a crime of violence; sentencing is scheduled Thursday in federal court in Springfield.

His sons say they have no regrets.

"He turned to crime, and we had an opportunity to stop it," said Clay Ginglen, 36, a music teacher in his hometown of about 2,600 people. "He was robbing banks with a gun. He could have easily hurt anyone: a bank teller, a policeman. He could have been hurt as well."

Ginglen's double life, which authorities allege included a girlfriend, drugs and prostitutes, started to unravel in August 2004, when one of his sons, Peoria police Officer Jared Ginglen, looked at surveillance videos posted on a law enforcement Web site and recognized his dad behind sunglasses, a dust mask and driver's cap.

He called brother Garrett Ginglen, 41, a Caterpillar Inc. engineer, who says he broke into a sweat and threw up in his office trashcan when he called up the photos.

"I felt like if I could I would get up and run as fast and far as I could," he said. "Just trying to get away from it and pretend like it didn't happen."

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.