If you are up for the thrill and the hunt, the money is up for grabs.
Among those who've come out to claim relations to the members of Ashely Gang, some say that the money "was used up" or "donated to family members in need." There is no way to verify this.
Also, almost all sources agree on one thing: the Ashely Gang of Florida was mercilessly ganged down even after they'd surrendered and handcuffed.
The Ashely Gang members
The marauding bandit included four members led by John Ashely. The others were Handford Mobley, Clarence Middleton, and Lynn. John Ashley apparently took up the outlaw life after losing his fortune to robbers.
The stories have it that during his first raid on the railroad, he killed four people and wounded another before escaping on a horse. This sort of got him known as "The Speed Demon."
The real juice
The story goes back to the early 1900s. The Ashely Gang was unstoppable, clearing up homes, banks, and even ships from Florida to the Bahamas. This was the most notorious and ruthless gang of the time, and they spread their tentacles so wide that sheriffs made it their lifelong mission to stop them.
They carried out robberies for fifteen years, and in that period, their "net worth" grew exponentially.
But there were no tax heavens or swiss bankers, so they buried their treasures—like mites. They had several secret campsites across Florida where they stashed their loot, starting with the old Asshely Homestead.
Burnt to the Ground
Based on news reports, the Ashely homestead was situated about two miles from Hobe Sound in Gomez, Florida. To get there, you'd take the dirt road that's a few kilometers from the famous Dixie Highway. John Ashley's parents lived here.
This house was burned to the ground following a bank heist in Stuart that put the posse on their tracks. The gang didn't head to the house, but the posse went there anyway. They dragged Ashely's father's out, tortured him for information, and set the house on fire. A load of money reportedly sits in the ground nearly a mile south of the home near a swamp.
John Ashely reportedly stashed $100,000 in secret campsites around Hobe Sound. Proxy gang members, including Ashely's nephew Hanford Moberly and brother Bob, buried treasures around St. Lucie Inlet. A hide-out camp at a spot named "Peck's Lake" was said to have contained $250,000 from the gang's combined treasures over the years.
Feud with the Sheriffs
You see, John Ashely was a witty criminal, much like the Professor in La Cas De Papel. He was always a mile ahead of the sheriffs, much to their chagrin. One sheriff, Sherrif George Baker, made it his personal mission to catch them. Countless of his men were killed over the years—by the gang, of course. The sheriff finally died (although not in the hands of the gang) before he could put them behind bars.
But then a new sheriff took over—Bob Baker—the son of the demised Sherrif. On 1st November 1924, after a long chase following a heist, the gang was cornered at a roadblock on Sebastian River Bridge.
They were surrounded, and they had no option but to surrender. That they did, and they were handcuffed, but then they were all gunned down for "attempting to escape."
The Treasure of the Ashley Gang
Several treasure hunters have gone there over the years to find the loot. The most famous was professional treasure hunter Robert Allison, who had been checking the area out for the Hobe Sound treasure. He even took to digging in a small dugout nearby on the property himself. In 1972, Allison reportedly returned to the site with a gang of men and hired a man to drive his front-end loader right up to the edge of the dugout and scrape off the topsoil, exposing the treasure buried underneath.
How to Find the Treasure
You'll want to do two things: choose one of the sites from those described earlier, then look around to ensure you are alone (it is said that a family line of the deceased gang members swore to keep the treasure hidden forever). Once you find the right spot, you'll want to dig a hole large enough to allow you to get to the buried safe. If you are in the right spot, the hole should be about twelve inches deep, with the top six inches being at least four inches below the soil's surface.
In a nutshell
The Ashely gang left behind a big footprint in history and legendary sums of money. There could be money lying around in the ground somewhere in Gomez, Florida. Are you visiting soon? Be sure to explore the story further and try your luck.