For almost 30 years, Nick Sidebottom’s children grew up and lived their lives without a father – they did not know if he was dead or alive, where he was or what he was doing. Then a reunion was made through social media, which led him to reveal all about those missing years. But the shocking truth he told his family is difficult to believe.
Born in 1943 in the city of Billings, Montana, Sidebottom certainly lived an eventful life. Growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father, the brutalized boy responded to regular beatings with wild behavior. It was his childhood habit of getting high from sniffing gasoline and joining neighborhood dogs in barking at the moon that would earn him the nickname Animal – the first of Sidebottom’s monikers – which would define his character in his early years.
As an adolescent Sidebottom turned to crime, ending up in juvenile prison at just 12 years old. Three years later Animal escaped and teamed up with Bill Cribby, a 43-year-old who had fled incarceration in Florida. The unlikely pair embarked on a spree of bank robberies across the north-western states.