Ozark Missouri Criminals

My father hitch-hiked a ride with Pretty Boy Floyd who was driving a fancy convertible. Some of my family may have known about Bonnie and Clyde when they hid out in Joplin Missouri. They were sure to have me see the movie.

I am under the impression that there has been a lot of Mafia and famous criminals around here. Hideouts in the Ozarks. Good highways to Chicago. Hard to get good information on hideouts because criminals don’t want you to know. Al Capone hid out south of here.


Public enemy is a term which was first widely used in the United States in the 1930s to describe individuals whose activities were seen as criminal and extremely damaging to society, though the phrase had been used for centuries to describe pirates and similar outlaws. The phrase originated in Roman times as the Latin hostis publicus (“enemy of the people”). The modern use of the term was first popularized in April 1930 by the chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission, in an attempt to publicly denounce Al Capone and other organized crime gangsters. All of those listed were reputed to be gangsters or racketeers and most were rum-running bootleggers. Although all were known to be consistent law breakers (most prominently in regard to the widely broken Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution banning alcohol) J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, who used it to describe various notorious fugitives they were pursuing throughout the 1930s. wanted criminals and fugitives who were already charged with crimes. Among the criminals whom the FBI called “public enemies” were John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly, Ma Barker, and Alvin Karpis.

“Pretty Boy” Floyd was an American bank robber. He operated in the Midwest and West South Central States, and his criminal exploits gained widespread press coverage in the 1930s. Like most other prominent outlaws of that era, he was killed by policemen. Floyd has continued to be a familiar figure in American popular culture, sometimes seen as notorious, but at other times viewed as a tragic figure, partly a victim of the hard times of the Great Depression in the United States. Despite his life of crime, Floyd was viewed positively by the general public. When he robbed banks he would destroy mortgage documents, which freed many citizens of their debts. He was protected by citizens of Oklahoma, who referred to him as “Robin Hood

Bonnie and Clyde were American outlaws and robbers who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the “Public Enemy Era”, between 1931 and 1935. known today for his dozen-or-so bank robberies. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. The couple were eventually ambushed and killed by law officers. Their reputation was revived and cemented in American pop folklore by 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde which starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as the pair. Even during their lifetimes, the couple’s depiction in the press was at considerable odds with the hardscrabble reality of their life on the road — particularly in the case of Parker. Though she was present at a hundred or more felonies during her two years as Barrow’s companion she was not the machine gun-wielding killer portrayed in the newspapers, newsreels,. temporary hideout at 3347 1/2 Oakridge Drive in Joplin, Missouri where the gang hid out. the Joplin photos introduced new criminal superstars with the most titillating trademark of all—illicit sex. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were wild and young, and undoubtedly slept together.

Born Arizona Clark in Ash Grove, Missouri, she married George Barker, in Lawrence County, Missouri. Arizona Barker better known as Ma Barker was the mother of several criminals who ran the Barker gang during the “public enemy era”, when the exploits of gangs of criminals in the U.S. Midwest gripped the American people and press. She traveled with her sons during their criminal careers. After Barker was killed during a shoot-out with the FBI, she gained a reputation as a ruthless crime matriarch who controlled and organized her sons’ crimes. J. Edgar Hooverdescribed her as “the most vicious, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade”. Ma Barker has been presented as a monstrous mother in films, songs and literature. in Ocklawaha, Florida mother were killed by federal agents after an intense, hours-long shootout. Allegedly, many local people came to watch the events unfolding, even holding picnics during the gunfire

“Machine Gun Kelly”, was an American gangster from Memphis, Tennessee, during the prohibition era. He was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for smuggling liquor onto an Indian Reservation in 1928 and sentenced to three years at Leavenworth Penitentiary, Kansas, beginning February 11, 1928. He was reportedly a model inmate and was released early. Shortly thereafter, Kelly married Kathryn Thorne, who purchased Kelly’s first machine gun and went to great lengths to familiarize his name within underground crime circles; she also helped plot some small bank robberies.vvvbKelly’s last criminal activity proved disastrous when he kidnapped a wealthy Oklahoma City resident, Charles F. Urschel. Urschel, having been blindfolded, made note of evidence of his experience including remembering background sounds, counting footsteps and leaving fingerprints on surfaces in reach. This proved invaluable for the FBI in its investigation, as agents concluded that Urschel had been held in Paradise, Texas

Alvin Karpis. The Karpis-Barker gang became one of the most formidable criminal gangs of the 1930s. They did not hesitate to kill anyone who got in their way, even innocent bystanders. On December 19, 1931, Karpis and Fred Barker killed Sheriff C. Roy Kelley, who was investigating their robbery of a store in West Plains, Missouri. The gang, including Ma Barker and her paramour Arthur Dunlop, fled to St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1933, on the same weekend as the Kansas City Massacre, they kidnapped William Hamm, a millionaire Minnesota brewer. His ransom netted them $100,000, FBI located Karpis in New Orleans, Karpis served the longest sentence of any prisoner at Alcatraz: 26 years. Karpis met a young Charles Manson. Karpis wrote about Manson in his autobiography

Frank Nash has been called “the most successful bank robber in U.S. history,” but he is most noted for his violent death in what has become known as the Kansas City Massacre. Nash spent part of his childhood in Paragould, Arkansas (Greene County) and was arrested in Hot Springs, Arkansas(Garland County) the day before his death.

“Al” Capone was an American gangster who attained fame during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. Capone became increasingly security-minded and desirous of getting away from Chicago. As a precaution, he and his entourage would often show up suddenly at one of Chicago’s train depots and buy up an entire Pullman sleeper car on a night train to a place like Cleveland, Omaha, Kansas City, Little Rock Arkansas, or Hot Springs Arkansas where they would spend a week in luxury hotel suites under assumed names. Capone never registered any property under his name. He did not even have a bank account, but always used Western Union for cash delivery, not more than $1,000.

Another well-known associate of the Outfit is Jewish New York mobster Benjamin Siegel. Siegel was a childhood friend of Capone. Siegel’s organization in Las Vegas and Los Angeles was an ally of the Outfit from 1933 to 1961, when the family boss, Mickey Cohen, was imprisoned and the family was decimated. The Las Vegas crime family, also named the Las Vegas Syndicate, the Siegel crime family, or the Siegel crime syndicate, was a crime family created by New York Jewish American mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in the early 1930s. Siegel ran Los Angeles and later Las Vegas’ illegal gambling and prostitution rings with his lieutenants Jack Dragna, Mickey Cohen, David Berman and Moe Sedway.

John Dillinger was an American gangster in the Depression-era United States. He operated with a group of men, robbed twenty-four banks and four police stations. Dillinger escaped from jail twice; he was also charged with the murder of an East Chicago police officer who shot Dillinger in his bullet-proof vest during a shootout, prompting him to return fire. In the heyday of the Depression-era outlaw (1933–1934) Dillinger was the most notorious of all, standing out even among more violent criminals. He courted publicity, styling himself as a Robin Hood figure, and the media of his time ran exaggerated accounts of his bravado and colorful personality. The government demanded federal action, and J. Edgar Hoover developed a more sophisticated Federal Bureau of Investigation as a weapon against organized crime and used Dillinger and his gang as his campaign platform to launch the FBI.


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