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Pretty Boy Floyd abducts sheriff...

Item # 584385

June 17, 1933

THE KNICKERBOCKER PRESS, Albany, New York, June 17, 1933 

* Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd 
* Public enemies era

* Pre Kansas City massacre (day of)
This 14 page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "PRETTY BOY FLOYD ABDUCTS SHERIFF" and
"Notorious Outlaw and a Pal Kidnap Official in Front of Garage"

This would also be the day the Kansas City Massacre involving Floyd which would be reported in the next days newspaper.

Other news, sports and advertisements of the day. A few binding slits along spine, otherwise good condition.

wikipedia notes: Upon the arrival of the train in Kansas City, Agent Lackey went to the loading platform, leaving Smith, Reed, and Nash in a stateroom of the train. On the platform, he was met by SAC Vetterli, who was accompanied by FBI Agent Raymond J. Caffrey and Officers W. J. Grooms and Frank Hermanson of the Kansas City Police Department. These men surveyed the area surrounding the platform and saw nothing that aroused their suspicion. SAC Vetterli advised Agent Lackey that he and Caffrey had brought two cars to Union Station and that the cars were parked immediately outside.

Agent Lackey then returned to the train and, accompanied by Chief Reed, SAC Vetterli, Agents Caffrey and Smith, and Officers Hermanson and Grooms, proceeded from the train through the lobby of Union Station. At the time, both Agent Lackey and Chief Reed were armed with shotguns. Other officers carried pistols. Frank Nash walked through Union Station with the seven officers.

Upon leaving Union Station, the lawmen, with their captive, paused briefly. Again, seeing nothing that aroused their suspicion, they proceeded to Caffrey’s Chevrolet. Frank Nash was handcuffed throughout the trip from the train to the Chevrolet, which was parked directly in front of the east entrance of Union Station.

Agent Caffrey unlocked the right door of the Chevrolet. When the door was opened, Nash started to get into the back seat; however, Agent Lackey told Nash to get into the front of the car. Agent Lackey then climbed into the back of the car directly behind the driver’s seat. Agent Smith sat beside him in the center of the back; and Chief Reed sat beside Smith in the right rear seat.

At this point, Agent Caffrey walked around the car to get into the driver’s seat through the left door. SAC Vetterli stood with Officers Hermanson and Grooms at the right side near the front of the car.

A green Plymouth was parked about six feet away on the right side of Agent Caffrey’s car. Looking in the direction of this Plymouth, Agent Lackey saw two men run from behind a car. He noticed that both men were armed, at least one of them with a machine gun.

Before Agent Lackey had a chance to warn his fellow officers, one of the gunmen shouted, “Up, up!” At this instant, Agent Smith, who was in the middle of the back seat, also saw a man with a machine gun to the right of the Plymouth. SAC Vetterli, who was standing at the right front of the Chevrolet turned just in time to hear a voice command, “Let ‘em have it!”

At this point, from a distance approximately 15 feet diagonally to the right of Agent Caffrey’s Chevrolet, an individual crouched behind the radiator of another car opened fire. Officers Grooms and Hermanson immediately fell to the ground. They were dead. SAC Vetterli, who was standing beside Officers Grooms and Hermanson, was shot in the left arm and dropped to the ground. As he attempted to scramble to the left side of the car to join Agent Caffrey, who had not yet entered the driver’s seat of the Chevrolet, Vetterli saw Caffrey fall to the ground. He had been fatally wounded in the head.

Inside the car, Frank Nash and Chief Reed were killed. Agents Lackey and Smith were able to survive the massacre by falling forward in the back seat of the Chevrolet. Lackey was struck and seriously wounded by three bullets. Smith was unscathed.

According to Robert Unger in "the Union Station Massacre: The Original Sin of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI," Agent Lackey, using a shotgun borrowed from Chief Reed, opened fire first. Unger theorizes that it was Lackey's haphazard handling of his unfamiliar weapon that led to the deaths of three men. Unger asserts that Lackey's shotgun fire accidentally killed Frank Nash, Agent Caffrey, and Officer Hermanson, not fire from the assailants. This theory is supported by the facts that the only shotguns at the scene were reportedly carried by lawmen and Hermanson, Nash, and Caffrey were killed by massed ball-shot (shotgun) fire.

The three gunmen rushed to the lawmen’s car and looked inside. One of them was heard to shout “They’re all dead. Let’s get out of here.” With that, they raced toward a dark-colored Chevrolet. Just then a Kansas City policeman emerged from Union Station and began firing in the direction of one of the killers, later identified as Floyd, who slumped briefly but continued to run. The killers entered the car which sped westward out of the parking area and disappeared.

The three survivors, Agents Smith and Lackey and SAC Vetterli, reported that the assault lasted possibly 30 seconds. They were uncertain if three or four gunmen staged the assault. From their account, it was apparent that the two Kansas City police officers were killed immediately, followed seconds later by Frank Nash and Chief Reed and then by Agent Caffrey, who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Category: The 20th Century