Gangsters, Mobsters & Outlaws of the 20th Century

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Harvey John Bailey (1887-1979) – A partner of Machine Gun Kelly, Bailey was considered one of the most successful bank robbers of the 1920’s, Bailey stole over a million dollars. He was thought to have been involved in the Kansas City Union Station Massacre. He was eventually captured and spent 31 years in prison. He died at the age 91 in Joplin, Missouri.

Basil Hugh “The Owl” Banghart (1900-1982) –  An underworld legend, Banghart was a machine gunner and aviator for the mob. He was eventually sentenced to prison and was released at the age of 60. He lived out the remainder of his life on a small island in Puget Sound.

Arthur R. Doc Barker

Arthur R. Doc Barker

Arthur R. “Doc” Barker (1899-1939) – Member of Barker-Karpis Gang, Barker was shot and killed while trying to escape from Alcatraz in 1939. See Article HERE.

Kate “Ma” Barker (1873-1935) – An alleged member of the Barker-Karpis Gang, who committed a spree of robberies, kidnappings and other crimes between 1931 and 1935, Barker was killed in a shoot-out with police on January 16, 1935.

Lloyd Barkdoll – A bank robber, Barkdoll was sentenced to prison and wound up in Alcatraz, where he attempted to escape in 1941.

Barker-Karpis Gang (1931-1935) – Kate “Ma” Barker and her sons, Herman, Lloyd, Arthur, and Fred teamed up with Alvin Karpis and several other criminals, who terrorized the Midwest and reached the position of Public Enemy #1 on the FBI “Most Wanted List.” See Article HERE.

George Kelly Barnes, aka: George “Machine Gun” Kelly (1900-1954) – A notorious Prohibition era criminal, his crimes included bootlegging, armed robbery and, most prominently, kidnapping. He spent some time in Alcatraz before dying of a heart attack at Leavenworth Federal Prison, Kansas on July 18, 1954.

Barrow Gang (1932-1934) – Well known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Midwest and Texas during the Great Depression, the gang included Clyde Barrow and his girlfriend, Bonnie Parker, Marvin “Buck” Barrow and his wife, Blanche, W.D. Jones, Henry Methvin, Raymond Hamilton, Joe Palmer, and Mary O’Dare. Though the gang was best known for multiple banks they robbed, they actually preferred to rob small stores and gas stations. During their two year spree, they killed at least nine law officers and were thought to have killed others. See Article HERE.

Bennie Iva “Blanche” Caldwell Barrow (1911-1988) – The wife of Marvin “Buck” Barrow and a member of the Barrow Gang.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

Clyde Barrow (1909-1934) – Half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde pair, these two were criminals who, with the Barrow Gang, traveled and robbed numerous locations in the Central United States during the Great Depression. See Article HERE.

Marvin “Buck” Barrow (1903-1933) – A member of the Barrow Gang. He was the older brother of the gang’s leader, Clyde Barrow. He and his wife Blanche were wounded in a gun battle with police four months after they joined up with Bonnie and Clyde. Marvin died of his wounds.

Albert Bates (??-1948) – A partner of Machine Gun Kelly, Bates served time in Alcatraz.

Edward “Eddie” Wilheim Bentz (1895-1936) – Partnered with such names as Machine Gun Kelly and  Baby Face Nelson, Bentz was one the shrewdest, most resourceful, intelligent and dangerous bank robbers of the Depression era.

Joe Bergl (1901-1950) – A mechanic for Al Capone, he supplied Capone with custom-made vehicles designed for protection and evasion purposes that included armor plating, smokescreens, and oil slicks.

Abe Bernstein (1892-1968) – A Detroit, Michigan gangster and a leader of the infamous Prohibition-era Purple Gang. He began branching out to other major cities during the mid-1920s, eventually becoming an associate of New York mobsters and a partner in several syndicate gambling casinos in Miami, Florida. He died on March 7, 1968.

Raymond Bernstein – A member of the Purple Gang, Bernstein was sentenced to life in prison in 1931 for murder.

George Birdwell (1894-1932) – A partner and friend of Oklahoma outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd, Birdwell and Floyd robbed a number of banks in Oklahoma, including two banks on one day on December 12, 1931 in Castle and Paden, Oklahoma. Alone, Birdwell attempted to hold up the bank in the African-American community of Boley, Oklahoma in November, 1932 and was shot from within the vault by a citizen.

James Boarman – A bank robber, Boarman was sent to Alcatraz and during a 1943 escape attempt was killed.

Joe Bowers (??-1936) – Sent to Alcatraz for robbery, Bowers was the first man to attempt to escape Alcatraz. He was killed in the attempt.

Ford Bradshaw (1908-1934) – One time leader of Cookson Hills Gang and partner of Wilber Underhill and Charlie Cotner. He was suspected of numerous bank robberies in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska, and suspected of four murders. He was killed by Constable Bill Harper at Arkoma, Oklahoma in March, 1934.

Tom “Skeet” Bradshaw – Brother of notorious bank robber and murderer Ford Bradshaw and member of the Cookson Hills Gang. Suspect in bank robberies in Vian, Oklahoma and Chetopa, Kansas. Convicted of attempted murder and bootlegging in 1934.

Al Brady (1911-1937) – Wanted for murder and robbery in the Midwest, Brady was killed by FBI men in Bangor, Maine in October, 1937.

Harold Brest – A Pennsylvania bank robber, Brest was sent to Alcatraz and participated in  Participant in Floyd Hamilton’s 1943 escape attempt.

Harry Brunette (1911-??) – Kidnapper and bank robber. In 1936 he was involved in a gunfight with the FBI and arrested.

Fred “Killer” Burke (1885-1940) – An armed robber, contract killer, and primary suspect in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Once named America’s most wanted man, he was eventually imprisoned and died there of heart disease.

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Al Capone

Al Capone

Alphonse Gabriel “Al” Capone (1899-1947) – American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging of liquor and other illegal activities during the Prohibition era. See Full Article HERE.

Robert Carey (1894-1932) – A Midwestern armed robber and contract killer responsible for many crimes during the Prohibition era. He was considered as a suspect in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929.

Tommy Carroll (1901-1934) -A member of the Dillinger Gang, Carroll was killed at Waterloo, Iowa on June 7, 1934 by police officers.

Gerald Chapman (1888-1926) – Known as the “Count of Gramercy Park.” he was once considered one of America’s top ten criminals. He was convicted of murdering police officer James Skelly and sentenced to hang on April 6, 1926.

John Paul Chase (1901-1973) –  After a crime spree of two years with partner, George “Baby-Face” Nelson, a shootout occurred with FBI agents, in which Nelson and two agents were killed. Chase was captured and sent to Alcatraz, where he served from 1935 to 1954. He was then transferred to Leavenworth, where he was imprisoned until 1966. He died of cancer on October 5, 1973.

Vivian Chase (1902-1935) – A Midwestern gangster of the 1920s and 1930s, she was the associate of  several robbers, including her husband, George Chase, and Charlie Mayes. She is best known for her role in the kidnapping of banker August Luer. She was found shot to death on November 3, 1935 in a parked car  outside St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Chicago Outfit (1910-Present) – A crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, this mafia gang dates back to the early 1900s. It is distinct from the New York City crime families, though all Italian-American crime families are ruled by The Commission.

James “Oklahoma Jack” Clark – A Depression-era outlaw and bank robber, he was a protégé of bank robber Hermann “Baron” Lamm and participated in the gang’s final robbery against the Citizens State Bank in Clinton, Indiana on December 16, 1930. The gang escaped with $15,567 in cash, but Clark and others were tracked down by a posse at Sidell, Illinois. In the ultimate gun battled that ensued, Lamm and two other gang members were killed. Clark and fellow gang member, Walter Dietrich, Clark were  arrested by authorities and extradited to Indiana. They were both sentenced to the state prison at Michigan City, Indiana on bank robbery charges. While there, they met John Dillinger, Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley and Homer Van Meter. Clark and Dietrich were among ten prisoners who escaped using pistols smuggled into the prison by a recently paroled John Dillinger on September 22, 1933. Just two days later; however, Clark was recaptured at Hammond, Indiana and returned to prison where he remained for the rest of his life.

Jim Clark (1890-1929) – See Albert Kachellek

Russell “Boobie” Clark (??-1968) –  One of the original Dillinger Gang members after escaping from the Indiana State Prison, Clark was captured in Tucson with other several other gang members sentenced to life in prison for murder. After spending 34 years in prison, he was  released after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died four months later.

Theodore “Ted” Cole – Convicted of kidnapping in Oklahoma, Cole was sent to Alcatraz. Along with a man named Ralph Roe, the pair escaped on December 16, 1937 and were never seen again.

James “Big Jim” Colosimo, aka: Diamond Jim (1878–1920) – An early Chicago mob boss who built an empire based on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. It was suspected that his own gang member and nephew, Johnny Torrio, had him killed because Colismo resisted getting into the lucrative alcohol distribution business during prohibition.

The Commission (1931-Present) – The governing body of the Italian-American Mafia crime families in the United States. The bosses of the New York Five Families  provide the core membership.

Cookson Hills Gang (1932-1934) – Led by Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, the gang blazed a path of robbery and murder through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Arkansas for 18 months.

D.B. Cooper – D. B. Cooper is a media epithet popularly used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,170,000 in 2015), and parachuted to an uncertain fate. See Full Article HERE.

Joseph Paul Cretzer (1911-1946) – A bank robber, Cretzer was sent to prison at Alcatraz where he participated and was killed in the bloody “Battle of Alcatraz.” Born on April 17, 1911 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he grew up to start his criminal career at an early age and went to prison for the first time in 1927. He got involved in more crime with his wife’s husband, Arnold Kyle, and the two formed the Cretzer-Kyle Gang which robbed a number of banks along the west coast. By 1939, he was listed as the FBI’s 4th most wanted man. He was captured in Chicago, Illinois and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He and Kyle both began serving time at McNeil Island in Washington in February,  1940. Just two months later, the pair escaped, but were recaptured just three days later. The two were sentenced in  Tacoma, Washington to another five years for the escape attempt. When the sentence was handed down, they tried to escape again and killed a U.s. Marshal in the process. They were then sent to Alcatraz, where they again tried to escape in May, 1941, along with fellow prisoners Sam Shockley and Lloyd Barkdoll. His last escape attempt resulted in the “Battle of Alcatraz” in which he was killed on May 4, 1946.

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