20th Century Gangsters & Outlaw List

The Great Depression and Prohibition created another type of outlaw different from the Old West. These folks were fed by both need and greed and took advantage of “supply and demand” opportunities. Some of these outlaws with names like Bonnie and Clyde, “Baby Face” Nelson, Ma Barker, and “Pretty Boy” Floyd became legends, as their deeds included some of the wildest and deadliest stories ever to hit newspaper front pages.

A

Edward Adams was a brutal criminal in Kansas during Prohibition

Edward Adams was a brutal criminal in Kansas during Prohibition

Edward “Eddie” J. Adams (1887-1921) – A Kansas bootlegger, car thief, and murderer, Adams was eventually captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. He escaped custody twice and was killed in a shoot-out with police in Wichita, Kansas, on November 22, 1921.

Gordon Alcorn – Involved with Verne Sankey in a kidnapping, Alcorn was sent to Leavenworth Federal Prison.

John William Anglin and Alfred Clarence Anglin  – Georgia bank robbers who were arrested in 1956 and ultimately sent to Alcatraz. They escaped in June 1962 was never seen again. Also See:  A Daring Escape From Alcatraz.

George “Dutch” Anderson (1879-1925) – A Danish criminal, Anderson, along with Gerald Chapman, co-led a Prohibition-era gang during the late 1910s until the mid-1920s. He and his associates successfully robbed a U.S. Mail truck of $2.4 million in cash, bonds, and jewelry. Finally captured, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison but later escaped. He was killed in a police shoot-out on October 31, 1925.

Albert Anastasia (1902-1957) – Born Umberto Anastasio, he was one of the most ruthless and feared Cosa Nostra mobsters in United States history. A founder of both the American Mafia and Murder, Inc. during the prewar era and most of the 1950s, Anastasia was the boss of the modern Gambino crime family.

Ashley Gang – Led by John H. Ashley, the gang terrorized Florida’s southeast coast for more than 15 years, committing crimes that ranged from murder, bank robbery, hijacking, bootlegging to piracy on the high seas.

John H. Ashley (1895-1924) – Leading the Ashley Gang, which terrorized Florida’s southeast coast for more than 15 years, the gang committed crimes that ranged from murder, bank robbery, hijacking, bootlegging to piracy on the high seas. He was killed by law enforcers on November 1, 1924.

Theodore “Blackie” Audett – A prisoner of Alcatraz, Audett claimed to have been a member Barker-Karpis Gang, but the facts have disputed this. He was a jailhouse author noted for his fantastic claims about other prisoners and his own life. While in Alcatraz, he was also known to have been a snitch who was a defense witness in the 1946 Blast-Out Trial.

Abe Axler – A member of the Purple Gang, Axler was assassinated in November 1933.

B

Harvey John Bailey (1887-1979) – A partner of Machine Gun Kelly, Bailey was considered one of the most successful bank robbers of the 1920s; 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 of 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, Washington.

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.

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.”

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.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

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 the multiple banks they robbed, they 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.

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

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.

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 joining 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, including armor plating, smokescreens, and oil slicks.

Albert Bernstein

Albert Bernstein

Albert “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 several 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

Ford Bradshaw

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. Constable Bill Harper killed him at Arkoma, Oklahoma, in March 1934.

Tom “Skeet” Bradshaw – Brother of the 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 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.

C

Al Capone

Al Capone

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

Robert Carey (1894-1932) – A Midwestern armed robber and contract killer responsible for many crimes during the Prohibition era. He was considered 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 shoot-out 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.

Chicago Outfit

Chicago Outfit

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 a posse tracked down Clark and others at Sidell, Illinois. In the ultimate gun battle, Lamm and two other gang members were killed. Clark and fellow gang member Walter Dietrich, 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 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 Ralph Roe, the pair escaped on December 16, 1937, and were never seen again.

James "Big Jim" Colosimo, aka: Diamond Jim

James “Big Jim” Colosimo, aka Diamond Jim

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) – Also known as the “Syndicate,” this is 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.

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 early and went to prison for the first time in 1927. He got involved in more crime, Arnold Kyle, and the two formed the Cretzer-Kyle Gang, which robbed several 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. The pair escaped just two months later but were recaptured within three days. 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.

D

Volney “Curley” Davis (1902-1979) –  A member of the Barker-Karpis Gang and boyfriend of Edna “Rabbits” Murray, he was believed to have sold out other gang members. After serving a long term in Alcatraz, he was released and died on July 20, 1979, in Sonoma County, California at the age of 77.

DeAutremont Brothers

DeAutremont Brothers

DeAutremont Brothers – Wannabee train robbers in Oregon bungled their attempt and, in the process, killed four railroad employees. They were eventually caught and sent to prison.

Lawrence De Vol (1895-1936) – Gangster of the 1930s sometimes involved with the Barker-Karpis Gang.

Benny and Stella Dickson – Bennie and Stella Dickson were a husband and wife team who turned to a life of crime shortly after their marriage. They successfully stole over $50,000 in an eight-month period from August 1938 to April 1939.

Dillinger Gang, aka The Terror Gang (1933-1934) – Comprised of several unsavory characters such as Baby Face Nelson, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Harry Pierpont, Charley Makely, Russell Lee Clark, John Hamilton, and Thomas Carrol, this ruthless gang, led by John Dillinger, spread terror across the Midwest from 1933 to 1934, killing as many as 16 people and robbing as many as 20 banks.

John Herbert “Jackrabbit” Dillinger (1903-1934) – Midwestern bank robber during the early 1930s; Dillinger was a dangerous criminal responsible for the murder of several police officers and robbed at least two dozen banks, and escaped from jail twice.

Martin James Durkin (1900-??) -Durkin, a professional auto thief, killed the first FBI agent in the line of duty in October 1925. He was captured several months later.

E

Aussie Elliott (1914-1934) – An associate of George Birdwell and Pretty Boy Floyd, he was convicted of bank robbery in 1922 and was sent to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He escaped ten years later. In 1934, he was killed in a gun battle with police near Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Egan’s Rats (1890-1924) – Egan’s Rats was an American street gang that exercised considerable power in St. Louis, Missouri; they operated for 35 years with criminal activities including bootlegging, labor racketeering, voter intimidation, armed robbery, and murder.

F

Elmer Farmer – A Barker-Karpis Gang member, he was sent to Alcatraz.

Herbert Farmer – Part of the Kansas City Massacre Conspiracy, he was sent to Alcatraz.

Charles Fitzgerald (1877-??) – The oldest member of Barker-Karpis Gang, Fitzgerald was sent to Alcatraz.

Five Points Gang

Five Points Gang

Five Points Gang – An early 20th Century criminal gang based in Manhattan, New York City.

Fleagle Gang – The Fleagle Gang was a group of early 20th century American bank robbers and murderers.

Jake Fleagle (1890-1930) – Leader of the Fleagle Gang, wanted for robbery and murder, he was shot down in a running gunfight with police in Branson, Missouri.

Harry Fleisher – A member of the Purple Gang, he was sent to Alcatraz.

Sam Fleisher – A member of the Purple Gang, he was sent to Alcatraz.

Eddie Fletcher – A member of the Purple Gang, Fletcher was assassinated in November 1933.

Pretty Boy Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd

Charles Authur “Pretty Boy” Floyd (1904-1934) – Bank robber and alleged killer, he was romanticized by the press. His first robbery was $3.50 in pennies from a local post office at the age of 18. Three years later, he was arrested and convicted of a payroll robbery.

Rufus Franklin – A bank robber and car thief, Franklin was sent to Alcatraz and, during a 1938 escape attempt, killed a custodial worker. Franklin was wounded and sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

Ralph Fults (1911-1993) –  Fults hooked up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow when he was just 19 years old. He lived an underworld life for ten years before being arrested and imprisoned.

G

Richard Galatas

Richard Galatas

Richard Galatas – Part of the Kansas City Massacre Conspiracy, Galatas was sent to Alcatraz.

John Knight Giles (1895-1979) – Sentenced to prison for the attempted robbery of a train, Giles wound up in Alcatraz. In 1945, he came very close to escaping from the island.

Hugh Gant – Florida gangster.

Roy Gardner (1884-1940) – Stealing over a quarter of a million dollars in cash and securities, Gardner was the most famous escape artist and celebrated outlaw of his time.

Russell “Slim Gray” Gibson (??-1935) – A member of the Barker-Karpis Gang.

Fred “Shotgun” George Ziegler Goetz (1896-1934) –  A Chicago mobster and a suspected participant in the Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

Jack Gilbert Graham  (1932-1957)- In 1955, Graham blew up United Airlines Flight 629 over Colorado to collect his mother’s life insurance.

<strong> – A partner of John Dillinger, Green was shot by FBI agents on April 3, 1934. He died in a hospital eight days later.

“Hell’s Belle” Gunness – Black Widow of the Midwest – “Hell’s Belle” Gunness, one of America’s most degenerate female serial killers in history, likely killed both her husbands and all of her children. 

H

Floyd Garland Hamilton (1908-1984) – An associate of the Barrow Gang, Hamilton was not involved in the final shoot-outs that killed the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Continuing a life of crime, he maintained a lifestyle of robbery was captured and sent to Alcatraz. In 1943, he tried to escape with three other men but was later apprehended. He was later sent to prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, and released in 1956.

John "Red" Hamilton

John “Red” “Hamilton

John “Red” Hamilton, aka Three Finger Jack (1899-1934) – An associate of John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd, Hamilton was shot in a gun battle with the FBI and later died of his wounds.

Raymond Elzie Hamilton, aka Floyd Beatty (1913-1935) – An associate of the Barrow Gang, Hamilton was one of the best-known desperadoes of the 1930s

Alva Dewey Hunt – Florida gangster.

Fred Hunter – A kidnapper and partner with Alvin Karpis after the fall of Barker-Karpis Gang, Hunter was sent to Alcatraz. He attempted to escape in 1943 with Floyd Hamilton, James Boarman, and Harold Brest. Two of the men died during the escape attempt. Hunter was recaptured.

J

Charles E. Johnson

Charles E. Johnson

Charles E. Johnson – One of the FBI’smost wanted fugitives, Johnson committed burglaries and robberies between 1921 and 1953 and spent years in prison. He was convicted again in 1954.

William Daniel Jones (1918?-1974) – A childhood friend of Clyde Barrow, Jones joined the Barrow Gang in December 1932 at the age of 16. He was captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Anthony Michael Juliano – Anthony Michael Juliano was a thief who was responsible for at least 27 bank robberies in Boston, Massachusetts, and New York between 1973 and 1975.

K

Albert Kachellek, aka Jim Clark (1890-1929) – Kachellek was a gangster working for Bugs Moran that fell victim to the infamous St. VValentine’sDay Massacre in Chicago, Illinois.

Alvin Karpis

Alvin Karpis

Alvin Francis “Kreepy Karpis” Karpowicz (1907-1979) – Born Alvin Karpowicz, he was nicknamed “Kreepy” for his sinister smile. He was a member of the Barker-Karpis Gang, he was at one time listed as “Public Enemy Number One.” He was eventually sent to Alcatraz and served the longest sentence ever at the notorious prison (25 years, one month.)

George “Machine Gun” “Kelly – See George Kelly Barnes

Paul Kelly – See Paolo Antonio Vaccarelli

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

Philip Keywell – A member of the Purple Gang, Keywell was sentenced to life in prison in 1930 for murder.

George Kimes – Oklahoma bank robber and brother of Matthew Kimes, the pair killed Sequoyah County, Arkansas Deputy Sheriff Perry Chuculate when he attempted to apprehend them. Later, the brothers were captured, and George was sent to prison at McAlester, Oklahoma.

Matthew Kimes, outlaw

Matthew Kimes, outlaw

Matthew Kimes (??-1945) – Oklahoma bank robber, murderer, and brother of George Kimes, Matthew led the Kimes Gang in the 1920s.

Mary Kinder (??-1981) – The girlfriend of Harry Pierpont she was loosely involved with the Dillinger Gang but was never charged with any crime.

Arnold Kyle – The brother-in-law of Joseph Cretzer, both had long records and were sent to Alcatraz. Along with Lloyd Barkdoll and Sam Shockley, the pair attempted to escape in May 1941. However, they didn’t make it and were placed in solitary confinement for indefinite periods.

L

La Cosa Nostra – American Mafia – The La Cosa Nostra, also known as the “Mob” “or the “Mafia,” evolved from the Sicilian Mafia and is one of the foremost organized criminal threats to American society. Consisting of different “families” this nationwide alliance of criminals is dedicated to pursuing crime and protecting its members.

Meyer Lansky (1902-1983) – A Jewish mafia figure, known as the “Mob’s Accountant” was a major organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles “Lucky” Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States.

Hermann K. “Baron” “Lamm (1890-1930) – A former German army officer, Lamm immigrated to the United States and soon put his military training to use as a bank robber. Lamm successfully robbed banks across the United States until he was killed in a shoot-out near Sidell, Illinois.

Clarence Lieder (1906-1969) – A mechanic and armorer for Chicago’sunderworld and Depression-era criminals, Lieder was the owner of the Oakley Auto Construction Company, competing against Joe Bergl, who also supplied mobsters and other criminals with customized automobiles throughout Prohibition. A friend to bank robber George “Baby Face” “Nelson, Lieder also hid John Dillinger and Homer Van Meter in early 1934. Shortly after Dillinger’s death, Lieder closed his operations and left Chicago in July 1934, disappearing from public record thereafter.

Thomas Limmerick (??-1938) – A kidnapper, Limmerick was sent to Alcatraz and was killed during a 1938 escape attempt.

Wilhelm Loeser, aka Ralph Robiend (1876-1935) – A surgeon who did a lot of work for gangsters, including removing their fingerprints with acid or a scalpel, he also altered DDillinger’sface, removing the distinctive cleft from his chin, some facial moles, and generally giving the outlaw face-lift.

James C. “Tex” “Lucas (1912-1963) – A bank robber and car thief, Lucus attempted to escape from Alcatraz.

Charles “Lucky” “Luciano (1897-1962) – Born Salvatore Lucania, Lucky was an Italian-American mobster who is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States. He was the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associate Meyer Lansky, instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States.

M

Charles Makley, aka Charles McGray and Fat Charles (1889-1934) – A bank robber and associate of John Dillinger. He was captured in Tucson, Arizona, extradited to Ohio, and Makley was sentenced to die in the electric chair. He was transferred to the Ohio State Prison at Columbus and was killed during an escape attempt on September 22, 1934.

William Martin – An African-American bank robber, he, along with Arthur Barker, Rufus McDain, Dale Stamphill, and Henri Young attempted to escape from Alcatraz in January 1939. Barker was killed, Stamphill wounded, and the others recaptured and sent to solitary confinement.

Rufus McCain (??-1940) – Sentenced to Alcatraz, McCain attempted to escape with Henri Young and Arthur Barker in January 1939. He was recaptured only to be killed by Henri Young on December 3, 1940.

Ben Golden McCollum (1909-1963) – Nicknamed the “Sheik of Boynton,” “McCollum was an outlaw in Oklahoma during the 1920s.

Henry Methvin

Henry Methvin

Henry Methvin (1912-1948) – A Barrow Gang member, robber, and murderer, Methvin caught a break when his father helped to set up Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. He served ten years in an Oklahoma prison before being released. He was killed by a train in 1948.

Vernon C. Miller (1896-1933) – Involved in the Kansas City Massacre, an attempt to free outlaw Frank “Jelly” Nash from authorities, Miller was a known freelance Prohibition gunman, bootlegger, bank robber, and former South Dakota sheriff. Shortly after the massacre, he was found dead in a ditch on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.

Irving Milberg – A member of the Purple Gang, Millberg was sentenced to life in prison in 1931 for murder.

Harry Millman – A member of the Purple Gang, Millman was assassinated in November 1937.

George Clarence “Bugs” “Moran (1893-1957) – A Chicago Prohibition-era gangster, he was affiliated with several gangs early on and was incarcerated three times before he was 21 years old. He was the target in the St. VValentine’sDay Massacre but was not yet there when the killings occurred. He was later captured and died on February 25, 1957, in Leavenworth Prison of lung cancer.

Joseph P. Moran

Joseph P. Moran

Joseph P. Moran (1905-1934) – A physician known for treating Depression-era gangsters and a peripheral member of the Barker-Karpis Gang. He was most likely the last doctor to see or treat the mortally wounded John Dillinger. He was thought to have been murdered by Alvis Karpis and Fred Barker.

Giuseppe “The Clutch Hand” “Morello (1867-1930) – Also known as Joe and as” “he Old Fox” he was the first boss of the Morello crime family and later top adviser to Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” “Masseria.

Frank Lee Morris (1926-??) – Born in Washington, D.C. on September 1, 1926, Frank was orphaned at age 11 and spent most of his formative years in foster homes. He was convicted of his first crime at the age of 13 and by his late teens, had been arrested for crimes ranging from narcotics possession to armed robbery. Morris was exceptionally intelligent, ranking in the top 2% of the general population as measured by I.Q. testing. He served time in Florida and Georgia, then escaped from the Louisiana State Penitentiary while serving ten years for bank robbery. He was recaptured a year later while committing a burglary and sent to Alcatraz in 1960. He, along with John and Clarence Anglin, escaped in June 1962 and was never seen again.

Frank Mulloy – Part of the Kansas City Massacre Conspiracy, Mulloy spent time in Alcatraz.

Murder, Inc.

Murder, Inc.

Murder, Inc. – Or, Murder Incorporated was the name the press gave to organized crime groups in the 1930s to the 1940s that acted as the “enforcement arm” “of the Italian-American Mafia, Jewish mob and connected organized crime groups in New York and elsewhere.

Edna “Rabbits” Murray (??-1966) – Depression-era outlaw and partner of Volney Davis during the early 1930s.

N

Frank Nash

Frank Nash

Frank “Jelly” “Nash, aka Charles B. Edgar, Doc Williams (1887-1933) – Sentenced to life in prison for an Oklahoma murder, he was later pardoned. In 1920 he was sent back to prison for robbery but was again pardoned. In 1924, he was back in prison at Leavenworth, Kansas for assault but escaped in 1930. He was killed in the Kansas City Massacre, a shoot-out at the Union Station railroad depot on June 17, 1933.

George “Baby Face” Nelson, aka Lester Joseph Gillis (1908-1934) – Though his name was actually Lester Gillis, he was better known by “Baby Face” “Nelson during his criminal days. A major bank robber in the 1930s and partner of John Dillinger and Homer Van Meter, The FBI caught up with him in November 1934. In the gun battle that ensued, he was shot and killed.

The North Side Gang – Also known as the North Side Mob, this Chicago-based criminal organization was primarily made up of Irish-Americans during the Prohibition era. They were the principal rival of Al CCapone’sgang, the Chicago Outfit.

Harry “Pete” Pierpont (1902-1934) – A Prohibition-era gangster, he was a good friend of John Dillinger. He was captured in Tucson, Arizona, extradited to Ohio, and sentenced to die in the electric chair. He was transferred to the Ohio State Prison at Columbus and was killed during an escape attempt on September 22, 1934.

Adam “Eddie” “Richetti (1909-1938) – Involved with Vernon Miller and Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Richetti was involved in the Kansas City massacre. He was later arrested and executed in the gas chamber of the Missouri State Penitentiary on October 7, 1938.

O

Mary O’Dare – The girlfriend of Barrow Gang member Raymond Hamilton, the 19-year-old girl, was not liked by most gang members. After a dispute with Clyde Barrow, she and Hamilton left the gang.

P

Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker (1910-1934) – Half of the Bonnie and Clyde pair these two were criminals who, with their gang, traveled and robbed numerous locations in the central United States during the Great Depression.

Rufe Persful – A gangster and bank robber, Persful was a trusty at Tucker State Prison Farm in Arkansas when he chopped off two fingers of his hand to gain a transfer to Springfield, Missouri. He was later sent to Alcatraz.

Donald Phoenix – A Barker-Karpis Gang member, Phoenix spent time in Alcatraz.

Harry Pierpont (1902-1934) – Prohibition gangster and friend and mentor of John Dillinger. He was executed in the electric chair on October 17, 1934.

Purple Gang – A mob of bootleggers and hijackers in the 1920s in Detroit, Michigan, run by Abe Bernstein. The gang ran alcohol products from the Detroit port from Canada. Some of the most ruthless bootleggers of their time, they are estimated to have killed more than 500 rival gang members during DDetroit’sbootleg wars.

R

Morris Raider – A member of the Purple Gang, Raider was sentenced to 12-15 years in prison in 1930 for murder.

Adam Richetti

Adam Richetti

Adam “Eddie” Richetti (1909-1938) – The son of Italian immigrants, Richetti was born in Oklahoma on August 5, 1909, and by his teens was involved in a criminal lifestyle. He soon hooked up with the likes of Vernon Miller and Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” “Floyd and began to rob banks. On June 17, 1933, he along with Floyd and Miller, attempted to free their friend, Frank Nash, from authorities as he was being transported to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. As the lawmen were moving Nash to a vehicle at Kansas City’s Union Station terminal, a gunfight erupted in which two police officers, an FBI agent, and Nash were killed. The shoot-out is known as the Kansas City Massacre. He was later arrested and executed in the gas chamber of the Missouri State Penitentiary on October 7, 1938.

David “Chippy” “Robinson (1897-??) – St. Louis, Missouri armed robber and contract killer responsible for many crimes during the Prohibition era. He was a top-ranking member of the EEgan’sRats gang.

Ralph Roe – A bank robber, Roe was sent to Alcatraz. Along with a man named Theodore Cole, the pair escaped on December 16, 1937, and were never seen again.

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Verne Sankey (1890-1934) – Named AAmerica’sfirst public enemy, Sankey was involved in a Denver, Colorado kidnapping. He committed suicide in the South Dakota State Penitentiary in 1934.

Harry Sawyer – A Barker-Karpis Gang member, Sawyer was sent to Alcatraz.

John Paul Scott – He was the only known Alcatraz inmate to conclusively reach the San Francisco shore by swimming.

Jack Selbin – A member of the Purple Gang, Selbin spent time in Alcatraz.

Ziggy Selbin – A member of the Purple Gang, Selbin was assassinated in October 1929.

Irving Shapiro – A member of the Purple Gang, Shapiro was assassinated in July 1929.

Richard Sam Shockley, Jr. (1909-1948)  – An Oklahoma bank robber and kidnapper, he was captured and sent to Alcatraz. He attempted to escape twice in 1941 and in 1946, in which officers were killed. He was executed for killing the officer on December 3, 1948.

Dutch Schultz (1901-1935) – Dutch Schultz was a New York City-area mobster of the 1920s and 1930s who made a fortune in criminal activities. Before he was killed he was said to have buried a treasure trove in the Catskill Mountains.

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel

Benjamin “Bugsy” “Siegel (1906-1947) – A Jewish American mobster, Siegel was known as one of the most “infamous and feared gangsters of his day” Described as handsome and charismatic, he became one of the first front-page-celebrity gangsters. He was also a driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip.

Edward Smith – Committed one of the first bank robberies in the United States on March 19, 1831, stealing $245,000 from the City Bank on Wall Street in New York City.

Walton Spark – An accomplice in John DDillinger’sIndiana jail breakout, Spark spent time in Alcatraz.

Joe Stein – A member of the Purple Gang, Stein spent time in Alcatraz.

Robert Franklin Stroud (1890-1963) – The so-called “Birdman of Alcatraz,” “Stroud was a prisoner in Leavenworth, Kansas before being sent to Alcatraz. Sentenced for murder, he actually kept birds only at Leavenworth, despite his nickname. He was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942 where he stayed until 1959 when his health was failing, and he was transferred to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. He died at the Springfield Center at the age of 73, after 54 years of incarceration, of which 42 were in segregation.

William “Willie” “Francis Sutton (1901-1980) – A prolific bank robber, Sutton stole as much as $2 million in his career and spent more than half his adult life in prison. After his release, he died in 1980 at the age of 79.

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Ray Terrill – An Oklahoma safecracker in the 1920s.

Terror Gang – See Dillinger Gang.

Johnny Torrio

Johnny Torrio

Giovanni “Johnny” “Torrio; aka” The Fox,” “Pappa Johnny” (1882-1957) – An Italian-American mobster who helped build the criminal empire known as the Chicago Outfit in the 1920s that would later be inherited by his protege, Al Capone. He died of a heart attack in 1957.

Roger Touhy – Roger Touhy was an Irish-American mob boss and prohibition-era bootlegger from Chicago, Illinois. In the latter part of 1933 and the early part of 1934, Roger and his gang of criminals were taken out by the FBI, at which time all members were either dead or in prison. After Touhy spent 26 years behind bars, he was released in 1959 and was murdered by the Chicago Outfit less than a month later.

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Wilbur “Mad Dog” “Underhill, Jr. (1901-1934) – Nationally headlined outlaw of the Depression era, he was the first criminal ever shot by the FBI.

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Homer “Wayne” “Van Meter (1906-1934) – A bank robber active in the early 20th century, he was a criminal associate of John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson.

Paolo Antonio Vaccarelli, aka Paul Kelly (1876 – 1936) – A Sicilian-American criminal, he founded the Five Points Gang, one of the last dominant street gangs in New York history. He recruited many of the most prominent criminals of his day, including Johnny Torrio, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Frankie Yale.

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Richard Reese Whittemore (1898-1926) – Leader of a gang of jewel thieves in New York.

Harmon Metz Waley – Convicted of kidnapping, Waley was sent to Alcatraz.

Ted Huron Walters – Arkansas bank robber, Walters was sent to Alcatraz and attempted to escape in August 1843. He was caught before he made it off the island.

Thomas Wareagle – A Native American kidnapper who served time in Alcatraz.

By Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated March 2022.

Also See:

20th Century History

Great Depression

Outlaws Across America

Prohibition in the United States