Matthew Kimes – Leader of the Kimes Gang

Matthew Kimes, outlaw

Matthew Kimes, outlaw

Matthew Kimes was an Oklahoma bank robber, murderer, and brother of George Kimes; Matthew led the Kimes Gang in the 1920s. The two Kimes brothers began their outlaw ways as little more than petty thieves at a young age but quickly moved on to bank robbery. Their thieving occurred throughout Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

On August 27, 1926, in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, Deputy Sheriff Perry Chuculate and another officer stopped a speeding vehicle. The vehicle, which was stolen, contained both Matthew and his brother George Kimes. The Kimes brothers opened fire as the officers approached the car, killing Deputy Chuculate. The outlaws were convicted of manslaughter in connection with ‘s murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. One of the brothers, Matthew Kimes, escaped from prison and continued his crime spree. George was sent to prison in McAlester, Oklahoma. However, Matthew was still in jail when his gang members forced their way into jail at gunpoint and rescued him. Matthew continued his crime spree with the Cotton Top Walker Gang, which was responsible for the murders of Patrolman Coke Buchanan of the Borger, Texas Police Department, on March 19, 1927; Deputy D. P. Kenyon and Deputy Almer Terry, both of the Hutchinson County, Texas Sheriff’s Department, on April 1, 1927; and Chief W. J. McAnnally of the Beggs, Oklahoma Police Department, on May 18, 1927.

Kimes was tracked down and arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona, on June 23, 1927. He was sentenced to death in the electric chair for complicity in the death of WJ. McAnally. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He was turned down for parole in 1945 but was given a brief leave of absence, during which time he robbed a bank in Morton, Texas. On December 1, 1945, he was killed when he was struck by a truck in Little Rock, Arkansas.


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

20th Century History

Barker-Karpis Gang

The FBI and the American Gangster

Gangsters, Mobsters & Outlaws of the 20th Century