Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22: Pretty Boy Floyd

On this date in history, 1934:  Pretty Boy Floyd is killed.

"Pretty Boy" hated his nickname. It was given to him after his first robbery, when the victim described him as a "pretty boy with apple cheeks."

After his part in The Kansas City Massacre in June 1933, & hiding out in Toledo for awhile, Pretty Boy Floyd was on his way back to Okla when he skidded the car into a telephone pole. He got into a gunfight w/ the local police chief while waiting for his girlfriend to get the car fixed. Floyd ran but a manhunt, which included Melvin Purvis, pursued him. Floyd was shot & killed as he ran from behind a corn crib in East Liverpool OH.

Floyd and two others were attempting to free their friend Frank Nash from federal custody.  Nash was on his way back to Leavenworth, where he had escaped almost four years ago to the day, in 1930. While he was out, the FBI discovered he had helped seven other men escape from Leavenworth in 1931.

When their car broke down on the way to free Nash, Floyd was waiting in the garage for the repair when the sheriff came in. One of the men with Floyd recognized the sheriff, pulled a machine gun and forced the sheriff into another car. Taking the sheriff with them, the gang fled, changing cars two or three times before releasing the sheriff.
At Union Station in Kansas City on June 17, 1933, Nash was being escorted by seven FBI agents and local police. While getting into the FBI car, Floyd and his gang attacked and killed five of the FBI/law enforcement men, the police chief, and killed Nash himself.  Floyd and his remaining partner escape from the massacre and lived in New York for a short time before deciding to return to Oklahoma. On the way back to Oklahoma, they skidded the car into a telephone pole. Floyd and his partner hid in the woods while the girlfriends had the car repaired. Someone reported two suspicious men hanging around and when police went to check it out, a gun battle began in which Floyd’s partner was captured and Floyd escaped.

Kansas City Massacre Video

Melvin Purvis, famous for the being the “man who got Dillinger”, (even though he never fired a shot when Dillinger was killed), joined the manhunt.  Floyd was spotted behind a corncrib and during the gun battle, Floyd was shot twice.   He died within 15 minutes, while enroute to the hospital.

At the time Floyd was killed, a watch and fob, consisting of a "lucky piece," were found on his person. Groups of ten notches were found on each of these items—reportedly carved by Floyd as an indication of the number of people he had killed.


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