Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This Day in History: Oct 22, 1934: Pretty Boy Floyd is killed by the FBI


Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd is shot by FBI agents in a cornfield in East Liverpool, Ohio. Floyd, who had been a hotly pursued fugitive for four years, used his last breath to deny his involvement in the infamous Kansas City Massacre, in which four officers were shot to death at a train station. He died shortly thereafter.

 A contemporary sketch shows how gunmen attacked lawmen

The police car attacked by Vern Miller and the Denning Brothers


Charles Floyd grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. When it became impossible to operate a small farm in the drought conditions of the late 1920s, Floyd tried his hand at bank robbery. He soon found himself in a Missouri prison for robbing a St. Louis payroll delivery. After being paroled in 1929, he learned that Jim Mills had shot his father to death. Since Mills, who had been acquitted of the charges, was never heard from or seen again, Floyd was believed to have killed him.

Wanted Poster for Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, his son Jack Dempsey ("Jackie"), and his ex-wife Ruby.   From: The Life and Death of Pretty Boy Floyd by Jeffery S. King


Moving on to Kansas City, Floyd got mixed up with the city's burgeoning criminal community. A local prostitute gave Floyd the nickname "Pretty Boy," which he hated. Along with a couple of friends he had met in prison, he robbed several banks in Missouri and Ohio, but was eventually caught in Ohio and sentenced to 12-15 years. On the way to prison, Floyd kicked out a window and jumped from the speeding train. He made it to Toledo, where he hooked up with Bill "The Killer" Miller.


The two went on a crime spree across several states until Miller was killed in a spectacular firefight in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1931. Once he was back in Kansas City, Floyd killed a federal agent during a raid and became a nationally known criminal figure. This time he escaped to the backwoods of Oklahoma. The locals there, reeling from the Depression, were not about to turn in an Oklahoma native for robbing banks. Floyd became a Robin Hood-type figure, staying one step ahead of the law. Even the Joads, characters in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, spoke well of Floyd.



However, not everyone was so enamored with "Pretty Boy." Oklahoma's governor put out a $6,000 bounty on his head. On June 17, 1933, when law enforcement officials were ambushed by a machine-gun attack in a Kansas City train station while transporting criminal Frank Nash to prison, Floyd's notoriety grew even more. Although it was not clear whether or not Floyd was responsible, both the FBI and the nation's press pegged the crime on him nevertheless. Subsequently, pressure was stepped up to capture the illustrious fugitive, and the FBI finally got their man in October 1934.


Taken from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pretty-boy-floyd-is-killed-by-the-fbi [22.10.2013]


  1. I knew pretty boy sister I knew his brother the sheriff his wife I knew his niece and great niece and he did not do that and Kansas and he did not Rob all those banks in Oklahoma they're talkin about Charles Arthur Floyd only Rob to Banks and that was in our hometown of Sallisaw Oklahoma they used to laugh at all the banks they said he robbed that was the craziest thing they ever heard of nice saying he was perfect and he did kill a couple law man because when somebody shoots at you you going to shoot back and that's exactly what he done and I didn't say that he didn't Rob them to banks in Sallisaw cuz he did but as far as some other banks that we know of we don't know that he robbed any of them he was in prison most of the time people need to get the story straight actually he was a good yeah and he definitely went to church most of his life growing up down here in Sallisaw he had a nephew also who was a minister I know that for a fact so I'm from here so I know and when you're from someplace you pretty much know things

    1. Thanks for telling us. You know the government will twist the story for themselves favor

    2. Did you know any Myers? Floyd used to hide out on the creek at a old farm some of my family had.

  2. Thank you for your input I know things can be twisted by media and anyone else for that matter. I'm sure some of things he was accused of he did not do.