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By Jeffery S. The phenomenon of the outlaw hero—also known as the beloved badman, noble robber, and social bandit—has been of particular interest to folklorists, fascinated by the consistency of legends linking such historically disparate characters as Robin Hood, Jesse James, and John Dillinger.

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For reasons still being debated, these outlaw heroes usually emerge during periods of financial hardship and are cast by a folk group as noble champions against the larger economic forces e. John Dillinger is perhaps the most celebrated of outlaw heroes from the s Depression, but Charles A.

Born on a Georgia farm in , Floyd moved with his family seven years later to Oklahoma, on the southern edge of the rugged Cookson Hills. As a teenager, Floyd according to his sister "met the wrong kind of men [who] changed his ways of thinking and doing" p. Convicted of armed robbery in , Floyd served slightly more than three years in the Missouri State Penitentiary but continued to associate with criminals following his release.

Convicted in for robbing an Ohio bank, Floyd was being transported to another penitentiary when he escaped from a train and remained a fugitive from justice for four years. It was during this time, at the height of the s Depression, that the legends surrounding Floyd's prowess, daring, and essential goodness were most widespread. It is estimated that "over twenty thousand people from at least twenty states, some from half a continent away," attended Floyd's funeral in Oklahoma p.

At times, he would surprise people with his generosity. Floyd would return often to Cookson Hills, near present day Sallisaw, to visit his mother. While there, he would use some of the loot from his previous robberies to buy food and clothes for many of the poverty-stricken residents living nearby. In , the governor at the time, M.

Trapp, recommended the creation of an agency of special investigators to combat the outlaws. This agency was directly involved in the capture and execution of John Dillinger, and would eventually put an end to Pretty Boy Floyd as well. The beginning of the end happened on October 19, , when three men robbed the Tiltonsville Bank in Ohio. Law enforcement had been closing in on the gangsters over the past two days, and now they had their precise location.

Pretty Boy Floyd managed to have a long criminal career in a relatively short life.

Floyd and Richetti were traveling with their two girlfriends on a wet, foggy evening of October 20 th. Unable to see, Floyd crashed their car into a telephone pole. The two camped out nearby, neither wanting to leave the stolen money, as their girlfriends went to seek help. Sometime later that day, the two were spotted and reported to the local authorities. Richetti was captured almost immediately, but Floyd managed to escape on foot. For two days, Floyd raced across the Ohio landscape, searching for a place to seek shelter. He ended up on the Conkle place, trying to hitch a ride, when the FBI finally caught up with him.

Floyd saw the officers and raced off towards a strand of trees, all the while ignoring the officers cries for him to stop. Just as he reached the tree line, gunfire rang out. Pretty Boy Floyd fell to the ground, and officers quickly raced to him. To say that Charles Arthur lived a good and decent life would be a lie. Instead, he did what he believed was right.

'Pretty Boy' Dead / 'Baby Face' Next: American Gangsters - British Pathé

The depression hit Oklahoma sooner than it did the rest of the country, and seeing the poverty around him, Charles Floyd did what he could to help. After he married, he no longer only had himself to look out for, but also a young wife and a newborn son.

As the depression worsened, Floyd began to strike back by creating a modern day Robin Hood. His fame is still well known in Oklahoma, as is his knack of escaping police traps. With his death, the era of the gangsters died with him. The Kansas City Massacre was the shootout and murder of four law enforcement officers and a criminal fugitive at the Union Station railroad depot in Kansas City, Missouri on the morning of June 17, It occurred as part of the attempt by a gang led by Vernon Miller to free Frank "Jelly" Nash, a federal prisoner.

At the time, Nash was in the custody of several law enforcement officers who were returning him to the U.


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Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, from which he had escaped three years earlier. It is possible. Ruby G. She is buried in the Bixby cemetery, so she remained in the area up until her death. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

Oh, thank you! Have a great day! This is really neat to read, Pretty Boy Floyd is buried behind my grandpa and uncle in Akins Oklahoma. I knew the man that had the hancuffs that they put of him back in those days. I love reading this stuff. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

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The Life and Death of Pretty Boy Floyd - The Kent State University Press

To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Updated on December 18, He was first arrested for petty theft at age Three years later, he graduated to more serious theft and was sentenced to five years in prison for holding up a vehicle delivering money in St. He and his accomplices would stop cars carrying money at gunpoint and demand all the valuables on board. Between and , Floyd was arrested multiple times on suspicion of armed robbery, but the police could never prove anything conclusively.

Around this time, Floyd picked up the nickname he would have for the rest of his life. As is often the case with nicknames, there are different accounts of how it came about. Some say he got the nickname from a prostitute; others from coworkers on an oil rig who mocked his nice clothes. He was fond machine guns, which he had a tendency to fire recklessly during robberies. To many people who had seen their homes seized by banks, Floyd was a hero. A rumor — probably false — circulated that Floyd was destroying mortgage documents during his robberies, which made him even more popular.

That Pretty Boy Floyd always seemed to be carrying a machine gun made it extremely dangerous for overmatched police to try to arrest him. Nash was an escaped convict and bank robber in Arkansas. The agents planned to return to the prison at Leavenworth, Kansas. But Nash had his own gang of criminal associates, and they immediately began making plans to free him, no matter the cost in blood. The same day, Floyd, along with his close accomplice Adam Richetti, were in the middle of their own encounter with police.

The two were driving through Missouri on their way to Kansas City that morning when their car broke down. The pair took the car to a local garage for repairs, when by sheer bad luck, the local sheriff, a man named Jack Killingsworth, walked in. Richetti immediately recognized Killingsworth and pulled out a machine gun.


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  6. Floyd, meanwhile, pulled out a pair of.