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The G-Men Of The 30's
(Note: Do a "site search" to find all references. Please be aware that documenting these men of the '30s is a massive project, and continuous additions are slowly being made. I may have information available on Agents, but not yet added so if you don't see the name here, send an email inquiry to me. If you are a relative or friend of one of the Agents of the '30s, I would definitely like to hear from you.
A NOTE ABOUT SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
The biography information about these Agents comes from multiple sources and in the interest of brevity we are not listing the source(s) after each biography although there are some exceptions.
- Source material includes decade old articles from "The Grapevine," and "The Investigator," regular magazines for members of the Society of Former FBI Agents and Bureau employees.
- Genealogy information provided through the assistance of several researchers.
- Accumulated facts as a result of our own review of FOIA FBI files.
- Information from the FBI's Historian based on records.
- Information from obituaries and cemeteries.
- Information from articles, books etc. from other researchers that can be corroborated.
- Information from relatives and/or
- A combination of various areas of the above
Please NOTE: In MOST cases we have not verified dates through actual birth certificates and/or death certificates and for purposes here, do not intend to pursue these documents for each and every Agent here. However, we do believe a majority of dates are accurate.
Many thanks to former FBI Agent, and Retired Hennepin County Sheriff, Don Omodt for his contributions on these men. In many instances we may only be able to capture a name on a photo we find since finding personal data about these men is becoming more difficult as time goes by.
Lastly, the dates readers will see next to names are the years of FBI service as special agents.
FBI Special Agent, Raymond J. Abbaticchio, Jr. (1933 - 1958)
According to official records, Abbaticchio, Jr. joined the Bureau in October, 1933 upon graduation from Georgetown Law School in Washington, D. C. Although much is still unknown about him, he did rise to the rank of SAC, New Orleans prior to retirement in 1958. He is known to be the uncle of former FBI agent, and convicted Watergate burglar, G. Gordon Liddy. He carried badge #19 which and once Abbaticchio retired, he passed it on to Liddy for him to carry during his career; Liddy returned badge #6811. Upon retirement, Abbaticchio served with the Nevada Gaming Commission.
There have been indications in the past (possibly from Liddy) of Abbatichhio's participation in the shooting and killing of gangster, John Dillinger. The official "sketch" of the theater, and those FBI Agents present, submitted by SAC Melvin Purvis to FBIHQ reveals that Abbaticchio's name IS NOT present on this official document.
A July 3, 1934 (nineteen days prior to Dillinger) memo of SAC Purvis revealing the names of Agents present at the Chicago, FBI Office, and which cases they are assigned, DOES NOT reveal Abbaticchio's name. Further research into his whereabouts, career wise, for the period of July, 1934 is needed.
FBI Special Agent, Harold E. Anderson (H. E. Anderson) ( )
Anderson's name is observed in the Kansas City FBI's initial report regarding the Kansas City Massacre of June, 1933 and was assigned to that case. Information obtained in 2011 reveals that SA James Metcalfe was to pen a manuscript about Anderson's career in the FBI, however contact with Metcalfe's son revealed no such manuscript was found by the family, nor ever published, and Metcalfe may have died before he had a chance to complete the project.
FBI Special Agent, Travis W. Bain (1935-37)
SA Bain was executive vice president of the First State Bank of Houston, Texas after his short FBI career. Bain, along with SA's Ray Tollett, Tom Neal, John E. Lunsford and others participated in the arrest of Alvin Karpis. A comical note about SA Bain and Lunsford is in the navigation area under "Dinner with Alvin Karpis....."
FBI Special Agent, W. Carter Baum (1930-1934 - Killed In The Line Of Duty)
FBI Special Agent, Thomas Franklin Baughman (1919-1949) (see photo gallery)
- Also recognized as "Frank" Baughman; T. F. Baughman; Thomas Frank Baughman
"Frank" Baughman entered on duty with the Department of Justice in October, 1919. At the age of 22 he was assigned to the General Intelligence Division and worked closely with J. Edgar Hoover whom he knew in law school. Baughman was a graduate of the George Washington University in Washington, DC and enlisted in the Army in 1917. He was discharged after World War I as a captain to accept his position with the Intelligence Division.
Available information from a distant relative, Natalie McDonald, (and corroborated by records) reveals that sometime in probably the early 1920's, Baughman married one Alice Louise Trout-McDonald who was at one time employed as a manager at Tiffany's in Beverly Hills, Ca. The same relative has advised there was a daughter, Shirley Alice-Mae Baughman who later died in the 1960's. Baughman's marriage was short lived, and upon divorce, his wife never used the Baughman name again. It is known that Baughman was married to her as late as 1930 while assigned to Washington, D. C.
Baughman remained a close personal friend of J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover was Baughman's best man at his wedding. After Hoover became director he appointed Baughman a supervisor and rated him in a number three position in the Bureau. When Clyde Tolson became assistant Director, Baughman was assigned to Tolson as an assistant which was a short-lived arrangement. He was subsequently appointed in the early 30's as a firearms instructor at the FBI Academy (probably one of the first Instructors) and remained there until 1949 when he retired. Baughman died in Florida in 1971. Baughman regularly appears in many 1930s firearms photographs at Quantico, Va. and other training locations and is sometimes described in photos as a "US Marine instructor" which obviously is in error. In many photos, he wears what many would describe as a "Trooper's hat." (Other Baughman photos may be in our "photo gallery.")
Even today, Baughman is remembered by outside gun collectors for his "Baughman Front Sight" which was developed for the .357 magnum through Smith and Wesson. More on this can be found by searching Baughman in Google, etc. or by checking with S/W historians.
A copy of Baughman's will obtained by us in 2010 reveals he no doubt remarried and left his belongings to his wife in 1971 who was Bonnie Holmes Baughman. There were no children revealed, and there was no inventory of any of Baughman's items done. The estate he left his wife in Daytona Beach, Fla. was valued at less than $5,000 in the end.
It is worth noting here that the SS Death Index for Baughman reveals he died 9/15/71, however the Florida Death Index plus Baughman's will reveals he actually died 9/8/71. (Baughman's will revealed he desired cremation) Preliminary results reveal Bonnie H. Baughman probably died in 1987 in Fairfax, Va. but this needs further research.
Some of Baughman's handguns have appeared at auctions over the years, or sold privately, however there is no known inventory of what he actually owned at the time of death. We are constantly on the lookout for more info on Baughman and contact from those who possess any of his handguns.
FBI Special Agent, Almon P. Barber (1934-1944) (See Section On Brady Gang)
FBI Special Agent, Henry S. Boone, aka "Daniel Boone" (1935 - 1941)
Boone was a native of Alabama and attended the University of Alabama receiving his degree in 1931 and a commission as Second Lieutenant, Infantry, O. R. C. and in 1934, obtained his LLB degree. He joined the FBI in April, 1935 and was in the training class of SA "Hank" Sloan who is also on this site. (A photo of Sloan's training class, showing Boone and others is in the navigation area.) Along with Boone in FBI training was a close friend of his, William A. Collier of Alabama. Boone was referred to at times in the FBI by his colleagues as "Daniel."
Boone resigned from the FBI to accept active duty in the Army and in June, 1941 was assigned to duty in the office of G-2, War Department, Counter-Intelligence Group. It appears from records that both Boone and Collier, along with former Agent Leer Reed, were part of an intelligence group known as the "Pond." (Pond doc, Oct. 1943). A 1943 declassified document shows Boone as "Major, Infantry."
FBI Special Agent Edward J. Brennan (@1908 - 1925)
A patriarc of the Bureau, Edward J. Brennan began his law enforcement career in 1894 when he became a deputy United States marshal in his home town of St. Louis. Later he joined the criminal investigation unit of the St. Louis Police Department. In 1907 and 1908 he worked for the Treasury Department's Secret Service and then was transferred to the old Bureau of Investigation, now the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At that time, he was assigned to investigate the so-called "sugar frauds" of 1908 sent bureau. He directed in 1910 the sensational investigation in the interstate transportation of high explosives after which 40 persons were convicted, most of them going to the penitentiary.
In 1910 the Los Angeles Times Building was dynamited and 21 persons were killed. The State of California borrowed Mr. Brennan to work on the case. In 1915 Mathew A. Schmidt and Nathan Caplan were convicted for murder.
In 1925 Mr. Brennan retired from the FBI and joined the Pullman Co. as chief special agent. He retired again in 1944. Afterwards, Mr. Brennan could not stay inactive. He helped to form the Society of Former Special Agents in New York City. He was active until he died.
His son, John Brennan, also a member of the Society, has been active in perpetuating the ideals and customs of the FBI. He worked on the famous John Dillinger ease, a number of Midwest bank robberies and kidnappings. In 1925 — while his father was retiring from the FBI — John was helping agents corral Martin Durkin, wanted for the murder of Bureau agent, Edward Shanahan. (refneatscan)
FBI Special Agent R. D. Brown (1930 - 1939)
Ralph D. Brown served as a Special Agent from 1930 until 1939 and was a past president of the Agent's Society. He was born at Swanton, Vermont on a farm on February 25, 1904. He served in the U. S. Army Air Corps as a flying cadet in the 20's.
During his nine years of service, Brown figured prominently in some of the major cases of the time and is well known for his appearance at the Dillinger shootout in Chicago. Brown drove Purvis to the Biograph that night, and positioned himself in the vehicle, parking just feet away from the fatal shooting. Brown, along with others, was assigned to the "Dillinger Squad." Brown also participated in other major cases such as the Barker-Karpis gang case and the Hamm, Bremmer, Stoll, Weyerhauser and Ross Kidnappings. When he resigned in 1939, Brown was already the SAC of the Denver Field Office.
Subsequent to his service, Brown was an executive with J. C. Penny Stores and later was vice president in charge of public relations of Safeway Stores. In his retirement years he resided in Palo Alto, California and died on March 7, 1973 at the age of 69. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife, Christine, and two sons, James and Peter.
FBI Special Agent, Delf A. "Jelly" Bryce (1934-1958)
"Jelly" Bryce, also mentioned in our intro here, served as a Speical Agent with the FBI from 1934 until 1958. No doubt he was one of the legendary marksmen of the FBI's '30s era, having come from the Oklahoma City Police Department. Legend has it that Bryce arrived at the FBI with 6-8 "notches" already in his gun. (additional photos of Bryce and other legends are in our "photo gallery."
By all accounts, Bryce was not formally educated upon arrival at the FBI in the company of Clarence Hurt and others. Bryce did think "the sun rose and set on J. Edgar Hoover" and even imitated the late Director's dress style of snap brimmed hats and double breasted suits. Although it's not clear where he was at the time, some have Bryce participating in the Dillinger shootout in Chicago. There's no evidence he was there. Bryce did participate in other high profile cases however.
In 1941, Bryce was appointed as a Special Agent In Charge and served in this capacity in El Paso, San Antonio, Albuquerque and finally Oklahoma City from where he retired in 1958. Upon retirement, Bryce ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Oklahoma as an independent. He then returned to his birthplace, Mountainview, Oklahoma where he ran a ranch.
Former SA Weldon Gentry (1941-61) who was assigned to the Oklahoma City FBI Office when Bryce was SAC there said, "all the time he was Agent in Charge we didn't have an unsolved bank robbery in the State." Former Oklahoma City Police Chief, L. Hilbert said at one time that Bryce "had personal knowledge about everything going on in the U. S. in the way of law violations. He had a knack of knowing how to figure out who would pull what and that's what made him a good law officer. No doubt about it, he was the best." Bryce's speed and accuracy with firearms, his ready wit, and flair for showmanship made him much in demand for firearms demonstrations. There is no doubt he just may have been the fastest lawman in the country at the time.
The abilities of Bryce's shooting is further exemplified in a book written by Ron Owens. Bryce died in May, 1974 while attending a re-union of of Oklahoma X-Agents at the age of 67. At that time he was survived by 2 sons, William of Dallas, Tx. and John Fel Bryce of Mountain View.
FBI Special Agent William L. "Buck" Buchanan - (1934 - 1946)
SA Buchanan was the Agent at the arrest of gangster, Alvin Karpis, who "donated" his tie at the scene so Karpis could be restrained since the Agents present had forgotten handcuffs. Letters about this between Hoover and Buchanan are on this site to read and see also his son's note in the section containing relatives comments. In 1940, SA Buchanan sent the Karpis tie to Hoover as a momento and to this day, the tie has never been found again.
FBI Special Agent, L. J. Barkhausen - (1920s)
Barkhausen was an early Bureau agent assigned to the Denver field office. He was specifically requested by SA T. F. Weiss to assist him in the Osage Indian murder investigation and as a result, Barkhausen was sent to Oklahoma on assignment. Added details on him not available.
FBI Special Agent, Raymond J. Caffrey ( ?-1933 - Killed In The Line Of Duty)
FBI Special Agent, G. Christopher Callan (1934-1960) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, Charles G. (Jerry) Campbell (1934-1965)
Campbell, a native of Oklahoma, was previously with the Oklahoma City Police Department and entered the FBI due to his shooting abilities when the FBI needed expert marksmen to train Agents in the use of firearms. The FBI had just obtained Congressional authority to carry weapons. Campbell was hired along with marksmen, Clarence Hurt and “Jelly” Bryce from the same Department.
Campbell was best remembered for his role in the Dillinger investigation and being part of Chicago FBI’s “flying squad” consisting of Agents who best knew all the various gangsters. Campbell was at the Biograph Theater with others the night Dillinger was killed and also participated in the gun battle at Ocala, Fla. With Ma Barker and her son. As a police officer, he had pursued Bonnie and Clyde. In October, 1932, Campbell encountered bandit Elbert Oglesby in Oklahoma and during the confrontation, Campbell shot and killed Oglesby who was wanted for bank robbery and murder.
Campbell was known as a down to earth, low key investigator, although he specialized in dangerous crimes and assignments requiring the use of force.
In 1946, Campbell opened the FBI’s Palo Alto Office and resided there.
A 1952 San Francisco Chronicle story described a trick-shooting exhibition that Campbell and others gave to FBI personnel in San Francisco. The Agents fired machine guns, rifles, pistols and shotguns backward, between their legs, and behind their backs, according to the story.
Campbell retired in 1965 at Palo Alto and his good friend and neighbor, SA George Hartley took his place. After retiring in 1965, he continued to work for a local firearms company and lent his experience to the range masters of many local police departments. (Information available suggests that Campbell worked in the firearms business with another retired Agent named Eugene "Gene" Jones, who entered the FBI in about 1940. Jones became a firearms instructor, however we are seeking information about him since very little is known.) During retirement Campbell enjoyed hunting, fishing and collecting firearms. SA Hartley would later become Campbell’s executor of his will, and dispersed all of Campbell’s guns.
“Jerry” Campbell died of congestive heart failure on January 1, 1991 at the age of 84. At the time he was survived by his wife, Betty and one sister. The Campbell’s never had any children.
FBI Special Agent, Hugh H. Clegg (1926 - 1954)
By the time the "war on crime" hit America in the early 1930s, Hugh Clegg had already been in the Bureau over five years. Clegg in many ways was one of the legendary personalities of the FBI during his 27 years as a Special Agent, Special Agent in Charge, Inspector and Assistant Director. You'll see his involvement in many released FBI reports of investigations regarding gangster cases during the depression era and those involving major incidents of the period. (It was Clegg, not SAC Purvis, who was the ranking FBI official at the ill fated shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge in April, 1934.) Readers can find more about that in the navigation area.
Having a master's degree in education, he played a prominent role in the founding of the FBI's National Academy in 1935.
In 1940-41 he was in charge of a mission to England to study under wartime conditions such matters as intelligence operations, communications, 1aw enforcement, civil defense and security. He supervised the training of thousands of Special Agents, police and police executives in wartime duties prior to America's entry into World War II. He also was on loan for several months as the first chief of staff of the Appropriations Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives to make studies for economy and efficiency in government.
Upon retirement from the FBI, following 15 years of notable service with the University of Mississippi. He retired from that post on June 30, 1969. At the Spring commencement exercises he received a citation for oustanding service to the University and on recommendation of Ole Miss offi-cials the Board of Trustees of the State Universities approved for him the title of "Assistant to the Chancellor and Director of Development Emeritus." Following these honors, the Mississippi State Legislature adopted a joint resolution of thanks and commendation for Clegg's important services to both State and Nation. And later in 1968, the University-Oxford Airport, the only state-owned airport in Mississippi, was designated as "Hugh H. Clegg Field."
Clegg was married to the former Ruby Kathryn Fields of Anguilla, Miss. and they made their home there in the late 1960s. They had a daughter, Ruby Kathryn, wife of Air Force Captain, A. B. Patterson Jr., and a grandson. Many of Clegg's papers can be found at Ole Miss, and his oral history interview can be found in a search of the Internet. Clegg of course is now deceased and we are currently unaware of any surviving relatives.
FBI Special Agent, Ralph H. Colvin (1918-1940)
Believed to have been born in 1878, Colvin was a native of Johnson City, Texas and as a young man, he went to Alaska to seek gold during the rush there. He returned in 1908 and joined the U. S. Forestry Service. In 1911 he transferred to the border patrol along the U. S./Mexico border until 1918 when he joined the FBI. (Bureau Of Investigation). By 1919, Colvin had already attained the rank as SAC in Arizona.
Colvin was SAC at Oklahoma, during the 1933-34 time period and played a major role in the case of the Charles Urschel kidnapping and the subsequent arrest of George "Machine Gun" Kelly. In 1933, at Shawnee, Ok., Colvin was present with "Jelly" Bryce and others at the shootout with gangster, Wilbur (Wilber) Underhill. Also during 1933, Colvin was instrumental in the arrest of Frank Nash who escaped from Leavenworth prison.
During his tenure, Colvin served as SAC of the Oklahoma, El Paso, Dallas, and Tucson FBI offices.
Colvin retired in 1940 after about 22 years in the Bureau and became Chief Of Police, at Tulsa, Oklahoma PD. He only served about two years and left to become the chief investigator of the Douglas bomber plant in Oklahoma. He left there in 1945 after the War.
According to his obituary, At the age of 73, Colvin died during January, 1951 while living alone at the Trimble Hotel on Boulder Ave., in Tulsa, Ok. He had a surviving daughter in Burbank, Ca. at the time whom obituaries identified as Nancy Colvin.
According to research in 2009, it was determined Colvin had two brothers, now deceased. His former wife, Madeline appears to have remarried a boarder of hers named Frank Wesley Coulter. (No marriage certificate has been located.) Colvin's surviving daughter, Frances (who appears to have used the name Nancy Colvin also) probably took on an adopted name of Frances Rodney Coulter. As seen here, she died in 1996.
California Death Index 1940-1997
Frances Rodney Coulter
Born: 20 Set 1915 Arizona
Died: 9 Sept 1996 Santa Barbara, CA
Mother's maiden name: Burt [that's correct]
Madelein [sic] R. Coulter
Born: 3 June 1889 "Rest of the World"
Died: 11 Nov 1962 Los Angeles, CA
Mother's maiden name: Fletcher [that's correct]
No Social Security number given
Frank Wesley Coulter
Born: 19 June 1888 Canada
Died: 5 June 1978 Santa Barbara, CA
No mother's maiden name given
My personal thanks for this research effort to: M. R. Solari, researcher,
Colvin's photo in 1933 during the Underhill shootout appears on the home page of this website and also the "photo gallery."
FBI Special Agent, Earl J. Connelley (1920 - 1954)
E. J. Connelley was born January, 1892 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. In 1917, during the War, Connelley joined the Army as a private, served in the Signal Corps, and was discharged as a first lieutenant by war's end.
Connelley studied law and accounting in New York and joined the FBI in January, 1920. In 1927, he was promoted to Special Agent In Charge in St. Louis, and subsequently served in the same capacity in the New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati offices. Throughout his 34 year career, Connelley was involved as an Inspector, and SAC, in many of the most prominent Bureau cases, especially those of the gangster era. Connelley essentially replaced Inspector Sam Cowley in Chicago in late 1934, after Cowley had been killed in action along with SA Herman Hollis.
In addition to the major kidnappings, the Dillinger and other cases, Connelley led the raid in Chicago capturing "Doc" Barker, and subsequently took his men to Florida to capture "Ma" Barker and her son, Fred. As most know, this attempt led to a gunfight at Ocala, Florida wherein both Barkers were killed.
Later in his career, Connelley spent most of his time involved in subversive/spy type investigations. In 1940, Director Hoover appointed him as Assistant Director of Major Investigations in the Field. In 1948 he was involved with the famous Alger Hiss investigation.
Retiring in 1954, Connelley died at his home in Cincinnati in January, 1957. Between 2011 and 2012, Connelley's granddaughter's had contacted the writer and we made arrangements through retired special agents to meet with them. As a result, multiple papers, photos and more of Connelley's FBI career were obtained and are now incorporated on this site at other locations.
FBI Special Agent, Edward E. Conroy ( E. E. Conroy) (1922-1946)
(courtesy of his son, Edward)E. E. Conroy, as he was known in the Bureau, was born in Ogden, Utah October 3, 1895 and attended Cornell University.
During service with the Marine Corps in World War I, he served on the Verdun front and later Belleau Wood, where he was wounded. He received the Croix de Guerre, the Silver Cross with cluster and the Purple Heart.
After the war, Conroy completed his interrupted studies at Cornell landing an A. B. degree in 1920. While in college, he won the intercollegiate lightweight wrestling championship.
Joining the FBI in 1922, it only took six years to jump to the post of Special Agent In Charge. Over his long career, he was in charge of eleven Field Offices over 24 years. While SAC at Kansas City, he supervised the famous "Kansas City Massacre" case which incident took place in 1933.
In 1927 at Steubenville, Ohio, Conroy personally captured the infamous twins, Roy and Ray De Autremont, who were wanted for four murders and topped the FBI's "Most Wanted" List.
During World War II, Conroy headed the New York Field Office when the Bureau pulled in many spies and others including the four Nazi saboteurs who landed from a German submarine on Long Island. Not one act of enemy sabotage occurred in the New York area while under his command.
Conroy resigned from the FBI in December, 1946, and eventually was employed by American Cyanamid as Director of Security in about 1950/51. He was a member of the Department of Defense advisory commission on safeguarding classified information.
In February, 1956, E. E. Conroy died at his home in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. At the time he was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons. A son, Edward Conroy, as of 2009, is a retired FBI Agent.
FBI Special Agent, Rufus C. Coulter (1928-1945) See Section On Brady Gang And The Navigation Area For Name and do a site search for more info on him.
Inspector Samuel P. Cowley (1929 - 1934 - Killed In The Line Of Duty)
Today in Barrington , Ill. a bronze plaque, mounted on a red granite rock, carries the following: “You cannot choose your battlefield. The gods do that for you, but you can plant a standard where a standard never flew.” A flagpole flys the Stars and Stripes; it all sits in the shade of locust tree.
The plaque sits at the location where Inspector Sam Cowley and Herman Hollis died in the shootout with “Baby Face” Nelson, also killed. Present with Nelson was John Paul Chase who would later be convicted of the murder of Cowley; he was never tried for the Hollis killing and died in California in the early 70’s after being paroled.
Historically, Cowley remained out of the limelight of the Dillinger shootout, the Bremer and Lindberg kidnappings, the Kansas City Massacre, and many more of the notorious incidents of the day. Even though he was the appointed Inspector in Charge of it all. With Dillinger, we only hear of Purvis. But in the years to come, Mr. Hoover made if very clear (and even at the time) that it was Cowley who ran the major investigations of the times.
Cowley was born in Idaho in 1899 and was the fifth son to Latter Day Saints parents. He came into a family of 9 sons and 6 daughters, and ironically was the product of a “plural marriage.” Something the Bureau “overlooked” at the time of his hiring. Cowley’s father served as a missionary for the Church, and traveled later as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
“Sam Cowley was baptized into The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on his eighth birthday. At the age of 12, he was duly ordained a deacon and later a teacher at age 15. He fulfilled his priesthood duties, becoming a counselor in the presidencies of both quorums.”
“At age 17, he was ordained as an elder, and left for Hawaii to serve a Church mission. Mastering the language, he baptized converts, blessed children, and administered to the sick and afflicted.”
An honor grad in 1923, he made his way through George Washington U in Washington, D. C. and passed the bar exam in 1928, receiving his LLB degree in the spring of 1929. In April, 1929 he was appointed as a Special Agent; In 1932 he was appointed as Inspector with Mr. Hoover describing Cowley as “the sort of man who never could be found in the limelight, and his excellence was his intelligent persistence and his thoroughness at doing what ought to be done. I never had to check a job done by Cowley.”
Within 5 years of joining the FBI, Inspector Samuel Cowley met his god in the presence of one of the most vicious killers in American gangster history. “A valiant soldier in the Royal Army of God who remained true to his high standards through his final hours,” as described by author Richard Emery. He left behind a wife and two sons. (sources include: “Sam Cowley” by Richard Emery)
FBI Special Agent, Vernon E. Criss (1930-1942) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, Kelly Dent Deaderick (1927-1951)
(Deaderick's photo appears on the front page of this website.) Deaderick was a World War I veteran and was born in Jonesboro, Tenn., on April 22, 1898. He arrived in Oregon in 1910 when his parents moved to Halfway in Baker County.
He attended the University of Washington at Seattle from late 1919 until 1926. After a short law practice, Deaderick joined the FBI in July, 1927. Assigned to the Oklahoma FBI Office in the early '30s, Deaderick was present at the shootout with gangster, Wilbur Underhill. He was photographed in 1933 in the company of Agents Paul Hansen, SAC Ralph Colvin, and Oklahoma Detectives, "Jelly" Bryce and Clarence Hurt. In the Southwest during the early '30s, Deaderick participated in major kidnapping cases such as the Urshel, Mattson and Weyerhauser cases and was involved in the search for "Machine Gun" Kelly and other major gangsters traveling the Southwest.
In June, 1936, Deaderick was transferred to the Portland, FBI Office and spent most of his career there, although was a Headquarters supervisor in Washington, D. C. for a short time.
Deaderick attended the 1945 "Major Case" training seminar at the FBI Academy and was photographed with his class. This photo was published in the "Grapevine" magazine in a December, 1969 issue.
After leaving the FBI in 1951 at the age of 52, Deaderick accepted a post as chief of Portland's new division of liquor license control. He resigned that position in 1954 and entered real estate and insurance. In 1956, he attempted to enter local politics. Although the date is unclear, Deaderick returned at some point to Yakima, Washington.
Deaderick died on July 29, 1970 in Yakima, WA leaving a wife and a son named Michael M. Deaderick. In 2007, his FBI related items kept from his Bureau career sold at auction.
FBI Special Agent, Walter J. Devereux (1930-1942) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, O. C. Dewey ( )
Dewey is known through the initial report on the Kansas City Massacre to have been assigned to Kansas City at that time, and participated in the original investigation. Dewey was part of the honor guard at the funeral of SA Herman Hollis in Iowa in 1934, described in the Hollis obituary as a friend of Hollis.
FBI Special Agent, D. H. Dickason (Denis H. Dickason) (@ 1917 - 1936)
Dickason served in the Bureau during the early days of 1917 and by the time he retired at the peak of the gangster era in 1936, he was believed to be the oldest member of the FBI at the time. His retirement was mainly due to an injury suffered in a severe fall at his home.
Before entering the "man chasing service," Dickason served as a school teacher, a police magistrate, mayor, and printing instructor. He was also qualified to practice law.
Born in Pennsylvania, the son of a country doctor, he had been a resident of the Rocky mountain region much of the time since 1877.
Dickason was SAC in the Bureau for many years, covering Montana and Idaho mostly. Referring to our group photo, his photo is shown along with other SAC's of 1936 in our photo gallery. He retired while in Montana.
At the time of his death in May 1941, he was survived by a wife, Laura; two sons; a daughter; three brothers; a sister and eight grandchildren. We have only limited information on him at this time.
FBI Special Agent, Edward J. Dowd (E. J. Dowd) (1934 period)
SA Dowd's exact years of service are unknown as of this writing, however his name is readily apparent in FBI files and observed in connection with many high profile cases such as Dillinger, Nelson and Floyd. His obituary reveals he played a role in preparing evidence that led to the conviction of Al Capone for tax evasion in 1931.
Born in Brooklyn, NY Dowd passed away in 1948 and having no children, was survived by his wife, Mrs. Bertha Dowd.
FBI Special Agent, James S. Egan (1922 - ?)
An early Inspector in the Bureau circa 1929, and by 1939, a Special Agent In Charge. (Photo is shown here)
FBI Special Agent, John J. Egan (no photo - exact service dates not available)
As provided to us by his granddaughter, Ms. Donna Conway:
John Joseph Egan was born on September 5, 1908 to Patrick and Susan (Hegarty) Egan.
"Joe" was educated in the Providence public schools and graduated from Classical High School in 1926. He graduated from Providence College in 1930 and from Boston University Law School in 1933.
A former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he worked in FBI offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kansas City, Missouri and Milwaukee before returning to Providence in 1940. He worked as an investigator for the Rhode Island Registry of Motor Vehicles. During World War II, he spent two years as Chief Investigator of the Office of Price Administration.
Joe married Louise McCaffrey and had six children and 23 grandchildren. Joe passed away on November 10, 1968.
Egan is shown with others in our photo section in a 1930s group photo of Special Agents In Charge.
FBI Special Agent, Carlton J. Endres
Appears to have been assigned to the Tucson, Az. area during January, 1934 and was in that area during the arrest there of John Dillinger et al at Tucson, AZ. SA Endres submitted his report on the Tucson arrest of Dillinger and others and was involved in their attempted interrogation. He reported his results to SAC Dunn of Los Angeles, who in turn, reported them to FBI Headquarters.
FBI Special Agent, Murry C. Falkner (1925-1928 & 1934-1965)
Retired FBI Agent, Murry C. Falkner, according to his own accounts in “The Grapevine” in 1967, was actually the only FBI Agent during the ‘30s who was an "authorized pilot." Falkner became an FBI Agent in 1925.
Falkner was involved in the Dillinger and Bremer investigations and received a raise in salary along with others for their work. He was present at the shootout at Little Bohemia in Wisconsin but the stories he was present specifically at the Biograph Theater that night are not substantiated. He used his raise to learn how to fly. He obtained his pilot's license in 1936 at the Albuquerque Airport while assigned to the El Paso FBI office. Most of his official flying duties were in the West Texas and New Mexico areas.
In 1939, Falkner was on special assignment in Seattle and bought his first plane. Before delivery, he was transferred to San Francisco, FBI and then had to travel to Detroit to arrange delivery. After a short sprint in San Francisco, FBI he was transferred to Alaska but found problems financially in taking the plane with him.
Falkner retired from the FBI in the '60s and maintained a residence in Mobile, Alabama. At the time of his retirement, he had a new career in mind – writing.
In a recently found July, 1965 news interview with Falkner, it’s revealed “Writing is not new in the Falkner family. He (Murry) is a brother of the late William Faulkner and John Faulkner, also a novelist. William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer prizes for fiction in 1955 and 1963."
Said Falkner in the same interview, “I’m going to try to do some writing. I have no illusions that I have the talent my brothers had but I am going to try my hand at it.” At the time, Falkner was 66 years old.
Falkner retained the revised spelling of the family name when his brothers, on the other hand, restored the “u” dropped by their great-grandfather. The date of Falkner's death is currently unknown.
FBI Special Agent, Francis X. Fay ( 1922 - 1935)
FBI Special Agent, James G. Findlay - (1920s)
Findlay was the Special Agent In Charge of the Oklahoma field office of the Bureau during the onset of the Osage Indian murder investigation there in 1923. His name regularly appears in the released FBI file on the case. Further details of him are lacking.
FBI Special Agent, Percy E. Foxworth ( 1932 - 1943 - Killed In The Line Of Duty)
FBI Special Agent, George H. Franklin (1932-1956)
SA Franklin served in the Oklahoma Field Office, among others, and participated in many of the notorious gangster investigations. The below was submitted by his current surviving son, George, who also has furnished some photos which are in the "photo gallery."
Born 1903 on a ranch north of Pecos Texas, died Alb. NM 1978.
Moved to Chicago in 1915 due to poor health of his father and became the primary wage-earner to support his widowed mother and two young sisters. Family moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1918 due to health problems of a sister and to be close to some family who also had relocated to New Mexico.
At age 18 (1921) he became a Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff. During this short experience he began a friendship with Elfego Baca which would last until Elfego's death in the mid 1940s. In 1922 he joined the Albuquerque Police Dept. under ChiefJ. R. Galushaand later the legendary Chief Pat O'Grady. During his years with APD he served as one of the city's first motorcycle officers and became the department's sole expert in the new science of fingerprinting.
In 1931 he graduated from the Institute of Applied Science in Chicago with a certificate in fingerprint identification. During the 1920s & 1930s G.H. Franklin won numerous shooting contests in the Southwest with both rifle and pistol. In the 1920s he was also a member of the NM National Guard, a horse cavalry outfit. I heard stories years ago about a shooting my dad was involved in with a local bootlegger but have been unable to find any more information and my dad only mentioned it on one occasion stating that the subject had first pointed a shotgun at him resulting in the bootlegger being shot. I recall numerous stories of fisticuffs and night stick events in making routine arrests and at least two attempted knifings all of which were considered "routine".
In 1924 officer Franklin married Adelia (Dee) Elder, daughter of James and Mabel Elder who came to New Mexico in 1881. The marriage lasted until their deaths in 1978 (George) and 1979 (Adelia). They had two children, Lila (b.1925) and George E.(b.1938). In the late 1920s and early 1930s the Bureau of Investigation (later, the FBI)under J. Edgar Hoover was in need of experienced officers to deal with the wave of violent bank robbers, kidnappers, extortionists and killers that terrorized the country during the Great Depression. The word went out via the law enforcement grapevine and various federal representatives that the "Bureau" was looking for some old fashioned street-savvy cops who could shoot back when needed. My father was recommended to the Bureau by Senator Sam Bratton and Congressman Dennis Chavez, both friends of my dad and influential figures.
My dad's reputation as a marksman, dedicated peace officer and fingerprint expert also put him in the running for consideration for appointment as an agent. He was accepted and after training became an agent in the summer of 1932. Others of this genre include Charley Winstead, Clarence Hurt, Jerry Campbell, Delf Bryce, Jim Durrett and several more.
G.H. Franklin was assigned to the following Offices during his career: 1932-33 Charlotte, NC 1933-34 Oklahoma City, OK 1934-37 Kansas City, MO 1937-45 El Paso, TX 1945-56 Albuquerque, NM.
Some of the cases in which SA Franklin was involved: Joe Cannon extortion case (first big case involving textile magnate Joe Cannon) 1932-33 Kidnappings: Urschel (1933 - George "Maginegun" Kelly) Hamm, Weyerhaeuser, Brow, Matson, Leur, Bremer, others Kansas City Massacre: Detailed from OKC office to help escort Frank Nash. Franklin was hospitalized with tonsillitis and was dropped from the detail which was ambushed by Chas. Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, Adam Richetti and Vern Miller resulting in the deaths of 4 officers and Frank Nash. One of his lucky breaks but he always felt bad about it.
Bank Robbery: SA Franklin was involved in the pursuit of most of the notables of the day including the Barrow Gang, Dillinger and many others. I once asked him about Dillinger as I knew several of his old friends were involved (Charley Winstead, Ray Suran, Clarence Hurt) and he related that while in Arkansas by himself he got a tip that Dillinger was in Hot Springs. Thinking that Dillinger was about to get away he pursued the tip by himself fearing he was probably about to get himself shot! Pop laughed and stated that "while I was in hot pursuit of John Dillinger in Arkansas he was shot in Chicago!".
George "Irish" O'Malley Gang: Pop was shot through the left upper thigh with a .45 fired by Clarence Sparger in a shootout in Hickman Mills (suburb of KC, MO) in 1936. My dad visited Sparger in Alcatraz many years later and was saddened upon learning Sparger was dying of cancer.
Wilbur Underhill: Shootout in Shawnee, OK in 1933 resulting in the death of Underhill and Eva Mae Nichols. My dad was across the street in front of the house armed with a shotgun. He accompanied Nichols to the hospital and always regretted her death as a tragedy. He was the Bureau's contact man with the Underhill family.
Police Schools: Because of his street cop/FBI background, speaking abilities and close contact with western police departments SA Franklin spent most of 1937-40 traveling the Southwest conducting schools for local peace officers. As WWII approached the Bureau became active in developing Civilian Defense Schools to prepare the country for the sort of things England was dealing with such as espionage, sabotage, evacuations and bombings(explosive rod).
My dad received extensive training in 1940 and spent the war years traveling around the country conducting CD classes (normally 6 day events). Some of the cities he instructed in include: Portland OR, Seattle, WA, Pasadena, CA, Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Yuma, AZ, Phoenix, AZ, Tucson, AZ, Salt Lake City, UT, Denver, CO, El Paso, TX, Harlingen, TX, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, Lancaster, Co, PA, etc. I now know why we saw little of him during the war! As the war was ending the FBI became more and more involved with Communist activities and a much larger FBI presence was needed in New Mexico (Manhattan Project).
My dad's final FBI years were spent in Albuquerque where his law enforcement career began. Dad's long time friend, Delf Bryce also went to the Alb. office in the 1950s and we all had many memorable hunting trips together. I helped logistically with many of the shooting demos Bryce and my dad conducted for the public.
After retiring from the FBI in 1956 G. H. Franklin became the Director of Public Safety for the city of Alb., NM This directorate coordinated the City Police, Fire and Traffic Engineering Departments. Several of his old APD buddies were still on the force! From 1960-65 he was the NM State Liquor Control Div. Director under his old friend Governor Ed Mechem (ex FBI agent). Pop hired Charley Winstead as one of his inspectors!
FBI Special Agent, R. G. Gillespie
FBI Special Agent, W. R. Glavin ( 1931 - ?)
FBI Special Agent, Michael F. Glynn (1930 - 1935)
SA Glynn served in the FBI from 1930 to 1935. Glynn was a native of County Galway, Ireland and graduated from National University in Dublin. He emigrated to the US afterward, worked at the Illinois Central Railroad, and obtained a law degree during evenings at Loyola University Law School in Illinois. He entered the FBI afterward and served in Omaha, New York, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Chicago.
SA Glynn was one of the Agents in the alleyway (with others) the night Dillinger exited the theater. He's best found in the AP press photo at the scene, dressed in a light colored suit, straw boater, and two toned shoes.
In the early years, he was one of 12 who helped found the Society Of Former FBI Agents (1937) devoting many hours of thought and labor to the organization. The high standards which he set for others were never as demanding as those he imposed upon himself.
Mike Glynn left the FBI late in 1935 to join the team of Thomas E. Dewey, then beginning his racket busting campaign in New York County. When Dewey took office, he appointed Glynn as his assistant chief prosecutor. While associated with the Dewey's office in the prosecution of crime in New York, Mike worked all the major cases brought to trial by those prosecutors.
In 1947 Glynn was elected vice president and operating director of the Stores Mutual Protective Association in New York City where he remained until ill health forced him to retire in 1966. Mr. Glynn died on January 25, 1970 and at the time, was survived by his wife, the former Angela Gutilla, and by two brothers and two sisters who reside in Ireland.
FBI Special Agent, Myron E. Gurnea (1934 - 1942) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, Werner Hanni (Exact years unknown - 1930s)
Hanni was born in Switzerland and more information is forthcoming from related family members. Much of his time was spent as a Special Agent In Charge (SAC) and was SAC of the Minneapolis field office in 1934. He was present along with SAC Melvin Purvis and other agents at the ill fated battle at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin, April of 1934. His name appears in the report of the incident in our "navigtion" column.
FBI Special Agent, Paul W. Hansen (Spelling also seen as "Hanson" - Exact years unknown)
Present at the Wilbur Underhill shootout in Oklahoma in 1933 and was photographed with others. See the photo section of the navigation area. In the Society's magazine of 1954, Hansen's name is spelled with the "e" which comes from Bureau records. Other publications have shown the name with an "o."
Working under the leadership of SAC Ralph Colvin, in Oklahoma, SA Hansen also played a role in the investigation of the Kansas City Massacre and other prominent cases.
As of January, 1954, Hansen was retired and was the director of Security at the Reynolds Metals Company.
FBI Special Agent, J. H. Hanson
Assigned to the Birmingham, Alabama FBI office in 1934 and covered leads and reported on the Kansas City Massacre case.
FBI Special Agent, Herman E. Hollis ( Killed In The Line Of Duty), aka Eddie Hollis
Hollis was born in January 27, 1903 in Polk County, Des Moines, Iowa. He was shown as "Catholic" on census records. He completed his law studies at Georgetown University Law School in Washington D.C. in 1927. He entered on duty with the Bureau of Investigation in August 1927 and worked in FBI field offices in Detroit, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Chicago. He preferred the name "Eddie" to other Agents he worked with.
As part of the Dillinger Squad and Chicago FBI's "Flying Squad," Hollis was involved in some of the more high profile cases of the early 30's. He was proficient in the use of the Thompson sub-machine gun and was one of the three Agents who fired upon, and killed, John Dillinger. By all accounts however, Hollis' shot missed Dillinger.
Hollis' wife was Genevieve, (maiden name unknown) and probably was originally from Detroit, where they appeared to live in about 1930. She was known to have a "nervous condition" during his FBI days and Hollis at varying times applied for a transfer to warmer climates on recommendation of doctors for his wife's health. After his death she relocated to San Francisco and worked there as a stenographer for the FBI for several years.
Census and death certificate info reveals Hollis' father was William F. Hollis from Kentucky, born about 1881. Mother was Nora McCarthy (or McCarty) from Iowa.
Resting Place: Hollis is buried at Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines Iowa under the name Edward H. Hollis, and next to his wife, Genevieve. (It is believed by his daughter-in-law the family buried him under his "preferred" name (Eddie or Edward) as opposed to his "given" name.)
At the time of Hollis’ death in 1934, he had one son, Lavern Edward Hollis. It has been determined that his son, Lavern, later changed his name to Edward L. Hollis and is now deceased also. His wife, Dawn, is still alive as of 2008 and currently resides as of June, 2008 in Sonoma, California. She is about 83.
FBI Special Agent, Richard B. Hood (R. B. Hood) 1934 - 1953
According to his obituary in 2005, Mr. Hood was born in Fayette County, PA., resided in Brownsville and Uniontown and graduated from Culver Military Academy, Dartmouth College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. On Dec. 7, 1935, he married Hilda L. Forsberg, of Emsworth, beginning a wonderful marriage they enjoyed for 67 years until she died July 3, 2002. In 1934, Mr. Hood entered the service of the FBI, working in numerous locations and positions including those of special agent in charge in Knoxville, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. He left government service in 1953, returning to Pittsburgh to begin his 20-year career with the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad as assistant to the president. He became secretary and treasurer of the railroad, the Union Railroad and affiliated railroads. He was a member of numerous organizations and was president of the Traffic Club of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Railway Club, the Pittsburgh Rotary Club and the board of trustees of Dormont Presbyterian Church. He also was a member of the session of the church. He was a former officer and director of the American Short Line, Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad associations and was a director emeritus of the Eye and Ear Institute of Pittsburgh. Numerous nieces and nephews survive.
Note: Hood and others depicted in 1943 "Investigator."
FBI Special Agent, W. E. "Bud" Hopton ( 1934-1955)
Along with SA Sam McKee, Hopton was one of the Agents who fired the fatal shots at "Pretty Boy" Floyd in October, 1934. See his granddaughter's comments in the "Recollections...." section of the Navigation area and do a site search for more on Hopton relative to the Floyd case.
FBI Special Agent, Guy Hottel
FBI, Special Agent, George F. Hurley (1933-1935)
While employed with the FBI, records do show Hurley was a participant in the shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin in 1934 with the Dillinger gang. He was present there with a long time friend, SA Thomas Dodd, who later became a US Senator. From info available, it does appear Hurley was on special assignment to the St. Paul, Minn. office at the time. Hurley participated in many aspects of the Dillinger investigation and other major cases out of the St. Paul Office.
According to his daughter, Mary Bresnahan, Hurley became an FBI Agent in 1933 and appears to have served until 1935. Hurley grew up in Dorchester, Mass., graduated from Boston College of 1928 and Georgetown Law School, Wash. D. C. in 1932.
In 1935, Hurley became the chief investigator for the Department Of The Interior and in 1937, he was assigned as a special Dies prober of un-American activities in its probe of the activities of Harry Bridges, West Coast union leader. In 1941 Hurley became special assistant to the U. S. Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Justice. Later he was appointed attorney for the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. He published "Federal Criminal Procedure for the Bureau Of Immigration."
Hurley died in 1945 in an accidental fall and at the time of death, he was an attorney with the Washington law firm of Feldman, Kittell, Campbell and Ewing. He was survived by his wife, Emily, and 3 young children.
FBI Special Agent Clarence O. Hurt (1934-1955)
SA Clarence O. Hurt was born in Illinois on March 14, 1897 (ancestry.com records). Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Hurt was among numerous police officers and FBI Agents who were involved in a dramatic shootout in 1933 with outlaw, Wilbur Underhill at Shawnee, OK. Underhill was part of the "Tri State Terror Gang" written about today by author Ron Morgan. A photo of Hurt and those involved is at the picture gallery on this site.
Clarence O. Hurt, as many know, was one of the true legendary FBI Agents of the times. Hurt served from 1934 to 1955 and along with Delf A. "Jelly" Bryce and Jerry Campbell, came into the FBI from the Oklahoma City Police Department. Legend from his own Chief has it that Hurt entered the FBI having already killed six men while assigned to the OCPD.
You can view photos of Hurt and others at our picture gallery. Much is written about him in the books of author, Ron Morgan, and Bryan Burrough.
Hurt, along with many other legends, was part of the famous Chicago "Flying Squad" in the FBI of which members participated in most of the notorious shootouts and arrests of the 30's. Hurt, along with SA Charles Winstead and SA Herman Hollis, was partially credited with the killing of Dillinger, and according to reports, Dillinger died in his arms at the scene. He was present at the arrest of Alvin Karpis among many other ventures such as "Pretty Boy" Floyd, "Machine Gun" Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde and Matt Kimes.
After retiring from the FBI in 1955, Mr. Hurt entered the ranching business and in 1958 was elected to the first of two terms as Sheriff of Pittsburgh County, OK. In 1973, he was the consultant to the movie, "Dillinger" starring Warren Oates.
After a bout with cancer, Mr. Hurt died on November 4, 1975 at the McAlester General Hospital East at the age of 78. He was buried in the nearby Oak Hill Cemetery. Hurt was survived at death by his wife, May M. Hurt (who died in 2001); his son, Jack O. Hurt and a daughter, Mrs. Pat Prater of McAlester, OK and three grandchildren. Jack Hurt died in Eufaula, OK in 2008.
Hurt's 1918 draft registration revealed his wife at the time was shown as "Ruby" and there is existing information in 2011 that Hurt had a son, Clarence, Jr., from his first marriage and with whom he was estranged for both their lives. This is being futher checked.
FBI Special Agent, Joseph S. Johnson (1929-1950) See Section On Brady Gang
Special Agent, Gus (Buster) T. Jones (1916-1944)
According to a colleague of mine, and a review of Jone's personnel file, Gustave T. "Gus" Jones was born in July, 1882. At the age of fifteen he was a private in the 3rd Texas Volunteers, an Army unit preparing for action in the Spanish-American War in the spring of 1898. The war ended too soon for them to see combat. Between 1905 and 1908, he served as Assistant Chief of Police, San Angelo, Texas, and Deputy Sheriff in Tom Green County. In April 1908, he joined the Texas Rangers and served until July 1910. Later in 1910 he was a U.S. Customs Inspector on special detail as a Deputy U.S. Marshal to enforce U.S. neutrality laws on the border. The following year he became an Immigration Inspector and went undercover in Mexico with alien smugglers to break up their ring.
Jones' father helped to organize the Texas Frontier Forces, a forerunner of the Texas Rangers.
Jones established an unusual record in the FBI which he entered in 1916 and was made SAC in July, 1917, retiring as an SAC in 1944. All of his service was in two offices; El Paso and San Antonio where he served as SAC the longest.
During the first World War, Jones helped snare Lothar Witcke, a German agent who blew up an island near New York where millions of dollars in munitions were stored. Witcke fled to Mexico, but was arrested when he recrossed the border into Nogales, Arizona.
During the Gangster Era of the 30's, Jones played major roles in many of the investigtions of the time to include the Urschel Kidnapping and the arrests of numerous suspects in that case.
When Alcatraz Prison opened in 1934, it was Jones who personally became involved as a liason with the warden there and at other prisons and Jones personally escorted many convicts to Alcatraz including Al Capone, "Machine Gun" Kelly, and members of the Urschel kidnapping gang.
In 1939, Jones oranized counter-espionage work in Mexico. He helped Mexican officials trap Gerhard Wilheim Kunze, onetime head of the German-American bund in the U. S.
Two weeks before he died, a book dealing with Jones' colorful career was published by Signet. The paperback, entitled "A Man Named Jones," was authored by George Ellis, a veteran news and TV writer.
Gus Jones died in San Antonio, Texas in September, 1963 and was buried there. He was survived by his wife, Mary and there's no existing evidence of any children. In 1967, Mrs. Mary Jones presented various momentos, including two weapons of Jones', to the Texas Ranger Museum Association at Falfurias, Texas.
With regard to SAC Gus Jones, we recommend to readers to search the Internet for more references to his career.
FBI Special Agent, John Keith (Exact Service Years Unknown - @1936)
Keith was an early "Inspector" in the Bureau along with being a Special Agent In Charge during the late 1920s/early 1930s. Recovered FBI documents show that as of 1933, he and others were providing consultation to Director Hoover on what additional guns the Bureau should obtain mainly as a result of the Kansas City Massacre in June, 1933. At the time, Keith was a regular on Hoover's Executive Committee. Readers can see some of Keith's involvement in those decisions by checking the "navigation" area in regard to "Weapons Decisions..." after the Kansas shooting. Although it's unclear, Keith may have also played a role as an early FBI Firearms Instructor with "Frank" Baughman and others during the 1934 early months. Keith later became SAC of the Washington Field Office but those years were apparently limited.
Keith resigned from the FBI during the 1936 time period for private business and tragically took his own life in 1938 after some illness. While he died in the Philadelphia, Pa. area, he was buried in Virginia.
Keith was born in Dublin, Texas in 1895 according to Ancestry records observed. He married Pansy Boseman and they had only one child, a daughter, identified as Katherine Alice Keith who passed away in 1972.
FBI Special Agent, Robert L. King (1938 - 1945)
FBI Special Agent Milord V. Kirkland (1934 - 1937)
(Courtesy of his daughters Kay Kirkland Morrow and Judy Kirkland Baur)
Milord V. Kirkland was born on March 20, 1906 in Brusly, LA. He finished high school in Louisiana and moved to Memphis, TN in search of education and employment. He graduated from the University of Memphis Law School and passed his bar exam in 1930.
He worked for Federal Judge Anderson in Memphis. At the judge’s suggestion, he applied for and received his appointment to the Department of Justice as a special agent. He reported to Washington, D C and then was sent to Quantico, VA for training in 1934.
After completing his training in Virginia he served the Bureau in many different locations as the agents were moved around with very short notice in those early days. Whenever the men were on a assignment their wives prayed as the work they did was extremely dangerous!
Kirkland recalled how he helped to guard Pretty Boy Floyd when a girl friend was allowed to visit.
In October 1936, he was designated as a supervisor in the Identification Division.
He left the Bureau in 1937 and returned to Memphis, TN where he worked for E.L. Bruce Company. He was a plant manager for 17 years in Cairo, IL. He transferred back into the Memphis office in 1956 and worked there until his retirement.
He was a patriotic American and joined the war effort by working with the U. S. Government Price and Rationing Program and served as an air raid warden. He was a Boy Scout leader and member of the Knights of Columbus and Elks Club.
Milord Vincent Kirkland died at his home in Memphis on August 13, 1977 at the age of 71. At that time, he was survived by his wife, two daughters and eight grandchildren.
FBI Special Agent, D. M. Ladd ("Mickey" Ladd) (1928 - 1954)
Ladd became a Special Agent in 1928 and retired in 1954. An apparent close friend of SA "Jelly" Bryce, Ladd served in later years as #3 Man in the Bureau and Assistant to the Director. Ladd was killed in an automobile accident in Florida after retirement and details of it and his background can be found at this link. He was survived by his wife and had no apparent children according to this article.
FBI Special Agent, Walter Hugh Drane Lester, aka W. H. D. Lester ( 1932 - 1940)
Lester is credited with coining the FBI's motto, "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity."
Lester was born in Batesville, Mississippi in 1899. Attending the University of Mississippi in 1917 he was editor of the "Ole Miss" and the "Mississipian" school papers. He graduated in 1921 and later returned to the UM to obtain his LL.B. While there, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. After working as a lawyer in Memphis, Tenn. he joined the FBI in 1932 and was one time the editor of "The Investigator." He does appear in our 1939 photo of SAC's around the country. He had also obtained the rank of Inspector and was a speaker at late 1930s Chiefs Of Police Conventions in addition to appearances before numerous other groups around the country. He became one of the Bureau's most profound speakers.
Lester was killed in an auto accident in 1941 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He's buried at Magnolia Cemetery, Batesville, Miss. He was single during life with no brothers or sisters.
FBI Special Agent Joseph Lackey (1927 - 1940)
FBI Special Agent, R. G. LaFrance
FBI Special Agent, Alan Lockerman
FBI Special Agent, Kenneth Logan (1935-1960) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, John L. Madala (1930-1946)
SA Madala's name is readily seen in the FBI files on the Dillinger investigation and many others. A native of Hungary, he grw up on the South Side of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois. In 1930 he joined the FBI as a clerical employee and became a Special Agent one year later.
Madala was one of the Agents present at the Biograph Theater that night, however fired no shots at Dillinger. A year later, he was present at the famous shootout with "Ma" Barker and her son at their Florida hideaway.
Madala was a participant in 1937 in the Bureau's first Administrative Training School at Quantico, VA.
In 1943, Madala became the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Miami FBI Office and left the Bureau in 1946 to begin a new career as Security Director at various Florida racetracks, and tracks in Illinois.
A day prior to his sudden death in Miami in 1983, Madala had taken part in a TV documentary made of the Barker case at the house which had been the scene of the shootout. At the time of his death he was Security Chief at the Calder Race track in Florida and resided in Coral Gables, Fla.
At the time of his death in 1983, he was survived by his wife Emma, daughter Audrey Campbell; son John L. Jr. who was a pilot with Eastern Airlines and five grandchildren.
According to Michael Sullivan, grandson of SA Dan Sullivan of Dillinger fame, Madala was quite close to the Sullivan family and was referred to at times as "Uncle Johnny."
FBI Special Agent, Thomas M. McDade ( 1934 - 1938 )
Although McDade only spent four years in the FBI, there's no doubt from history available that they had to be exciting ones at that. A young Tom McDade's photo can be seen in the photo section. His name is prominently seen in many of the released gangster investigations of the era.
McDade received his L.L.B and Masters of Law degree from St. John's University and was a member of the New York Bar. Entering the FBI in 1934, he served initially in the Chicago office and along with working the Bremer Kidnapping case, was a member of the Dillinger Squad. In November of that same year, McDade and SA Bill Ryan were together in a Bureau vehicle near Barrington, Ill. and during a search for the two, became involved in a running gun battle with gangsters, "Baby Face" Nelson and John Paul Chase. As a result of the gun battle, McDade/Ryan's vehicle became disabled and Nelson and Chase traveled on to only become involved in another shootout with agents Samuel Cowley and Herman Hollis. Cowley and Hollis died as a result, as did Nelson. Chase and Nelson's wife, also present, were apprehended later.
In 1935, McDade was present with others in a raid led by SAC E. J. Connelley in Florida which resulted in a six hour gun battle with "Ma" Barker and her son, Fred. Both were killed during that melee.
At one time, McDade was one of the best pistol sharpshooters around. He once mentioned to the internal FBI magazine "Grapevine" that "There was a time when I could split a playing card held edgewise in half at a distance of 25 feet. But I gave that up when I started wearing bifocals."
After Chicago, McDade transferred to Charlotte and was Resident Agent in Raleigh. He then went to Nashville on a special investigation regarding the Stoll kidnapping case. When the kidnapper was apprehended, McDade escorted him to the Atlanta pen.
Yet his travels didn't end there. McDade went on to Birmingham, Al and was the Resident Agent in Montgomery. He was then transferred to FBI Headquarters for a stint as Supervisor there. While assigned to Headquarters, the Bureau organized a pistol team which competed briefly in some major tournaments. McDade, Walter Walsh, Myron Gurnea, and Bill Nitschke represented the Bureau and also gave firearms demonstrations for police departments. Finally, McDade was transferred to New York City as the #4 man in the office, mostly supervising stolen securities cases.
Upon leaving the Bureau in 1938, (entering private law practice) and with the beginning of the War three years later, McDade served in the Southwest Pacific as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Supply Corps and won the Bronze Star for distinguished service.
During the 1940's, being a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, McDade served as Editor of the internal magazine, "Grapevine." Early in 1946, McDade joined the financial department of General Foods Corporation to organize a statistical analysis department. In 1953 he was elected Controller of the Corporation and in 1972, after 25 years, he retired.
Over the years, McDade had been doing some writing for historical journals and generally about old forgotten crimes. In 1961, his book "Annals Of Murder" hit the shelves and won him one of the Edgar Allan Poe awards by the Mystery Writers Of America. Some of his work also appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
The once "rookie" Dillinger agent died in 1996. McDade is survived by a son, Jared; his daughter, Innes, passed away in 2010.
In 2013, through the efforts of his surviving son, McDade's diary became part of a presentation to the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC. Covering McDade's years in the FBI from 1934 to 1938, this is a rare first hand account of that era to include his and SA Ryan's running gun battle with "Baby Face" Nelson and John Paul Chase. More about the presentation and the diary can be seen here.
FBI Special Agent, S. K. McKee (Samuel K. McKee)
Only limited information currently available as of 2010. Involved with SA "Bud" Hopton in shooting and killing "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Highly involved in many of the gangster era cases. Was Special Agent In Charge of the Washington, Pittsburgh, and Newark Field Offices in the '40s and '50s. Currently is survived by his son, retired USMC.
FBI Special Agent, Albert D. Mehegan (1922 - 1975)
FBI Special Agent James J. Metcalfe
Information on Special Agent Metcalfe can be found in the upper navigation area under the title "We Were The G-Men."
FBI Special Agent, Rosser "Rusty" Nalls (1929-1956)
SA Rosser "Rusty" Nalls was born in WDC and joined the Bureau in 1929. He retired in 1956 and died in 1983 at the age of 82.
Both Nalls and SA Rufus C. Coulter (who later played a role in the Brady shootout) were in St. Paul, Minn. on March 31, 1934 assisting in the Dillinger case. On that day, in checking out a lead from an apartment manager, Nalls and Coulter attempted to resolve the identity of 2 suspicious men, and one woman, reported by the manager.
The resulting shootout is a classic case of how everything seemingly routine can "go to hell" at a moment's notice and how, especially Coulter, both nearly lost their lives running into Dillinger, Homer Van Meter and Evelyn Frechette under aliases.
Readers can find a link in the navigation area to this shooting incident.
FBI Special Agent, Harold B. (Pop) Nathan (1917 - 1945)
The man who was so well regarded in the Bureau and who carried badge #2 for years, was "Pop" Nathan. He was a regular attendee at JEH's "Executive Conferences" of the 1920's and '30s. At a bare minimum, Nathan's name is immediately recognized as the overseer of the Bureau inquiries after the 1930's killings of various agents and gangsters during that period.
Born in 1880 and a native of New York City, he was educated in public schools there. In 1900 he graduated from the College of the City of New York. He served with the Navy Department from 1903 until 1910 and with the Immigration Service of the Department of Labor from 1910 to 1917.
It was in March, 1917 that Nathan joined the Bureau of Investigation as an agent at the salary of $5.00 per day. He spent his early career in Norfolk, Charleston, and Baltimore and in 1921 was appointed SAC, Baltimore and later Pittsburgh.
In May, 1925 he was appointed by JEH as Director for Investigations, the first person to hold that position. He held that post until 1941 when he was sent to the new office in San Diego as SAC at the war's outset. Subsequently, he became Assistant Director of the Identification, Training and Lab Divisions.
He ultimately retired in 1945 making his home with his wife in San Francisco. During the early 1960's, his home was the Canterbury Hotel in San Francisco. His wife died years before and they had no children. He was an active member of the San Francisco Chapter and regularly visited the office.
Nathan lived by himself at the Canterbury until July, 1963 when he died of a sudden stroke. Having no close relatives, funeral arrangements were made by SA Joseph Dickinson, and it was largely attended by Special Agents of the San Francisco office and Society members. SA Curtis Lynum was SAC at the time. Nathan was buried with his wife at Woodlawn Cemetery.
(source - '63 "Grapevine" & "The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide" - Theoharis, et al)
FBI Special Agent, Robert Bruce Nathan (R. B. Nathan) (1927-1929 & 1931 - 1937)
FBI Special Agent, Jay C. Newman (SA J. C. Newman) (1925 -
Starting out in the FBI in 1925 (as a Special Employee) SA Jay C. Newman rose to SAC of various offices and in 1934, was present in a car with SA Carter Baum and a local sheriff when all three of them were ambushed by "Baby Face" Nelson, while escaping Little Bohemia. Newman was shot in the head and survived. Baum was killed and the sheriff also injured.
When you have time, you can stop by the below site of SA Newman and click on "personal history" at the top. There you will find a 249 page document written by himself covering his early beginnings (and later life) with the Mormon church; his entry into the Bureau; his account of Little Bohemia, various cases; his rise to SAC and his eventual retirement and new position as Commissioner of Public Safety in Salt Lake City. He is obviously now deceased and I believe his son died some years back.
You can save the personal history pages (.pdf format) to your computer and read portions at a time when convenient. Go here for SA Newman's story and some first hand early FBI memories.
FBI Special Agent, I. E. (Bill) Nitschke (1935-1945) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, James J. Perkins (30's to 40's)
The exact dates of Perkins' service are not readily available but he served during the early 30's until an untimely death claimed him in the mid 1940's from a heart ailment. He was an Agent for about 15 years hailing from Methuen, Mass. and died in Oklahoma where he was serving. A year before he died, he was quite ill, and advised to apply for a leave of absence. Love of duty compelled him to continue with his work but entered the hospital soon with a heart problem and never recovered.
At one time, he had the distinction of being the only Agent from Massachusetts and served in every state in the Union and even in Canada.
Perkins played prominent roles in the Urschel kidnapping case, the investigation of "Machine Gun" Kelly, the Kansas City Massacre case along with the search for "Pretty Boy" Floyd and other noted gangsters. He covered the activities of Al Capone in Florida and played an investigative role in the Dillinger case.
Perkins graduated from Edward F. Searles High in Methuen and before entering Federal service, he was an assistant chief of the Methuen Fire Department. At death, he was survived by his wife, Catherine, a daughter, Esta C. and a son, Joseph. He was also survived by a brother, Rev. Fr. Joseph A. Perkins, professor of philisophy at Loyola College, Chicago.
Perkins grandson, John, has provided a few photos of SA Perkins with some Oklahoma FBI Agents taken in the 30's. These are seen in the photo gallery. He played a role in the "Pretty Boy" Floyd investigation and his grandson has furnished a few photos of Floyd and his women, however it's unknown how SA Perkins came into possession of them.
FBI Special Agent/Supervisor In Chicago, Virgil Peterson
FBI Special Agent, Richard N. Pranke (1934-1961)
According to the family papers located at the Minnesota Historical Society (along with other documents), Richard Nicholas Pranke was born in 1911 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Richard (1882- 1948) and Margaret Tschida Pranke (1884-1967), and graduated from Cretin High School (St. Paul) in 1928. He attended the Saint Paul College of Law (it later became William Mitchell College of Law) while working at the St. Paul Police Department, and graduated in 1934. He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1934 and was assigned to offices in St. Paul (where he spent most of his career), Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. After his retirement in 1961, he worked for the New York State Liquor Authority (1961-1969). Pranke died in St. Paul on August 22, 1994.
He married Marie Elizabeth Tschida in 1934.
FBI records show Pranke involved during the 1934 era with many of the high profile cases of the times.
FBI Special Agent In Charge, Melvin H. Purvis ( 1927 - 1935 )
There probably isn't another legendary FBI agent written more about than Purvis. We couldn't find enough space at this site to discuss his career and his exploits during the gangster era and we can only suggest to readers that you search his name on the Internet for readings. Bryan Burrough's book, "Public Enemies" is a good source for Purvis and it is suggested you read his son's (Alston Purvis) book, "Vendetta" which discusses the turbulent relationship between J. Edgar Hoover and Purvis during his short career. (Unlike Burrough's book, the movie "Public Enemies" is highly inaccurate when it comes to some of the activities of Purvis (and others) while assigned to the Chicago, FBI office.)
Orginally from Florence, S. Carolina and a University of South Carolina law graduate, Purvis was SAC at the Chicago FBI Office during the high profile cases of the time to include the ill fated shootout at "Little Bohemia," the killing of John Dillinger, the shooting death of "Pretty Boy" Floyd, "Baby Face" Nelson and much more.
Purvis resigned from the FBI in 1935, authored "American Agent," and later served in a variety of positions which are well documented publicly.
Purvis died in February, 1960 as a result of what many argue was an accidental shooting during a fall at his residence. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Rosanne, and three sons.
Photos of Purvis are readily available on the Internet today and in past books written.
FBI Special Agent, Arthur S. (Tony) Reeder 1935-1958) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, Harold H. Reinecke (H. H. Reinecke; Herold H. Reinecke) (@1924-1939)
Reinecke was born August 16, 1900 in Elkader, Iowa. He obtained his law degree from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City in about 1922. His mother's obituary listed his first name as "Herold" and this is observed periodically in private life. He was married in June, 1925 at Omaha, Nebraska to Myra Hess.
A U. S. Army veteran, he joined the FBI in about 1924 (exact date not available) and by 1934, he was assigned to the Chicago, FBI office and highly involved in the Dillinger investigation. His name appears on multiple Dillinger file documents on that investigation. Reinecke's name became known in that case due to the book "Public Enemies," and the movie with the same title.
FBI documents confirm that Reinecke was present with other agents at the famous shootout in Wisconsin during April, 1934 at the "Little Bohemia" Lodge involving the Dillinger gang.
Dillinger's girlfriend, Evelyn "Billie" Frechette accused and later testified at her trial that Reinecke struck her during her interrogation. Reinecke denied striking Frechette telling the court during her harboring trial that he did place his hand under her chin to raise her head so she would look at him during questioning. Frechette was convicted of harboring Dillinger.
Striking Frechette was portrayed in the recent movie "Public Enemies" and Reinecke, with no basis, was shown as some overweight, zealous FBI agent with high ambitions of capturing Dillinger. In the movie, he is shown running in the crowd toward Dillinger coming out of the theater, but seems to back off with movie producers giving the impression of a coward. Again, with no basis. In fact, FBI records clearly reveal Reinecke was NOT at the Biograph theater that evening of Dillinger's shooting.
Reinecke was promoted by J. Edgar Hoover to Special Agent In Charge later in 1934 (according to the Indianapolis News), and took charge of the Indianapolis FBI Office that year, with a short stint later in Detroit, and then was transferred back to Indianapolis in 1937. He remained there and resigned in 1939 from the FBI.
Upon retirement he became Director of Company Protective Service at Montgomery-Ward & Co. We note that he was an apparent member of a group of former Chicago agents known as the Special Agents Association. They listed the spelling of his name as "Herold."
Retiring as an attorney later, Reinecke died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida in May, 1985. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife, Myra and a son, William of Beverly, Mass. Another son, Harold H. had died earlier. Reinecke had 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren at the time of his death.
FBI Special Agent, Marion B. Rhodes ("Dusty" Rhodes) (1925 - 1951)
Rhodes was born in Potosi, MO and graduated from the U of Missouri in 1921 and George Washington School of Law some three years later. He entered the FBI on April 18, 1925.
Rhodes was active in the major criminal investigations of the early '30s such as the Dillinger, Bremer and Hamm cases and his reports are readily seen in the FBI's Dillinger file.
Rhodes served in Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Paul and became SAC at Omaha and St. Paul until his retirement.
Upon retirement from the FBI in 1951, he became director of the Kansas City, MO Crime Commission in 1956 serving with them for several years.
Rhodes married Susann Morehouse. Rhodes passed away on November 19, 1957.
FBI Special Agent, Earl Richmond
FBI Special Agent, William "Bill" Rorer, Sr.
William Rorer, Sr. is probaby most well known for his pivotal role in the apprehension of "Machine Gun" Kelly and the resulting term "G-Men" for the FBI. Bureau historian, Dr. John Fox, has noted at the FBI's website that the story of "Don't Shoot G-Men" is questionable at best and whether Kelly really said that at the time of his arrest has been a controversial subject. Rorer's son, Davis, however told me a few years back when I spoke to him by telephone that his father repeated that story to him and others many times over.
Regardless, Rorer had a formative role in the early Bureau of the 1930's with many of the gangster investigations. He was a veteran of World War I.
Born in Lynchburg, VA. he was the son of Lucy Walker and William A. Rorer. At the time of death in Albany, Ga. he was survived by two sons, two brothers, and several grandchildren, many of whom reside in the Albany, Ga. area.
After leaving the FBI, Rorer spent nearly thirty years in Albany and was president and general manager of Colonial Refrigeration at the time of his death.
Rorer's photo and that with "Machine Gun" Kelly and others can be found in the photo gallery at this site. (Ref. source obit)
FBI Special Agent, William "Bill" Ryan (1932-1958)
William C. Ryan (Bill) grew up in Washington, D. C. and joined the FBI as a clerical employee in 1923. He graduated from National University Law School in 1928 and was appointed a Special Agent in 1932. He served first office in Birmingham, and later 2 years in Chicago. After Field Service, he spent 12 years as a supervisor at FBIHQ, Washington, D. C.
"Bill" served as a Special Agent from 1932 to 1958 and was highly involved in the gangster incidents of the time. As you'll note from the Dillinger related material elsewhere, SA Ryan was present outside the Biograph that night.
In April, 1934, Ryan was present at the shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin were SA Carter Baum was killed by Baby Face Nelson and members of the Dillinger gang escaped the FBI net.
Ryan was also with SA Tom McDade in November, 1934 when they were involved in spotting "Baby Face" Nelson on a Barrington highway and ended up in a moving gunfight with Nelson and John Chase. Nelson and Chase disabled Ryan and McDade's car with shots to the radiator and subsequently traveled about a mile down the road and ran into Agents Herman Hollis and Sam Cowley. Hollis, Cowley and Nelson were killed in that gun battle. SA Ryan was wounded during the altercation with Nelson and Chase.
Ryan's son as of 1967, William C. Jr., was an FBI Agent in Los Angeles and Ryan's brother, Thomas, was a Special Agent in Baltimore. Another brother, James Ryan of Silver Spring, MD. was also an FBI Agent.
William "Bill" Ryan died at his home in Silver Spring, MD. on January 25, 1967 and at that time was survived by his wife, Lee in addition to two daughters, a second son and numerous grand children.
FBI Special Agent, Edwin C. Shanahan ( 1920-1925 - Killed In The Line Of Duty)
Shanahan was the first Bureau agent to be killed in the line of duty which occurred in October, 1925 when fugitive car thief, Martin James Durkin shot him in the chest.
Shanahan was born in Chicago, Ill. in 1898 and served in the Army during World War I. He entered the Bureau Of Investigation as an Agent in February, 1920 and worked in Chicago. His son, Dennis, became an Agent of the FBI in 1948 and retired in 1976. (The FBI, A Comprehensive Reference Guide)
FBI Special Agent, Henry L. "Hank" Sloan
Sloan's biography and career is best told by his daughter in her memoirs about him which you can find in the navigation area. Photos of Sloan are in the photo gallery. See also the information regarding the history of FBI, Quantico in the navigation area.
FBI Special Agent, Frank S. Smith ( 1917 - 1939/additional)
Smith entered the Bureau Of Investigation as one of the original early agents in 1917. During the early 1920's, he along with others in Oklahoma were deeply involved with the Osage Indian murder investigation there. SA Smith was a former Dallas police officer and was later also involved in many of the Bureau's high priority cases of the 1930's in the Midwest. He was a survivor of the bloody Kansas City Massacre at Union Station, June, 1933 and later that year in December, participated in the shootout with gangster, Wilbur Underhill, in Oklahoma. Smith served there with Clarence Hurt, "Jelly Bryce," SAC Ralph Colvin and others. He retired from the [now] FBI in 1939 to become the Chief Of Police in Oklahoma City, but according to a May, 1943 copy of the internal FBI magazine "The Investigator," Smith was shown "back at work" at the Oklahoma FBI office.
FBI Special Agent, Daniel P. Sullivan (1932 - 1942)
A native of Washington, D. C., Sullivan was a graduate of Georgetown University and upon joining the FBI in 1932, served in San Francisco, New York, El Paso and Chicago. Ten days prior to graduating Georgetown University Law School, Sullivan joined the FBI. That same year he married Mary Ellen Sullivan and subsequently raised seven daughters and six sons.
Known as "Sully" to his friends, in late 1933, Sullivan was transferred to Chicago, and was part of the Chicago based "Dillinger Squad." On the night of July 22, 1934 he was present at the Dillinger shootout in 1934 at the Biograph Theater. During that investigation, Sullivan rode with Dillinger's body, along with other Agents, to the morgue and was the Agent responsible for inventory of Dillinger's body. His reports on the matter are readily seen in the FBI's Dillinger file and a sketch submitted by SAC Melvin Purvis and Inspector Sam Cowley of who was present that night places Sullivan at the side exit next to the theater with other Agents. He later participated in the de-briefing of Anna Sage, the famous "Lady In Red."
As part of the Chicago FBI's "Flying Squad," Sullivan traveled to the swamps of Ocala, Florida with the likes of Agents Jerry Campbell, Charles Winstead and others to capture Ma Barker and her son. During the attempted arrest, a serious gun battle ensued between Agents and the Barkers leading to the death of Ma Barker and her son, Freddie.
While in the Chicago Field Office, Sullivan also participated in the Hamm Kidnapping Investigation, the pursuit of "Baby Face" Nelson and tracking down "Pretty Boy" Floyd.
Upon leaving the FBI in 1942, Sullivan went into the private security business in Miami, Fla. and in 1948, was named Director of the Greater Miami Crime Commission. As a recognized authority on major organized crime figures he began a campaign to wipe out hoodlums, dishonest public officials, and other criminals. Beginning in 1949, nearly every radio station in Miami gave him 15 minutes of air time for 122 straight Saturday night broadcasts of a show called, "The Sinister Blot," in which he identified organized crime members living in the community.
Sullivan presented evidence in Washington about organized crime activities to the U. S. Senate which brought about hearings in Miami by Senator Estes Kefauver. His information helped bring about Federal grand jury indictments against 13 major gambling figures. Sullivan also opened his files to the Senate Rackets Committee of which Robert Kennedy was counsel.
Sullivan retired from the Miami Crime Commission in 1978 and died in July, 1982. Some of Sullivan's exploits during his days in Chicago can be found in the book, "Public Enemies" by Bryan Burrough. A photo of SA Sullivan is found in our Photo Section showing him standing over Dillinger's body at the morgue.
FBI Special Agent, Raymond C. Suran (1930-1955)
Raymond Cade Suran was a Special Agent of the FBI between 1930 through 1955. ( An early photo of Suran can be found among the Dillinger Squad collage in the photo section.)
Suran was born in Marshall, Oklahoma, March 8, 1905. He attended Enid High School and Phillips University both in Enid, Oklahoma. Suran received a law degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and was admitted to the DC bar.
Entering the FBI in 1930, Suran was the first Agent to retire from the FBI, San Diego Division in 1955 after 25 years of service. During the 30s, Suran worked on many of the famous early criminal investigations, including the Dillinger investigation, the Hamm and Bremmer kidnappings, and the Barker/Karpis gang. He was one of the agents on duty outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, July 22, 1934 when Dillinger was killed in a gun battle. Suran’s name is found on extensive documents reporting the results of the Dillinger investigation in the official file.
In 1976, Suran was interviewed in the San Diego Union, and in that article Suran stated “I worked from 1930 to 1938 without ever getting a complete day off.” In the early 1930s, Ray recalls, the FBI budget was so tight his special squad of 30 men assigned to track down gangsters in the mid west didn’t have any automobiles and they had to use vehicles abandoned by the men they were chasing.
Suran served as SAC in Cincinnati, San Antonio, El Paso, Little Rock, and opened the FBI office in Seattle, Washington. Other offices of assignment included Kansas City, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, and finally San Diego. While assigned to FBI headquarters he was an antitrust supervisor and assistant chief of the identification division. On many occasions, Suran was sent to numerous locations throughout the United States on special assignments during his early career.
Suran’s final years in the FBI were served in the San Diego division where he was transferred because of a heart condition. He resided for many years in and La Jolla, California and subsequent to retirement, work for approximately 10 years as a stockbroker.
By 1988, Suran and his wife, Janet, were residents of a retirement community in Chula Vista, California where Ray Suran died on July 9, 1988. At the time of his death in 1988, Suran was survived by his wife, Janet; two daughters identified as Jeanne Willcut of New Mexico and Cathy Heaton of Chula Vista, California; six grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren.
FBI Special Agent, Edward A. Tamm (E. A. Tamm) 1930 - 1948
Born April 4, 1906 in St. Paul, Minn., Tamm was an accounting major at Mt. Saint Charles College in Montana, and at the University of Montana. He joined the FBI in 1930 after graduating Georgetown University Law School. Tamm's involvement, decision making and involvement with J. Edgar Hoover and many high profile cases of his career can plainly be seen in the many released FBI files of the gangster era and after.
During our own limited research, we found several "colorful" worded memos of Tamm's reflecting the culture of the times in law enforcement; such phrases as "knocking off [Pretty Boy] Floyd," and referrring in one memo to "Ma" Barker and son, Fred, he tells the Director "after we exterminated them."
According to a published obituary in 1985, Judge Edward A. Tamm of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a former F.B.I. official, died of cancer Sunday. He was 79 years old.
Judge Tamm, a native of St. Paul, came to Washington in 1928 and graduated from Georgetown University law school two years later.
He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1930, was appointed assistant director in 1934 and served from 1940 to 1948 as assistant to its Director, J. Edgar Hoover. He was appointed to the United States District Court in 1948 and to the appeals court by President Johnson in 1965.
In a noted 1977 case, Judge Tamm set aside a Federal Communications Commission ruling that seven words, referring to such things as sexual activities and portions of the female anatomy, could not be used by radio stations. He wrote that the F.C.C. order carried the agency into the ''forbidden realm of censorship.''
Judge Tamm leaves his wife, the former Grace Monica Sullivan of Washington; a son, Edward A. Tamm of Amherst, Mass.; a daughter, Grace Escudero of Chevy Chase, Md.; a brother, Quinn Tamm of Kensington, Md., and nine grandchildren.
Special Agent, R. L. Tollett (Raymond L. Tollett) - 1934 - 1937
A native of Oklahoma where he was born, December 9, 1907, Ray was raised in Texas where he resided since 1909. His first job was with the Murchison Oil Company and he studied law and received his LLB degree in 1932 from Dixie University and was admitted to the Texas bar.
Not satisfied with that, he studied accounting by correspondence and in the Fall of 1933 became a certified public accountant.
After three years with the FBI, Ray became secretary-treasurer for Wrightsman Oil Company of Fort Worth, TX. and left that post to take a similar assignment with the Cosden Petroleum Corporation in 1939. He was eventually elected president. In 1968 he was known to be Director of the State Spring Bank in Fort Worth.
Tollett married Iris E. Goodbrake in 1945. They had two sons, Ray Jr., and Blake and a daughter, Iris Ann.
Tollett bigest moment in the FBI was his planning and involvement in the capture of gangster, Alvin Karpis in New Orleans with J. Edgar Hoover and others.
FBI Special Agent, W. F. Trainor (Walter F. Trainor) (@1928-1935)
Walter F. Trainor, according to records and an obituary provided by his nephew, Richard, was born Dec. 13, 1901 in Kilkenny, Le Sueur County, Minn. He was a graduate of Creighton University. Trainor married Marie Therese Goerner who died in 1974.
Entering the FBI in about 1927/1928, Trainor is well known for his role in the immediate aftermath of the famous Kansas City Massacre of 1933, supervising the investigation and writing the summary reports. His name is readily seen in the released FBI files on the massacre investigation. Trainor is credited with playing a large role in the capture of gangster, Adam Richetti who along with others, was charged in the massacre shootings which killed several law enforcement officers. Richetti, now convicted, was put to death for his role in the killings. Other suspects, "Pretty Boy" Floyd, and Verne Miller were shot and killed by FBI and police officers in separate incidents. During the investigation, Trainor's family had been threatened many times by Richetti and his friends and Trainor was always fearful they'd retaliate on his family.
In addition to the above, Trainor also played a role in various aspects of the Dillinger investigation including the arrest and transport of gangster, Volney Davis.
Trainor resigned from the FBI in 1935 and worked in the legal department of the Great Lakes Pipeline Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was a member of Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity and president of the Oklahoma branch of Creighton University's alumni association.
Trainor died at the young age of 37 on Nov. 23, 1938 as a result of a long illness, which according to doctors at the time, was partially blamed on the exhaustion created by Trainor's role in one of the most heinous crimes of the 1930's. At the time of his death from a malignant tumor, he was survived by his widow; three daughters, Mary Patricia, Jean and Alice, and three sisters and a brother.
FBI Special Agent, Leon Turrou
FBI Special Agent, John W. Vincent (1933 - 1945)
Vincent's photo can be seen in our "photo gallery" where he is posed with other FBI firearms instructors during the 1930's.
According to an early "Grapevine" article, Vincent was born and raised in Hampton, South Carolina. He was educated near home in Furnam University in Greenville and obtained his AB and LLB degrees in 1929 and 1931. In addition to being a firearms instructor, Vincent was a popular SAC in Atlanta, Ga. and gained a reputation of extending a lot of help to new agents coming from the Academy.
In 1945, upon leaving the Bureau, he was the New York representative of Southern Comfort Corp. and was chairman of the Public Relations Committee of the retired agent's Society. He later became President of the Society.
Additional information on Vincent is not readily available.
FBI Special Agent, Walter R. Walsh (1934-1942 and 1946-1947) See Section On Brady Gang
FBI Special Agent, Calvin S. Weakley - (1920s)
Weakley was an early Bureau of Investigation agent assigned to the Cincinnati field office. Because of his abilities, he was ordered to Oklahoma City field office in the early 1920s by Bureau Director Burns (Hoover was then Assistant Director) and was assigned as the case agent to the Osage Indian murder investigation. Weekly was later replaced as the case agent due to his lack of confidence that the case could be solved. His name regularly appears in the released Osage FBI case file.
FBI Special Agent, T. F. Weiss (Thomas F. Weiss) (1920's)
T. F. Weiss was an early Special Agent with the Bureau Of Investigation until August 28, 1923. At that time he became a special investigator for the Governor and Attorney General's office in Oklahoma, and was highly involved in the Osage Indian murder investigation that same year. He was re-instated back into the Bureau, initially for a two month period at the specific request of Oklahoma SAC, James Findlay to work that particular case. Weiss' name regularly appears in all of the reports released by the FBI concerning the Osage murder investigation and no doubt his devotion to it is one of the main reasons the case was solved. Additional details of his career/life are lacking.
FBI Special Agent, James C. "Doc" White ("Doc" White) (1924-1947)
(Note: Some of the below was provided by White's great nephew, James M. White, in addition to some data previously supplied by our retired agent colleague who reviewed White's file for an article on him and his brother, Thomas.)
James Campbell "Doc" White, was born in 1884 in the family home at Austin, Texas. His father was sheriff of Travis County for many years and his brothers, Dudley and Tom, served as Texas Rangers. "Doc" joined the Texas Rangers in 1905., serving under the legendary Ranger, Captain John R. Hughes. Author Zane Grey spent three months trailing him around once, to gather material for one of his books. White left the Rangers early in 1908 and, until joining the Bureau on December 1, 1924, served as an Austin, Texas Police Officer, mounted U.S. Customs Inspector, 1st Lieutenant in U.S. Army Intelligence and Prohibition Agent in the U.S. Treasury Department.
He married Ashby LeNoir McCulloch in 1907 at Austin. She was the granddaughter of General Henry E. McCulloch, CSA and great-niece of General Ben McCulloch, both being generals in the Confederate Army. "Doc" and LeNoir had no children.
"Doc" attended Bickler's College and Griffith's Business College in Austin. He was first employed as an oiler in the Austin Electrical pumping plant, then a brakeman on the Old Austin Northwestern Railway, now the Southern Pacific.
According to a note in the FBI's "Grapevine" magazine in 1960, "he had quite a bullet spattered career by the time he joined the Bureau in 1924." One of his Bureau peers, Andrew Longo, told the "Grapevine" White was a great firearms man. "He was especially deadly with a 30.06 rifle and Tommy gun and was assigned to squads that helped end Dillinger's career and the Ma Barker gang in Florida." Longo mentioned that "Doc" was a legend throughout the Southwest and was among the best known Special Agents.
FBI documents show White's presence at the famous gun battle in Wisconsin at the Little Bohemia Lodge in April, 1934 when the Bureau attempted to capture Dillinger, Nelson and others who were visiting the Lodge.
"Doc" was known for his ability to direct and lead a group of Agents on raids and dangerous assignments. On January 8, 1935, he and other SAs cornered fugitive Russell Gibson at a location in Chicago. Gibson, wearing a bulletproof vest, decided to charge White's position firing both a rifle and pistol. Using a .351 rifle he had captured in the raid on Dillinger's hideout at Little Bohemia a year before, White returned fire, killing Gibson.
On January 16, 1935, White and a squad of Agents, armed with tommyguns and gas guns, and led by SAC E. J. Connelley, surrounded a farm house in Oklawaha, Florida. Inside they had cornered Kate "Ma" Barker and her son Fred. Connelley later wrote,"At the time I was endeavoring to induce these two parties to leave the house and surrender, they fired upon me. Due to the effective return fire of Agent White, who was at my right hand side behind a tree, I was able to fall back and return their fire at this same time. Undoubtedly the effective fire of Agent White distracted the Barkers sufficiently to confuse their aim, resulting in no injury to anyone. They also at this time fired upon Agent White."
At the shootout with "Ma" Barker and her son, "Doc" White is mentioned in Charles Winstead's "expense records" on this site and White's statement regarding that shooting (and more) is also in the navigation area regarding the Barker incident.
During World War II, White worked on a number of Espionage, Sabotage and Escaped Prisoner of War cases.
(His brother, Thomas B. White, was a Special Agent from 1917 - 1927 and also came from the Texas Rangers. He resigned from the FBI to take a position with the Bureau Of Prisons and began that career as the acting warden of Levenworth Penitentiary. As of 1960, Tom White's son was also a Special Agent with the FBI.)
"Doc" White retired from the FBI in 1947 and in 1960, he was living in Austin, Texas. He died in February, 1969.
Check the photo gallery for photos of "Doc" White supplied to us by his great nephew, James M. White.
FBI Special Agent, Thomas Bruce White, Sr. (1917 - 1927)
Note: The sources for this information are the same as "Doc" White.
White was born in March, 1881 at the Campbell-White Homeplace near Austin, Texas. He attended Austin Public Schools and a university in Texas.
He married Bessie Patterson of Weatherford, Tx in 1909 at Austin.
Thomas B. White, Sr., was a friend of the legendary FBI SAC, Gus Jones. From 1905 to 1909, White served in the same Texas Ranger Company. After several years as a railroad detective, he joined the Bureau of Investigation in 1917 and served until 1927 when he resigned upon appointment as Warden of Leavenworth Penitentiary. (For three months in early 1925, he served as acting warden at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, while still a Special Agent.) In 1931, a group of prisoners made a daring break for freedom and White was taken hostage. He was shot, and being covered with blood, he was left by the roadside for dead. He recovered and later transferred to the Federal Prison at La Tuna, Texas where he retired.
White was SAC in Oklahoma City during the mid-1920s and had supervisory responsibility for the Osage Indian murders case, the successful prosecution of which brought the Bureau early fame.
Thomas Bruce White passed away in 1971. His son, Thomas B. White, Jr. also served a full career in the FBI and retired to New Mexico.
FBI Special Agent, Charles B. Winstead
See Winstead's memoirs in the navigation area and do a site search for more information on him. His application to the Bureau for the Special Agent position is in the "navigation" area of this site and provides his early background. Also in the navigation area is a paper written by me with regard to a review of his FBI personnel file.
FBI Special Agent, Grier C. Woltz (G. C. Woltz) - (1934 - 1936/1942)
Born in North Carolina in 1902, FBI documents reveal that Woltz entered the FBI in May, 1934 and resigned in 1936, although there is some unclear information he resigned in 1942. His first assignment was the Chicago Office and was one of the younger members of SAC Melvin Purvis' "Dillinger Squad." Woltz participated in the Dillinger investigation; was present at the Biograph Theater the night of the shooting, and was involved in the hunt for "Baby Face" Nelson and others. Woltz was later present in Florida involved in the shooting with "Ma" Barker and her son. Woltz also played a major role in the investigation of Dillinger's escape from Crown Point and the so-called "wooden gun" supposedly used.
In 1935 and 1936, Woltz spent time in the Pittsburgh and Charlotte Offices. After leaving the Bureau, it is believed Woltz returned to the Mt. Airy area of North Carolina where his family resided. During the 1970's, Woltz was the treasurer at a family textile business in Mt. Airy, N. C. known as Quality Mills.
Woltz's death certificate information reveals he died in April, 1975, leaving behind his wife at the time Mildred Woltz, nee Ensley. Woltz was buried at Oakdale Cemetery, Mt. Airy, N.C. with his father, mother, and Mildred who died in 1990. There is no information found about children had and this is believed to be Woltz's second marriage.
FBI Special Agent Frank V. Wright - (1920's)
Wright was the original case agent from the Bureau of Investigation during the opening of the 1920's investigation surrounding the Osage Indian murders in Oklahoma. Further details on him are lacking, however his name regularly appears in the released FBI case file of the Osage investigation.
FBI Special Agent (SAC), Percy Wyly, II ( 1935 - 1960)
The below biography information is courtesy of Wyly's son, Jim Wyly:
My father, Percy Wyly, II was born April 25, 1910 at Tahlequah, OKLA. He was named for his grandfather Percy Wyly, Sr. His parents were James Robert (Bob) and Callie Starr Wyly. His mother was a descendant of the STARR Family, and a distant relative of the infamous Belle Starr, and Bank Robber Henry Starr. Callie was of Cherokee Descent, and also related to the noted Cherokee Historian Emmet Starr. Percy and his offspring are all listed on the Official Roles of Oklahoma, as members of the Cherokee Tribe. (small degree of native American Indian blood).
Percy was a young lawyer and graduate of the Vanderbilt Law School in 1933. He was the Asst. County Attorney in Tahlequah, N.E. Okla. and Capitol of the Cherokee Nation. Percy had also run for State Office and had been elected to the OKLA. House of Representatives in January of 1934.
Percy's rise within the FBI was very rapid. Having joined in 1935, he was promoted to Admin. Asst. to J. Edgar Hoover within six months time, and in less than three years was promoted to Special Agent in Charge. Mr. Hoover liked Percy, as he was a tall 6' 5", smart, and an excellent pistol shot. He had competed in national competition, alongside SA Walter Walsh, an award winning FBI marksman. My father also shared several personal stories with me about Mr. Hoover and Mr. Tolson, as he had accompanied them on several business trips. In his opinion - none of the Hollywood gossip was true!
Percy had met his future wife Marguerite Taylor, a farmer's daughter from Great Bend, Kansas, who was working as an FBI Stenographer for Quinn Tamm in the DC office. Marguerite would later transfer to the Kansas City Office and worked for SAC Dwight Brantley for several years. Percy and Marguerite Taylor were married in 1942 in Kansas City, Mo.
Percy was first appointed ASAC of the Richmond, VA. Office. After a short tenure in this office, he was given the opportunity to manage as SAC, fifteen of the FBI's fifty-two offices. Those offices included Miami, San Diego, Jackson, Miss., Memphis, Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Norfolk, Butte, Springfield, Ill., Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and then back to Albuquerque to retire in 1960. He was also given the responsibility of opening three new FBI offices in San Diego, Jackson, Miss., and Albuquerque, NM.
Upon his retirement from the FBI in 1960, Percy served as the head of Security Education for Sandia Labs in Albuq. Later, he served for a short time, as a Security Consultant for the Albuquerque Public Schools, until his final retirement in 1975.
In his later years, Percy became highly involved in researching family genealogy, and actually published several manuscripts in that endeavor. Also, Percy was very involved with the Society of Former FBI Agents, the Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge, Elks Club, and the First Presbyterian Church of Albuq.
Having been married to Marguerite for fifty-eight years, Percy Wyly, II died in 2000. Marguerite survived until 2006, and both are buried at Sunset Memorial Park in Albuq. NM. They had two children, James Taylor Wyly (Jim) of 1000 Oaks, Calif. and Nan Wyly Zeman of Pecos,Tx., and a total of four grandchildren.
My sister Nan and I were extremely lucky to have had two such great parents. They were great role models and were extremely supportive of the two of us. They were so proud of their four grandchildren. Thinking back, it is amazing to think that we actually had two parents, who were involved in the "Early Years" of the FBI.
FBI Special Agent, Val C. Zimmer (1929 - 1939)
Zimmer served in the FBI during the early gangster days from 1929 to 1939 as a Special Agent.
He was born in Great Bend, Kansas. He attended the University of Colorado receiving his bachelor degree in 1926 and his law degree in 1928. During 1928 and into 1929, he served as Assistant District Attorney in Dodge City, Kansas.
Zimmer's early days with the Bureau took him to Denver, New York, and Chicago. Zimmer played key roles in many FBI cases, including the Dillinger and related investigations and the Bremer and Urschel kidnapping cases. Records of the FBI show Zimmer a member of the "Dillinger Squad" in Chicago, and he was present across the street from the Biograph Theater when Dillinger exited and was killed. Zimmer did not fire any shots in that incident. He later served as Assistant Special Agent in charge in the Chicago FBI office under Melvin Purvis. Subsequently, he was named by J Edgar Hoover as Special Agent in Charge of Salt Lake City and later Los Angeles.
Zimmer resigned from the FBI in 1939 after spending nearly 11 years as a Special Agent. He took employment with the Thoroughbred Racing Association and Zimmer created the Western States Division of the race horse monitoring organization covering 13 Western states. He later worked for Hughes aircraft of Los Angeles from which he retired in 1966.
In 1967, he and his wife settled in Lake San Marcos, California. Zimmer died on May 28, 1987 at the age of 81 as a result of a cardiac condition. At the time of his death he was only survived by his wife.
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