Official Records ~ The FBI Shootout With "Ma" Barker & Son, Fred Barker
The Bureau's raid on the cottage near the shores of Lake Weir, Fla., in January, 1935 was a direct result of a map and other items of evidence found just days earlier in Chicago where "Doc" Barker was taken into custody by Agents there.
SAC Earl J. Connelley, who led both the Chicago raid and the Florida raid, was appointed by Director Hoover to assume the duties of Inspector Samuel Cowley who was killed in November, 1934 with Agent Herman Hollis in the battle at Barrington, IL with "Baby Face" Nelson and John Paul Chase. Connelley's role as a leader of men, and the investigations, during some of the Bureau's most renowned moments of the gangster era and up to the case of the Nazi saboteurs off Long Island, NY is often forgotten about by many today.
Our own review of nearly a thousand pages surrounding the raid at Lake Weir originated from the FBI's released case file on the Bremer kidnapping, Part 89. (There's over 400 sections to this file alone.) While we do not attempt to address the entire Bremer investigation, nor all of the activities of the Barker/Karpis gang, the purpose here was to retrieve those historical records related directly to the assault on the Barker cottage, obtain the shootout details, attempt to determine what weapons the Agents and the Barkers used and resolve the questions about who was actually present from the Bureau.
(The Connelley report, and some others, are difficult to read in some places due to the poor quality. We suggest you enlarge the pages.)
The battle at Lake Weir, Fla. was one of the many epic Bureau shootouts of the time. The raid lasted from approximately 7am that day until 11am - 12Noon. E. J. Connelley's summary report below is a highly detailed examination of what took place, weapons used and more. Any "yellow notes" you see on documents are mine. Although we have not included the statements of each Agent present, they are available in the file, but do not contain anything to change Connelley's report. (Standard procedure in the Bureau is to incorporate those statements into an overall report).
We have included the statements of SAs Charles Winstead and J. C. "Doc" White because of the amount of inquiries that seem to surface over what they did and didn't do at the scene.
We found no documentation revealing that Hoover, or anyone else within the Bureau, was overly concerned with potential public relations problems in that they "killed someone's mother" or that "Ma" Barker had been some innocent civilian killed accidentally. In one memorandum, Clyde Tolson revealed to Hoover and others that the shooting was totally justified by the mere fact that she had fired upon the agents while resisting arrest.
The raid at Lake Weir was led by SAC E. J. Connelley and those present at the immediate scene of the shootout involved Connelley and thirteen (13) additional Agents. These additional Agents have been identified through official reports shown as: SAs J. C. "Doc" White; A. A. Muzzey, R. L. Jones, John Madala, T. M. McDade, Daniel P. Sullivan, Gerald "Jerry" Campbell, G. C. Woltz, Charles Winstead, R. D. Brown, S. K. McKee, T. Melvin and J. T. McLaughlin.
Over the last few years, we've been contacted by the sons, daughters and grandchildren of some of these Agents to include, Sullivan, McKee, Connelley, McDade, and Winstead.
The links below will take readers to the various original FBI documents of the 1935 raid:
SAC E. J. Connelley is in Chicago with the arrest of "Doc" Barker - raid and travel plans of agents, weapons etc. (Note: Winstead did not stay behind afterall but traveled to Jacksonville with others.)
The map submitted by Connelley to FBI HQ showing positions of Agents involved