Winstead in 1934 - Courtesy private owner below

Winstead in 1934 - Courtesy private owner below

In 2010, after finding this website, Mr. Doug Latimer contacted me and furnished various original Winstead documents for examination.   Mr. Latimer's father in law was FBI Special Agent Charles Spann, and after retirement he practiced law in New Mexico.  Spann became Winstead's attorney and at the time of Winstead's death, Spann handled the estate.  Spann's name was already known since we had seen several photos of Winstead and Spann together in older copies of the FBI's internal magazine, "Grapevine."

Subsequent to Winstead's death, Mr. Lattimer purchased Winstead's home in the Albuquerque, NM area (as is) from Winstead's sister and many items were left in the home.  Doug's retrieval and preservation of Winstead documents has provided some interesting insight. 

In addition to Winstead's "expense diaries" (check the "navigation" area for those) Doug has furnished the original of Winstead's personal weapons list..  (Note: The comments typed on the document are my own and I've "yellowed" the paper in order to make it more readable.)

We're not certain where most of these guns are now located and for the purpose of Winstead's legacy, and FBI history, we'd like to account for them.   We do know that some of Winstead's papers are at the Red River Museum in Sherman, Texas however a check there reveals they do not have any of his guns.  A copy of Winstead's memoirs was obtained courtesy of the museum and can be found in the "navigation" area of this website.  A check with the FBI's current historical personnel reveals none of Winstead's listed weapons are present in FBI inventory. 

Charles B. Winstead's Relatives

A portion of Winstead's sidearms/rifle may have remained in the family, which is common. Mr. Lattimer, however,  is not sure what happened to any of these weapons, and opined that Spann may have sold them during the estate settlement.   (We have not seen any records of the estate)

As of 2013, it's unclear what happened to the Winstead relatives. "Ancestry" records do reveal that his two step sons (Albert/Thomas shown as "sons" in the obituary) are deceased, as is Winstead's second wife, Maude.  At last contact we knew, his step daughter, Patricia Jones, (shown as "daughter" Mrs. Kenneth L. Jones) was residing in Sherman, Texas however I believe she may have passed away.  

Surviving Relatives Of Charles Winstead - Obituary, 1973

Surviving Relatives Of Charles Winstead - Obituary, 1973

It may be worth noting here that in 2010, Ms. Jones (above) did mention that either she or the family had given one of Winstead's guns to a "museum maybe in Oklahoma" but she wasn't sure.  She knew of no other weapons of his.  Frankly, giving it to a museum in Oklahoma doesn't make much sense to me knowing that Winstead's roots throughout his life were in Texas and New Mexico. It was very apparent to me that Ms. Jones was confused on this issue. 

(We're listing these relatives here so search engines will index them:  Mrs. Maude Winstead; Albert B. Thorne; Thomas P. Thorne of Dallas, Tx.; Mrs. Kenneth Jones, aka Patricia Jones, of Sherman, Texas; Jim Rigby of Florida; Mrs. Felix Drake of Glendale, Az.; Mrs. Kimbal Howard of Kansas) 

Of course what we don't know, and may never know, is how many off spring did the immediate family members have and who may have received Winstead's hand guns as a result of them being passed down.  At this juncture, we can do nothing but speculate barring any real evidence.  

We are interested in locating additional Winstead relatives and friends from Texas and New Mexico who could shed some light on his personal belongings and his photos, memoirs, etc.  Anyone can contact us through the link at this website, and all information will be kept confidential if desired.  (Some Winstead photos can be seen in the photo gallery of this website.) 

Winstead's Personal Handgun Listing

The Winstead listing of his handguns (above) provided to me by Doug Lattimer reveals several of the weapons "crossed out" giving one the impression that at some point, Winstead had relinquished them. We might be able to account for a couple. 

Regarding the "Bisley" model shown on the list, the FBI's internal magazine "Grapevine" contained an article in January, 1987 p. 19 from retired SA Thomas M. McDade.  In that article, McDade states,

"Years ago I bought a gun - an old Bisley Colt with three notches in the stock - from Charles Winstead, one of the FBI agents who shot John Dillinger.  This was not the gun Charlie used in the Dillinger shooting.  That gun was a Bureau .45 automatic which Charlie Winstead turned back to the Bureau when he retired."  (Note:  Winstead's statement on the Dillinger shooting clearly shows him stating he used a "Departmental issued .45." His personnel file we examined in 2014 does not reveal any evidence of the famous .45, one way or another.)

Although we have not verified it yet, there is good reason to believe at this point that the Bisley model McDade bought from Winstead is probably the same sidearm mentioned in Winstead's list and furthermore is possibly still in the McDade family.  

Another item worth noting here on possibilities with regard to Winstead's handguns was his long friendship with former Assistant FBI Director, William C. Sullivan, not only while in the FBI, but even after both left the Bureau.   We now know from Ms. Patricia Jones that Winstead had been sending Sullivan tape recordings after his retirement and that it was Sullivan who assisted him in typing them into Winstead's memoirs found at the Sherman, Tx museum.  The project was really never completed due to Winstead's death and Sullivan being killed in a hunting accident a few years later.  

Sullivan authored a book titled "The Bureau" which is long out of print.  He describes his early working days in the FBI with Winstead at the El Paso office.  On page 33 of this book he states: 

"Some months after Charlie died of cancer in 1974, I learned he had willed the 357 Magnum pistol he always carried, his Stetson sombrero, and his boots, saddles, and rope to me."

We're not familiar with the .357 magnum mentioned by Sullivan and it does not appear on the Lattimer listing. We're also not privy to the fate of these Sullivan items or whether he received any others.  He did have a surviving son who we have not been successful so far in locating.  

Winstead's engraved .38 S/W Serial # 473732 - Private owner

Winstead's engraved .38 S/W Serial # 473732 - Private owner

Winstead's engraved .38 S/W Serial # 473732 - Private ownerIn February, 2013 a gracious collector came forward to advise us of his possession of one of Winstead's sidearms mentioned on the above list.  While he desired to remain anonymous, in the interest of Winstead's legacy, he did provide documentation and photos to share with those interested.  "Don" has pointed out that he is the current owner of the first handgun shown on the Winstead listing. 

"Don's" father was a deputy sheriff in New Mexico and a long time friend of Winstead.  A regular visitor to Winstead, he often took his son "Don" with him during the years of approximately 1967 to 1973 when Winstead died.

Winstead's S/M engraved .38 is shown here along with a letter of provenance from Winstead to "Don's" father.  If readers are interested, a factory letter from Smith and Wesson about this handgun is located here.  

provenance 2.jpg

The letter from Winstead revealing his sale of the above .38 S/W.