Tuesday, December 18, 2012


12/18/1932 - Celebrating his cut of the Third Northwestern National bank job that took place two days before in which he machine gunned to death two Minneapolis police officers, on Sunday morning Barker-Karpis gang member Larry DeVol is so stewed on the massive slugs of whiskey he has been drinking that he walks into the wrong unit at the Annbee Arms Apartments on 928 Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

                              DeVol and Karpis after 1930 arrest

Instead of his own apartment, #206, the killer has entered the unit of Associated Press wire service telegraph operator Haskett Burton just as he is discussing the recent bloody robbery with friends around his bridge table.  Confronted by a disheveled stranger who stumbles about the apartment ranting and raving, Burton and friends manage to push the drunk outside, but not before DeVol pulls a pistol and waves it in the telegrapher's face, threatening to shoot him.  Not the type to allow himself to be cowed in his own abode, Burton calls the cops and reports the incident.  Sent to investigate, officers George Hammergren and Harley Kast arrest the man they find ... and then discover they've hooked a very big fish in the world of crime.


Searching the apartment of the drunk, the officers find packages of money taken in the Third Northwestern National robbery and a .45 automatic used in the crime.  Fingerprinted and then questioned when he finally becomes sober, the St. Paul police have accidentally made a captive of kill crazy crook Larry DeVol ... a maniac wanted for the deaths of two businessmen in Oklahoma, the double murder of a sheriff and marshal in Iowa, a homicide in Tulsa, the killing of a Missouri policeman, and the two fatalities he had perpetrated only a couple of days before.


Caught, DeVol will plead guilty to the killings of officers Evans and Gorski and in January of 1933 the outlaw is sentenced to life in the Minnesota State Prison at Stillwater.  There his criminal career does not end however.  Conning the medical staff of the prison with ravings about guards trying to kill him with poison gas, DeVol will be transferred to the St. Peter Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where in 1936 he leads a breakout of fifteen other unstables, and when loose once more, quickly returns to his robbing and killing ways before being shot to death in a gun battle with police in Enid, Oklahoma.

                        Getting what he'd given so many times

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