Tuesday, January 8, 2013


1/8/1935 - Using information provided by a doctor in Toledo, Ohio about the recent marriage of one of his patients, twenty-four-year-old Mildred Kuhlmann, the FBI, led by Special Agent Earl Connelley, closes in on two Chicago residences hoping to arrest members of the notorious Barker-Karpis Gang.  After a week of watching, a raiding party of twelve agents surround the Surf Lane Apartments, believing the Mr. Esser inside unit G-1 is really bank robber, kidnapper, and murderer, Arthur "Dock" Barker ... and they are right!

                                             Arthur Barker.jpg
                                                   Dock Barker

Ready, instead of needing to kick in any doors, at 6:30 in the evening Barker and his wife emerge from the apartment building and begin walking up the street.  Immediately the agents closest to the pair move in.  Pistol in hand rookie agent Alexander Muzzey yells, "Stick 'em up. We're federal agents!" as his partner, former Oklahoma City cop Jerry Campbell, produces a Thompson machine gun from under his overcoat, while three other agents also draw their weapons and box in the couple.  Not the sharpest knife in the kitchen, though caught, Barker however decides to flee, but before he can be gunned down he slips on a patch of sidewalk ice and falls face first into a pool of muddy slush.  Drug to his feet and put in cuffs, as Barker is hustled to a car for transportation to FBI headquarters downtown he berates himself, "This is a helluva time to be caught without a gun."  Indeed it has been ... but at the Pine Grove Apartments, which federal agents are also watching, a lack of weaponry, or willingness to use it, will not be the case.

                                                             Dock in custody

Agents, agents, and more agents, over twenty arrayed for action, with Barker under arrest, Connelley shifts operations to the apartment building at 3920 Pine Grove Avenue and at 11:00 uses the call button for Apartment One North to order the surrender of its occupants.  After a few minutes, Clara Gibson, holding a brown Chow in her arms named Rex, emerges, soon followed by the wife of outlaw Willie Harrison, and then by bank robber Bryan Bolton ... all are put in custody without incident.  The fourth resident of One North, bandit Russell "Slim Gray" Gibson, decides however that he is not surrendering.


Armed with a Browning automatic rifle, a .32 caliber pistol, and wearing a bulletproof vest, Gibson quietly slips out of the apartment building, goes down a flight of wooden stairs and then flees into a dark alley at the back of the structure ... an alley where twelve agents are waiting. Ordered to stop by Special Agent Doc White, the outlaw responds by opening up with his BAR and a short gun battle begins which Gibson violently loses ... no agents are hit by his rifle fire, but the bank robber is himself struck multiple times in the chest (his protective vest proves no match for the high powered rounds the FBI is using), stomach, and head.  Taken to the emergency room at the American Hospital on Irving Park Boulevard, Gibson goes out like the outlaw he had been ... queried by agents as to the whereabouts of his bandit friends Freddy Barker and Alvin Karpis, the desperado snarls, "Tell you nothing!" and dies in silence at 1:40 in the morning.

Successful raids that have removed three major public menaces from circulation, a bonus is provided when agents discover a map in Barker's apartment with an area of the state of Florida stupidly circled in red ... that information is in turn used in the questioning of a singing Bolton (frightened by federal interrogation techniques that include phone books forcefully applied to outlaw craniums) and agents soon begin a search of the Lake Weir region for killer Freddy Barker and his mother, Kate "Ma" Barker.  Unlike his older brother Arthur, Freddy will be armed to the teeth when he has his confrontation with the FBI.

                                        Ma                                          Freddy                                            

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