Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pretty Boy Floyd

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd (February 3, 1904 – October 22, 1934) was an American bank robber. He operated in the Midwest and West South Central States, and his criminal exploits gained heavy press coverage in the 1930s. Like most other prominent outlaws of that era, he was killed by policemen. He remains a familiar figure in American popular culture, sometimes seen as notorious, but at other times viewed as a tragic figure, partly a victim of hard times.

Floyd was born in Bartow County, Georgia, while his parents were briefly living there. He grew up in his family's home state of Oklahoma, and spent considerable time in nearby Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. He was first arrested at age 18 after he stole $3.50 in coins from a local post office. Three years later he was arrested for a payroll robbery on September 16, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri and served five years in prison.
When paroled, Floyd vowed that he would never see the inside of another prison. Entering into partnerships with more established criminals in the Kansas City underworld, he committed a series of bank robberies over the next several years; it was during this period that he acquired the nickname "Pretty Boy." According to one account, when the payroll master targeted in a robbery described the three perpetrators to the police, he referred to Floyd as "a mere boy — a pretty boy with apple cheeks." Like his contemporary Baby Face Nelson, Floyd hated his nickname.
In 1929, he faced numerous arrests. On March 9, he was arrested in Kansas City on investigation and again on May 6 for vagrancy and suspicion of highway robbery, but he was released the next day. Two days later, he was arrested in Pueblo, Colorado, charged with vagrancy. He was fined $50.00 and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Floyd under the alias "Frank Mitchell" was arrested in Akron, Ohio, on March 8, 1930, charged in the investigation of the murder of an Akron police officer who had been killed during a robbery that evening.
The law next caught up with Floyd in Toledo, Ohio, where he was arrested on suspicion on May 20, 1930; he was sentenced on November 24, 1930, to 12–15 years in Ohio State penitentiary for the Sylvania Ohio Bank Robbery, but he escaped.
Floyd was a suspect in the deaths of bootlegging brothers Wally and Boll Ash of Kansas City. They were found dead in a burning car on March 25, 1931. A month later on April 23, members of his gang killed Patrolman R. H. Castner of Bowling Green, Ohio, and on July 22 Floyd killed ATF Agent C. Burke in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1932, former sheriff Erv Kelley of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, tried to arrest Floyd; he was killed on April 7. In November of that year, three members of Floyd's gang attempted to rob the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Boley, Oklahoma.

Death

On October 22, 1934, Floyd was killed in an apple orchard near East Liverpool, Ohio, while being pursued by local law officers and FBI agents led by Melvin Purvis. Varying accounts exist as to who shot him and the manner in which he was killed.
He was buried in Akins, Oklahoma

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