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George Machine Gun Kelly (1895-1954)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: George "Machine Gun" Kelly (1895-1954)

Description: George "Machine Gun" Kelly (George Kelly Barnes; July 18, 1895-July 18, 1954), U.S. bank robber and kidnapper, shown center in custody in 1933. Kelly was a small-time thief and bootlegger, serving time in the penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas for violating the Prohibition Act. Upon his release, he met and married Kathryn Thorne, of Texas, who bought him a Thompson submachine gun from an underworld arms supplier, had him regularly practice with the weapon and then promoted him to the underworld at "Machine Gun" Kelly. He and a few others robbed some small town banks, reportedly planned by Mrs. Kelly, who then urged her husband to kidnap and hold for ransom wealthy businessman Charles F. Urschel, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Kelly and others kidnapped Urschel in July 1933, holding him captive at a broken down ranch outside of Paradise, Texas, owned by Kathryn Thorne Kelly's parents. After collecting a $200,000 ransom (the largest ransom ever paid in the U.S. to that time), Urschel was released unharmed and the FBI doggedly hunted the Kelly gang. Local police in Memphis, Tennessee, however, captured Kelly, who surrendered without a fight on the morning of September 26, 1933. Thirteen years later, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover published in American Magazine a story in which FBI agents captured Kelly, barging into the kidnapper's room guns drawn and causing Kelly to shout: "Don't shoot G-Men, don't shoot!" Hoover thus created the myth of the FBI's "G-Men." Kelly was sent to prison for life, serving time at Leavenworth, later at Alcatraz, then returned to Leavenworth where he died of a heart attack. He expressed his remorse for the crimes he had committed, writing in one letter: "Four words are written in fire on the wall of my cell: 'Nothing is worth this!'" His wife, Kathryn Kelly, who had also received a life sentence for the Urschel kidnapping, was released from a Cincinnati, Ohio, prison in 1958 and disappeared.

Category: Crime

Keywords: Machine Gun Kelly, crime, criminals, criminology, bank robbers, bank robbing, kidnapping, kidnappers, bootleggers, thieves, J. Edgar Hoover, FBI, Leavenworth Penitentiary, Alcatraz Penitentiary

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 1575 x 1980 (3.12 MPixels) (1.26)

Print Size: 13.3 x 16.8 cm; 5.3 x 6.6 inches

File Size: 8.94 MB (9,371,566 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004126

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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