Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
George "Baby Face" Nelson Kills FBI Agent - 1934
On this date in crime history – April 22, 1934, George
"Baby Face" Nelson kills Special Agent W. Carter Baum during an
FBI raid in northern Wisconsin. Nelson was holed up with notorious bank robber
John Dillinger's gang at the Little Bohemia resort but didn't follow the
planned escape route. As he was stealing a car to escape, he blasted several
agents with two handguns. The notorious gangster was born Lester Gillis but
wanted to be known as Big George Nelson. Unfortunately for him, his youthful
looks caused everyone to call him "Baby Face." He joined Al Capone’s gang
in 1929, where he was known for his particularly brutal strong-arm tactics. In
fact, his unpredictable violence got so out of hand that it eventually led to
his expulsion from the gang.
In the early 1930s, Nelson joined up with bootleggers in California.
However, after Prohibition ended, Nelson returned to the Midwest to try his
hand at bank robberies. Nelson hit a series of banks in 1933 and 1934 and was
upset when John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd were given credit for his
crimes. Despite this, Nelson teamed up with Dillinger in April 1934: The
pair robbed two banks in South Dakota and Iowa. Reportedly, Dillinger was a bit
perplexed by Nelson's outbursts during the robberies. After shooting bank
employees at both of the banks, Nelson had to be persuaded not to kill them.
Not long after the raid on April 23, Dillinger was killed by agents in Chicago,
making Nelson the country's newest Public Enemy Number One. On November 27,
Nelson was spotted driving in rural Illinois. After a chase involving two FBI
agents, Sam Cowley and Herman Hollis, an epic gun battle ensued. Witnesses say
that Nelson tired of exchanging shots from behind his cover and decided to
attack the agents on the offensive. Although Cowley and Hollis fired many
rounds into Nelson, he kept coming at them with a machine gun. Nelson killed
both agents and hobbled away to a getaway car, but he did not survive the bold
move. The next day, his body, riddled with bullets, was found in a ditch.
Barry is a columnist for www.crimemagazine.com
and is the author of numerous books that include the award winning, Murder
and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949 (2012,
Schiffer Publishing). The WINNER of the 2012 International Book Awards and a
FINALIST in the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards for True Crime. Visit the
author’s website for more information: www.michaelthomasbarry.com
can be purchased at Amazon through the following