KANSAS CITY MASSACRE

Today in History, June 17, 1933:

The Kansas City Massacre.

This story is important to FBI history and to Oklahoma history. As a young man, Frank Nash began his criminal career by robbing a Sapulpa, Oklahoma business of $1,000. He then shot his accomplice in the back of the head so he could have the loot all to himself.

Years, several crimes, and two prison sentences later, he had escaped federal custody. Apprehended in Arkansas by an FBI agent and by MacAlester Chief Otto Reed, he was being transported back to Leavenworth when four gunmen attacked the officers at the Kansas City Railroad Station, in an attempt to rescue Nash (maybe…some versions have it as a hit, to keep Nash from talking). Two Kansas City police officers, an FBI agent, and Chief Reed were all killed in the attack…along with Nash. The importance in history for the FBI? Agents went from being unarmed without arrest powers to being armed with pistols, Winchesters and Tommy guns and having arrest powers within the year. And for Oklahoma? Well…an Oklahoma lawman had tracked the bad guy down and his actions resulted in historic changes…not the first time and certainly not the last time.

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