“Pretty Boy” Floyd drops off the Public Enemy list


On October 22, 1934, Public Enemy #1 Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot to death by law enforcement officers outside of East Liverpool, Ohio. The notorious bank robber was responsible for dozens of bank robberies across the Midwest. He was also implicated in the murders of at least 5 police officers. After the FBI shot and killed John Dillinger in July 1934, Floyd rose to the top of the FBI Public Enemy list.

Floyd was a flamboyant criminal. Pretty Boy rarely made any effort to conceal his identity. He announced himself by name when committing many of his holdups. Many saw him as a Robin Hood figure and there are unverified stories of Floyd ripping up the mortgages of poor farmers while pulling his bank heists.

He met his end in a cornfield in Ohio. Two local cops had spotted him on the side of the road outside of Wellsville, Ohio after receiving a tip. Floyd engaged in a gunfight with the two officers, wounding both of them. After fleeing through the woods, he eventually hitched a ride to East Liverpool. He was again spotted by law enforcement and started to run from them through a farmer’s cornfield. By one account, Police Officer Chester Smith shot him in the right arm and knocking him down. Other cops and FBI agents opened fire, striking him again. He died from his wounds shortly after. In the FBI’s account, there were no local cops there and the FBI did everything, which is just about the most typical FBI story ever.

 photo By FBI - https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/kansas-city-massacre-pretty-boy-floyd, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=104959963


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