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Book details
  • Genre:TRUE CRIME
  • SubGenre:Organized Crime
  • Language:English
  • Pages:276
  • eBook ISBN:9780989685214

All Against The Law

The Criminal Activities of the Depression Era Bank Robbers, Mafia, FBI, Pol

by Bill Friedman

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This is the incredible story of the daring prison escapes and breathtaking fugitive runs by the Great Depression's four successive Public Enemies Number One - John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Alvin Karpis with the Barker brothers. These were the most aggressive and dangerous killers ever. When fleeing from pursuing lawmen every one of these bank robbers whiled around and floored their accelerator or ran out in the open charging their pursuers while relentlessly blasting away with machineguns. All these ferocious counterattacks made them dreadfully successful at killing the most policemen and FBI agents of any American outlaws. Against these fierce killers, Congress assigned a fledgling Federal Bureau of Investigaiton, an accounting agency of government money made up of politically-appointed accountants and attorneys with no police experience. Headed by J. Edgar Hoover, a librarian, he failed to teach his agents any of the fundamentals of police and detective work or instruct them to respect individual liberties and rights. Thus his courageous but ill-prepared early agents conducted one amateurish and failed raid after another interspersed with disastrous results for both his agents and innoccent civilian bystanders caught up in the lines of fire. Hoover's leadership and mismangement of the FBI has been thoroughly discredited by contemporary expose articles and scholarly historical biographies. This book penetrates the veil much further in presenting Hoover's underhanded, often illegal, tactics against his critics; his occasional fights to survive his malfeasance in office; and his blackmailing of errant Congressmen to further his personal political agenda, as he became an unaccountable malevolent fourth branch of the federal government totlly outside the brilliantly-conceived Constitutional checks-and-balances system. To disprove FBI target Pretty Boy Floyd was involved in the Kansas City Massacre slaughtering four lawmen, the
Here for the first time is the complete story of the careers and lives of the four successive Public Enemies Number One who were the most dangerous machinegun toting Midwestern bank robbers of the early Depression years - John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Alvin Karpis with the Barker brothers. Besides being complete this presentation is wholly different from previous histories because for the first time the newspaper article accounts of these gangsters' activities are included. These were written by reporters from interviews of the eyewitnesses at these events, police and detective descriptions of the handling and findings of their investigations, and the trial testimonies of both the criminal cohorts and also the people who harbored these killers during their long fugitive manhunts. These facts were merged with the FBI agents' internal reports sent to Washington Headquarters that frequently admitted or confirmed their misconduct, as well as the many other documents used by previous crime historians. All this information combines to present the first complete timeline of these criminals' actions and personal lives as each fugiive alternated between hiding in a safe haven and staying on the run often just ahead of determined lawmen. Just as a movie is made up of many individual pictures that are flashed one after the other to produce the action, the many individual facts collected about each of these incidents create a dramatic step-by-step flow that produces an incredibly exciting and fast-moving adventure story. Interspersed throughout thse Public Enemies Number One manhunts is the transformation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from an accounting department of government money into a national police and detective agency. This is by far the most penetrating story of how J. Edgar Hoover took this group of politically-appointed accountants and attorneys, who by law could not carry guns or make arrests, and turned them into a full-fledged criminal detective agency. Hoover's leadership of the FBI has been discredited by numerous previous scholars, but this book goes much further in presenting how poorly-trained the agents were in police and detecitve procedure, the lack of respect they had for individual liberties and rights, and their total disregard for the safety and well-being of the civilians who unintentiaonally appeared in their paths. Previous historians have usually described the actions of Hoover's FBI as like Keystone Cops or repeatedly referred to agents' actions as "inexplicable." But Hoover's agents' behavior was the direct byproduct of their Director's leadership and training procedures. After the reader learns the capabilities and values of Hoover's agents, their actions are neither funny nor baffling but instead very predictable. As each confrontation develops the reader can sense how the situation can go terribly wrong as these courageous but ill-preared early agents headed into what would likely become another failed raid or else produce disastrous results for the lawmen or innocent civilian bystanders caught up in the lines of fire. The mismatch between the skills of Hoover's early agents and the killers they went after could not have been more stark. These untrained agents went after the most aggressive and dangerous killers in history. These were not the typical variety of criminal who tries to escape when pursued by the police. Whenver these killers started to feel trapped or pressured, they would turn about face and run on foot out in the open, or whirl their car around as they floored the accelerator, charging their pursuers while blasting away with machineguns. All this aggressive determination made Dillinger, Nelson, Floyd, and Karpis and the Barker brothers dreadfully sccessful at killing more policemen and FBI agents than any other American outlaws. Not only did each of these gang leaders and a number of their followers successfully escape multiple
About the author
Bill Friedman is president of the Friedman Management Group, which specializes in solving marketing, design, and operations problems. He has consulted for forty years to casinos throughout the United States and in England, South Africa, Monaco, Australia, Russia, Japan, Canada, and several Caribbean Islands. Friedman was president and general manager of the Castaways Hotel and Casino and the Silver Slipper Casino in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip for thirteen years. He transformed them from perennial losers into super successes, consistently in the top of Nevada’s highest profit-per-square-foot performances. Friedman is author of the groundbreaking research work Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition published by the University of Nevada Reno. He is also author of the seminal book for succeeding in the casino business Casino Management. He taught the pioneer course in casino management for the University of Nevada Las Vegas’s College of Hotel Administration in the early years during the decade of the 1970s.