|June 17, 1933 - Union Station Massacre AKA The Kansas City Massacre|
The Union Station Massacre took place on the morning of June 17, 1933. Convicted bank robber
Frank "Jelly Roll" Nash had escaped from the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, only to be
recaptured in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was brought by train back to Kansas City, and from there,
federal and local law enforcement officers planned to drive him back to Leavenworth.
As Nash’s custodians led him in handcuffs across the Union Station parking lot to a waiting car,
two Nash allies, intending to free him, waited in another car. The resulting gunfight led to the deaths
of Nash, a federal agent, two Kansas City, Missouri, police officers, and a police chief from
Oklahoma. Two more federal agents were wounded in the clash.
The car carrying Nash’s would-be “rescuers” sped away, and a subsequent federal investigation
into the events of June 17, 1933, led to the execution of co-conspirator/cop killerAdam Richetti, as well
as uncovering the involvement of Kansas City’s own hometown crime boss Johnny Lazia in arming,
harboring and aiding the killers in their escape.
Two big names emerged from the nationwide publicity surrounding the Union Station Massacre.
It has long been rumored, although never proven, that Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was one of the
two men who intended to rescue Nash outside of Union Station that morning. And leading
the federal investigation of the massacre was a young J. Edgar Hoover, who would later gain
momentum and funding for the growing agency he headed, which would eventually become
known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.