- NAME: Machine Gun Kelly
- OCCUPATION: Criminal
- BIRTH DATE: July 18, 1895
- DEATH DATE: July 18, 1954
- EDUCATION: A&M College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Memphis, Tennessee
- PLACE OF DEATH: Leavenworth, Kansas
- Full Name: George R. Kelly
- Originally: George Kelly Barnes
- AKA: George Barnes
- Nickname: "Machine Gun"
- AKA: George Kelly
- AKA: George Celino Barnes
Best Known For
Machine Gun Kelly was an American bootlegger, bank robber and kidnapper who made headlines in the 1930s. He was sentenced to life in prison along with wife Kathryn Kelly in 1933.
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But they didn’t count on Urschel’s sharp mind and the authorities keeping track the ransom money’s serial numbers. The ransom was delivered on July 30 in Kansas City and Urschel was released the next day. He was unharmed and, although blindfolded some of the time, he was able to provide a number of clues to authorities. From Urschel’s descriptions of what he heard and saw while being held hostage, the authorities were able to figure out that he must have been near Paradise,
Texas. Earlier there also had been a tip that the Kellys were involved.
Kathryn Kelly's mother, Ora Shannon, lived on a ranch near Paradise. The place was raided and several suspects, including Shannon, her husband, and his son, were arrested on August 12. Bates was caught that same day in Denver, Colorado, on an unrelated charge, but he was found to have money from the kidnapping on him. But the Kellys eluded capture for several weeks. They were discovered in Memphis, Tennessee, and taken into custody on September 26, 1933. They were quickly tried and convicted; both were sentenced to life in prison on October 12.
The once-notorious Machine Gun Kelly was mocked in the news as "Pop Gun Kelly." He was sent to Alcatraz Prison in California, home to many hardened criminals, including Al Capone. In the 1950s, Kelly moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he died of heart failure on July 18, 1954.
Today, Kelly is remembered, along with the likes of "Pretty Boy" Floyd, "Baby Face" Nelson, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, as one of the criminals that made up the Midwest crime wave of the early 1930s.
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