Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd took his last breath on October 22, 1934. He and some FBI agents were at a cornfield in East Liverpool, Ohio when he was shot. Floyd was one of the most pursued fugitives during that time. He was accused as the perpetrator in the infamous Kansas City Massacre where four officers were shot dead at a train station. With his last breath, Floyd denied such allegations and died right after.
Charles Floyd hails from a small town in Oklahoma. When the late 1920s came, history has not been to kind to Floyd. Drought made it impossible for them to operate a small farm. In order to survive, he did what he thought was best for him at that time which was to rob a bank. His stint robbing a St. Louis payroll delivery ultimately landed him in a Missouri prison. He was paroled in 1929, the same time when he learned that Jim Mills shot his father to death. Mills was acquitted of the charges but he soon disappeared after. Some people believe that Floyd took it upon himself to claim justice for his father and killed Mills.
Floyd eventually moved to Kansas City where he met other people who were considered a threat to the community. This is also where he was first known as the “Pretty Boy”, a name that given to him a local prostitute. It was a nickname that Floyd hated. He went back to robbing banks in Missouri and Ohio, accompanied by the friends that he met in prison. Authorities would soon catch Floyd; he was sentenced to serve in prison for 12 to 15 years. He was able to get away though when he jumped from the speeding train that was supposed to take him to prison. He then escaped to Toledo where he joined forces with Bill “The Killer” Miller.
The two easily became popular with their crimes but Miller’s journey ended soon in 1931 when he was killed in a firefight in Bowling Green, Ohio. After Miller’s demise, Floyd came back to Kansas. During a raid, Floyd killed a federal agent which instantly turned him into a nationally known lawbreaker. Following the incident, he made his escape back to his native land, Oklahoma. The locals protected him in any way they can from the authorities. They saw him as a superhero – he was their modern Robin Hood during the Depression. In fact, even the characters Joads in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath only have kind words for Floyd.
Not everyone shared the same sentiments though. The governor for one thought that Floyd was nothing but a mere criminal and placed a $6,000 bounty on his head. Floyd was accused of many crimes among other things, one of which was the incident in Kansas City train station which happened on June 17, 1933. Law enforcers were escorting the criminal Frank Nash to prison when they were ambushed and killed with the use of machine guns. The FBI and press accused Floyd of the crime regardless of the fact that there was no evidence linking him directly to the crime. Nevertheless, this put additional pressure on the FBI to capture Floyd, which they successfully did in October of 1934.