The next witness called by Mr. Graves for the prosecution was Mrs. Frances Nash,
who at the time lived in Aurora, Minnesota, and which her husband had been Frank
Nash. They had first met at the O.P. Inn on North Avenue and West River Road
just outside of Maywood, Illinois in the late summer of 1931, they had married May
24, 1933. She had known Vern Miller, as B.C. Moore and B.C. Mason. She had
met him a few weeks before she had met Frank Nash which was around 1931, and
that they had been very closely associated with each other. At one time they had
lived right across the hall from were Verne and Vi had lived. That summer they
lived with one another for a few weeks at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and on one
occasion Verne Miller took Frank and her to New York around January 1933 and
they stayed temporarily at Verne’s and Vi’s place in Oak Park, Illinois
The Court reconvened at 9:30am Friday, June 14, 1935, the first witness of the day was to be Thomas Franklin
Baughman, who would be questioned by Mr. Boyle. Mr. Baughman was employed with the Federal Bureau of
Investigation as a supervisor and assistant to the Director in charge of all matters involving firearms, firearms
training and the handling of technical equipment. He testified as to receiving two packages shortly after Oct 22,
1934 from the mail room at the Bureau, and that he had opened them and they had been in his possession with
the exception of exhibit 10 which was in his constructive possession in an exhibit case in the Director’s office,
and the other one, Exhibit 8 had been in his personal possession in a safe in his office, with the exception of one
day. That day both weapons were turned over to Mr. Seth Wiard, of the laboratory for the firing of the test
bullets. He had completed the firing and had returned them to him. J. Edgar Hoover then instructed Agent
Baughman to destroy the firing capabilities of Exhibit 10. Concerning Exhibit 8 the serial number had been
ground off however in some fashion, apparently by grinding and the number had been restored in the
laboratory. The prosecution then rested and the defense after objecting to a few minor questions elected not to
question this witness.
The next witness called was Seth Wiard, who was currently employed with the Lake Erie Chemical Company of
Cleveland, Ohio, makers of chemical warfare munitions, who had been formally employed by the Department of
Justice as a special agent in the Division of Investigation attached to the technical laboratory at Washington. He
had testified that he had received exhibit’s 10 and 8 from Mr. Baughman shortly after October 22, 1934, and
that exhibit 10’s serial number was 18001, and the restored number on exhibit 8 was serial number of 84197. He
had test fired those weapons on October 30, 1934 and had preserved the test shell fired out of those two
pistols. He had marked them for identification for further transmission to the St. Louis office of the Division of
Investigation. The defense then objected to the line of questioning stating that it had no relevance on there
defendant, at which time Judge Cowan overruled. Mr. Wiard was then handed exhibit number 11 which was a
bullet that he had test fired and a shell casing of the .45 caliber Colt pistol, no 84179, exhibit no 8. He had
marked both bullet and casing with the letter “C”. Again the defense objected, because they wanted to know
what this bullet had to do with their client. Again Judge Cowan overruled. Again Mr. Wiard described the mark
of the “C” he had placed on the base of the bullet and also had scratched the letter “C”. He had then mailed
this evidence to Mr. Vetterli in charge of the St. Louis Division office. He was then asked if he had fired a test
round out of exhibit 10, which he replied he had, and the prosecution then introduced exhibit number 12 which
was the empty casing and bullet from exhibit 10, serial 18001 and that he had also marked these exhibits with
the character “C” for identification and had also sent these test firing samples to the St. Louis Division office. He
had been ask to describe exhibit number 8 and had said that it differed from an ordinary automatic pistol
because it fired fully automatic, like a machine gun. Again the defense objected as they felt the prosecution
couldn’t link this gun to Adam, however Judge Cowan again overruled and the prosecution proceeded. Mr.
Wiard again described the difference between exhibit 10 and exhibit 8. Mr. Boyle then rested and Mr. Latshaw
began his cross examination of the witness.
Mr. Latshaw wanted to know how long he had been employed with the Government and Mr. Wiard had replied
from June 26, 1934, to November 27, 1934 and that he had been employed by Northwestern University in
scientific criminal laboratory in Chicago and Colonel Goddard was the managing director of that laboratory, and
that he did not work on the Mary Baker case however Colonel Goddard did. The witness was then excused.
Mr. Smith then told of them leaving Little Rock and proceeded to Fort Smith on instruction from his Bureau, and
at Fort Smith, Arkansas, they had caught the Missouri Pacific train and came to Kansas City, arriving there
about 7:15 on the morning of the 17th of June. along with Mr. Reed and Mr. Lackey. At Union Station they had
met Mr. R.E. Vetterli, in charge of the Oklahoma office--in Kansas City, and Mr. Caffrey, an agent of the Bureau,
and two police officers at the depot, Mr. Hermanson and Mr. Grooms. Once they had arrived at the station, they
took Nash off of the train and Mr. Grooms and Mr. Hermanson walked with Nash through the depot, followed by
Mr. Lackey and Mr. Reed, Mr. Otto Reed, and Mr. Caffrey and then himself. They had gone through the depot
and out of the south entrance, east door, and almost directly across the street to a 1932 Chevrolet, two door car
with split seats in the front, that belonged to Mr. Caffrey. The front of the car was facing south and Mr. Lackey
on the left and Mr. Reed on the right were in the back with Smith in the middle. They then started to load Nash
and he started to enter the back seat, but Mr. Lackey, or possibly Reed, told Nash to get on the front and ride as
we had been riding, that is when we left Arkansas. So he moved over on the front seat, the only available seat
which was the driver’s seat, underneath the wheel due to the seat’s being split at the time. Caffrey was standing
on the east side of the car preparing to getting in and drive as soon as the car was loaded.
Once Nash had been loaded Hermanson and Grooms, the two police officers stepped forward and were up near
the hood of the car. Mr. Vetterli standing near the door of the car a little bit south of the front door and very
suddenly, about the time we got in, I had my head down, I was moving, getting back in the seat, and I heard a
command to “Get them up, up”, and that was followed by machine gun fire. Smith hadn’t seen the person or
persons who said, “Get them up, get them up”? and testified that the machine gun fire hadn’t continued for very
long. He then said that after the shooting started he raised up and he saw Nash’s head go back and some
blood fly out of it, and a man raised up over the front hood of the --over the fender of the car that was parked
just to the right of us. He raised up over there with a gun in his hand, and he couldn’t tell what it was, but he just
raised up and began to shoot right at my head. He had then fell over and felt the heat of the bullets go by his
face, which burned his face as they went by. He was then handed exhibit 2, which was a photograph of Verne
Miller, which he identified as the man who shot at his head and that was the only individual that he could identify
there that day. He then testified that there was firing from more than one direction, that the firing seemed to be
from the front or more to the southwest and continuously around, that is, around the car to the back, there was
quite a good deal of firing came in the back of the car. After the firing had stopped Mr. Smith was taken out of
the car by some officer that had ran up to the car and helped him out. He had identified himself to those officer’
s and as soon as he had done that they had her Mr. Lackey, and they took him out of the car and he was badly
wounded, shot through the back three times, and I got hold of Mr. Lackey and we -- I had someone get a
cushion out of a car to lay him on, put his head on, which they did, and laid him down. Then Smith proceeded to
walk in between the cars, between the car in which he was riding when the shooting started, and the car that sat
paralleling us on the right side, and there lying near the front wheel of that car, he saw Mr. Grooms, and Mr.
Hermanson laying on the ground with their heads practically shot all to pieces. Mr. Reed who had been sitting in
the back seat was leaning back, dead, shot, he could see two bullet holes with the blood pouring over his
forehead, and Frank Nash was sitting on the front seat, dead. Mr. Caffrey was laying on the opposite side or left
side of the car, he was breathing at the time but Smith said that he was advised he died within minutes. He was
then handed exhibits 13 and 14 and asked to identify and verify the pictures as he had described the scene of
the crime. He was then handed exhibit 15 which was a picture of Frank Nash dead in the front seat and ask to
verify that picture, along with the bullet holes in the front windshield. He then was asked and described the
gunshots to the rear and up the side of Caffrey’s car.
Mr Latshaw then began to cross examine Mr. Smith. Mr Smith told of how they had come through Union Station.
Mr. Hermanson and Mr. Grooms were on each side of Frank Nash, with he and Mr. Caffrey to the rear of the
three of them. Mr. Lackey and Mr. Smith both carried shotguns and Mr. Smith had a Colt .45, and a .38 but he
carried them in his pocket. The other seven officers walking through the station did not carry their weapons in
their hands, but had them on their possession. Smith was ask if one of the agents had ahold of Nash’s belt
coming through the station but Smith indicated that he was not paying attention to that and was observing other
things. He was then ask if he new a gentlemen by the name of A.W. Comstock, from Pawhuska, Oklahoma and
he said that he did, but that he had only ask him about Floyd, but did not tell him anything about this case.
Once again Mr Graves under a redirect for the prosecution questioned Mr. Smith concerning Verne Miller and
what Mr. Smith had seen during the shooting while they were in the car. Mr Smith had been in the back seat of
the car and saw Verne Miller at a distance of 10-12 feet, raise up over the fender of the car that was parked
paralleling their car on the right.
Under a recross by Mr. Latshaw for the defense he again questioned Mr. Smith as to his identity of Verne Miller,
and asked him to confirm exhibit 2 which was a picture of Miller, which he did. Verne Miller was the only shooter
that Smith saw and when asked to describe him as to weight, and build, he replied that he could not as he
thought that Miller had stepped upon the bumper of the car or the curb next to the car and could not give a
height. The witness was then excused.
The next witness to be called for the prosecution was Herman McFarland who lived on 6612 Edgevale Road, in
Kansas City, Missouri. He was questioned by Mr. Graves. He testified that he had owned the property there for
nine years, and in the latter part of March of 1933 had rented the house to a B.C. Moore who took possession of
it immediately and his rent started as of the 1st of April and he had paid in advance through June. He was asked
when Mr. Moore had vacated the property, at which his response was that he didn’t remember the exact date but
it had been some time before the article appeared in the newspapers. Ten days before it appeared in the
newspapers. He was handed Exhibit 2 and asked to verify the picture of Verne C. Miller as the man who rented
the house. Mr. McFarland said that he did not take possession of the property for 6 weeks as the Government
advised him not to go near it and that he had never gone to the house while Miller lived there, and that he could
not give a definite date as to when the property had been vacated.
Under cross examination by Mr. Latshaw for the defense, Mr. McFarland testified as to Verne Miller being about
5’6” and about 140-145lbs, and was some where between 38 and 40, with light brown hair or somewhat blond in
appearance. He was then excused.
Mr. Graves called the next witness for the prosecution. Mrs. Earl H. Smith who lived at 6623 Edgevale Road for
13-14 years. She lived almost directly across the street of 6612 Edgevale. She new Mr. and Mrs. Moore and
that they had a little girl. She then verified Exhibit 2, Verne Miller’s picture. She testified that she thought he had
moved in about 5 to 6 weeks prior to the massacre and that she saw him there continuously up until the day
before the massacre. She saw two ladies living with him and the little girl and never saw Verne Miller after the
17th of June, 1933. She testified that he had a lot of company coming in taxicabs every day. She was then
asked to watch the house by Federal agents on Thursday afternoon, which was 5 days after the June 17th which
fell on a Saturday. She saw people at the house after the shooting but not Miller. She didn’t know that there
was anybody in the house except things were different, rearranged, different arrangements of the shades,
different arrangements of the porch chairs and things of that sort that made her think there was someone in the
house. About ten days after the shooting a truck pulled up, the garage was opened from the inside and they
took out the furniture, that is what made her think there was someone in the house.
Under cross examination by Mr. Latshaw, Mrs. Smith indicated that she did not watch the house night and day,
only occasionally when she was home and that approximately 10 days after the shooting there had been a
transfer wagon with 2 men on it show up and move the furniture out. Under a redirect by Mr. Graves, Mrs. Smith
indicated that there was a difference between the activity before the massacre, and that there was no activity
there at all after Saturday morning, 17 June 1933. The witness was then excused.
At this time Mr. Latshaw objected to all testimony preceding the 17th day of June, 1933, and ask the Court at this
time to instruct the jury to disregard it for the reason that there has been shown no connection, circumstantial or
otherwise, between this defendant or Floyd, with Miller there in Kansas City. And before any of the evidence is
admissible there must be shown a connection between this defendant and Floyd and Miller, when in truth and in
fact by the State’s own evidence, it has been shown that it was impossible for this defendant or Floyd to know
that Frank Nash had been captured. And especially at this time the defense objects to the testimony to be
offered by one Frances Nash, as it concerns only things which occurred at Hot Springs, Arkansas, and some
telephone conversations at or near Joplin, Missouri, which could not be introduced in evidence in any manner,
shape or form to show any connection between Miller and Floyd, or Ricchetti, unless the State would first prove
that there had been an agreement or that Floyd and Ricchetti had been reached by someone to assist in the
delivery of Nash. Whereas Judge Cowan overruled the defense’s objection.
As to the question about when they arrived in Hot Springs Arkansas, they had arrived on the 15th at about 1pm,
and on the 16th day of June, 1933, Frank had been taken away by some men. After she had learned that Frank
had been taken away from Hot Springs, Arkansas, her and Dick Galatas flew by plane and went to the drug
store in Joplin, Missouri. They then proceeded to the home of Herbert and Esther Farmer which was a drive
from the city of Joplin, out in the country and had arrived before sundown. She had communicated with Miller
from the Farmer’s residence at about 9pm, and had told Miller that Jelly was gone after Esther had spoken on
the phone for a few minutes. She had been so excited that she couldn’t tell Verne very much of the particulars
but she had passed the phone off to Dick Galatas so that he could tell him what was going on. Galatas had
given the information over the phone that the men had Jelly and left the car at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and were
taking the train, and he was given the number of the train, and that they were going on in from Fort Smith,
Arkansas. Verne had called her at about midnight June 16, 1933, and had said “Frances, this is Verne, I am
down at the station and I want you to go to my apartment in Oak Park. You still have the key, haven’t you?” She
had told him “yes and that she didn’t want to go there”. “Well, you can go home to your mother’s” and she had
told him “No’. “Go to Louis Staccis’s”, that is a roadhouse that they used to frequent, but she told him, “No, I
have had enough of that.” She then told Verne “that she would go to her cousin’s at Winona, Illinois.”, and he
had told her, “ all right, one way or another, he would get in touch with her at the cousin’s in Winona, Illinois.”
Verne had told her not to take it so hard and that she would see Jelly again in her last conversation with him on
June 16, at around midnight.
Mr. Daleo for the defense began the cross examination of Mrs. Frances Nash. She indicated that she had been
married to Wayne Lux and had a daughter by that marriage before she had married Frank Nash. She had
worked at the O.P. Inn for Pete Oppedal before Doc Stacci had bought the place. It was there that she met
Frank Nash and started living with him around November of 1931 close to Thanksgiving. She had known him at
the time and Frank Harrison and that’s the way she had introduced him to her parents. They eventually lived at
the Annetta Hotel, and then moved on to the Oak Park Arms. She then proceeded to site all of the places that
they had lived throughout there relationship. She had eventually returned to Aurora, Minnesota for a few weeks,
where her mother lived and had become ill at the time. Her and Frank were not married at the time. She left for
St. Paul where she met Frank at a saloon with Harry Sawyer and there she also met Vi. They then all drove to
Chicago to his apartment at 60 and 61 Court, and then Frank had broken his arm in an accident during the
summer of 1932 . It was there that they moved to an apartment right across the hall from Verne Miller and Vi,
and then they went to Lake Geneva to Verne’s and Vi’s cottage in Wisconsin. They had stayed there several
weeks before she returned with her baby to her mothers house. It was several months after January 33 that her
and Frank moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and her and Frank Nash were still not married. She indicated that
Frank’s occupation was a bootlegger and that he sold beer in wholesale lots and that he had gotten that beer
from New York. He had also had interests in slot machines, and saloons.
Mr. Daleo then asked Mrs. Nash if she had been charged wit the violation of the conspiracy laws of the United
States, and she answered, “yes sir”. At which time the prosecution objected and there again a legal battle
began with both lawyers and the judge concerning the questioning. The defense was trying to show that Mrs.
Nash for her testimony was being given her freedom, not only by the federal government but because of the
Statute of Limitations hadn’t run out on the Mann Act and she was still subject to prosecution by the Government
for violation of the Mann Act, and because of her testifying in this case she would be relieved of any
prosecution. Judge Cowan again ruled in the prosecutions favor.
Upon reexamination by Mr. Graves Mrs. Nash indicated that she was not aware that her husbands name was
Frank Nash until Dick Galatas had informed her on 16 June 1933. The witness was then excused.
Mr. Latshaw for the defense then began making objections concerning all of the telephone calls that were about
to be introduced. The defense felt that the evidence bearing on any telephone calls previous to the 17th day of
June, 1933 was immaterial to the issues in this case and not binding on the defendant, and had nothing to do
with his guilt or innocence and because no conspiracy has been shown or charged in this case, and further that
the State’s evidence shows that neither Floyd nor Ricchetti had any knowledge of the delivery of Nash, it would
be hearsay, it is an attempt to try this defendant for the crimes or conspiracy of other people, and the defense
wanted this to show all the way through the testimony on these telephone calls so they didn’t have to object
everytime they were mentioned.
Mr. Boyle for the prosecution next called Val B. Mintun, who was the District Manager of the Telephone Company
in Kansas City, Missouri. He had knowledge and custody of the phone contracts for the users of telephones in
Kansas City, and was shown exhibit no 17 which was the contract for 6612 Edgevale, listed in the name of B.C.
Moore, and signed by him, on 4 April 1933. The phone number listed was Jackson 7073, and was taken out of
service on July 6, 1933. He was then handed exhibit number 18, which was a toll ticket for a call made on June
17, 1933, from one of the pay stations in the Union Station, Grand 9112, for a call to Esther Farmer, residence
rural number, party calling Joplin, Missouri at 12:05am. Again the defense objected because Mr Mintun did not
actually record this call but one of his employees had. The witness was then excused.
The next witness called and questioned by Mr. Boyle was Verna Felton who lived at 8100 Highland, Kansas City,
Missouri. She was the telephone operator for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and had been employed
there for 13 years. She had been the operator who handled the phone call from the pay phone, Grand 9112, at
Union Station at 12:05am the morning of June 17th, 1933. She did not know the name of the man that had
placed the call, however she did know that the call had lasted 3 minutes and 45 seconds and the phone number
that had been called was 1541W2.
Under cross examination by Mr. Latshaw, Mrs. Felton indicated that she could verify the call was made to Esther
Farmer’s house in Joplin but did not know as to the names of the parties speaking to each other. The witness
was then excused.
The next witness called and questioned by Mr. Boyle was George A. Smith who lived in Joplin, Missouri and was
the District Manager for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company there. He was presented with exhibit no.19
and explained that it was a telephone contract for service that was installed on June 16th, 1932, with the number
being 1541W2, and that it was disconnected on August 5, 1933. The location was approximately 1 and 1/4
miles south of Joplin, and that Mrs. Esther Farmer had signed the contract. The witness was then excused.
The next witness called and questioned by Mr. Boyle was Wilma Swofford who lived in Joplin, Missouri, and had
been employed for 6 years as a long distance operator by the telephone company in Joplin. She was then
handed exhibit 20, and explained that it was a completed long distance call log and the number that had placed
the call was 1541W2 from Joplin to Kansas City, and the number called was Jackson 7073, at 10:17pm on June
16, 1932. The witness was then excused.
Thomas Higgins Chief of Detectives was again recalled and questioned by Mr. Boyle. He had arrived at Union
Station that day at about 8am and had picked up four or five shell casings and he had also been handed some
that others had picked up. He had picked up two casings at the rear of Mr. Caffrey’s car and the others up close
to the curb next to the car. The ones that he had picked up he wrapped them in paper, and the ones that had
been handed to him he had put in his pocket. On the casings that he had picked up he had marked them with a
T on the inside of the shell. The next day he had given them to Merle Gill . He was then handed exhibit 21, and
ask to identify it which he did by the “T” on the inside of the shell casing.
Mr. Latshaw of the defense again questioned Thomas Higgins concerning the picture of Bernard Phillips that he
had given to Merle Gill. It was also the same picture or a copy of that he had shown Lottie West. The witness
was then excused and the jury admonished as the Court stood in recess until 1:30pm of that afternoon.
Louise Brown was the next witness called that afternoon and was questioned by Mr. Boyle. She had been
employed as a maid for Mrs. Earl Smith at 6623 Edgevale Road, for nearly a year. She had also testified that
prior to 17 June 1933, she had observed a lot of cars coming and going at Miller’s residence. She recognized
the exhibits that were pictures of Miller, and Vi. On June 23, 1933 she was on her way to Mrs. Smith’s house at
8am that morning when she saw Verne Miller using only one arm putting some things and suit cases in the car.
She also observed Vi loading the car and her daughter in the back seat. She was then excused.
The next witness questioned by Mr. Boyle was Merle A. Gill who lived at 6900 Kensington Ave, Kansas City,
Missouri. He had been a ballistician with the department since 1927 and testified that he had worked with guns
for about 22 years. He explained that his laboratory was especially equipped with a series of microscopes for
the purpose of making micro examinations of fired bullets, and that there is a comparison camera which was
used especially to view and compare two fired bullets or two fired cartridge cases. He maintained a collection of
some 20,000 cartridges for comparison purposes, and about 350 small arms for examinations and comparison
purposes. He had a record of examining over 11,000 guns and had examined around 20,000 bullets and shell
cases. He explained how you can tell the differences between shell casings fired from different guns, breech
markings, etc., that leave there imprint on shell casings, and the bullets themselves. This was to be his 191st
appearance in court. He was then handed exhibit no 11 and ask to identify it, which he did. It was a test bullet
and cartridge case that was delivered to him by Major Means of the Missouri Highway Patrol on December 1,
1934 that had been fired from Charles Floyd’s gun. He was then handed exhibit no 21 and identified it as a fired
cartridge case from a .45 automatic pistol which he had gotten on 18 June 1933 from Chief of Detectives,
Thomas J. Higgins which he had picked up at Union Station the day prior. He then was asked if he had made a
comparison of exhibit’s no. 11 and 21 which he replied that he had and that he had made a photograph of the
microscopic comparison of the test evidence. He was then handed exhibit 22 which he described as a
photograph showing firing pin impressions of the two cartridge cases. He described the points of comparison
and stated that these two shells were fired from the same gun.
It must be noted here that the defense vehemently objected to the introduction of this evidence as they felt that
the evidence did not have anything to do with Adam being there. It was an indication of only of Floyd’s
presence. Judge Cowan had again overruled their objection and sided with the prosecution.
Merle Gill was then cross examined by Mr. Latshaw. Under the cross examination Mr. Gill stated that he had
been working on the case since June, 1933 and that he had examined at least a thousand exhibits, which
included guns, bullets, and casings. He had even examined 75 guns from the Barrow gang, and six from the
Dillengers. He had examined guns from all over the country and various gangs, including machine guns that
were even found in the river. He had examined Floyd’s Thompson machine gun and a .45 automatic pistol which
he had connected to the Union Station Massacre. He had also examined Adam Ricchetti’s .45 and had found no
evidence of it being present at the Union Station Massacre. He then talked about seeing two fired shotgun shell
casings and several loaded cases. Those shotgun shells were from a 16 gauge shotgun and one of them
contained ball bearings, and the other buckshot which Tom Higgins had given him on 18 June 1933. They had
removed a .45 machine gun bullet and a .38 caliber Colt bullet from O.H. Reed, and a .45 machine gun bullet
from Agent Lackey, and there was a steel ball bearing found in or near the body of Raymond Caffrey. When
asked whether he had fired test rounds out of Otto Reed’s shotgun he replied that he never had it in his
possession, but had made a request to test fire it. The defense then tried to prove that Gill made a request for a
test bullet from Reed’s gun to determine whether or not any of those bullets compared with the bullets in
evidence in this case, it being the defense’s theory that Reed accidentally shot and killed Frank Hermanson for
which their client was being tried for murder. Merle Gill again told of Major Means turning the test firings over to
him. The witness was then excused after the defense had him identify a picture of Bernard Phillips, and then
convinced the court to enter it into evidence.
Mr. Graves then called R.E. Vetterli as the next witness who had been employed for the United States
Department of Justice for 10 years. He had gone to Union Station at approximately 7:15am the morning of 17
June 1933 to meet Special Agents Joe Lackey, Frank Smith, Chief of Police, and Otto Reed, Chief of Police,
McAlester, Oklahoma, who were bringing Frank Nash through Kansas City to Leavenworth. Accompanying him
at his request, from Kansas City was Special Agent Raymond Caffrey, Detectives Hermanson and Grooms of the
Kansas City Police Department. The train had arrived about 7:15am that morning and because of an hour
layover they had decided to drive the prisoner to Leavenworth. Frank Nash was then escorted through the train
station between Detectives Hermanson and Grooms, and the rest of the men were spread out in a fan like
fashion with Reed and Caffrey on one side and Lackey, Smith, and myself on the other side. They proceeded to
the car which was parked directly out the door, across from the entrance way. Once they had reached the car,
the prisoner was under the driver’s wheel, Otto Reed, Special Agents Frank Smith and Joe Lackey were seated
in the back seat of Caffrey’s car and Raymond Caffrey was circling the front of his car preparing to get in on the
left side, while Detectives Hermanson, and Grooms and myself were towards the front on the right-hand side of
Caffrey’s car. At that time of those established positions there was an individual who popped up over the hood
of a car to the right of Caffrey’s car and gave us a command of “Up with them, up, up, up.”, and then almost
instantaneously from the opposite direction there was a command of “Let ‘em have it.”, and then machine gun
fire started from almost every conceivable direction, and Officers Hermanson and Grooms fell; the shots started
coming from every direction. Vetterli was unarmed and had dropped down to the ground, circled around to the
rear of the car and fell down. He then realized that there was nothing that he could do and made a break for the
station. He was then asked what weapons the others were carrying and had said that Lackey and Reed carried
shotguns, and the others were carrying pistols or revolvers. He then stated that the individual he saw raise up
over the fender a car length away to the right was Charles Floyd and it was Floyd that gave the command of “Up
with them, up, up, up”, and it was Floyd who first fired upon. Them he was handed exhibit no. 7 and said that it
was a Thompson sub machine gun with the same physical characteristic’s as the one he saw Floyd using. He
then explained the wounds that the surviving men had received and that 5 men had died as a result of the
gunfire. He was then handed exhibit 13 which was a photograph of the scene of the crime and asked to verify
the presence’s of cars and bodies laying there which he did. He then had said that he had examined the rear of
the car and found it too had been shot up.
Under cross examination by Mr. Latshaw, Mr. Vetterli explained that by September 18th, 1933 he was transferred
out of the Kansas City office. He was then questioned concerning the files and circulars, and reports concerning
their investigation that he had made back to Washington, and that there had been one report made about six
weeks afterwards which had pertained to only certain individuals. He had also testified in federal court during
the Reppert case. He identified a picture of Bernard Phillips which he stated had been circularized shortly after
the massacre, and then went on to say that one was put out for Harvey Bailey, Wilbur Underhill, Bob Brady, Jim
Clark, and Charles Floyd all about the same time. He had also stated that he had seen a picture of Adam
Ricchetti, with fingerprints but they were never circularized. He was also aware that there had been
approximately 17 statements taken by Chief Higgins, however he had not seen them all. They then went back to
how they walked through the station, and he wasn’t aware of anyone holding onto Nash’s belt, and that he did
not carry a gun as he was unarmed. They again began questioning concerning the Reppert case and he was
asked if he new the date of that report was July 29, 1933, and he still did not recall the date of the report.
Q. In the Reppert case, which was tried in the federal court in March, 1935, I will ask you if these questions were
asked and these answers given.
A. All right.
Q. “Question:” page 334 of the transcript, “Was the name of Floyd or Ricchetti mentioned in that report of July
29, 1933? Answer “ It was not, no, sir”.
A. That is right.
Q. Now was this question asked you, and the answer given -- page 335 in the Reppert trial: “Question: You
have said that up to July 29, 1933 you were not including Floyd and Ricchetti among the suspects in that report.
I will ask you if in Mr. Milligan’s office you just examined the report of August 14, 1933 in relation to the
massacre? Answer: That is correct”.
A. That is correct.
Q. So in those two reports, neither one of these names were mentioned?
A. Not in those two, no, sir.
Q. And those were the first, one was July 29, 1933, and that was supposed to give all the data up to date, was it
not to Washington office?
A. No, I don’t think I said that. I think if you will look there, that gives certain data on the case, but in no sense of
the word was it intended to be a complete and thorough report of everything which we had in our possession, or
everything which we intended to give Washington as of that time.
He was then asked about Phillips, Underhill, Brady, Clark and he thought all of those names were mentioned.
There had been 75 guns stolen from the Armory in Kansas City in 1932 but none were connected to this case
and most were recovered from the Barrow gang in Platte City, Missouri. When asked if he had mistook Floyd for
Bob Brady, he indicated that he did and that there was a question in his mind as to that fact.
Upon a reexamination by Mr. Graves he was asked if he still had doubt about his identification of Floyd and he
replied “None whatsoever, Impossible”. Whereupon he identified exhibit 23, which was a representation of the
Station Plaza as viewed out of the south front door of the Station Plaza.
Under a recross by Mr. Latshaw, Vetterli said that he had picked up several revolvers at the crime scene but he
didn’t know the caliber’s and had taken them back to his office along with the shotguns. He said that Otto Reed’
s son requested the return of his shotgun shortly after the massacre, and Lackey took the other one. He did not
recall any request made of him for a test firing of those shotguns, at which time he was then excused.
The next witness called by Mr. O’Hern for the prosecution was Mrs. Lottie West who was 51 years old and lived
at 136 North Lawn, Kansas City, Missouri. She had lived in Kansas City since 1891, had one son, 31 years old
and her husband was a switchman for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. She had been a parole officer with the
Welfare Board for two years, and then she was appointed Superintendent of the Jackson County Parental Home
for Girls for two years and reported to the County Court. She currently worked as a social worker for the
Travelers Aid Society at Union Station where she has been employed for 8 years.
She had arrived to work the 17th of June 1933 at 6:53am. She worked just inside the lobby, on the east end of
the station lobby, towards the south door. When she had arrived at her desk at 7am there was a man sitting
beside her desk. She had sat down and asked him if there was anything she could do for him, and he got up
and walked out the south door. He had not been facing her directly but was only 3 feet away. He had on a blue
serge summer suit and turned down Panama hat and two toned shoes. She was then handed exhibit no 3,
which was a picture of Charles (Pretty Boy) Floyd which she identified as the man sitting at her desk. She then
proceeded to the Matron’s room to watch the telautograph which gives the arrivals of the incoming trains. She
had to meet a young child coming in on the 7:15 train. Later that morning she noticed a group of 8 men coming
through the lobby of the station. She had noticed that they had a prisoner as he was handcuffed and she
recognized Mr. Caffrey, and Mr. Hermanson whom she knew. These men had walked through door B, and about
50 feet through the lobby, and past her desk where a few Catholic Sisters were standing and through the south
door. Following them were the 6 Sisters which Mrs. West had instructed them that they all could catch a taxi
outside the station plaza where the group of 8 men had just proceeded into the parking lot to their car. She had
been standing on the edge of the sidewalk, under the east canopy of the station, waiting for a taxi for the
Sisters. She then described for the court that they put the front seat forward, put the prisoner under the wheel,
and it seemed that they brought him around on the left side, and the officers were standing back of the car, the
other officers were standing to the back and to the left, the right and the left side of the car. One man had gotten
into the car and the other two were one was in the act of getting in, he was almost in, and the other one was
getting in, stepping on the running board when this man with the machine gun came up. Her car had been
parked about 5 cars to the west or right of the officers car and she noticed two men standing on the running
boards of her car. It had been a very hot, clear morning with the sun shining very brightly and she observed one
individual without a hat being blond, and in short sleeves. The other man was shorter dressed in a blue or dark
suit. Then a man whom she identified as Charles Floyd came around to the center of the street, behind the
cars, with a machine gun, and started firing into the backs of the officers and car about ten feet away. Then she
noticed the blond man in the lot just to the right behind the cars about three car widths away with a machine gun
Then she saw another shorter man with a dark, darker complexion, kind of sallow, dressed in a peculiar colored
suit, it was an odd looking suit, kind of a grayish or a brownish suit, some sort of a mixture suit of a brownish,
same sort of a hat with a turned down brim, in the parking lot just over the curbing facing the station, he had two
guns which he thought were some sort of revolvers, one being blue, and the other which seemed to be nickel
plated, in the sunshine, and was firing in the direction of the officers. She was then asked, “Do you, Mrs. West,
see that man in the court room, that third man that was doing that firing with those two revolvers?”, and she did,
she pointed to him sitting behind Mr. Daleo, she had been pointing to Adam Ricchetti. Once the shooting started
she realized that there was such terrible danger, there were gangsters, and everybody inside the station, she
ran to her desk, took the receiver off, didn’t wait for any answer, and told the operator to turn in a riot call, ran
towards the Pullman office and hollered for Mrs. Mack to get a gun, and then she ran back on the sidewalk
because one of the older sisters had not come in the Station, she then took hold of here and helped her in
because she didn’t seem to be able to walk. Once the shooting was over, she then walked over to the car after
the shooting and found Grooms and Hermanson lying beside each other dead with their pistols lying on the
ground beside them. The only man she had seen leaving the scene was Charles Floyd carrying a machine
gun. He had been out in the street, he walked through where the men were lying, to a car parked back of her
car and headed west.
Mr. Latshaw then began his grueling and often times confusing cross examination of Mrs. West. Immediately she
was handed a picture of Bernard Phillips and was asked if she recognized it. She did not recognize it and then
was ask if she identified any pictures that Tom Higgins had shown her that day, to which she replied that she had
not. She was then ask to state whether or not at that time she was shown a picture of Charles Floyd, to which
she replied she didn’t know, none that she could identify. The first time that she had told anybody about being
there with any nuns was in Judge Bash’s office with Mr. Mastin the prosecuting attorney. When the law
enforcement officers were going through the lobby with their prisoner she had been standing at her desk talking
with the nuns for approximately one minute. She was then ask about her reply to this question in the case of the
United States against Eugene Reppert, page 248, in March of this year: Answer: I had a telegram, had an
appointment to meet a little boy coming in on the 7:15 train. I went back to the teleautograph to check the arrival
of this train, and was standing at the door, what is commonly known as Door B: I was talking with the assistant
station master, and the manager of Harvey’s restaurant, when we noticed a group of men coming thorough with
a prisoner. I made the remark that he must be a very bad man because of the number of officers that were with
him. I recognized Mr. Caffrey, Mr. Vetterli and Officer Hermanson.” Did you make that statement at that time?
A. “I did” she replied. Q. Well now, were you talking to the station men, or talking to the nuns? A. I was talking
to the station man, and I followed right up to my desk, because the Sisters were standing there, and I went up to
see what they wanted. She then said that she was talking to the assistant station master and the manager of
Harvey’s restaurant after she had went to the telautograph, then she had proceeded to her desk to the nuns.
She then said that she had seen seven officers and she believed she saw seven guns, or a number of guns.
She then testified that Mr. Vetterli had a gun in his hand as he walked through the Union Station, and that all of
the officers had guns. She had known Officer Hermanson and Mr. Vetterli and Mr. Caffrey and that each one of
those individuals had guns. She had thought that Frank Hermanson carried a sawed off shotgun that day, and
Grooms had also carried a sawed off shotgun. Mr. Vetterli had carried a revolver. When asked what colors the
guns that Mr. Vetterli had carried she replied that she wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to the officers
guns, however she was able to identify the defendant with a blue gun and a nickel plated gun that was over 160
feet away, across the street.
She was then questioned in detail as to how each and every law enforcement officer carried there gun through
the lobby of the station and she gave a very detailed description as to each and every man and there weapon
that they carried that day, which included the kind of weapon to which hand they had carried that weapon in.
She was then questioned concerning her husbands employment and her employment again. She again stated
that she worked with the Welfare Board of Kansas City and did a lot of police duty or was an acting policewoman
for about two years and that she had participated in many arrests. She again worked for the Travelers’ Aid
Society which participated in the Charity Chest and had worked there for about 9 years. She and been a
witness before the federal grand jury which assembled in Kansas City, Missouri in October, 1934, and had
testified before the federal grand jury only once. She had also testified before the state grand jury also only
once. She had talked to several federal officers concerning the Union Station massacre, including Mr. Vetterli.
She did not make any written statements and that she had been asked what she had seen. She did not see the
man as she had earlier described as Charles Floyd sitting beside her desk carrying any weapons, machine gun
or otherwise. She was questioned and talked about the events that had transpired directly out the south door
with the cabby action and the surrounding people which she accounted for. She said that she didn’t know
exactly how long the shooting lasted maybe anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes and her best judgment is that it
lasted nearer to ten minutes. She was then questioned concerning her interview with Mr. Vetterli about noon
the 17th of June, 1933, and that she could not say for sure that he had showed her a picture of Charles Floyd.
She then said that she was standing on the curb at the sidewalk, and had observed a man firing two pistols for
about 2 minutes or possibly longer and that he held the blue pistol in his right hand and the nickel plated pistol in
his left. The testimony then went on to who was standing outside beside here and if she had noticed anything
else going on around her other than the shooting. When she had gone back inside to make the phone call she
did not completely return to the outside but awaited between the inner and outer doors observing Floyd getting
into the car. She had also observed the individual that she claimed as Adam with the turned down had as
having dark hair which in an earlier interview had told Mr. Brantley. She never identified Adam until after his
capture in Wellsville, Ohio at which time she was shown his picture which she then identified. In her deposition
on page 16 she was asked “Question: Within two weeks from June 17th, 1933: Answer: Yes, sir.” that you
talked with some Federal men, speaking about that time. “Did they show you Adam Richetti’s picture at that
time? Answer: Well, I presume they did. You see, I didn’t know whose pictures they were, I didn’t see the
names. Question: But you didn’t identify anyone but Floyd? Answer: That is all.” Is that right? A. That is
correct. Q. And you still presume that they showed you Adam Ricchetti’s picture? A. I wouldn’t say that they
did or they didn’t, I didn’t identify it. She then explained that she had been accompanied to Leavenworth
Penitentiary with Agent Trainor, and another man that she could not recall his name, and also to Lansing
Prison. She had viewed some prisoners which at first she denied knowing any of them until she was questioned
concerning her deposition which was read from specifically referring to them. She had seen, and or identified
Wilbur Underhill, Ed Davis, Jim Clark, William Weissman, and she stated that she saw Robert Brady, and that he
didn’t look very much like Floyd, and that she also viewed Kelly, and Bates. She then had been asked a
question concerning a newspaper article that had been apparently very informative as to what transpired that
day, and she denied being interviewed or providing any information for that article. She then talked about Mike
Fanning the local station police officer running outside and firing shots at the getaway car of those leaving the
Mrs. West was then questioned very harsley concerning her movements and the times through the station, with
the nuns, and her time spent outside and coming back inside to call on the phone, and other things that were
happening around her besides the shootings. Her ability to recall details in this trial is uncanny. She was then
questioned concerning some pictures of Adam.
Q. Did you ever see that picture before? A. No, not until you showed me that in your office.
Q. And you weren’t sure who that picture was then, were you? A. I told you that I thought that looked like Mr.
Q. I showed you this picture on page twelve of the True Detective Mysteries magazine and questioned you
about it, did I not? A. Yes you did. My answer are in this deposition.
Q. Yes, I will read them for you, if you don’t mind. A. Yes, sir.
Q. All right. On page forty-seven. “Question: I show you a picture here, Mrs. West, in the True Detective
Magazine of March 1935, on page twelve and ask you to state whether or not you have ever seen that man.
Answer: No; it looks like somebody I have seen, yes. Question: Who does it look like? Answer: You have got it
too close to me. I see better at a distance. Question: All right. Answer: Yes that is Ricchetti.
Question: Are you sure it is? Answer: I think it is. Question: Have you ever seen that picture before? Answer:
No, I never have. Question: And you say that is Ricchetti? Answer: It looks like Ricchetti. Question: But will
you say positively whether it is or not? Answer: No, I wouldn’t say positively.” Now, you couldn’t, at that time
nor can you now identify Ricchetti’s picture as being one of the men that was down there? A. I can identify the
Q. Well, I am asking you about the picture. A. That is a side view of him.
Q. Now, you saw the man for just a few seconds, did you not? A. I would say longer than just a few seconds.
Q. And you never saw him before? A. No.
Q. And you say that you can identify him so that you can be positive of him, seeing him over there
approximately 150 to 160 feet? A. yes, I can.
Q. Have you ever mistaken anyone else for anybody, thought you saw somebody and found out the next day
that that wasn’t the person? A. Not that I recall.
Q. Never have, is that right? A. No, Sir.
She was then questioned in great detail as to the officers as to what they where wearing, color of clothes,
weapons that they were carrying etc. Who was standing where, etc.etc. She was then excused.
Whereupon, the jury was duly admonished, and the Court stood in recess until 9:30am of the following day,
Saturday, June 15, 1935.
Kansas City Massacre Trial Day 4
Union Station 1930
Mr. Graves of the prosecution then called Frank S. Smith who was
employed as a Special Agent of the Bureau of Investigation for almost 20
years. He testified to being in Hot Springs on 16, June of 1933, between
11am and 12 noon for the arrest Frank Nash. The defense immediately
objected to the fact that Frank Nash had nothing to do with Adam
Ricchetti, however Mr. Graves said that they were beginning to show
motive, and the Judge again sided with the prosecution, and overruled the
defenses objections. Mr. Smith said that at the time of Nash’s capture
Agent Lackey and Mr. Otto Reed, Chief of Police of McAlester, Oklahoma
had accompanied him. Mr. Smith had said that they left Hot Springs in an
automobile with Frank Nash and drove out about seventeen miles to a
town by the name of Benton, and there they were intercepted by a bunch
of officers, or men rather, citizens I presume, and they stopped us with
guns, and we got by those fellows and went on to Little Rock, and where
there stopped by some officers, two car loads of officers there, on
information they said that they had received form Hot Springs that we had
kidnapped this man, whereas the defense objected to the testimony as
hearsay and Judge Cowan then sustained the objection.