Kansas City Massacre Trial Day 4
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
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
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
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 also.
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
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 area.
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. Ricchetti.
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 man.
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,
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
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