The Trial of the Kansas City Massacre
Almost immediately upon the capture of Adam Ricchetti, and the death of Charles Floyd there were a course of events that were
to be set in motion that would affect many law enforcement, government, and state agencies, that would impact anyone
remotely connected with the Kansas City Massacre. First and foremost was the indictment and conviction of four individuals,
Richard Galatas, Herbert Farmer, “Doc” Louis Stacci, and Frank Mulloy. Adam had also been indicted by that same Federal
Grand Jury, however they held those indictments back and he was not tried in the hopes that the State of Missouri could convict
him on murder charges. Their first attempt failed in Columbia, Missouri when they attempted to try him on two counts of murder,
of a Missouri highway patrolman, Sgt. Ben Booth, and Sheriff Roger Wilson who died in a gun battle along side the road. Adam
was cleared of the two murder charges against him by the confessions of other individuals, a local farmer, George McKeever,
and George McNeiley. The State of Ohio allowed Missouri to keep Adam as they felt they had the most serious charges against
him. It was then that the State of Missouri took him to Jackson County where he was to be tried for his involvement in the
Kansas City Massacre.
On the 7th day of March, the court recognized that Adam was without representation and appointed two public defenders, R.J.
Holmden and Eaton Adams as his council whom Adam did not feel comfortable with and they asked to be replaced. The court
then appointed two new public defendants, R. S. Latshaw and James Daleo on 27 March. James Daleo had represented
Gallantas, Farmer, and Stacci during the Federal grand jury investigation earlier in the year.
By April 2nd the State had come to a consensus on the witness list for the up and coming trial. Those names that appear below
were all potential witness, although many did not testify:
No. 1. which showed pictures of Adam and Charles. Eleven others had been excused as they already had formed opinions in
the case, and another was excused because of ill health. Forty-seven jurors had to be qualified from the eighty-five being
examined. Judge Cowan ordered Sheriff Thomas B. Bash to keep the remaining group of fifty-one intact during the noon recess
and to keep the general panel intact. The panel of forty-seven from which the jury is to hear the first degree murder case of Adam
Ricchetti had been obtained by the morning of Wednesday, June 12th. Testimony would began the 13th of June after the state
eliminates 15 jurors by 2pm and the defense eliminates 20 jurors by 5:30pm. The remaining 12 men will form the jury. Shortly
thereafter a total of 43 jurymen were impaneled and sworn in. Of those 43, 12 were selected to sit in the jury box, they were:
As soon as the jurymen were sworn in Judge Cowan instructed Deputy Sheriff’s M.J. Brennan and C.W. Fields to secure them in
the hotel for the night.
The Kansas City Massacre
During the four months that Adam sat waiting in the Jackson County Jail, he had no legal representation in the Jackson
County Grand Jury hearing. Adam had entered a not guilty plea, and after waiting almost 4 months , was indicted on four
counts of murder in the first degree on March 1, 1935. He was charged with the murder of William J. Grooms, city detective;
Otto Reed, McAlester, OK., chief of police, and Raymond J. Caffrey, agent of the division of investigation, department of justice,
and Frank Hermanson, a Kansas City policeman.
On the 10th of June, 1935, the State of Missouri charged that Adam Ricchetti was
one of three gunmen who attempted to rescue Frank Nash. The state announced
it would ask the death penalty for Adam and the eighty-five prospective jurors
called for the case were being closely examined to determine if they had any
qualms against imposing the death penalty. Few seats were left for spectators
when eight-five of the prospective jurors were taken into the court room. Of that
eighty-five, thirty four were excused at the morning session of the trial, and twenty-
two were excused because they were opposed to the death penalty. By June
11th, Judge Cowan ordered Sheriff Thomas B. Bash to summon more jurors and
the jury selection continued on until the morning of June 12th. The trial being only
in it’s second day already was being temporarily postponed due to a lack of
available jurymen. Many jurors were being disqualified because they had just
seen two movies shown only weeks prior to this trial, GMen, and Public Enemy
Paul Galvert, John J. Jordon Robert J. Fowlston
Leo M. Brown, Charles H. Carlock Caron Burton
Lee Davies Raymons S. Trone Robert R. Carey
George O’Dewey Nichols Fraoul Norman V. Hash
W. H. Sheppard, Hot Springs, AK Harold Anderson, Dept. Justice
Mrs. Betty Bongers, Hot Springs, AK Walter F. Trainer, Dept. Justice
Nancy Bell Kennedy, Hot Springs, AK Jerry R. Murphy, Dept. Justice
Freda Hansen, Hot Springs, AK V.E. Brenned, Dept Justice
Edith Rainwater, Hot Springs, AK M.H. Purvis, Dept Justice
John Stover, Hot Springs, AK Sam McGee, Dept Justice
George Smith, Joplin, MO B.E. Campbell, Chicago, ILL
Mrs. Loreta Brown, Joplin, Mo. Miss Elizabeth Flemming, Chi
Mrs. Wilma Swafford, Joplin Mo. V.B. Mintum, Kansas City, Mo.
Miss Vera Felton, Kansas City, Mo. Mr. McFarland, Kansas City, Mo.
Mrs Wm. T. Alford, Kansas City, Mo. Merl Gill, Kansas City, Mo.
William T. Alford, Kansas City, Mo. Lt. William Gordon, Kansas City
Earl H. Smith, 6623 Edgevale Rd, Mo Thomas J. Higgins, Kansas City
Mrs E. H. Smith, 6623 Edgevale Rd, Mo Warden, State Penn, So Dakota
Thomas Dalton, Waldo Transfer John H. Fultz, Wellsville, Oh
F.T. Morrison, Leavenworth, KS W.O. Beeman, Dep Sherrif, KC
Mrs Larter, Leavenworth, KS Thomas B. Bash, Sheriff, KC
Mrs. Frances Nash, Leavenworth, KS John Kelly, Dep Sherriff, KC
Arthur Muchow, Los Angeles, Ca Geo T. Francis, Buffalo, N.Y
Rose Baird Frank McCormick, Buffalo, N.Y.
Mrs Hanna, K.C. Union Sta R-218 Mrs F. McCormick, Buffalo, N.Y.
Mr. Robbins, K.C. Union Sta R-218 Mrs Victor Lettieri, Buffalo, N.Y.
Mrs. Beal, K.C. Union Sta. R-218 Mr. Victor Lettieri, Buffalo, N.Y.
|Kansas City Massacre Photos
June 17th, 1932