Eva Richetti Simpson
Eva Richetti was born 3 Sept. 1913 in Texas. She was the youngest of the 5 Richetti children, there were 8 other older
stepbrothers and sisters by her mother Elisabetta Zamboni's prior mariage to Antonio DeMatte. She was raised in the mining
town of Lehigh, Oklahoma with her family. She attended school until 1927 when she dropped out of 9th grade. She met her first
husband, Fred Lawrence Simpson and moved to Topeka, Kansas.
On May 5, 1928 Eva Richetti at age 16, had married her first husband, Fred L. Simpson who was from Scott, Kansas, and the
young couple lived at 913 N. Quincy Street, Topeka, Kansas. They lived beside the Kansas River or Kaw which flowed through
town. Fred L. Simpson was born in 1908, then 21 years old worked at the Wolf Meat Packing Company in Topeka. Eva worked at
the Morrell's Packing Company. Things were going well for the young couple. In September of 1928. Eva (Richetti) Simpson then
17 years old had become pregnant, and on 3 June 1929, at the Stormont Hospital in Topeka, Kansas at 11:20pm, she delivered
a baby boy. That baby was named Fred Lawrence Simpson Jr. Things were going great in a booming town, and booming times.
Their prosperous beginnings were short lived as things began to change for the worst.
In October 1929 the stock market crashed and the Great Depression was on. Eva and Fred began to fall on hard times. On May
3rd, 1930 Eva filed for separate maintenance, a divorce seemed imminent however shortly thereafter the case was dismissed.
Almost immediately thereafter her husband Fred took off to California and parts unknown. In her struggle to keep a roof over her
head and her son's, Eva left her young son, Fred with a woman that evidently knew Eva's mother in law, Mary E. Simpson. Mary
had stopped by several times and checked up on her grandson, letting the woman know that if anything were to happen to young
Fred, that she wanted to be notified and that she would pick him up and raise him.
Early that autumn, of 1930, Eva had met a married man with several children of his own. Together they rented a room in a
boarding house and represented themselves as a married couple. For several months they lived there with young Fred until the
landlady learned from some of her other roomers that the couple was not married. When confronted by her landlady, Eva
confessed, saying that she needed a place to live for her little boy and that living with this man seemed to be the easiest way. The
landlady felt sorry for her and had decided to help Eva. She had agreed to take care of young Fred while Eva went to look for work.
Eva was to pay her $3.50 a week for her son's care as soon as she found work.
Eva eventually found a small job at the Knauer Drug Store, working part time in the summer, autumn, and that winter, but Eva
never did pay for Fred's care. Instead she had turned her money over to Bud Wall, the gentleman she was staying with. The
landlady began to play games with Eva. When Eva would come to pick up Fred she would be told that he wasn't around right now,
or that she didn't know where he was. Eva eventually got tired of the games and came back with the police, picked her son up
and never returned there again. The gentleman that she had lived with, Bud Wall got into trouble with the law and was convicted
of embezzlement and sentenced to Lansing Prison, in Kansas. Eva then hooked up with Bud Wall's friend. He had worked as a
printer at the Hall's print shop in Topeka. He had bought a second hand car from Eva. He to had left his wife and stayed with Eva
and her son. They stayed together for a while and then split up. He had been looking for her since their split up until almost two
weeks prior to the end of November. Eva was eventually laid off from her job at Morrell's in late November 1931.
Eva had yet again met another man, disappeared again for 2 days, Tuesday December 2, 1931, and Wednesday December 3,
1931. Eva had quit her job at the drug store that day, and had told her boss that she was thinking of going to Springfield, Missouri
to see her brother Joe Richetti and see whether he could advance her some money. Her boss at the drug store described Eva as
being quite a good worker when she had worked for him, and that she was a very beautiful women, but was quite ignorant and
was unable to handle money correctly.
On Thursday, December 3, 1931 she left the rooming house with her little boy and never returned. She had left her clothes
behind and never paid a thing on her room. On that day, December 3, 1931, Eva for the last time left young Fred with her friend
saying that she found work on the other side of town, and that she would be back by 7pm that evening.
A few days went by and Eva still had not returned. On December 3rd 1931 on her way to her older brother Joe Richetti's in Bolivar,
Missouri Eva had been arrested in Pittsburg, Oklahoma for robbery, forgery, car theft, and child abandonment according to the
agency that had investigated her because of her son's abandonment. According to the FBI in their investigation of her arrest she
was arrested in St Louis, Mo and held under the White Slave Traffic Act.
Her friend called the rooming house where she knew Eva had been staying. The landlady there did not know Eva's whereabouts,
however she did know that her clothes were still there. Eva's friend went to the boarding house and acquired more clothes for
young Fred. On December 16, 1931, Eva's friend tired of caring for young Fred contacted the Provident Association who in turn
contacted the Kansas Children's Home and Service League. The friend turned young Fred over to them with great hesitation and
felt that Eva needed to learn a lesson. Fred was then taken and cared for by the Kansas Children's Home and Service League,
while they checked into the situation.
Eva never returned for her son. Eva was excited about her brother Adam's involvement with Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd and wanted
to be apart of his life. What was about to transpire with by then, a little 3 year old boy, was about to change his life as he had
come to know it along with his older cousin, Jack Smalley who was Clementine and Blackie's son. Adam Richetti was about to
influence the course of history for these young children and other family members through his cavalier actions as a gangster that
would eventually affect many family members for another generation to come.
By December 22, 1931 the family in Oklahoma and Ohio knew about Eva's circumstances and the whereabouts of her son, Fred.
A friend of the Richetti's from Oklahoma came to the office in Topeka. He carried a letter from Mrs. Clemantine Smalley, saying
she wanted to raise young Fred, and did not want any of his father's family to get ahold of him, since she feared they would not
treat him well. The friend had told the agency that Mrs. Smalley was living with her second or third husband, had one child, and
that they were living on compensation that her husband had obtained as an ex-serviceman. He felt that they were in poor
circumstances as far as finances were concerned, and that Joe Richetti would be in the best interest in keeping Eva's son. He
had always earned a good living and though he had just one leg, was a good worker. His wife Betty was a schoolteacher in
Springfield at the time.
During that time there was an attempt made to find the whereabouts of Fred's father. In contacting the boarding house where Eva
had lived, the landlady had found an address to Fred. She had listed his address as 227 1/2 East First Street, Los Angeles,
California. The case workers had investigated this address through a California agency, which had turned out to be a boarding
house in China Town that contained mostly Orientals. It had been later relayed by Clemantine (Richetti) Smalley, that Fred
Simpson had been hooked on heroin, and opium.
Eva, her child and husband lost, her life as she knew it turned upside down, moved to Wewoka, Oklahoma with her oldest sister
Marie (Richetti) Smalley and her husband Blackie, where she lived for several months. It is there she first met members of the
Floyd family. In April Eva had been involved with a shootout on Blackie's farm. Lawmen attempted the arrest of Clarence Garatley
and Cole Rickerson. She had witnessed the capture of Garatley, and the death of Cole Rickerson. Once again Eva had been
arrested along with her sister Marie, and her husband Blackie for harboring. 2 months later after her sister Marie Smalley and
Ruby Floyd aided Adam and Charles Floyd with an escape from local law enforcement officers the women were arrested. Further
investigation at the Smalley's house included the arrest once again of Eva Richetti Simpson. Also arrested were members of
Floyd family, and Blackie Smalley (Seminol Cnty, OK) They were jailed in Wewoka on June 3rd for stealing the car and bond was
set at $2,000 each. All were released 5 June.
On 17 June, 1933 the Kansas City Massacre had occurred, and shortly thereafter Eva's brother Adam Richetti and Charles Floyd
had been implicated. The FBI began investigating the Richetti, Sustik, and Smalley families shortly afterwards.
The following text was gleaned from FBI records.
On 21 Jun., 1933 FBI special agent L. M. Clipman begins to investigate Eva Richetti to determine the were abouts of her brother
Adam. He requests records of her arrest in Pittsburg, Oklahoma to determine family contacts and addresses.
On 16 July 1933, Federal authorities arranged the release of Eva Richetti Simpson's boy friend, Bud Wall from Lansing Prison. In
turn they ask that he be an informant for them in hopes that they could find the were abouts of Adam and Floyd.
On 14 May 1934, once again the SAC of Kansas City, F.A. Yearsly requests more information on the arrest of Eva Richetti from the
St Louis office.
On July 25th 1934 Eva Richetti Simpson and Thelma
O'Donnell, alias Vera Jones believed to be the sister
in law of Charles Floyd, had stolen a car in Wewoka,
Oklahoma and had pulled a robbery in Oklahoma.
Both are captured in Sherman Texas. Eva is arrested
and indicted by Federal Grand jury on stolen car
charges. Chester Stone, et al - National Motor Vehicle
Theft Act and held on a $5,000 bond.
On Oct 6, 1934, Bud Wall is ask by the FBI to be an
informant. He has been corresponding with Eva while
he was in prison and is interviewed by Agents
concerning correspondence he has written from
prison. He is eventually paroled for his cooperation in
assisting the FBI in finding the whereabouts of Adam
and Charles Floyd.
On Oct 19th, 1934, Eva Richetti was interviewed by the FBI at the County Jail, Sherman, Texas but no definite information was secured
from her regarding the whereabouts of her brother and Floyd. She did indicate that her husband Fred Simpson died in an automobile
accident. She was being held under $5,000 dollar bond in a case captioned the Chester Stone, et al - National Motor Vehicle Theft Act.
Her boy friend Bud Wall continues to correspond with her while she is in jail.
On Oct 23, 1934 Eva Richetti still being held in the Grayson County jail learned of her brother Adam's capture. That Sunday night her
and her friend Thelma O'Donnell/Vera Jones wept throughout the night. Both women appeared badly broken up after receiving notice
of Floyd's death. Eva had been greatly interested in Floyd and her brother Adam and had expressed the belief that he would again
escape from the officers.
On October 24, 1934 while Eva was still in jail friends of hers attempted a jail break in Holdenville, Oklahoma. Four men, Bill Johnson,
Ambrose Nix, Arthur Gooch, Henry Hurst, and two women, Maude Lawson and Myrtle Kindig slugged the Hughes County jailer, Jim
Sickles and escaped in two stolen automobiles, kidnapping two men. Two of the men took a Ford V-8 Sedan from T. C. Puckett, a
suburban grocer, kidnapping Puckett and his son Jarald.
The other two men and the women, after terrorizing half a dozen women in an apartment house block from the jail fled in a DeSoto 32
Coup belonging to Dr. Gregory W. Morgan. The fugitives who smuggled a pistol into the jail with outside aid by tossing a string made
by a strip of cloth from the jail window, included the two couples which terrorized the countryside around Arpelar several weeks ago
before being captured near Wetumka.
Phil Johnson of Okamukes the leader of the break struck the jailer with a piece of lead pipe at breakfast time and obtaining his keys,
freed the others. The jailer stunned but not seriously injured and four trusties were locked up with threats of death if they gave the
On 1 December 1934, Eva was released from jail in Denton, Texas, just as Adam was being transferred to Missouri. On January 7th,
1935 just outside of Dallas, Texas in a little place called Kiowa, Eva and her friend Maude Lawson along with three men, Malloy "Red"
Kuykendall, Oscar Mullins, alias Jim Hasley, and Sylvester Reece, some of which had escaped from Holdenville, Oklahoma in
October 1934 had stolen a new car at the point of a gun. Eva had tried to enlist friends and orchestrate a rescue attempt of Adam
while he was being transferred to the Jackson County Jail at that time. They were caught at a farm house just southwest of Atoka,
Oklahoma. Arrested and sent to jail at Mc Alester, Oklahoma they again made an attempted jail break which failed.
Once Eva finished her jail term, she had decided that the times had changed and it was time to go straight. She did not enjoy her time
in jail and never wanted to go back again. She drifted in her life for several years agonizing over her brother's death. Eva was very bitter
towards Adam's partner, Charles Floyd for running away at Wellsburg and not doing more to save her brother. She was also very
bitter towards Rose Baird whom she felt sold Adam out to the FBI.
Eva would eventually married Louis C. Collins who had investments in an oil well, and bore a daughter, Dolores Jean Collins in
1948.. Eventually Eva was to marry again and became Eva McCaleb. Eva was a free spirit and lived life to it's fullest.
Eva Ricchetti McCaleb died 30 Aug 1985 at age 72 while living at 145 N. Inez Street, Hemet, California. Eva had put herself in the
midst of her brother Adam's exploits with Charles Pretty Boy Floyd and although it may have been an adventure of a life time it cost her
and her children dearly.
During the first of several marriages, first to Fred Simpson whom she bore a son, Fred L. Simpson which she lost through her
adventures. Fred was raised by Eva's sister Minnie and later adopted changing his name to Fred H. Sustik.
Eva's son, Fred (Simpson) Sustik was born June 3, 1929, died Oct 20th, 2004 at age 75. Fred had a successful career, 51 year
marriage and a fulfilling life. Fred served one tour of duty in the US Army serving in Korea. Fred retired from Weirton Steele, Division
of National Steel after a 35 year career. Fred & his wife Jacqueline raised 3 children, Fred, Tracey & Lynda. Fred is buried in the Ft
Eva's daughter, Fred's half sister Dolores Jean Collins was born 9 June 1948 and died 15 September 1986 at age 38. Dolores
married Mark Wayland Maddry born on 30 Sept 1948 and died on 11 November 1991 at age 43. They were married on 24 September
1968 in Arlington, Tarrant County, Texas. Dolores struggled throughout her life eventually succumbing to an addition to Heroin.