Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Alvin Karpis: Pursuit of the Last Public Enemy

Connelly's Version

(From FBI New Orleans Barker-Karpis File #7-15 FOIPA #445856)

Earl Connelley, the ever-present agent who functioned as the main FBI operating boss throughout most of the Karpis manhunt and arrest, wrote a summary report of these activities dated May 18, 1936 - seventeen days subsequent to the capture.

Connelleys report resumes sometime after 2:00 p.m, May 1st after he (and Brantley) went to the surveillance site and made his own positive i.d. on Fred Hunter,

...At the New Orleans office all men to participate in this raid were fully advised as to the activities of all persons involved in the raid, and a diagram of the premises and immediate vicinity was prepared on the blackboard for their full information...the general plan of raiding the house was briefly as follows:

Special Agent Tollett was to remain at the observation point in the vacant house across the parkway, and Special Agent Bowman was to leave the observation house and join the two squads, which were to take and maintain the rear of these premises, this rear raiding squad to consist of the following:

Assistant Director Mr. Clyde Tolson and Agents Baldwin, Glavin, McNulty, Neal, Peyronnin. This squad was divided with one group to be established at the rear end of the house on the backside; one group at the front end of the house on the backside.

Agents Toulme, Bain, Heavrin and Lunsford to be established, two men in an automobile on the far corner of Canal and Jeff Davis Parkway; two agents in a car to be established on the corner directly across Canal Street on the corner of Jeff Davis Parkway - these two cars to be in such position as to be able to take up the pursuit, should the subjects escape from the house and try to leave in an automobile.

The two rear groups or squads were to maintain their positions to prevent the escape of the subjects from either the front of the house or the back side of the house, and to withhold their fire until directed by the raiding squad, which was to enter from the front unless, of course, some individual in escaping had cleared the house and it was necessary to pursue him.

Special Agent in Charge D.W. Magee was to be established across the street from the house at a drug store, to be available at the telephone, in order to advise the New Orleans Police, should any shooting occur, and in particular to request police officers to keep traffic cleared, this being a very heavily traveled thoroughfare, both as to Canal Street and Jeff Davis Parkway.

To raid the place if necessary, and to control the possible exit of subjects from the front of this house, either through the garage to the rear, or the windows or doors facing on Jeff Davis Parkway, Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Special Agents In Charge E.J. Connelley and Dwight Brantley, and Agents C.O. Hurt, and W.L. Buchanan were to take care of the raiding of the house and the entering of the house, if necessary, and the actual taking into custody of the individuals if they submitted to arrest.

It was planned to have the five above indicated agents immediately move into position to take the place when the raiding squad at the rear of the house signaled that they were definitely in location.

Agent J.V. Blake, as the squads moved into position, was to enter the second floor apartment of Mr. R.J. Reid, in order to block anyone who might leave from the rear of the Karpis apartment, and try to go up the stairs into the upstairs apartments.

(Note: the next paragraph is all one sentence and represents Connelleys account of the actual seizure, including Hoovers whereabouts at the moment of impact)

At the approximate time all the Agents moved into position, and just prior to the signal that they were ready for a move, Agent C.O. Hurt and Special Agent In Charge E.J. Connelley were established on the opposite corner of Canal and Jeff Davis Parkway, followed by a car occupied by Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Agent W.L. Buchanan, and Special Agent In Charge Dwight Brantley, subjects Karpis and Hunter came out of the apartment and started to enter the Plymouth coupe, and Agent Hurt and this Agent immediately crossed Canal Street, and blocked their car into the sidewalk, covering them at the same time as we left our car, and Mr. Hoover, together with Agents Brantley and Buchanan, immediately moved across Canal Street to block their car in at the rear and also cover these individuals with their guns, at the same time that Agent Hurt and myself covered them.

The blackboard diagram of the building and vicinity was prepared by Connelley (no surprise), and a few weeks later Magee mailed photographs of it to Hoover.

The FBI and Hoover were distrustful and wary of other police agencies that might contain corrupt tipsters paid off by Karpis. Therefore, the Bureau did not inform the New Orleans police-or any other local agencies-about their raid plans.



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