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Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, a participant in the Kansas City Massacre of 1933, was a famed bank robber of the times, a flashy criminal also alleged to have dabbled in murder.Bonnie and Clyde dominated headlines during the same era, as their violent, cross-country crime spree included stick-ups at various banks. Perhaps the most notorious of the Depression-era gangsters, Dillinger spent a good portion of the early 1930s leading law enforcement on a series of fruitless leads and narrow misses, until authorities got a tip — courtesy of a brothel’s madam — that Dillinger was staying in Chicago.Their actions, though often inherently violent, are viewed in a kind of romanticized way.After Jesse James, who would be credited with various bank robberies during his short lifetime, came a string of Depression-era criminals who seemed to make bank robberies acceptable, if not downright fashionable.From inside his spacious office at the FBI’s Kansas City office on Summit Street, Marlin Ritzman spends his days going about the business of catching bad guys.For many years, Ritzman oversaw the division’s violent-crimes squad, which investigates bank robberies, before becoming an assistant special agent in charge, and he is something of an expert on the matter.
But the strangers — later believed to be members of the James-Younger gang, the famed outlaw mob led by Missouri’s own Jesse James — were not interested in everyday bank business.
It was a significant victory for the FBI, whose search for Dillinger had spanned multiple years and states.
It also signified the lengths federal authorities would go to combat a crime that they, unlike many Americans, did not seem to find the least bit amusing or romantic.
The perpetrators are a wide-ranging collection of individuals.
They’re drug users looking to finance their next hit, and down-on-their-luck gamblers in search of a quick payday.
He can tell you, for instance, that nationally, offenders like to carry out their bank robberies on Friday afternoons, while locally, they prefer Wednesday mornings.