Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Ohio Moments


'Pretty Boy' Floyd was Public Enemy No. 1

On Oct. 22, 1934, Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, a bank robber whom the FBI designated Public Enemy No. 1 after the death of John Dillinger, was shot dead by lawmen on a farm near East Liverpool, Ohio.

Floyd, a Georgia native who grew up in Oklahoma, was suspected of robbing at least 30 banks and killing at least 10 men. During the 1920s, he lived in East Liverpool, where he was a hired gun for bootleggers along the Ohio River. His first robbery was the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Sylvania, Ohio, on Feb. 5, 1930. Convicted in Akron of the crime, he escaped by jumping through a train window near Kenton en route to the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

The first person Floyd killed was Ralph Castner, a police officer in Bowling Green, Ohio, who kept him from robbing a bank in 1931. On Oct. 19, 1934, Floyd robbed Tiltonsville Peoples Bank, then got into a shootout with police in Wellsville. He fled to the Conkle Farm, where he posed as a lost hunter. That's where cops killed the 30-year-old.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361




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