watersheds.org the world in your watershed search
homeabout ussite mapcontact us
 

Richards R-V Shootout With the "Ma" Barker Gang Student Stories

Spring 2005: Students researched the history of the shooting death of Howell County Sheriff Kelly by members of the "Ma" Barker gang of outlaws. The students then wrote their own interpretations of the event.

Students writing stories this year were: Madison R., Tyler J., Dustin M., Connor H., Keegan W., Bethany G., Tiffany C., Hayden H., Chelsey S., Ben C., Nick H., Presten K., Bobby M., Chelcey T., Madison H., Ashton, Jon M., Gavin H., Shelby W.

Student Stories

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Madison R.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Marie Parker. As Sheriff Kelly was going in the post office a blue DeSoto pulled in at Davidson Motor Company. The people that were in the car needed two flats repaired. Carac Davidson noticed the men in the DeSoto were wearing clothes that looked like the ones stolen from C.C. McCallon’s store. He quietly picked up the phone and called Mr. McCallon to come over and see if they were the clothes stolen from his store. As soon as Mr. McCallon got there, Sheriff Kelly was coming out of the post office. Carefully, Mr. Davidson crossed the street to tell Sheriff Kelly what might be happening. Sheriff Kelly walked over to his car and got his gun. As soon as the sheriff shut the door, shots rang out. The men in the DeSoto knew they were caught. The bad guys were gone, and Sheriff Kelly was dead. He was shot twice in the chest and two more times in the left arm. I am going to get the bad guys. We found they were hiding at Thayer, Missouri. I only got Creepy Karpis and some of his friends. I waited for him and caught him in New Orleans. Even though Sheriff Kelly was killed, he is still a hero.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Tyler J.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am a spy. My name is Tyler. When I was leaving the West Plains Courthouse I heard about the Ma Barker Gang. After I left the courthouse I went to my car. I sat there and watched some people. They had nice clothes on. I saw C.C. McCallon go over there. Sheriff Kelly also went over there with his gun. I knew it was going to be bad. The next thing I knew, a gun shot went off. A car shot out of the Davidson Motor Company garage and zoomed past me! I tried to shoot the tires, but I missed! I ran after the guy that went down the alley and shot at him. I called the police and the F.B.I.! We were on them good. The gang hid out at Ma Barker’s farm near Thayer, Missouri. Some hunters found the car, but the gang escaped. Three years later I went on a vacation to Florida, and the Ma Barker Gang was there. The police and I got in a shootout with the Ma Barker Gang. I shot Ma Barker, and the police shot the rest. J. Edgar Hoover from the F.B.I. caught Creepy Karpis in New Orleans.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Dustin M.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am Carac Davidson. First, C.C. McCallon’s store was robbed. Next we found out that there were three men. After that the three men had a flat so they went to air up the tire. Then I saw that the three men were wearing fancy clothes. After that I slipped over to the phone and called C.C. McCallon. Then the three men shot Sheriff Kelly. Later hunters found the abandoned car. After that M.C. Stevens found a scarf that was stolen from C.C. McCallon’s store. Finally, the cops went to check a farm at Thayer, Missouri, for the Ma Barker Gang. When they opened the front gate the bell rang. The Ma Barker gang ran away. When the cops came in they found burned clothes. When the cops went into the kitchen, they saw a map lying on the table, and this is what it said, "This map is a drawing of the First National Bank of West Plains." The map was for the bank to be robbed.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Connor H.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am Deputy Kurt. I have worked with Sheriff Kelly for a long time. I was with Sheriff Kelly when we found the Ma Barker Gang. They knew it was us when Kelly opened the door. Bullets came out of the blue DeSoto. Then the DeSoto went out of the garage and got away. Sheriff Kelly was dead! Everyone was trying to find Sheriff Kelly’s killers. The police shot Ma Barker and one of her boys. Creepy Karpis got arrested by the head of the F.B.I. The boys got arrested too. Each of them were in different cells with different people. If Sheriff Kelly hadn’t got killed, the Ma Barker Gang planned to rob the West Plains Bank. Thanks Sheriff Kelly!

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Keegan W.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Keegan. I am an under-cover deputy sheriff for the Davidson Motor Company. I was helping Bill fix flats. Our boss, Carac Davidson, noticed that some people in a blue DeSoto were wearing clothes that looked like the ones stolen from C.C. McCallon’s store. Mr. McCallon said the clothes were stolen. Then Carac walked over to tell Sheriff Kelly. Kelly walked over to get his gun out of his car. We heard gun shots. The gang ran over my fingers with their car. We ran outside and saw that the Howell County Sheriff was dead. He had two holes in his chest and two in his left arm. I jumped in my car and left. Some hunters found where the crooks’ car was abandoned. Several days later a few men and I found a farm near Thayer, Missouri, that was rented by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dunlop. The name "Dunlop" was an alias name. The name was really the "Ma Barker Gang." The gang was using the farm for a hideout. A few days later some men and I shot Ma Barker and her sons in a bloody shootout. J. Edgar Hoover arrested Creepy Karpis in New Orleans. That was the end of the Ma Barker Gang.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Bethany G.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. First, my name is Bethany. I work at the post office. Sheriff Kelly was getting his mail when the guy that was fixing the tires came for help. I was looking out the window and saw Sheriff Kelly get shot. I called the cops. I told them it was a blue DeSoto. The next day, I heard that the Ma Barker Gang was hiding in an old farmhouse near Thayer, Missouri. So we went there, but the gang was gone. We found the clothes that were stolen. Later we heard Ma Barker and her son, Fred, were killed in a bloody shootout in the state of Florida. A year and a half after they died, Alvin Karpis was arrested by J. Edgar Hoover in New Orleans. After that every thing was all right.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Tiffany C.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Nikki. I am Sheriff Kelly’s daughter. One day I was walking with my daddy to get some coffee. After daddy had his coffee, we started to go to the post office to get our mail. Next, Carac Davidson slipped out of the garage and came over to my daddy. Carac told him what the problem was. Then daddy went to his car, got his gun, and slipped it under his coat. Then he went to the garage. The bad guys knew they had been caught so they started shooting at my daddy. After they shot my daddy, the Ma Barker Gang escaped down East Main Street! The gang had rented a farm at Thayer, Missouri, but the killers were gone because of a booby-trapped gate. When the police came in, they found a map on the table about robbing the West Plains Bank. We found out that the Ma Barker Gang worked in other places too. They had already killed a night watchman and a policeman in Missouri. Three years later I learned that Ma Barker and her son, Fred, were killed in a bloody shootout in the state of Florida. Ma Barker’s friend, Alvin Karpis, was arrested in New Orleans by the head of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Hayden H.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. Hi! I’m a hunter. I first heard about the Ma Barker Gang the night the thieves robbed C.C. McCallon’s clothing store. It was the next night when I was hunting. The gang only took the latest fashions from the store. The next morning at 9:00 A.M., Ma Barker and her sons drove a blue DeSoto down East Main Street. Ma Barker had two flats inside the trunk of the car. She pulled in to the Davidson Motor Company. Carac Davidson slipped away and called C.C. McCallon to come over and see if these were the stolen clothes. Mr. McCallon said, "Yes, they are the stolen clothes!" So Carac Davidson caught Sheriff Kelly walking out of the post office. Carac Davidson said, "We have found the crooks! They’re over at the shop waiting for their tires to be fixed." So Sheriff Kelly walked to his car and got his gun. He walked up to question the woman and the men. Shots rang out! While I was hunting I was told the gang had killed Sheriff Kelly. One of the crooks ran down an alley. The other two hopped in the blue DeSoto and roared down East Main Street. A few days later when I was hunting, I shot at a deer and missed. I heard a "CLING!" I wondered what it was, and went to find out. It was Ma Barker’s car. Nobody was in it. So I called the police. Then I said that Ma Barker must have bought the farm and used a name like "Mrs. Arthur Dunlop." I went to the place. It was booby trapped. One of the men opened the gate, and Ma Barker got away. We found a map on the table that showed the West Plains Bank. The gang was going to rob it! Ma Barker and one son were shot in a bloody shootout in Florida. Creepy Karpis was captured in New Orleans by J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the F.B.I.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Chelsey S.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Chelsey, and I was there. It all happened when I was walking my dog. We were about to walk down East Main Street when my dog started barking. Bullets rang out! Then I began to run. I heard tires squeal! Luckily the car turned down a different street than my dog and I were on. I looked down East Main Street to make sure the criminals were gone. After that I decided to look at the damages. When my dog and I got to Davidson Motor Company we noticed Sheriff Kelly had been shot twice in the chest and two more times in the left arm. Then my dog noticed the tracks looked the same as the tracks at C.C. McCallon’s store! I called the cops. Later on, hunters found the blue DeSoto near Thayer, Missouri. At Thayer, a farm was discovered to be the gang’s hideout. When a map inside the farmhouse was discovered, the lawmen learned that the Ma Barker Gang had planned to rob the West Plains Bank. Everyone knew then that even though brave Sheriff Kelly had been killed, he was still a hero. Years later Fred and Ma Barker were killed in a bloody shootout in the state of Florida while the rest of the Ma Barker Gang went to jail.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Ben C.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am Bill Tiner. On December 19, 1931, a blue DeSoto drove into the shop of the Davidson Motor Company. First, the people got out of the car. I saw that they were wearing nice clothes. Then John and I started fixing their tires. I went to get new tires and wheels. When I got back and was putting the tires on, I heard gunshots. Then the Ma Barker Gang all jumped in the car except for one. Next, the gang ran over Jon and my fingers. When I looked at the garage door, I saw that Sheriff Kelly was shot twice in the chest and two more times in the arm. About three days later the police found the gang’s hideout at Thayer, Missouri. Three years after that Ma Barker and her son, Fred, were killed in a bloody shootout in Florida. Finally, Creepy Karpis got caught in New Orleans by J. Edgar Hoover of the F.B.I. At least that’s what I heard on the radio.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Nick H.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am Deputy Nick. I have worked with Sheriff Kelly for a long time. One December day Kelly went to the post office. The person fixing the flats at the Davidson Motor Company came and got him. First Kelly went to his car and got his gun. Second he went to the other car and opened the door. Shots rang out of the car. Sheriff Kelly had been killed. I found that the Ma Barker Gang had used a barn at Thayer, Missouri, for their hideout. I got some reinforcements. When I opened the gate it made a bell ring inside. When we got inside, the gang was gone. They had left a map on the table. Hunters found the blue DeSoto. Ma Barker and one son got killed in Florida.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Presten K.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I’m Sheriff Kelly. I just walked in the coffee shop. Next, I am going to the post office to check the mail for the sheriff’s office. Carac Davidson came and said that he might have the crooks in his garage that broke into C.C. McCallon’s Clothing Store. I got my gun out of my car. I got up, and the crooks shot the hat off my head. I shot at one, but Ma Barker shot me twice in the arm. I was also shot two times in the chest. Three years later, Ma Barker and her son, Fred, were killed. One year after Ma Barker and Fred were killed, the head of the F.B.I. arrested Creepy Karpis.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Bobby M.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. Hi! My name is Carac Davidson. I live next door to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly. I work at the Davidson Motor Company and at the F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of Investigation). First, I saw three trillion dollars worth of stolen merchandise. Then I started to call C.C. McCallon to see if it belonged to him. I saw him driving a red Ford.
He said, "Well, let’s go see."
I said, "Okay."
Next, I went to get Sheriff Kelly from the post office. He got his gun and went to question them. He opened the door and..... "Bang! Bang! Bam! Bam!" He was shot in the arm and in the chest. I saw one guy escaping so I got my body armor, a badge, and 12 guns. After that I took a picture of them, went to my office, and got on my computer to see who Sheriff Kelly’s killers were. It was the "Ma" Barker Gang! I went to arrest them, but they were gone. I got to my car, turned on the radar with the sirens, and drove to catch them.
I talked on my walky-talky and said, "Road block!"
Bill, another F.B.I. agent said, "10-4, Fat Buddy!"
I said, "No! They took a shortcut!" So, I did too. I followed. Then I shot the tire. "Yes!" I said. But they were still going.
After that I called my team of F.B.I. agents. I said, "Go to the F.B.I. helicopters and follow me!"
Bill answered, "10-4, Fat Buddy!"
Last we went to their hideout and opened the door..... "Ring! Ring!"
"No way!" The gang got away!"
I saw a map of the West Plains Bank. I said, "To the helicopters!"
We fought in a terrible shootout!

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Chelcey T.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am C.C. McCallon. Late at night on December 17, my store was robbed of $2,000.00 worth of merchandise. Apparently, the crooks entered my store through my back window after removing two bars. The crooks stole socks, ties, gloves, sweaters, and shirts. Later the "Ma" Barker gang showed up at Davidson Motor Company with two tires that needed repaired. The three men were wearing stolen clothes from my store. When I arrived at the garage, Sheriff Kelly was coming out of the post office. Carefully Mr. Davidson walked across the street to tell Sheriff Kelly what was happening. Sheriff Kelly stepped over to his car, got his gun from the back seat and slipped it under his coat. Sheriff Kelly crossed East Main Street, entering the garage to question the men in the blue DeSoto. Just as the sheriff opened the door, shots suddenly rang out. The gang knew they had been caught. One of the crooks ran outside. Reloading his pistol as he fled. Turning down an alley at the side of the garage, he quickly escaped. Tires screeched as the blue DeSoto roared out onto the street. The car hit the curb hard and bounced, causing the right rear door to accidentally swing open. The blue DeSoto disappeared down East Main Street. The bad guys were gone and Sheriff Kelly was dead. Kelly had been shot twice in the chest and two more times in the left arm. The "Ma" Barker Gang pretended they were Mrs. Arthur Dunlop of Oklahoma. They got this farm for a hideout. When the police raided the house a bell would ring if the gate was opened. The gang would know when to leave. Half of the clothes from my store was found. Part of the clothes were burned in a wood stove to hide the evidence. Lying on the kitchen table was a map of the First National Bank of West Plains. The "Ma" Barker gang intended to rob the West Plains Bank if Sheriff Kelly hadn’t ruined their plans. Even though Sheriff Kelly was dead, he was still a hero in Howell County. Later it was discovered that "Ma" Barker’s gang had also worked in other parts of the Ozarks. They had killed a night watchman in Pocahontas, Arkansas, and a policeman in Monett, Missouri. After shooting Sheriff Kelly, the outlaws left the Ozarks for good. Three years after the murder of Sheriff Kelly, "Ma" Barker and her son, Fred, were killed in a bloody shootout in the state of Florida. A year and a half after the death of "Ma" Barker, Alvin Karpis was arrested in New Orleans by the head of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover. The "Ma" Barker Gang was an outlaw gang made up of "Ma" Barker, and her sons, Herman, Lloyd, Arthur, and Fred. Alvin "Creepy" Karpis was one of "Ma" Barker’s friends who also took part in the gang. That’s the end of the "Ma" Barker Gang.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Madison H.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Madison. The day when I was at the Davidson Motor Company getting my tires fixed, a blue DeSoto drove into the garage. The people needed two flats repaired. The owner of the company saw three men and a woman. They were wearing really fancy clothes. The clothes looked like the ones stolen from C.C. McCallon’s store. Sheriff Kelly was walking out of the post office. When Carac Davidson saw the Sheriff, he walked over to tell him what might be happening. When the Sheriff got to the garage he had his gun in his overcoat. He went to ask the people some questions. After he opened the door, shots rang out. Then the blue DeSoto raced out of the garage. One of the men escaped on foot. When the car screeched around, the right rear door swung open. The man that escaped on foot had shot Sheriff Kelly two times in the chest and twice in the left arm. I told most of the people in town. Some hunters found an abandoned car that had bullet holes in the back. When the hunters got back to town they went to the police station. The hunters told the police that they found an abandoned car that belonged to the "Ma" Barker Gang. The blue DeSoto had three pieces of clothes left in the car. One piece of clothing was a tie. Another piece of clothing was a shirt. The last piece of clothing was pants that went with the shirt. After we got back in town the police came to the garage and asked me questions about what happened. When he found out that I was in the shop when the sheriff was shot, he questioned me till he got the answers he wanted. Then he learned that the "Ma" Barker Gang had a hideout in Thayer, Missouri. Three years later "Ma" Barker and one of her sons were killed in a bloody shootout in the state of Florida. A couple of months after that the police arrested "Creepy" Karpis. When Sheriff Kelly had his funeral, everyone said he was the bravest hero in Howell County.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Ashton

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I am Judge Garner. I was walking out of the courthouse when I heard guns go off down by Davidson Motor Company. Then I saw a mechanic run across the street. Next, I saw Sheriff Kelly on the ground. He looked like he was dead. I looked at the people that shot Sheriff Kelly. They looked like they were wearing Mr. McCallon’s stolen clothes. The tires looked the same as the ones that made tracks behind the clothing store. A week after the shootout I heard that the "Ma" Barker Gang shot Sheriff Kelly, and that they got away. We heard that some hunters found the blue DeSoto with bullet holes in it. As soon as they looked at the license plate they called the police. The police said the car belonged to Alvin Karpis, known as "Creepy" Karpis. "Creepy" Karpis was in the "Ma" Barker Gang. "Ma" Barker’s Gang was the meanest gang around. The next day the F.B.I. went to a farm to get evidence. Mr. and Mrs. Dunlop were alias names. When the F.B.I. went in the gate a bell rang in the farm. It was a booby trap. When the police went inside all of the gang was gone. They found all the clothes on the ground. But even better, they found a map. The map said the gang would rob the West Plains Bank. So even though Sheriff Kelly died, he was still a hero. Three years after the murder of Sheriff Kelly, "Ma" Barker and her son, Fred, were killed in a bloody shootout in Florida. "Creepy" Karpis was arrested in New Orleans by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the F.B.I.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Jon M.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. I’m Bill Tiner and here’s what happened. One morning a blue DeSoto drove into Davidson Motor Company. I started repairing their flats. For some reason my boss walked over to Sheriff Kelly at the post office. So I looked in the car. I found some stolen clothes from C.C. McCallon’s store. Sheriff Kelly grabbed his gun. They walked across East Main Street. The Sheriff opened the door, and the gang shot him. The sheriff was killed. The car ran over my foot so I could not grab my gun out of my shoe. But If I could have, they would have had four flat tires. Later some hunters found the same car. "Ma" Barker had an alias name. It was Mrs. Dunlop. She used it to rent a farm for a hideout. The farm was booby trapped with a bell that would ring when police came. Three years later "Ma" Barker’s gang was killed. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the F.B.I., caught "Creepy" Karpis in New Orleans.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Gavin H.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. My name is Carac Davidson. One morning some people pulled in and needed their tires checked. So some mechanics started fixing the flats. But I saw they were wearing the latest fashions in clothing. The clothes looked like the ones stolen from C.C. McCallon’s Clothing Store. The tires were the same size as the tracks in back of the store. So I sneaked to a phone and called Mr. McCallon to ask him if he would come over and see if these were the stolen clothes from his store. McCallon said they were the clothes that had been stolen. Then I went to get Sheriff Kelly at the post office. Sheriff Kelly went to his car and got his gun. He slipped it under his coat. As soon as the gang saw the sheriff, shots rang out. Sheriff Kelly was dead. One person ran down an alley. The rest of the gang drove the blue DeSoto down East Main Street and out of town. Later some hunters found the same car in the woods. The license plate numbers were the ones "Ma" had on the DeSoto. It was "Ma’s" car. Next, we heard about a farm in Thayer, Missouri. "Ma" had disguised her name as Mrs. Arthur Dunlop. "Ma" and her gang were using the farm as a hideout. The farm was booby trapped. When the law opened the gate, a bell rang and the gang got away. When the law went into the house they found half of the clothes burned and the rest on the table. But more important than the clothes was a map for robbing the Bank of West Plains. Finally, "Ma" and her son, Fred, were shot in a shootout. "Creepy" Karpis was caught by J. Edgar Hoover.

Shootout With the Ma Barker Gang
by Shelby W.

At 9:00 A.M. on December 19, 1931, there was a terrible shootout in West Plains, Missouri, with the Ma Barker Gang. Hello, I am Sheriff Kelly’s sister. The day that my brother got shot started out like any other day. He got his coffee and went to get his mail. But I was walking my dog and came around the corner. I saw that Carac Davidson, the owner of Davidson Motor Company, was talking with my brother. I wondered, "Why?" Then I saw my brother put his gun in his coat and walk over to Davidson Motor Company. I knew that C.C. McCallon’s Clothing Store had been robbed a few nights before. But what did that have to do with Davidson Motor Company? After that I heard gun shots coming from the garage. I ran down there and saw my brother lying on the ground. The blue DeSoto pulled out and bounced when it hit the curb. I knelt down to where I could see that my brother had two bullet holes in his chest and two in his left arm. I ran into the garage and used the phone to call the cops. When the cops showed up, the F.B.I. was also with them. The F.B.I. and half the cops went to try to find the people who shot my brother. Later we found out that the "Ma" Barker Gang had been the killers. We also discovered that they were hiding at Thayer, Missouri, in a rented house. They were using the names, "Mr. and Mrs. Dunlop." But these names were alias names. The people were really the "Ma" Barker Gang. The F.B.I. went to the house and noticed that it was booby trapped. When they opened the gate, a bell rang inside, and the "Ma" Barker Gang ran away. The F.B.I. tried to stop them, but they couldn’t.

Top