Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Missouri’s Union Station

Union Station
This railroad depot built in Kansas City in 1914, spans 850,000 square feet. It is the third-largest railroad station in the world. At its peak, it welcomed over 200 trains a day.

The Kansas City Massacre

In 1933, a violent gun battle between federal agents, local police, and three high profile gangsters occurred.  This violence it is believed resulted in the Union Station being haunted by one very tormented soul.

It was a warm summer morning in June when Frank Nash stepped off a train wearing handcuffs. Federal Agent Lackey, Chief Reed, and Agent Smith accompanied Nash off the train.

Frank "Jelly" Nash
Nash had a lengthy criminal record that had landed him in prison three times. In 1913, he was sentenced to a life term in Oklahoma. He spent five years at the state penitentiary at McAlester. He then was pardoned.

Five years later, in 1920, he was given a 25-year sentence for burglary and the use of explosives. Again he was pardoned.

Shortly after being released he was arrested and charged with assault. He again was sentenced to a 25-year term. This time he was sent to the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 1930 Nash escaped. The FBI launched an investigation and Nash was captured in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Three friends of Nash's Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Vernon Miller, and Adam Richetti, were waiting outside Union Station in a stolen car the morning of June 17th when Nash arrived at 7:15 a.m. They intended to help him escape once more.

Click to enlarge.

Special Agent Vetterli met Agent Lackey at the station along with Agent Caffrey and two police officers, Grooms and Hermanson. These seven armed men then escorted Nash through the station’s lobby.

Once outside, none of the officers noticed a green Plymouth parked close by.

Caffrey unlocked the right side back passenger door of his Chevrolet Sedan, but Lackey placed Nash in the front passenger seat instead. Lackey then climbed in and sat in the backseat behind the driver.

Agent Smith sat in the center front seat next to Nash, and Chief Reed took the seat behind Nash. Vetterli, Grooms, and Hermanson stood outside the car as Caffrey moved toward the driver’s seat.

The officers barely had time to react as Miller and Floyd approached the car and opened fire using revolvers and a machine gun.

Vetterli outside the car managed to shout, “Let them have it” as the two gangsters shot and killed Grooms and Hermanson. Vetterli was wounded in the left arm.

Before he could reach the driver’s seat, Caffrey was shot in the head and fell to the ground. Vetterli managed to move out of the line of fire.

In the car, both Chief Reed and Nash seated on the left passenger sides were shot by flying bullets and died.

Four law enforcement officers killed.
Click to enlarge.
This photo was taken moments after the attack.
 Caffrey is on the ground lying between
the two cars.
Miller and Floyd made their way to the car only to find their friend dead. Moment’s later officers inside the station rushed out. They fired at the two men. Floyd was shot but managed to make it back to the Plymouth. The three gangsters then fled the scene.

The entire attack lasted less than a minute.

Agents Vetterli, Smith, and Lackey all survived the attack. Lackey had been shot three times while sitting in the car.

Three that survived.
Click to enlarge.
The FBI launched a major manhunt for the three killers. Miller’s body was found mutilated in a ditch outside Newark, New Jersey. He had been strangled and beaten by the gangster Longie Zwillman, who was connected to the crime syndicate Murder Incorporated.

The law caught up to Floyd and Richetti in Ohio in 1934. The two men had crashed their car and were sitting in a garage waiting for it to be repaired, when the local police chief, J.H. Fultz become suspicious.

A gunfight ensued, and Richettic was apprehended. Floyd escaped despite being wounded. Richettic was tried, convicted and executed for the Kansas City Massacre in 1938.

Pretty Boy Floyd was captured in Clarkson, Ohio but not before he put up a fight. He died of a gunshot wound on the way to the hospital.

After the Massacre, the atmosphere in the Union Station changed. People began to report feelings of agony overwhelming them. Many visitors and employees started to notice a strange form.

These witnesses saw a faceless male figure in various places around the building. Many feel this must be the restless spirit of Frank Nash.

Another sighting is that of old male shoes that are polished. When witnesses look up, there is no form attached to them. Others report seeing these shoes just vanish into thin air.

Numerous people over the years have seen a male figure that just disappears.

Today Union Station’s west wing is used by the U.S. Postal service. Other areas of this historic building are used for high-end cafes, shops and for art displays.

Wedding receptions are often held at the old station. Several of the guests at these receptions have witnessed the male form that just fades away.

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