top of page

Machine Gun Kelley, the Kidnapper


Headstone
A simple tombstone marks George B Kelley's grave.

Wondering what to do this fine day? A visit to Cottondale (Wise County, Texas) might suffice.


Infamous bandit Machine Gun Kelley is buried here inside his wife Kathryn's family's plot. After no one from Kelley's family claimed his body when he died in Leavenworth in 1954, her stepfather took responsibility. Which makes kind of sense - the Kelleys (actual last name was Barnes) had kidnapped Charles Urschel, a rich oil man from Oklahoma City, and kept him at the stepfather's farm house.


The 1933 trial for "Machine Gun Kelley" and his wife, Kathryn, was the first gangster-era criminal proceeding captured on film, and even includes a reenactment of the kidnapping. The Oklahoma Historical Society has the video archive here.


22 views0 comments
bottom of page