After a few shows about John Gotti, this week Gangland Wire will go to a 1930s story about a Leavenworth prison break that went horribly wrong for both the prisoners and the town of Leavenworth. I interview former Leavenworth prison guard and prison historian Kenneth LeMaster. Kenneth tells the story of how prisoners behind the walls were aided by notorious bank robbers, Frank “Jelly” Nash and George “Machine Gun” Kelly to facilitate a mass escape of seven desperate inmates. On December 11, 1931, chaos erupted behind Leavenworth’s limestone walls and these criminals grabbed the warden hostage and escaped into the adjacent town of Leavenworth Kansas. The nearby Ft. Leavenworth sent troops to restore order inside the institution and many guards and local law enforcement engaged in running gun battles with the escaping inmate. When the prison emergency whistle alerted the town, all local officers and many gun-wielding citizens joined in the manhunt. Our guest, Kenneth LaMaster tells an exciting story of flying bullets and first-person accounts, news reports, and official FBI files. Kenneth LeMaster has written three books on the infamous Leavenworth prison.
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